Posted by: conservativecritic | February 17, 2014

Obama—The Liberal Messiah

Obama—The Liberal Messiah

When I first met him in 1997 at a seminar at Harvard University, something made me uneasy about Barack Obama. . . . I reluctantly concluded his charm was deceitful. The flowery language, grip and grin, intellectual pretense, jargon and buzz words, and obsequiousness were all designed to obscure rather than reveal who he was and what he believed. In a word, he was disingenuous. This is not exactly a rare character trait in politicians. But in Obama’s case there was something deeper and more concerning than the usual politician’s salesmanship. I suspected there was something deliberately misleading about him, and that his compelling personal narrative, exotic and multiracial background, and soaring eloquence distracted from his actual beliefs and intentions.

***

While he professes to be a Christian, Obama has devoted great energy seeking to establish cordial relations with those who express hatred for Jews, Christians, and the United States. . . . From providing aid to a government in Egypt run by the Muslim Brotherhood (until it was deposed by the military in July 2013), to sending U.S. tax dollars and arms to jihadist rebels in Syria who have harassed and killed Christians, to claiming at a news conference in Turkey that America was not a Christian nation—Obama’s administration has displayed a disturbing lack of concern for the right to the free exercise of religion by Christians.

Obama’s policies and public statements, therefore, raise serious questions about the true nature of his core beliefs and values. Who is he and what does he really believe? Knowing the answer to this question helps us understand the opposition. And the answer may surprise you.

***

When Obama ran on “hope” and “change,” promising “we are the change we have been waiting for,” I recognized it immediately. The same opaque language and rhetorical fog I had heard in the Harvard seminar years before tripped smoothly off his tongue to adoring crowds who hung on his every word, including some who fainted in his presence. There were no red states or blue states, Obama assured us, only the United States.

He claimed to have worked across party lines in the Illinois state senate on bipartisan issues like ethics and health-care reform, when in fact he had a fiercely partisan voting record. As a legislator Obama voted against the death penalty for cop killers, against legislation requiring medical intervention to save the life of a child born alive during an abortion, and for raising taxes. His Senate voting record displayed the same pattern, and he was rated the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate by National Journal.1 No matter, for with Obama, style always trumps substance, and rhetoric always replaces the record. Facts and failure may shame other politicians into a reassessment of their policies, but not Obama. In his case, misleading the public is not a function of ego or a personality flaw. It is a deliberate strategy designed to tickle the ears with pleasing words while doing things radical and transformational.

***

No administration in modern times has been more hostile to the public expression of religious faith than Obama’s. Consider these facts:

  • Obama declined to hold public services in the White House commemorating the National Day of Prayer, which had been the practice of his predecessors.
  • In September 2011, his Department of Health and Human Services terminated funding to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for its extensive program to assist victims of human trafficking and modern-day slavery. The reason? Objections to Catholic teaching on abortion and contraception.
  • In 2013 Obama’s inaugural committee forced pastor Louie Giglio, whose Atlanta church was nationally known for its efforts to combat sex trafficking, to withdraw from delivering a prayer at the inaugural ceremony after an audio recording surfaced of a sermon Giglio delivered in the mid-1990s referencing biblical teaching on homosexuality. When it came to praying at Obama’s second inaugural, no pastor holding to an orthodox view of Scripture had need to apply.
  • His Justice Department canceled a $30,000 grant to a program for at-risk youth because it allowed voluntary, student-led prayer, and the oath recited by its young charges mentioned God.
  • He advocated passage of a version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act prohibiting private employers from declining to hire gays and lesbians that granted no genuine exemption for religious ministries and charities.
  • The Defense Department canceled an appearance by Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse at a National Day of Prayer observance because of Graham’s alleged anti- Muslim bigotry.
  • Obama’s campaign removed a reference to God from the Democratic Party platform and only moved to reinsert it after news outlets reported the exclusion and controversy erupted.

Each of these acts of bias against public expressions of faith may have an explanation, but taken together they reveal a pattern of hostility directed at the right of religious people to fully participate in civic life. They also reveal the lie of Obama’s posturing prior to the 2008 election and his comforting assurances that he deplored the Democratic Party’s past insensitivity toward religious belief. Obama’s God-talk, like all his other talk, bore no resemblance to what he actually did as president or the policy agenda he pursued.

***

Nowhere was Obama’s deliberate dissembling and deceit more evident than in his oft-repeated promise, “If you like your health-care plan, you can keep your health-care plan, period.”

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This was a central argument for Obamacare: it would not affect anyone already insured. As Obamacare took effect, it became evident this promise was either intentionally misleading or an outright lie. Millions of consumers received cancellation notices, and when they sought comparable policies, they discovered they cost thousands of dollars more. With his poll ratings plummeting and Democrats in revolt, Obama flip-flopped and vowed to make an administrative fix allowing those who liked their current policies to keep them for at least another year. Obamacare was the central domestic legislative achievement of his presidency, but his major promise to the American people was false, costing him trust and credibility he may never regain.

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