First, a rarity for these parts: a compliment to the president. It was nice to see President Obama make time this year to attend the National Prayer Breakfast, after skipping the event last year. His speech was largely appropriate, and it was nice to hear the president speak of prayer and faith. His references to the role faith has had in dealing with things ranging from ending slavery to the Civil War, to tragedies like 9/11 and natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti were highly commendable.
The sentiment of his speech was one of uniting through faith and reaching out in love. In tone and word, it was appropriate and presidential. It is unfortunate, however, that this speech can be filed under “just words, just speeches” for its lack of connection with reality.
In rhetoric, Obama spoke of a “spirit of civility” and claimed he was the “first to admit” that he wasn’t always right. In practice, Republicans have been shut out of any meaningful discussions on issues ranging from spending to the “cap and tax” energy scheme to healthcare, and have been reminded by Obama that he “won” when seeking to have some input into the process. In practice, wayward Democrats have been told that Obama is “keeping score, bro and labeled by Rahm Emanuel as “f-ing retarded.”
Even ordinary Americans who question the Obama administration’s agenda are labeled as “tea baggers” and “racists” by folks close to Obama, and repeatedly told that they only reject Obamacare because they aren’t capable of understanding it. Massive failures by the Obama administration are treated as the “system working perfectly” by top officials only to be apologized for days later and only in the fine print.
In these grand speeches, Mr. Obama has demonstrated an uncanny ability to lie directly to the American people on a level with the finest actors hollywood could offer.
In the midst of his empty political rhetoric, the words which serve as cover fire for his radical (and often contradictory) actions, often accidentally reveal a telling nugget that gets to the heart of who Mr. Obama is and what exactly his worldview looks like.
Nestled in the heart of his speech to the National Prayer Breakfast, Mr. Obama casually tossed out a telling pearl of wisdom to the swine-like masses. Speaking about his pet project of socialized healthcare, the president lamented that:
“Sadly, though, that spirit is too often absent when tackling the long-term, but no less profound issues facing our country and the world. Too often, that spirit is missing without the spectacular tragedy, the 9/11 or the Katrina, the earthquake or the tsunami, that can shake us out of complacency. We become numb to the day-to-day crises, the slow-moving tragedies of children without food and men without shelter and families without health care. We become absorbed with our abstract arguments, our ideological disputes, our contests for power. And in this Tower of Babel, we lose the sound of God’s voice.”
Tower of Babel you say? Interesting.
The point that President Obama is seeking to make here is that his political opponents won’t “compromise” (see also “give in”) to the Lord’s work in nationalizing healthcare. The ensuing confusion is because there are too many “cooks in the kitchen.” Those arguments then create a rhetorical maelstrom and in the whirlpool of confusion, God’s voice is lost. The implication, or pretty straightforward assertion here is that God’s voice is calling for healthcare reform, but the “confusion” of those arguing against such reform is drowning out His divine vision for our nation.
This is not the first time that Obama has sought to make the healthcare debate a matter of faith by implying or stating directly that this is the will of the Lord. In August of last year, President Obama held a conference call with the nation’s leading ministers and rabbis where he told them that he was going to “need their help in accomplishing necessary reform,” and told them that “we are God’s partners in matters of life and death.” The President even asked them to “tell the stories of health care dilemmas to illustrate what is at stake” in their sermons.
To the president, healthcare reform is central to his personal faith and worldview. It is central to who he is because it puts the government firmly in control of the lives of ordinary Americans. His socialist religion demands that government be the arbiter of all things, granter and protector of all things, and indeed the source of all things. Tapping into the Christian theology that all mankind is “sinful” and “fallen” Obama attempts to co-opt the Christian Gospel and replace Jesus Christ with the federal government. It is subtle wordplay indeed, but drastically different in principle. To most religious folks, particularly Christians, God is the final arbiter, granter and protector of all things. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are “endowed by our Creator” and not the state. To Obama and his band of socialist activists, God is “helped out” in this department, and becomes an absentee Father who abdicates His responsibilities to the all-power, all-knowing and incorruptible government. The more Obama can reduce the American people’s independence or reliance on other sources of power like their personal faith in God, the more he can be their father-like provider (and thus secure his own political power.)
Ironically, however, as Mr. Obama tries to make a Biblical allusion work for his purposes, the selected story actually works to contradict Mr. Obama’s agenda when seen in the original context.
The actual “Tower of Babel” story appears in Genesis Chapter 11. In verse one of the story, the people of the world are not twisting around in a world of rhetorical confusion and dueling arguments. They are of “one language” and a “common speech” and are pretty successfully working together to craft the massive Tower of Babel. There is no great confusion that leads to a drowning out of God’s voice. The folks can hear God alright, they just don’t want to listen to Him. Instead, they are crafting “a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves,” (verse 4). In essence, they are seeking to replace God in their lives with their own accomplishments and “making a name” for themselves.
The confusion comes in when God steps into the story to thwart their plans. The Lord goes down to see the tower, and announces His plan in verse 7 to “go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” So the confusion actually comes from God, not too many cooks in the kitchen. It isn’t the case of man getting in the way of God, it’s God getting in the way of man for his own good.
So why does God create this confusion in the story? Well, that has to do with why the folks are building the tower to begin with. The word for “Babel” is of Akkadian descent and means “gateway of heaven.” That confirms their stated intent in verse 4 of a “tower that reaches to heaven.” In the Hebrew it also conveniently sounds like the word for “confusion.” Additionally, the NIV Study Bible points out the repeated use of “us…ourselves…we…ourselves” as very telling of their motive. Like President Obama, they can’t stop talking about themselves. To be fair, we have no record of them referring to themselves 132 times in one speech as Obama has done, but everything that they are doing is to bring glory to themselves. The entire project is an experiment in delusional narcissism by a bunch of dopes who think themselves capable of besting God, or at best, thumbing their noses at Him.
Obama’s reference that he and his allies are in a “partnership” doing “God’s work” by nationalizing healthcare, only to be brought to confusion because of partisan bickering is totally wrong contextually for use with this scripture. The confusion clearly comes from God to stop a project designed to elevate man above God. The project has become their god and God has become an afterthought. Much like the President of the United States who travels the world boasting that “whatever we once were, America is no longer a Christian nation,” while also rallying the faithful to his side as though he is God’s prophet to bring about the miraculous wonders of nationalized healthcare.
As usual, Obama’s intentional misrepresentation of the facts (like his reference to the Treaty of Tripoli in his now infamous Cairo Speech) reveals a telling truth to those who know their history. Obama continues to rely on the belief that the American people will not do their homework and instead cling to the nice-sounding rhetoric that he flings at them from his TelePrompters. They are, after all, “bitter” and “clinging” to their guns and religion.
This is rather telling for a man who has demonstrated time and time again that he is willing to stretch any truth, tell any lie, and misconstrue any detail, trivial or significant, to advance his agenda. His arguments and allusions to historical events in the life of America and those contained in the Bible are blatantly false and the resulting narratives and arguments that come out of this falsehood are then built on a foundation of quicksand.
Besides the already-bad-enough-problem of taking the entire Biblical story out of context and turning it on its head to suit his radical agenda, the other major problem with Mr. Obama’s “Tower of Babel” moment is the tendency by this president to ascribe his own will as intertwined with the will of God. In the past presidents have invoked God’s will as a guiding force in their particular governing philosophy or their desire to promote or defend freedom. They have not typically associated the will of God with a specific policy position outside of moral issues that have direct foundational support in the scripture. As an example, President Bush didn’t attempt to push his tax cuts by declaring that God willed America to have lower tax rates, or ram through the first bailout bill with a conference call to pastor’s asking them to push the policy as an example in their sermons. He did, however, often make appropriate allusions to God when dealing with the sanctity of human life and the divine mandate for freedom and human rights when dealing with the war on terror. Similarly, President Reagan incorporated his faith in his lifelong fight against Communism, a type of government that crushed religious freedom and demeaned human life.
Those of us on the right have no problem with our leaders being men and women of faith. The left, however, begins spewing anti-Christian bigotry the second George Bush mentions Jesus as his favorite philosopher, or when Sarah Palin or Ronald Reagan speak of God’s hand in their public and personal lives (again with no specific policy proposals attached.) So afraid of the crazed Christians are the left, that our own resident “Big Sister” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has been warning against the evils of pro-life and Bible-believing Christians while ignoring Muslim terrorists at all costs. In fact, Christians are often made to be the moral equivalent of deranged Muslim terrorists hellbent on killing as many “infidels” as they can. Hollywood and the liberal governing majority scoff at religious folks, belittle our intelligence, question our integrity, and do everything they can to dehumanize and discredit us and our God in the eyes of the general public.
Yet, when Mr. Obama repeatedly asserts that God’s divine plan is for America to have socialized medicine, one can hear the proverbial crickets chirping on the left. To the left, Obama’s repeated attempts to position himself as our own personal Messiah or modern-day prophet is just another brilliant “leg-tingling” truth dripping like honey from the lips of “the one we have been waiting for.”
Nestled in the midst of an otherwise appropriate speech, Mr. Obama’s TelePrompters have once again given us a telling glimpse of the man’s core and why he won’t abandon his socialist dreams to assure his re-election the way President Clinton did during the 1990s. Obama is a true believer in the government-centered life. Healthcare is but a first step to a paradigm shift in American government that will take the fundamental rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” from being placed directly in the hands of the people by their Creator, to being a commodity to be collected, regulated, and redistributed by the government as it sees fit.