The President’s Schedule yesterday included calls with two different clergy groups trying to enlist them in selling Obamacare to their “flocks,” the first to 1,000 Rabbis from across the country,

In a morning conference call with about 1000 rabbis from across the nation, Obama asked for aid: “I am going to need your help in accomplishing necessary reform,” the President told the group, according to Rabbi Jack Moline, who tweeted his way through the phoner.

“We are God’s partners in matters of life and death,” Obama went on to say, according to Moline’s real-time stream.

The 15-minute morning briefing was sponsored by the Religion Action Center of Reform Judaism, and included rabbis of all persuasions. Although the RAC hosts the call each year, participants had never before heard from a sitting president.

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The second call was to 14,000 clergy of all faiths:

“The one thing you all share is a moral conviction,” he told the audience, saying Americans deserved good health care.

He said a lot of people “are bearing false witness” by spreading misinformation about health care reform.

And he repeated: “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”

Obama called the “death panels” argument spread by Sarah Palin “an extraordinary lie.”

The president called on religious leaders to “speak the truth” and help him spread the good word about health care reform.

At the end, Obama did not take any questions, and, with a simple “bye bye,” ended the call.

The President’s religious arguments were a bit disingenuous.  While the POTUS was correct that revising the health care system in America is a moral issue, the argument, is not as he claims whether we should reform health care, its how we should reform health care. His opponents don’t like Obama’s plan.

Sarah Palin’s comments about “death panels” were hyperbolic but they were not “bearing false witness.”  While there is nothing in the Obamacare bills about “death panels,” make no mistake about it this plan will lead to rationing, its simple economics.

The President says the government would not force a change, but of course just like they can do today, a company can force a change. Now follow the logic out, if the government plan doesn’t have to make a profit, and  if all other costs are the same, it can charge less. So which way do you think companies will go? If You have a group of competitors but one has virtually unlimited resources and does not have to make a profit, how long before the rest of the competition is struggling for customers.  

Eventually you will end up with ONE insurance company, its name is Uncle Sam.  And when your good Uncle Sam wants to save some money, he will start making bureaucratic, rather than medical decisions about your health. Mom won’t get that treatment to save her life because it is expensive and she has already lived 90 good years, or Uncle Sam will tell the pharmaceutical company that they wont cover their better heart pill, the one in use now good enough, and heck it already cures 70% of the cases. How am I so sure? Because there has NEVER Been a Government-run Health Plan That Did Not Ration Care.

If the President wanted to talk about “bearing false witness” maybe he should have talk about the false attacks he has made during this process, Fox News, Republican Party and of course the villain de jour the insurance industry.

Leviticus 19:14 talks about a commandment the Jews call in Hebrew, Lifnei iver (before the blind) the verse says:

“You shall not curse the deaf nor place a stumbling block before the blind; you shall fear your God – I am your Lord.” 

The Torah is not really talking about blind and or deaf people, it has been interpreted by the Rabbis as a prohibition against misleading people; since the recipient of bad advice would be metaphorically blind in regard to its accuracy, they would metaphorically stumble if the advice was damaging or otherwise bad.

The half-truths the President is telling about his health care plan and its opponents is a perfect example of Lifnei iver, putting a stumbling block before the blind.