FaithWorld

Obama accuses some healthcare critics of “bearing false witness”

U.S. President Barack Obama enlisted the “Religious Left” on Wednesday to help galvanise public support for his faltering drive for healthcare reform, using the language of faith as he accused some of the critics of his biggest domestic project of “bearing false witness.”

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Obama made a brief pitch to a “call in” organised by various liberal and progressive faith groups called “40 minutes for Health Reform.” It is part of  a campaign launched last week to counteract a movement to stop “Obamacare” that has been driven in part by conservative Christian activists.

“There has been a lot misinformation in this debate and there are some folks out there who are frankly bearing false witness,” Obama said.

Obama took issue with some of the most emotive allegations that have been raised by social conservative opponents of his vision for overhauling America’s healthcare and health insurance system.

This notion that somehow we are setting up death panels that would decide on whether elderly people get to live or die  … that is just an extraordinary lie.”

Religious Right TV ad links “Obamacare,” abortion

The Family Research Council, a leading activist group among America’s “Religious Right,” has launched a new TV ad in five key states that claims President Barack Obama’s healthcare plan will lead to publicly funded abortions — a charge disputed by the president’s allies and abortion rights groups.

You can see the new video, Life and Death, below.

FRC President Tony Perkins told reporters in a telephone conference that the ads will run on cable news programs in Arkansas, Nebraska, Louisiana, Alaska and Pennsylvania — five states that have significant numbers of social conservatives but are represented by more moderate lawmakers who can be swayed.

The announcement came just ahead of a “phone in” featuring liberal and left-leaning faith leaders — or the Religious Left – and Obama seeking to galvanize support for the president’s bid to overhaul the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare system.

Liberal U.S. religious groups launch “40 Days of Health Reform”

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Liberal U.S. religious groups launched “40 Days of Health Reform” on Monday.

You can see our coverage here and a video of their nationwide TV spot below.

The campaign aims to energize efforts by President Barack Obama and his Democratic Party to overhaul America’s healthcare system.

(PHOTO: U.S. President Barack Obama holds a town hall meeting about healthcare at the Kroger Supermarket in Bristol, Virginia July 29, 2009. REUTERS/Larry Downing)

Religious Left pushes for healthcare reform

America’s “Religious Left” is jumping into the healthcare debate with a plan to launch a “40 Days for Health Reform” initiative starting Monday.

The move comes as conservative resistance hardens to President Barack Obama’s attempts to overhaul America’s healthcare system. This has taken the form of angry scenes at townhall meetings and has been driven in part by the ”Religious Right,” which claims on Christian radio stations and on the blogosphere that, among other things, “Obamacare” will result in taxpayer-funded abortion. That’s a point disputed by most Democrats and their allies. 

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The pro-faith-based healthcare reform campaign is organized by liberal leaning religious groups such as Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Faith in Public Life. Borrowing a page from the Religious Right, the conservative Christian movement that rose to prominence in the 1980s and 1990s as a key base for the Republican Party, the campaign will feature prayer rallies and a national TV ad.

U.S. faith groups push for healthcare reform

A coalition of progressive U.S. faith groups and pastors has launched a push for affordable health care reform, an effort they say is rooted in a “scriptural call to act.”OBAMA/Radio ads will appear from today until July 4th in five states: Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Nebraska and North Carolina. The ads urge those states’ Senators, whose votes could ultimately decide the fate of President Barack Obama’s drive to transform America’s health care system, to back legislation “that makes quality coverage truly affordable for every American family.” You can see the ad script and audio here.Organizers also say that more than 600 clergy from 41 states and 39 denominations have said they will deliver sermons in coming weeks on the issue and urge their flocks to act. A pastors’ guide to health care will also be distributed to 4,250 religious leaders along with a shorter version to wider church members.PICO National Network, Faith in Public Life, Faithful America, Sojourners, and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good are the main religious advocacy groups behind the campaign.If this all sounds familiar, it should. The tactics being adopted by these liberal and centrist groups and activists are a carbon copy of the successful ones employed in the past by the U.S. religious right. The distribution of pastors’ guides, the call for public policy to be guided by scripture (in this case compassion for the poor and the ill), the preaching of sermons on looming legislation — it’s all taken from the loose network of conservative Christians which has delivered many a vote for the Republican Party.Conservative Christians remain a key base for the Republicans and they have also been decrying “Obama-care” on talk radio, the blogosphere and other outlets.Photo credit: REUTERS/Larry Downing.  Members of the audience shake hands with U.S. President Barack Obama after his speech about reforming America’s health care system in Green Bay, Wisconsin, June 11, 2009.