Human Exceptionalism

Obamacare: Are We Really God’s Partners in Life and Death?

President Obama said something yesterday that, given the brouhaha over death panels and health care rationing, might not have been prudent.  From the story:

A reader points out that President Obama’s call with the rabbis today — as recorded in Rabbi Jack Moline’s and other clerics‘ Twitter feeds — freights health care reform with a great deal of religious meaning, and veers into the blend of policy and faith that outraged liberals in the last administration.

“We are God’s partners in matters of life and death,” Obama said, according to Moline (paging Sarah Palin…), quoting from the Rosh Hashanah prayer that says that in the holiday period, it is decided “who shall live and who shall die.”

That comes off as a bit hubristic to me and will bring back the jokes about our president’s messiah complex. I’m not Jewish, but my understanding of that quote is that the Being doing the deciding is God, not us in partnership with the Almighty.  In any event, the worry is that Obama wants government to decide who lives and who dies through rationing boards.  I am sure he didn’t intend to, but I think he just added a small log onto that particular fire.