As a Christian, I was at once stunned and embarrassed that Barack Obama said "We are God's partners in life and death." As an American, I was and remain outraged.
It is an improper and unacceptable breach of the separation of Church and State* for the President to advise the clergy on spiritual matters. Irrespective of the content of that advice, it was improper and outrageous for him to give it.
But the content of the message is equally enraging.
I don't normally use Biblical references in blogging. The people I wish to convince don't typically accept the Bible as authoritative, so I use other arguments. In a spiritual discussion, however, spiritual authority is proper. Mr. Obama invoked God, so he deserves to hear what God says.
The phrase "God's partners" has a certain trite appeal, an appeal on which the President was no doubt counting to allow his message to achieve acceptance. In fact, we are God's partners, in the sense that He is our friend and companion on life's journey. And yet, the phrase tiptoes up to a spiritually dangerous line, for to claim partnership is to claim equality, and that is sin.
The serpentine Satan used the lure of equality with God; to tempt Adam and Eve into sin:
 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”  The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,  but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”  “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman.  “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
"God's partners", is it?
It is a particular sin for political leaders to claim spiritual authority. As the Bible's second book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel and Judah (2 Chr 26, NIV) says:
 But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God, and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.  Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the LORD followed him in.  They confronted him and said, "It is not right for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD. That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful; and you will not be honored by the LORD God."
Was he pontificating, or merely recognizing some fact we all know to be true? If the latter, I trust he will reveal which fact we all know to be true he was recognizing.
So who is this "we" of whom he speaks? Surely it is not a royal "we", for he retains some modicum of self-awareness.
The construction of the sentence leaves doubt as to whether he meant that we each individually judge matters of life and death, or some larger group to which he belongs collectively makes such decisions. It is clear from what context we have, however, that he meant something different than an individual decision
As an Illinois State Senator, Barack Obama argued against a law requiring a second doctor be called to provide care to a child born alive after an attempted abortion. Obama argued that this would only make it harder for a woman to choose abortions, saying it was "...really designed simply to burden the original decision of the woman and the decision to induce labor and perform an abortion."
Liberals frequently conflate society and government. Society -- the general public, with the informal consensus among media and people talking over coffee at the diner -- has a certain force of opinion, a kind of peer pressure it can exert. Liberals also tend to believe that society has more wisdom than the individual. Government has the force of law and arms on its side, and is a wholly different and frequently not subservient creature. When, as in the case of Medicare patients, the government allows or denies funding for medical treatment, the government holds tremendous power.
On June 24 of this year at a town hall meeting, Mr. Obama said (in context):
And all we’re suggesting — and we’re not going to solve every difficult problem in terms of end-of-life care. A lot of that is going to have to be, we as a culture and as a society starting to make better decisions within our own families and for ourselves. But what we can do is make sure that at least some of the waste that exists in the system that’s not making anybody’s mom better, that is loading up on additional tests or additional drugs that the evidence shows is not necessarily going to improve care, that at least we can let doctors know and your mom know that, you know what? Maybe this isn’t going to help. Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller. And those kinds of decisions between doctors and patients, and making sure that our incentives are not preventing those good decision, and that — that doctors and hospitals all are aligned for patient care, that’s something we can achieve.
He's trying mightily to cast his position as all of this being between a doctor and a patient, but if so, what is the need to change anything? That's the way it already is. And why the talk of our culture and society?
People already know when it's their time. They refuse treatment, or they don't. They refuse to eat or drink. People get tired of living, of hurting, of breathing. They curl up, take their ball, and go home. Their organs shut down, and they die -- as they always have, and always will.
It is clear from the foregoing that Mr. Obama was talking about government making better decisions with end of life care, as well as beginning of life care, when he spoke of the alleged partnership between ourselves and God. In trying to implement such a plan, there can be no result than a death panel, a group (whether elected, appointed, or adjudicated) who meet to decide these questions. The formation of such a group is an inevitable result of believing oneself to be partners with the Almighty, and that society makes better decisions than individuals, without recognizing a fundamental difference between society and the State.
His words are heretical, bone-chilling horror, and he must retract them.
* I know what the First Amendment says.
Originally at ;The Minority Report;