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October 30, 2008

The Least of These

"It's that fundamental belief — I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper — that makes this country work." - Barack Obama, July 27, 2004

Good thing he's not his aunt's keeper.

Or his half-brother's.

What's interesting about Obama's answer is that the term "brother's keeper" comes from the book of Genesis, and its use is actually defensive. Cain had just whacked his brother and when asked about it, his answer was "I know not. Am I my brother's keeper?" Cain was being snarky in an attempt to deflect attention away from the fact that he had just stashed his brother's body. It's not a biblical injunction to take positive action.

As Ed Morrissey points out at Hot Air, Obama did mention the biblical call to action on compassion later in the Saddleback forum:

“Americans’ greatest moral failure in my lifetime,” he said, “has been that we still don’t abide by that basic precept in Matthew that whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.”
In one sense, I agree with Ed's conclusions regarding the importance of this - it's really basically garden-variety hypocrisy on Obama's part given his willingness to accuse the rest of us of being uncharitable. (which, incidentally, is untrue)

What makes the story of Obama's aunt appalling to me is a quote that Bob Krumm found. It looks as though Obama's campaign may have found the least of his relatives and told them to zip it until after the election.

The media told us that when Obama visited his grandmother, it spoke well of his character. It seems fair to take the living conditions of his extended relatives as a similar glimpse into who this man is, and whether his personal actions match his lofty rhetoric.


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posted by Slublog at 10:51 AM

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