An Instance of Liberals’ Preference
For Narrative Over Reality
by John Hinderaker at PowerLine:
Barack Obama is fond of saying that we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. I complained about his apparent ignorance of Christian theology here, after Obama said:
I came to my Christian faith later in life, and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead — being my brothers’ and sisters’ keeper, treating others as they would treat me.
Nor did Jesus ever say that we should be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers; Obama apparently referred to the story of Cain and Abel.
This is the point I want to make: Biblical precepts are often twisted by liberals to support socialism. Jesus was not a socialist. On the contrary, he explicitly disclaimed any political agenda. And the moral of the story in Genesis is not that we are, or should be, our brothers’ keepers. Rather, the phrase comes from Cain’s answer when God asks him the whereabouts of his brother Abel, whom Cain has just killed. Cain denies any knowledge, and adds the self-exculpatory question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The point of the story is not that Cain was responsible for looking after Abel, like an Old Testament Nancy Pelosi. Cain was condemned not for failing to keep watch over his brother, but for killing him.
Of course, when Obama says that we are our brothers’ keepers, he is speaking metaphorically. He doesn’t mean real brothers, he means people in general. And he doesn’t intend that we should “keep” them personally, but rather that we (some of us, anyway) should pay a lot more in taxes so that others can be kept by the government. Obama’s words represent narrative, not reality.
We conservatives understand the metaphor and rebel against it. At the same time, it is hard to imagine any conservative failing to help a real brother who is in real need. And with our own time and money, not someone else’s. That’s reality, not narrative.
We learned in a remarkable news story, a couple of days ago, that Barack Obama has an actual brother, not a figurative one, who is living in poverty in Africa. His name is George Obama. Barack has met his brother George, but has no ongoing contact with him. George Obama is in trouble: he has a young son who is sick and has been hospitalized, and George, a poor man, has no way to pay the hospital bill.
You would naturally assume that George Obama would reach out to his brother Barack for help. After all, Barack is a multimillionaire; not only that, he is the most powerful man in the world and has often spoken of the importance of being one’s brother’s keeper. So surely Barack would be happy to “keep” his real brother by paying his son’s–Barack’s nephew’s–hospital bill, right?
Wrong. What a silly idea! George Obama exists in the world of reality, not narrative. He is a real brother, not a fictitious “brother” who exists only as an excuse to raise someone else’s taxes. George apparently knew better than to call on his real brother, the President of the United States, in a time of need. So where did he turn? To Dinesh D’Souza.
George met D’Souza when Dinesh was in Africa, working on his blockbuster movie 2016, which is harshly critical of Barack Obama. D’Souza interviewed George Obama, and they spent a day together. Here is how Dinesh tells the story:
A few days ago I received a call from a man I recently met named George. He was a bit flustered, and soon informed me that his young son was sick with a chest condition. He pleaded with me to send him $1,000 to cover the medical bills. Since George was at the hospital I asked him to let me speak to a nurse, and she confirmed that George’s son was indeed ill. So I agreed to send George the money through Western Union. He was profusely grateful. But before I hung up I asked George, “Why are you coming to me?” He said, “I have no one else to ask.” Then he said something that astounded me, “Dinesh, you are like a brother to me.”