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Obama Wants Sermons About His Health Care Plan

Army of the Lord? Obama Seeks Health Care Push From Pulpit

Thousands of religious leaders got a call from on high Wednesday as President Obama reached out to Jewish and Christian clergy, asking some to sermonize in favor of health care reform.

If President Obama has his way, you’ll soon be hearing about his health care package when you go to your church or synagogue to pray.

Thousands of religious leaders got a call from on high Wednesday when Obama reached out to Jewish and Christian clergy, urging them to push health care reform from the pulpit.

Obama spoke to about 140,000 people of faith in a conference call and webcast Wednesday evening. He and a White House official discussed the moral dimension of health care, telling the mostly Christian audience that “this debate over health care goes to the heart of who we are as a people.”

But earlier that day, Obama went much further, asking about 1,000 rabbis to preach his political agenda in their sermons on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year — one of the holiest days of the year.

The conversation was supposed to be off the record but was captured on the Twitter feeds and blogs of some rabbis who took part in the call, which was organized by the Union of Reform Judaism and included rabbis from other denominations.

“I am going to need your help in accomplishing necessary reform,” Obama said, according to Rabbi Jack Moline of Virginia, whose Twitter feed has since been scrubbed of the information.

Obama told the rabbis that “we are God’s partners in matters of life and death” and asked them to “tell the stories of health care dilemmas to illustrate what is a stake” in their sermons, Moline wrote.

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