“Riddle me this” – The Riddler
Christians should be the group of people who should be most supportive of socialized medicine, but they are not only against it, they are doing their very best to undo the changes already made in the United States.
I am not ignorant to the teachings of the character portrayed as Jesus in the Bible. Having spent many, many years as a preacher and pastor I have delivered many sermons on the subject of Jesus and his call for all to put others before themselves, to care for the sick and the poor, etc.
While I do reason that we should do our level best to take care of ourselves, I also reason that those who are unable to should not be made to suffer for it. There should never be any individual whose life is less important than a number on a profit and loss ledger. But if you listen to the religious right, particularly those who are involved in politics, you would think otherwise.
The Measure Of A Man…
Being a healthy American Citizen has become a crap-shoot if access to health care is limited or non-existent. I don’t need to use this space to expound on the horrors that encumber the uninsured or under-insured; nor the tribulations of those of us who are disabled and trying to make ends meet on a fixed income and still afford the Medicare premiums, co-payments and deductibles that we are required to pay. There are plenty of sources where you can read the data surrounding the destroyed lives that are left in the wake of our failure to join the rest of the civilized world by providing socialized medicine.
Before I expound on the religious aspect of this problem, not providing access to health care would seem to be in opposition to our constitution, which starts off:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Yes, I know there are many people who interpret this in different ways, and I expect my inbox to be full of email stating each and every one of them. Sadly, but expectedly, most will come from Christian Conservatives. Fine, I have a “special button” that magically removes them, one of which I use on a very regular basis.
The conversations that I’ve had with fundamentalist Christians regarding the need for national health care that have not devolved into their usual name-calling and threats have yielded a few answers as to why they are so opposed to it.
One reason is that they state we, as mortal humans can never do all of what Jesus would do because he is god and we are not. They state that we will never share any of the attributes of God, such as omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence, and that we neither have the ability nor the responsibility to help everyone.
Another reason they give is that socialized medicine does not follow logically or Biblically is that just because Jesus would do something doesn’t mean that groups and social institutions should also be required to do these very things.
Yet another excuse is that we should not guess or speculate on what Jesus would do, even in cases where scripture does not tell us what Jesus would do and where scripture does not provide any specifically related commands and principles. They feel that it would be presumptuous speculation, which, of course, goes against all those “WWJD” bracelets, bumper stickers and such.
When I look at a group, I search for consistency in their ideals. The religious right does not exhibit these qualities. This is particularly evident in their insistence that biblical doctrines be totally integrated into our politics when it suits them, but when it does not; they tout a “render unto Caesar” mentality.
They have no problems using the bible to tout why they should be able to regulate the entirety of the female reproductive system, why myths and fairy-tales should be replace science in the classrooms or why the Ten Commandments and prayer should be allowed in courthouses and legislative sessions. The list of what they are trying to force on the rest of the country is extensive.
But when it comes to health care, all of a sudden it’s a different story. Then come the cries that they would be forced and coerced, about how unfair it is to have someone else’s ideals imposed on them without their approval. Oh, the hypocrisy of it all.
It Comes Down To Greed…
Based on my observations, a vast majority of the opposition to socialized medicine comes down to paying for it, and the religious right cherry-pick their bibles to come up with reasons why they shouldn’t have to fork over any of their holy cash to benefit their fellow human being.
This, of course, is bullshit, because there are millions and millions and millions of holy dollars being funneled into programs, initiatives and legislative lobbies for the single purpose of putting god back into government, schools and science.
The scripture should read,
“Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s – unless what Caesar wants goes against what Christians think God wants and according to how much money they will have to part with.”
I find myself shaking my head when I look at the most glaring inconsistency of them all; that Charity should not be forced. The concept behind the argument is still greed, and I will tell you, and as well why the problem at hand is systemic within most of Christianity as it is practiced in the United States.
A Christian Nation…?
This is what the religious right keeps touting, even in spite of what our history states or what our actual Constitution reads. However, we are a nation with a vast majority of Christians, and that fact alone should bring shame upon them.
They say that charity should not be forced, that it should be given freely, and not compelled by the government. This is a ruse, though. A convenient piece of rhetoric that is used to avoid the very thing that their Christ should compel them to do; to care for their fellow man, to be the “Good Samaritan” that the parable speaks of.
If the Christians were more Christ-like, there would be no need for government involvement. It is, indeed, a sad testimony to Christianity when a secular government needs to intervene with compassion, kindness and altruism; a concept that should, instead, be spearheaded by the religious community – according to their own scripture.
It is a testament to the worship of the almighty dollar, and this is where their allegiance lies. The question of the religious right regarding healthcare should be “How can we help this person,” and not, “Who’s going to pay for it.”