Health scare: WWJD?

The Covington News - - Front page -

Are we a na­tion that mea­sures the hu­man worth of in­di­vid­u­als based on their abil­ity to pay? It’s time for those who are re­li­gious and op­pose sin­gle-payer na­tional health care to tell the rest of us how, lit­er­ally in God’s name, they can do so. Have they traded their Bib­li­cal be­liefs for po­lit­i­cal philoso­phies? Are they now serv­ing two mas­ters, and is Mam­mon winning out over the other? What would Je­sus do? Would he care who paid for a child’s ex­pen­sive op­er­a­tion, would he say, “I’m sorry but if the gov­ern­ment pays, it’s a sin?” Af­ter all, what is this gov­ern­ment that has be­come the bane of so many con­ser­va­tives and has caused them to be so fright­ened? Isn’t this a gov­ern­ment of the peo­ple, for the peo­ple and by the peo­ple — the “peo­ple” in ques­tion be­ing you and me? You are the gov­ern­ment, like it or not.

Haven’t re­li­gious con­ser­va­tives harped for years about this be­ing a Chris­tian na­tion? Wouldn’t it be a good time to prove it, or is deny­ing care to the sick and af­flicted what you mean by Chris­tian? I’m not im­ply­ing that you be­lieve the gov­ern­ment it­self should be Chris­tian as in a theoc­racy, al­though I’m sure there are many who wouldn’t mind it be­ing so, but rather I am posit­ing that if the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple within a na­tion are Chris­tian wouldn’t it seem log­i­cal to as­sume that they would want their taxes be­ing used for Chris­tian pur­poses? Re­mem­ber it’s your money that op­er­ates your gov­ern­ment and yet most, not all, but most re­li­gious con­ser­va­tives don’t blink when it comes to spending their tax money on war, but when it comes to pro­vid­ing health care to mil­lions of their fel­low cit­i­zens, they be­come en­raged — and that my friend is what is so in­cred­i­bly per­plex­ing.

I can’t imag­ine Je­sus stand­ing on the Mount, preach­ing…“tril­lions for war, not a mite for health care.” Are we a na­tion of selfish war mon­gers in a dog-eat-dog so­ci­ety, mix­ing our re­li­gion with Dar­winian thoughts of sur­vival of the fittest? Per­haps you be­lieve that the churches will all of a sud­den pass the plate in or­der to pay the health care costs for all those who are not cov­ered by in­sur­ance or those who are un­der in­sured. I would en­cour­age you to take a good look around. Build­ing big­ger and bet­ter “sanc­tu­ar­ies” seems to be the main agenda of most church plan­ning com­mit­tees. I know that a small per­cent­age of of­fer­ings will go to feed a few fam­i­lies with dented cans of corn here and there at var­i­ous times of the year, but let’s be hon­est, it’s not a main fo­cus of the vast ma­jor­ity of churches th­ese days. Some money will go to win souls over­seas and the poor will be told not to worry, there will be pie in the sky, by and by.

So, here we are, back to you and your gov­ern­ment. Will you con­tinue to lis­ten to those on tele­vi­sion and ra­dio that would cause you to act in such a way as to dis­obey your Lord’s ad­mo­ni­tion to do unto oth­ers or to love your neigh­bor? Or, will you in­stead help those in need even if it means us­ing your tax money to do so? Are you so selfish as to say, I don’t want to pay taxes in the first place; I be­lieve it’s ev­ery man for him­self. There­fore, why should I be my brother’s keeper?

Let’s face it, with jobs go­ing over­seas and com­pa­nies not pay­ing liv­ing wages, we as in­di­vid­u­als can’t ef­fec­tively help any­one suf­fer­ing with ill­ness and cat­a­strophic health care costs, even if we wanted too, and the churches can’t seem to raise the money for such things, so where is the money go­ing to come from? Will peo­ple stop get­ting sick? If you ask a man with can­cer, “Sir, do you care where the money comes from for your treat­ment,” will he say, “Just make sure it doesn’t come from the gov­ern­ment?”

Ask your­self the same ques­tion: if your fam­ily mem­ber — a daugh­ter or son, mother or fa­ther, sis­ter or brother — needs treat­ment and without it they will suf­fer or worse yet, die, and you find your­self without pri­vate in­sur­ance or your in­sur­ance com­pany has weaseled its way out of pay­ing, will you care at that time if gov­ern­ment cov­ers the cost? Of course not, it’s your money and you’ll thank God for it. Many peo­ple talk about fam­ily val­ues, what about valu­ing hu­man life? It’s the great­est les­son we can teach our chil­dren. Has money be­come so im­por­tant in our so­ci­ety that it means more to us than hu­man com­pas­sion? Do we love it now so much that we are will­ing to de­bate the costs of some­one’s life?

Fi­nally, we sim­ply need to re­mem­ber that real power rests in the hands of the peo­ple — you and me. Is the gov­ern­ment per­fect? Of course not, no hu­man in­sti­tu­tion is ever per­fect, but it is the only or­ga­ni­za­tion in place that can meet the needs of mil­lions of peo­ple. And don’t worry; you won’t lose your free­dom if a child is treated for leukemia. Gov­ern­ment isn’t go­ing away no mat­ter how hard you click your heels and wish you were back in Kansas. So maybe it’s time re­li­gious con­ser­va­tives re­al­ize that our gov­ern­ment can and should, in fact, be used in ways that ben­e­fit all of us, es­pe­cially the least among us.


SINCE 1865

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