Jesus warned us not to pledge our allegiance to worldly things but instead to give that honor to God alone. His most often example of idolatry was money. But today there is literally a myriad of things that we have chosen to put up as idols in God’s place. One of these in my mind is the greed around the concept of universal healthcare.
Jesus clearly told us to be our brother’s keeper. I can’t think of a more poignant area where where are not following his command to be our brother’s keeper than denying healthcare to those of meager financial means. Healthcare should be a right for all citizens of the U.S. as is the case for much of the rest of the world. In order to accomplish this it would be necessary for many of us to contribute some of our resources for those who cannot afford it. This greed of “I don’t want you taking away my money to benefit others” is no different than putting money above Jesus’ commands. Some say the money we would have to contribute is actually less than what we currently spend on pet supplies. While I love my pets I do not put there value above my fellow man!
This ambivalence toward universal healthcare comes primarily from the radical right in our political spectrum and unfortunately evangelical Christians are thought to make up a good segment of that population. Shame on us for, by association, putting a Christian name on this greed filled issue. Let’s show the world that we are Christians by insisting that we join the rest of the world and provide universal healthcare for all our citizens. To do otherwise is to do great damage to Jesus’ name and to his kingdom on this earth.
I just wanted to make a quick post in honor of Senator Ted Kennedy. It’s a shame that his life long passionate goal of making healthcare a right instead of a privledge for ALL Americans did not become a reality while he was with us. I know he was an honorable Christian and a good Catholic. Here’s to you Ted I hope your dream becomes a reality soon.
I know there are those out there who would like to trash his memory over issues you disagreed with him on. But, this is not the appropriate time and since I won’t approve them on this blog today, this is not the appropriate place.
I am going to take on a hard one here. The big “A”. I have been in a conversation with some Christian friends of mine about the current healthcare reform now being debated in congress and around the country. Some of my friends said the following: “I can’t support this reform as it might allow some to have abortions funded”! I, certainly am also against abortion. It is killing an innocent life and definitely against Jesus’ teachings.
But how do Christian who make abortion a litmus test for everything else answer these typical questions by some:
You Christians only believe in the sanctity of life in the nine months before birth, not in the eighty years or more after birth. You are a bunch of hypocrites!
To support their statement they give the following examples:
- You support killing people who commit certain types of sins (murder, rape, etc). You say Jesus came to die for all of us. That we are all loved by him. Does that include just some sinners and not others? And didn’t God say “Vengeance is mine” not yours?
- You will eliminate the possibility of saving thousands of lives who otherwise be lost to health issues in order to “maybe” save some fetuses. What about all those people who die daily due to not being able to afford healthcare? Are they somehow less important to your god than those yet to be born?
- You condone and often enthusiastically support killing your neighbor in a war simply because your government tells you to kill. It doesn’t matter that they are your “enemy” simply because they were born in a different country than you and are also following what their politicians say!
- Where do you get off classifying which lives are sanctified and which aren’t? You are a bunch of hypocrites!
I don’t know of any pat answers for the above examples. Jesus clearly said that revenge is no longer justified and an eye-for-an-eye is no longer acceptable in the new covenant he brought to us. He told us unequivocally to love our enemies, and turn the other cheek. Again and again in the Bible Jesus tells us to follow his example . To my knowledge Jesus never passed judgment, except for the religious establishment of course, on anyone let alone killing anyone. God said “Do not kill”. My bible doesn’t add “except for time of war or really bad guys”. I definitely think the Amish, Mennonites, and other like minded sects have it right in this regard. About the only thing Jesus killed was a fig tree for not having fruit out of season? I don’t understand that one but will let it slid as it is not important to my following Christ.
Are we Christians being hypocrites when we want to enforce only our limited definition of “Sanctity of Life”? I am tending to think so but I will respect your right to think otherwise. This is a very difficult issue between the Kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world.