The coming progressive religious crusade for “health care”

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences.” -C.S. Lewis

Liberals, who of course always — always — have only our best interests in mind, are dumbfounded by the fact that the masses do not approve of the current health care reform scheme that the elitist ruling class wishes to impose on them.

At the academic level, the attempts by Ivy League scholars to analyze the failure of the progressive/big government agenda, and to develop strategies to counter the ever-increasing power of grassroots protesters, have been entertaining to say the least.

But other progressives, namely progressive Christians, have taken it upon themselves to argue in favor of socialized medicine from a Biblical perspective. Given the large political stake involved in the current health care debate, we should probably expect to see an ever-increasing number of religious appeals like this one from Father Jake:

I must admit to being simply astounded that anyone who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ would be against providing health care for every child of God.

Unless you cut out the 25th chapter of Matthew, the parable of the Good Samaritan, the year of Jubilee, and various other big swaths of scripture, it is simply impossible to refute the clear message that God has a preferential bias for the poor.

More than 46 million Americans lack any kind of health insurance. Millions more are are underinsured. Many of them don’t have coverage because they simply can’t afford it. And, because of that, people are dying. Specifically, at least 22,000 Americans die every year because they don’t have health insurance or because they are underinsured. The current health care system simply does not work.

Father Jake also asks his readers to sign the Christian Creed on Health Care published on Jim Wallis’ Sojourners website. Actually, the Creed is quite good and entirely consistent with Scripture, but I would challenge anyone to reasonably explain how the current muddled and barely comprehensible Democrat health reform proposals satisfy any aspects of the Creed, save for the fact that ObamaCare will masquerade itself as a “universal” health care system.

Rather than engaging in a lengthy refutation of Father Jake’s argument, I’ll direct you to this post at Stones Cry Out by “Mark O.”, who directly challenges the fundamental assumption of Father Jake and others on the Left, namely that “charity” is at the heart of government-managed social programs. Actually there is an even better post at Stones Cry Out by “Dave”, who has written one of the best explanations of the conservative view of responsibility (as seen through Scripture) that I have read in some time. He writes in part:

I am my brother’s keeper. I am, not my government. And my neighbor is not my brother’s keeper either, so forcing them via taxes to pay for my brother is wrong. When God is separating the sheep from the goats [Matthew 25], the Bible does not say He’ll ask me if I voted to make sure others paid to help the poor, He’ll ask if I fed the hungry, clothed the naked and visited the prisoner.

Charity money I give directly, or through the organization of my choice, is grace. Forcing me, with threat of incarceration, to pay for anything, no matter how well-intentioned, is most decidedly not charity or grace.

Neither Jesus nor his Apostles taught that the Church (literally the “Body of Christ”) had an outstanding obligation to aid the state in the confiscation and redistribution of wealth, or in the regulation and apportionment of resources. While the Scriptures in their entirety absolutely point to a Divine preference for the welfare of the poor, they never condone the manipulation of Earthly “powers and principalities” as the primary means of alleviating poverty and man-made suffering. Liberal/progressive Christians should ponder this fact before rushing to support “feel-good” government programs, particularly anything as poorly-written and potentially dangerous as the American Health Choices Act.

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