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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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Comments (14)

I don't think there is disa... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I don't think there is disagreement about the idea of providing health care for everyone.

There is major disagreement as to what is the best way to accomplish it. The fact that the Dems want to try a method which has been tried elsewhere and shown to be deeply wanting is a problem. Socialized medicine has failed to provide health care with the kind of quality we routinely achieve here. Most of us want to provide health care without giving up quality. Obama wants to keep quality for himself and the chosen few and give the rest of us crap.

Agreed, I want everyone to ... (Below threshold)

Agreed, I want everyone to have healthcare, but I don't want to rob the rich or the middleclass just to provide FREE healthcare to the poor. Entitlement attitude follows and more people get lumped into the Welfare as a job mentality.

"Why should I go to work when I get a place to live, a monthly stipend, free food, and free healthcare to stay home with my kids?"

Especially if you make only enough money that you no longer qualify for half of those programs. Rob the rich to feed the poor is a nice fairy tale in Robinhood, but it is beyond wrong in a free society. It is not anyone elses fault that some people are able to make a better life for themselves while others make poor life choices and end up with a lower standard of living.

When are we going to tax Hollywood at like 80%? They don't need the millions of dollars they make just for being entertaining.

I don't care who you are, o... (Below threshold)

I don't care who you are, or what you're selling; when you start saying "God is with us", I begin to worry. Even the Germans during WWII had that same inscription on their belt buckles.

Where to begin? When Christ... (Below threshold)

Where to begin? When Christians who don't obey the law of the land on one hand (illegal immigration) but, want to force by law what they "believe" should be law. Ugh. What we have here is a failure to understand the totality of scripture and to pick only scriptures that justify a particular view. Many cults have started that way.
I have an idea though. I'm sure the Vatican Bank has enough money to take care of all of God's children in the country. For a long time.

What needs to be pointed ou... (Below threshold)

What needs to be pointed out is that there is a big difference between universal health INSURANCE and universal health CARE.

Unless you cut out... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
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.

The scripture Father Jake cites is about the individual performing good works and there are no "good works" in helping the poor if you are compelled by the state to do so. Nor is robbing a person any less a sin because you intend to help the poor with the other person's money.

No nation on earth provides unlimited, up-to-date, on demand healthcare to all it's citizens, not Canada, not the UK, and not even Cuba even if some lawmakers from lala land think otherwise. Such a system would bankrupt any society that tried to provide it. Instead, system like Canada and the UK ration healthcare based on need and limited availability, while the U.S. rations healthcare on be bases of who can pay for it.

Maybe Father Jake hasn't thought about it, but he's proposing that it's Christian to ration healthcare to the old in place of the poor. Thing is, the poor can solve their problem by getting a better job, but there's nothing an old person can do to solve being old. And if you live long enough you too will be old and maybe want knee or hip replacement surgery, or a pacemakers so that you can enjoy your last few years.

Jim m -'Perfect' i... (Below threshold)

Jim m -

'Perfect' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Our current system is already a completely patchwork of payment systems, ranging from insurance to outright out-of-pocket payments for care. And it works, pretty much.

But that's not 'good enough' for some, who want a health care system with all the best of the mythical 'perfect' systems like Canada, the UK (and Cuba) but none of the drawbacks like rationing of care or incredible wait times for things that can be taken care of quickly here in the US.

So we come to a point where they're so focused on providing care for the '45 million', which could be as little as 10-15 million by the time it's all said and done, that NO expense is supposedly too great (for us, not necessarily THEM) to bear to give them the health care they 'deserve'.

But nothing less than perfection is acceptable. It'd be fairly easy to provide SOME level of care - but that's not what's desired. ERs are being used as doctor's offices, but when I floated a proposal to provide 'Heath Care debit cards' providing 10 visits to Walmart/Walgreens 'Minute Clinic' offices on a supposedly progressive site, the response was not friendly. Never mind that it would HELP considerably and not jack the deficit up by hundreds of billions a year - it wasn't a perfect fix so it wasn't even to be considered.

I'm starting to think that health care as a whole is not something the left actually desires to fix. It's too useful as something to complain about, and as a focus for social engineering.

Agree totally with post 7.<... (Below threshold)

Agree totally with post 7.

"Profit" is a dirty word on... (Below threshold)

"Profit" is a dirty word only to the leeches of the world. They want it seen as evil, so they can more easily snatch what they did not earn.

Every person's life is theirs by right. An individuals life can and must only belong to himself, not to any society or community, or he is then but a slave. No one can deny another person their right to their life, nor seize by force what is produced by someone else, because that is stealing their means to sustain their life. It is treason against mankind to hold a knife to a man's throat and dictate how he must live his life. No society is more important than the individuals who compose it, or else you ascribe supreme importance, not to man, but to any notion that strikes the fantasy of that society at a never ending cost of lives.

Reason and reality are the only means to just laws; mindles wishes, if given sovereignty, become deadly masters.

The greatest harm can result from the best intentions. It sounds like a paradox but kindness and good intentions can be an insidious path to destruction. Sometimes doing what seems right is wrong and can cause harm.

A Cookie if you can tell me what books most of these came from. It isn't the bible, though that book too is full of wonderous gems.

JustRus,Atlas Shru... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:


Atlas Shrugged


I've been following Christi... (Below threshold)

I've been following Christian "progressives" for over 20 years, and they keep making the same mistake, as has been touched on already: Once they've concluded that God has a "preferential bias for the poor" (Ron Sider called it a "preferential option" for the poor), they immediately start pushing big-government raised-tax programs. But that doesn't necessarily follow. They make this huge jump from 'A' to 'B' and they never tell you how they got there. And if you oppose their statism, you, of course, are "against the poor."

The most successful means to fight poverty and improve the lot of mankind is the promotion of the inviolability of property rights along with a vigorous, free market economic system. Statist solutions, of the kind proposed by the Father Jakes of the progressive left, actually hurt the very poor they claim to be helping.

I'm surprised the lefty tro... (Below threshold)

I'm surprised the lefty trolls aren't all over this one and quoting from the Bible left and right. Maybe they really do believe in seperation of church and state.

Nah, they just haven't woken up yet.

Cleanup on aisle 13, please... (Below threshold)

Cleanup on aisle 13, please. Cleanup on 13.

It started out...I mean I t... (Below threshold)

It started out...I mean I thought maybe it was SATAN saying all that mush, but then it turned into an ad...






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