Saturday, July 25, 2009

What bible are they studying?

I find the current debate about health care reform fascinating as it relates to religion and the Republican party and the contradictions therein. Specifically Republicans and Libertarians of all stripes complain that health care is not a right and therefore should not be in anyway run by or paid for by the government, yet most of these very folks at least claim to be pious Christians.

I’m not sure which bible the folks arguing against the “public option” or single-payer health care studied, but in my 12 years of Catholic education I was taught Christian charity, love thy neighbor and that feeding the poor and healing the sick were the attributes of a true Christian. I doubt anyone would call Catholicism a liberal faith given the Church’s stand on abortion and gay marriage so I don’t see where its teachings can be said to be a liberal.

So the question is what have others learned from their religious education that causes them to favor withholding medical care from folks too poor to pay for it? What bible are they studying? In mine when Jesus healed the sick he didn’t ask for a co-pay. I don’t think Sister Agnes, my elementary school principal, would approve of what these folks have taken away from their bibles.

1 comment:

  1. Well-said! I could not agree more. Since I converted to Christianity (I was raised an agnostic profoundly prejudiced towards Christians) and began reading the Bible in depth, for the life of me I could not figure out how the right-wing conservative Christian could possibly justify their positions on economics and social justice using the Bible. It's chock-full of admonitions to help the widow and orphan, to do justice and love mercy, to celebrate the Jubilee every 50 years and return property to those who originally held it. Over and over, God gives abundantly to the least, the last, and the lost. Christians are told to go and do likewise. Those who justify what they apparently think of as a tough love approach are giving way too much weight to Jesus mentioning that the poor we would always have with us. As if those few words counter everything else he said about giving generously. Sadly, those misguided and ungenerous so-called Christians on the right are likely to be the very ones of whom Jesus says, "Get away from me for I never knew you."