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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Christianity and Health Care

I'm officially curious: should Christians be pro- or anti-health care? As I perused the newspaper this morning, I came across an article in which several locals from my area are attempting to sue President Barack Obama for his health care legislation. My gut reaction was, "Seriously?" I could not believe what I had just read: suing the U.S. President for a piece of legislation which they deemed "unconstitutional".

Upon further thought, I began to wonder how Christians should react to the notion of health care. The first thing that crossed my mind was that, were Christians in America acting according to New Testament teachings on poverty, there would be no need for there to be a national, governmental form of health care at all.

Were I to venture a guess at the kinds of people who are making the lawsuit, I would imagine they would be those who do not benefit from national health care. It seems that, throughout our short history, any time people dislike some form of government action it is because it is to their personal detriment.
When the Civil Rights Act came through, it was detrimental to the white populace in that it removed them (or I should say, us) from the highest possible position in society. As soon as everyone was on equal footing, it lowered the status of the white, raised the status of the black, and this created problems. Having recently watched the movie The Secret Life of Bees, this particular instance of social upheaval is fresh on my thoughts.

It seems to me to be of a similar fashion with health care: for those who will no longer be able to choose their own doctors, this seems like a terrible blow; to those who have no option of a doctor to begin with, this is their salvation. If this is indeed a Christian nation (a notion about which I have my doubts), then ought we act as if we followed Christ? Should we not be putting others ahead of ourselves, taking care of widows and orphans, the homeless and the hungry, the naked and the sick long before ourselves? If this "Christian nation" were Christian, it does not seem that there would indeed be any need for health care, because the Christians would be utilizing their resources for those who need them more.

"For you will always have the poor with you and whenever you want you may help them, but you will not always have me." Mark 14.7

Jesus has gone; may we pray that we help those he left behind until he returns.

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