Would Jesus be for the public option?

I read the below opinion piece today in The Hill. I’ve also heard others pose similar arguments in an attempt to brand anyone who disagrees with their designs anti-Christian.

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Jesus would support the public option

By Brent Budowsky – 10/05/09 01:46 PM ET

As the president appears to be pushing harder for the public option and Senate Democratic leaders appear to be joining him, here is one vitally important argument on their behalf: Isn’t it fair to suggest that Jesus would support the public option?

Jesus spoke about the need to feed the hungry, clothe the needy, heal the ill, cure the sick and put the needs of the poor ahead of the hunger for money and wealth. Sure sounds more like the public option than premium-gouging and $10 million salaries for insurance-company CEOs. Right?
The late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) said for a generation that healthcare is a moral issue for our times. He was right. There is rapacious greed in the healthcare industry, and most particularly with insurers who have been raising premiums, cutting benefits and throwing hard-hit policymakers to the wolves.

Those running insurance companies have neither the interest nor the desire nor the history of looking out for those in need, or looking out for the hard-pressed middle class.

Those running a public option would have no priority higher than the noble and worthy goals.

I think Jesus would want the poor and middle class taken care of, and not punished by the greed or indifference that plagues the current system.

I believe Jesus would side with the public option, not the insurers.

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First off, I don’t think Jesus would have sided with the demon from the underworld formerly  known to us as Ted Kennedy. 😉

The author misunderstands the role of agency – the defining principle of this life – and Jesus’s understanding of this divine principle.

Ask yourself these questions and try to reconcile your answers with the author’s premise, which is ‘Not allowing a govt-run health care system would un-Christlike” :

Did Jesus overturn the moneychangers’ tables because making money was evil or because the venue was inappropriate?

Why didn’t Jesus heal everyone on the Earth while he was here? He certainly could have.

In my opinion, the author’s premise begs the question in that a government-run system would be a catastrophe, less efficient, more expensive, therefore ‘worse’ for all people and thereby thwarting what he supposes Jesus would want. But let’s set aside this factor of the issue.

Heath care is less a right than so many other things. How about food? How about reading, writing, freedom? So many in the world are without the basics. How about shelter (we dabbled with this and got Fannie, Freddie, and the current crisis we’re in)? We can never have an intellectually honest debate about health care until we can debate whether it is a right or not. Period. I firmly believe it is not! They use this argument to foster a false urgency. But, let’s set that aside, too.

Most importantly, Jesus never taught about government benevolence. Actually, benevolence and government are usually oxymorons. He was here to teach us as individuals. We will not be judged by what actions were taken by the government under which we live has or has not done. We will be judged by what we as individuals do. In addition to waste, inefficiency, lack of innovation, and low quality, having a govt-run system will deprive us of the blessings of service and sacrifice for our fellow man.

I don’t know exactly what Jesus would say about this whole debauchery, but I am confident he would agree that our corrupt and perverted government would not be the most capable of running anything fair, efficient and charitable.

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