It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about politics. Call it burn out or turning over a new leaf, but I just haven’t been motivated. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t continued to think about the politics of the world and of this nation. So allow me to type up a few thoughts about the most recent end-of-the-world political hubbub, Obamacare (and as usual, I can’t help but to look at this through the lens of my faith).
There’s still some debate as to whether healthcare is a privilege or a right. It is still perplexing to me that Christians would debate this. Forget all the logistics involved in paying for nationally-sponsored care and think theologically for a second (theologically = the cliché question What Would Jesus Do). Does God want sick people to be healed? The answer is undoubtedly YES. Jesus healed the sick through miracles. “Ah, but that wasn’t for miracles’ sake,” you might say. “Jesus performed miracles to reveal his divinity and power.” Sort of. Jesus’ message centered on the theme of the Kingdom of God. He preached about it; and he modeled it. As much as Christ sought to heal the world’s spiritual condition, healing physical sickness was more than a metaphor. Holistic healing, spiritual and physical, is an attribute of the Kingdom. Consider this description in Revelation:
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.’”
Now, this provides some context for another layer in this debate. Some say: “Christians should support care for all people, but not from the government.” I agree with this in part. It would be a sad state of affairs for the church if all Christians did was solely rely on the government to reinforce their God-given conviction. That would be like relying on your senator to do something about your conviction about abortioooooooo……wait a minute. O crap. You might say there’s a little inconsistency here. In truth, Christians appear many times to tie themselves to a political party to such an extent that they fail to recognize what their allegiances ought to be. The government is not the answer to your prayers; and Christians on both sides of the spectrum are guilty of such a mindset.
However, it is appropriate to allow the ethics of Jesus to speak into our world –political platform and all. Whether you believe Obamacare is the best path for healthcare in our country or not, are you an advocate for all people to receive care? If not, then you must ask yourself why. Then you may land on the whole privilege thing, in which case I’d challenge you reread the top and consider the matter once again theologically. Saying that healthcare is important but that the government shouldn’t be involved in providing it to all people is the same as saying that healthcare isn’t important. Politics can be a avenue for expressing faith-convictions, just not the avenue.
My problem is that in the midst of the political squabbling, Christians have stopped being burdened by the simple fact that some people are left without care; or worse yet are bitter towards the sick because it’s going to cost them higher taxes. Doesn’t it bother you? Don’t we need change? I believe the answer is Yes, and it starts with what you advocate for AND what you do about it. There’s been a variety of Facebook posts since Obamacare’s constitutionality was upheld. One was simply: “I’m moving to Europe.” Yeah, move to Europe to escape socialized medicine…great idea. But there was one that I liked, so I’ll leave you with the thoughts of my friend, Ryan:
“I want to live in a world where all people are ready and willing to sacrifice their own time and resources so that they can give freely to others who are poor, sick, or uneducated. I want to live in a world where the local church leads the way just because they genuinely love Jesus. A world where there are less and less needs that we expect other people or the government to meet.
People who think today is the end of the world and people who think today is some sort of positive milestone are both wrong. If we want to effect positive change, we must ourselves be changed. When we all become selfless, we will inhabit a very different world.”