A Christian defends the ACA

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  • #27152
    LurkingGrendel
    Participant

    Generally speaking I cannot stand the overtly religious; whatever their professed faith. One might say I find all of them equally worthless. I could detail a long list of supportive reasoning as to how I’ve arrived at this position, but as a short form associative exercise simply consider the following. When I hear the word “religion”, a number of other words and phrases immediately come to mind:

    • Lies
    • Hypocrisy
    • Ignorance
    • Anti-science
    • Anti-intellectualism
    • Selfishly myopic
    • Barbaric Fundamentalism
    • Cruelly lacking in empathy
    • Tribal
    • Dogmatic
    • Zealotry
    • Unreasonable

    Certainly our resident Bible thumping lunatics have done nothing to dissuade me of these conceptions. For that matter, they’ve never attempted to. They seemingly delight in obstinacy, are immune to introspection or irony, have no compunctions about presenting flagrant untruths, and are untroubled by deeply hypocrisy riddled positions. They’re also notoriously cowardly. Regardless, church attendance has been in steady decline for decades, while the number of people who ascribe to no set faith of any kind, or are happily agnostic or atheist continues to rise. There’s really been no better ambassador for throwing off religiosity than your run of the mill religious person. They don’t bring people to the church; they send them running off in terror. Often, the only new recruits are the one’s they’ve bred and then indoctrinated.

    Yet every once in a while I stumble across someone that actually seems to understand what being a “Christian” is supposedly about. Or at least my imperfect understanding of it.

    Here’s a Republican constituent of TN representative Diane Black (R) asking a question of her congresswoman about The ACA:

    “My question is lengthy, ok? So bear with me. My name is Jessi Bohon and I’m in your district. It is my understanding that the ACA mandate requires everybody to have insurance because the healthy people pull up the sick people, right? And as a Christian, my whole philosophy in life is to pull up the unfortunate. So the individual mandate, that’s what it does. The healthy people pull up the sick. If we take those people, and we put them in high risk insurance pools, they’re costlier, and they get, there’s less coverage for them. That’s the way it’s been in the past and that’s the way it will be again. So we are effectively punishing the sickest people. And I want to know why not instead of fixing what’s wrong with Obamacare, make companies like Aetna that pulled out and lied to their consumers about why the pulled out and said the pulled out because Obamacare was too expensive, but really pulled out because of a merger. Why don’t we expand Medicaid? And then everybody can have insurance”.

    The full story with video and the transcript: http://shareblue.com/woman-at-gop-townhall-brings-down-the-house-with-christian-case-for-obamacare/

    Well, Jessie, that’s a very good question. A related one would be to ask of every self-described “Christian” who may have voted for a Republican representative, how can one can reconcile taking innumerable policy positions which are directly in opposition to the teaching of Jesus Christ, whom they claim to revere? How does cutting social programs that help the most vulnerable in our society square with those ideals? How does taking positions which only enrich the already most wealthy among us benefit the whole? How does abject nationalism square with your understanding of Christ? How does demonizing the poor, the wretched, or simply the different or the other, further the message of Christianity?

    She’d likely be in for a long wait in answer.

    There’s no cohesive “plan” to replace the ACA. There never has been. There isn’t today. You cannot prove otherwise as its demonstrably untrue. Republican opposition to the ACA was, is, and always has been utterly political and partisan at the behest of their corporate backers. It’s a simple fact, that if not for Republican obstructionism we could have had a single payer system for every man, woman, and child in The United States twenty years ago.

    If at heart, you’re simply a hateful, envious, jealous, ignorant, fear mongering prick in pursuit of the most for you and the least for everyone else, I get it. It’s morally grotesque, but I understand your position. Wrapping that up under the banner of religion is what continues to get you into trouble.

    An actual “Christian” would be the fiercest advocate for universal coverage; regardless of the cost. If pressed on that point, an actual “Christian” might acknowledge that we spend more than twenty times as much on defense as the next closest country on Earth, and perhaps some of those tax dollars could be redirected towards improving the lives of all American citizens as opposed to building more stealth bombers, aircraft carriers, and weapons of mass destruction.

    It kind of seems like a WWJD kind of thing.

    #27159
    Andy Brown
    Participant

    bacon and the faux Christian conservatives have never been Christian nor conservatives. They are just sheep being led by those that promise them the right fantasy.

    #27160

    “An actual “Christian” would be the fiercest advocate for universal coverage; regardless of the cost. ”

    An “actual Christian” would be a fool allow himself or herself to be defined by someone who hates religion in general and Christianity in particular.

    An actual Christian must indeed have concern for the poor, but that does not mean they must agree that the government controls the health care system or that the government be the be-all and end-all. Actual Christians are allowed to see other possibilities than that it’s always up to Uncle Sam and the taxpayers.

    But that doesn’t preclude an actual Christian from supporting reasonable government solutions, either. It’s simply that Jesus didn’t say that we must necessarily help the poor and the sick by means of an inefficient, bloated, and greedy federal bureaucracy. It’s not an article of faith, in spite of the fact that some atheists seem to think it should be so.

    #27164
    Vitalogy
    Participant

    Jesus is made up you fucking fool.

    And on top of that, you assholes have tarnished what good his made up reputation stood for.

    Pro-life until they’re born.

    #27169
    Amus
    Participant

    Best description I’ve yet seen;

    “What you’re seeing right now from so many professed Christians is not Jesus, or the loving, radically hospitable, interdependent community which sprang from his life and ministry.

    It may have commandeered his name and appropriated some select quotes and have a similar veneer, but it is not Christianity.

    It’s simply Americhristianity.

    It is a Frankensteined faith made as much of rabid nationalism, political posturing, and fearful self-preservation, as it is the foot-washing, enemy forgiving, humble hearted, suffering Christ of the Gospels. It’s a flailing, angry, violent monster that once began as a noble experiment in Life.”

    -John Pavlovitz

    http://johnpavlovitz.com/2015/11/17/freeing-christians-from-americhristianity/

    #27170

    John Pavlovitz is a liberal hack who defines Christianity in liberal political terms. You won’t find Jesus in his preaching. You will find plenty of anti-Trump hate propaganda, however.

    #27171
    Andrew
    Participant

    Jesus is “all over” the John Pavlovitz article linked above.

    #27172
    paulwalker
    Participant

    If Jesus loved all his believers, he would provide for all of his believers. So Jesus would be a supporter of universal health care. Yet, most Jesus-loving folks don’t want this. What am I missing?

    #27173
    Andy Brown
    Participant

    One word:

    Fascism

    #27182
    Amus
    Participant

    Obviously Pavlovitz strikes a nerve because he’s got you guys figured out.

    Americhristians

    Americhristians

    #27227
    Chris_Taylor
    Participant

    My God (I write that facetiously for Lurking)…where to begin.

    The journey of faith is ever evolving…or at least it should. As Fr. Richard Rohr mentions about this journey, and I paraphrase…”one must be willing to live with paradox and mystery at the same time.” That is to say, being a Christian doesn’t mean you know something others don’t. There are some things you just can’t explain and some things you will never be able to find answers for. That doesn’t dimmish ones faith.

    To Lurking’s laundry list of dislikes of religion:

    • Lies
    • Hypocrisy
    • Ignorance
    • Anti-science
    • Anti-intellectualism
    • Selfishly myopic
    • Barbaric Fundamentalism
    • Cruelly lacking in empathy
    • Tribal
    • Dogmatic
    • Zealotry
    • Unreasonable

    I agree with them all. I would also add that I see some of these same things in the business world, court system, the military, city league basketball and T-Ball.

    To Vit – There are three historical things we actually know about Jesus. 1. He was Jewish.(duh!) 2. He preached about the Kingdom of God (a lot). 3. He was crucified by the Romans for sedition.

    That’s not much to go on from a historical point of view. However, what we do know historically, and what we have, are over 5000 pieces of data from the time in which Jesus lived. You put the historical Jesus into that data…well then, you need biblical scholars, theologians and bible historian’s to help unpack scripture.

    Sorry Vit, as much as you may disagree with it, Jesus was a real person who lived in the first century from a small town of 150-300 people. Was dirt poor…some believe since illiteracy was nearly 99.9 percent in those days, theres a feeling among many historians that Jesus was illiterate. But that’s a side point.

    John Pavlovitz, is a modern day blogger who happens to be a pastor. He is a liberal voice for those of us who have seen what many of our conservative evangelical sisters and brothers, we believe, have hijacked when it comes to matters of faith. John is giving voice and critical thinking and feedback that puts a mirror to the Trump administration and his supporters. It’s harsh for sure, at times, but needs to be said. To use DeVos own words, it’s about accountability.

    To Paul – There were about 12 other “Messiah’s” running around at the same time as Jesus, who were also healing others. The difference with Jesus was – he did it for free. So yes, I would say free healthcare was a part of his ministry…Jesus did a lot of healing.

    Again, I know I’m a broken record writing this, but context is crucial in understanding scripture or any historical documents or writings. To be fair, what we know about the historical Caesar, is about the same as we know about Jesus. Context rules in both cases.

    Whatever is left of moderate republicans, I would hope they would rise up and help keep the ACA…or better yet, make it better, by actually doing the work for the American people and not make this more political theater. Oh for a Richard Lugar or Mark Hatfield, again. How far the GOP has slid down the rabbit hole taking us with them.

    #27238
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    I will offer three possible explanations about the disdain and fear directed toward ACA in the contemporary political climate:

    1) If the government provides benefits like these, instead of churches, then a crucial opportunity to deliver a sermon is lost.

    2) Socialism! Socialism is bad. Socialism destroys freedom.

    3) Fear of change-if insurance companies are not the only game in town, upscale white-collar people who work at those insurance companies risk losing their jobs. These are the kinds of people who buy SUVs and luxury cars, vacation packages, and fancy suburban homes.

    #27245
    Amus
    Participant

    Suggested reading;

    Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth

    Bart Ehrman makes the case for “Historical Jesus”.

    It’ been a while since I read this, but Professor Ehrman makes a pretty goog argument.

    #27259
    LurkingGrendel
    Participant

    @PopeBacon,

    There’s any number of self-described “Christians”, including the Republican woman (and presumably a good number of the Republican constituents who applauded her question towards the Congresswomen, featured in that article who defended the ACA almost exclusively from a religious perspective. I shared my own perspective on religion simply as context.

    So she’s not qualified to offer comment about your hypocrisy, either?

    The rest of your response is complete, boiler plate, right wing, gobbledygook. You fail to address a single, salient point and instead retreat into thoughtless conservative talk radio speak. Here’s the bottom line: Government is the only institution capable of addressing the macro health care concerns for hundreds of millions of people. Any statement to the contrary is fantasy-land. Feel free to attempt to illustrate otherwise using supportable facts and reasoning.

    Or are you one of those Flat Earth Society members who deride government health care while in the same breath demanding the government stay out of your Medicaid or Medicare program? Are church’s and charitable social welfare intuitions supposed to doling out insulin for Diabetes? Or Abitrexate for breast cancer treatment? Do you honestly believe friends and family are capable of supporting your health care needs (and costs) in the event of a catastrophic illness? Even if you thought that was remotely feasible, what about the tens of millions (and more) whose friends and family have no way of assisting you as they’re barely able to support themselves? Should access to health care be inexorably tied to access to money? If you’re poor and get sick, you’re just supposed to quietly die out of sight so as not to spoil your nice day? How do you think Jesus would feel about that?

    You can, and no doubt will, continue to claim everything the government does or attempts to do is wasteful, inefficient, overly bureaucratic, etc. and the like. And you’ll use these as thin excuses to cover up for the fact that you have no actionable solutions of any kind to offer in response nor actually care in the least about the poor, the indigent, or the other.

    Republicans have been blocking universal health care coverage for decades. It’s for one reason and one reason only: money. And not the cost to the U.S. tax payer, but the cost to the business of health care; including insurance and pharmaceutical companies. Their “plans”, which are actually nothing of the kind, have been the same tired and factually unsupportable proposals you hear every few years. “Plans” which do nothing to ensure that all citizens are covered nor do anything to address the innumerable health care issues that beset tens of millions of Americans. That’s why today The Republicans s are like the dog that caught the car: It turns out that those millions and millions of Americans that but for the ACA would have no health insurance coverage of any kind, many of them Republicans, are pretty happy to have it and are in no hurry to lose it again.

    Seriously, Pope Pork. Let’s hear it. What’s the solution for ensuring that all American citizens, regardless of their level of wealth or race or gender, or sex, or religious preferences, or political affiliations, has access to affordable health care? Does your hatred of “the government” take precedence over loving thy neighbor? Or are you simply not anxious to be truthful and admit you don’t care about anyone other than yourself, your immediate family, and those whom look, think, and act, like yourself?

    Why, exactly, here in “Christian” America is this such a problem for you and your ilk while in other 1st world nations all over the world this has been worked out?

    I’m in the 28% tax bracket. I make a very good living. I pay (very) high taxes. I have been voting against my own, selfish, financial interests for most of my adult life. Put simply, in deference to your kind, I believe that when the majority of people do well, we all do well. (Related: Raise the minimum wage, now. I’m happy to pay a little bit more, and in turn make a little bit less, to help raise the standard of living of millions of people. Who, by the way, will push that money directly back into the economy. Minimum wage increases are basically pure, economic stimulus.)

    I think quite a few people, looking at both of us objectively, would arrive at the conclusion this Agnostic is a hell of a lot more “Christian” than you are.

    #27291

    I am in favor of some government involvement in health care. I didn’t say I wasn’t. I’m not in favor of the government running the entire show, however.

    A Christian could go either way or be somewhere in the middle without compromising Christian principles. The point is that he doesn’t HAVE to see the government as a solution. He can in good conscience reject it so long as he does not personally reject the concept of helping the needy.

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