Thursday, February 11, 2010

Where Does God Stand on Healthcare: A Response

I am totally disgusted at Phil Heimlich. When I first started to read his blog, I liked what he was saying. I thought this could be a guy that I could vote for. I even tried to contact him to ask him to run for the county chairman seat. But I have now put him on my “do not ever vote for” list. Here is what he has most recently said:

If you’re a “Bible thumper” like me, you try to make a modest effort to apply Biblical principles to issues facing the country. So where does the Creator of the universe stand on health care?

Today’s Pharisees

Several Congressional members oppose federal health care while benefiting from a lavish medical plan courtesy of the taxpayers. These legislators don’t need to leave Capitol Hill to see a doctor: they can have an x-ray, get a physical or electrocardiogram, and even get a prescription filled right inside the Capitol Building.

Our leaders enjoy this “Cadillac” plan because they are members of a large pool of federal employees. This is same kind of health care exchange that’s been proposed for the uninsured which Congress refuses to pass.

Jesus saw something similar and admonished the Pharisees — the political leaders of his day — for bestowing lavish privileges on themselves while neglecting the needs of those less fortunate:

“The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues.” (Matthew 23:2-6)

Is it the government’s job?

I’ve heard many “believers” say it’s the job of the church, not the government, to take care of the sick. But Proverbs 29:14 says, “If a king judges poor people fairly, his government will continue forever.”

These and other scriptures command those in power to help the less fortunate.

Forty-six million Americans are without health insurance. Millions more have coverage that is wholly inadequate — so inadequate that over 60 percent of bankruptcies are due to medical bills. This need is unlikely to be met by the church or individual donors.

The Bible directs our leaders to meet this need — and do it efficiently — so as not to violate the Biblical principle of stewardship. But to do nothing is like the servant who, when given money to invest, buried it in the ground. Jesus said, “Throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 25:30)

Here was my response:

I agree with the principle that there is a lot of hypocrisy among those who are opposing the healthcare bill. Your previous entry about the Republican Prescription Drug bill is another example of this.

However, your argument that government should provide healthcare is totally fallacious. The scripture you quoted says that the poor should be treated FAIRLY. Being treated fairly doesn't mean that you are entitled to free goods or services from the government. The Bible also warns that you should not treat the poor better at the expense of others. (Exodus 23:3)

There are no government entitlement programs in scripture whatsoever. Its sole purpose is to secure the peace of the society by punishing violent criminals, thieves, and other rights violators. That is the reason why we are supposed to obey the civil authorities, pay taxes (Romans 13:1-7, I Peter 2:13-17), and pray for them (I Timothy 2:1-4). Why does it nowhere say that we should pay taxes to help the poor, pray for those in civil authority to help the poor, or obey them so that they can more easily help the poor?

The Bible clearly teaches that giving should not be done under compulsion (II Corinthians 9:7), but this is what you are clearly advocating. What if someone refused to pay their taxes because they didn’t want their money to go toward treating someone else’s medical conditions which were caused by their own poor choices (unhealthy eating, smoking, drug abuse, or whatever)? You would have such a person put in jail? I thought you didn’t like policies which fill up prisons. You think that you can do good by threatening and coercing people to good. It has never worked and never will.

And when the government provides these services, which are unauthorized by scripture, they are overall not doing the poor any favors. They become too dependent on government instead of on Christ for their needs. What you are saying is totally opposed to the philosophy of our Founding Fathers. Their most quoted book other than the Bible was “The Two Treatises of Government” by John Locke. You should read this book (especially Book II) and find out what America is really all about!

And not all of the Republicans are hypocrites in this matter. There is one congressman who opposes it, opposed the Bush Prescription Drug plan, Medicare, and all the rest and who does NOT participate in the lucrative congressional benefits program which most other congressman receive. This man is Ron Paul.

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