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A Clarification.

Here is what I posted as my update on facebook yesterday: “Hypocrite: (N) Christians opposed to the new Healthcare plan because their taxes are going to poor people.”

Of the many objections that I have read/seen/heard about the healthcare reform act that was recently passed through the House of Representatives two really infuriate me. The above update (or quote but it seems odd to quote myself) was in response to a couple of things in combination. I formulated that sentiment many many months ago when the Democrats finally got their shit together enough to talk about at least the concept of a bill that was lacking many of the things that the president promised during his campaign, oddly enough the bill resembles McCain’s plan much more than Obama’s original plan.

The Right Wing has been the principle objectees, there are some of the Ron Paul liberals that make objections as well but no one really pays them any mind so I have been for the most part ignoring them. The Right Wing whose core are the Conservative Christians have made many objections to the plan. Their principle objection has been about cost. A fair objection since the country’s economy is still in decline. However I am a man of reason, and when I don’t understand something I turn to the experts or learn it myself. In this case, since economics bores me I listened to the experts. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has declared this bill to save the economy money in the long run. That’s the non-partisan budget office, their sole job is to make such estimations but that apparently isn’t good enough despite the fact that they have successfully predicted the outcomes of several plans in the previous administration.

My problem with this objection is to wonder where these people were when the previous president decide that he was going to cut taxes while at the same time conduct two wars? Or where were they when the medicare drug bill was passed in 2005 which opened up the “donut hole” for seniors in need of prescription drugs? Those two actions caused considerable damage to the economy yet now these people are claiming to be fiscal conservatives contrary to their chosen president who expanded the role of the federal government to the largest it has ever been.

That however, is still a legitimate concern. Perhaps this president is crossing some threshold that their ideological beliefs hold is too much. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt on that one.

However, that objection despite my concerns with it, doesn’t infuriate me as much as the one in which I applied the “hypocrite” label to. Some people I know posted some objections to what I wrote. I consider them to be quite intelligent and not merely reactionary so I thought about what I had written and deemed that it needed some further explanation.

First off, just because you object to the bill and happen to be Christian does not mean you are hypocrite. I feel that this was the biggest source of confusion for the post. I wasn’t saying that, I reread the post and didn’t see that sentiment could be derived from the words alone but I would like to repeat it to remain absolutely precise.

This video has been making the rounds on youtube and perfectly expresses the sentiment that I wish to counter. About one minute in, a man in a red shirt with a black vest is screaming at the person sitting down, “no handouts.” His apparent objection is that a person should not receive healthcare unless they can pay for it (I also assume that he has no problem with employer provided healthcare either, I’m not that pedantic).

What I was saying yesterday is that if you share the screaming man’s objection as a reason for not wanting healthcare reform AND consider yourself to be a Christian it means that you are a hypocrite. Because of the Christian doctrine of charity to the poor it means that such social programs must be encouraged even if you personally lose money in the exchange. There are too many direct quotes from the New Testament out of the mouth of Jesus (Matthew 19:21, Mark 10:21, Luke 18:22, etc.) to even consider the possibility of a gray area.

The concept of charity is central to Christian doctrine and I don’t understand how this can be the basis of their objection to the healthcare reform. I can’t think of any other label for people that on the one hand don’t want to see their taxes go up because of the bill and on the other believe themselves to be followers of a religion that preaches charity and kindness. Obviously the man ridiculing a sick person sitting on the street cannot consider himself a Christian, and obviously he is not representative of the majority of objections but he is part of them.

Brian was right, these people are ruining the image of the objection and are not helpful to the debate.

Categories: current events, politics
  1. March 24, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Typically, I stay far away from politics as possible, but I think you’ve hit the crux of the problem for me. I don’t necessarily agree with the program (too many unknowns), and yet, those who object to it for its being “handouts” are the same people who were pro-Guatanamo Bay, pro-torture, pro-“By any means necessary” (around these parts, anyway).

    They’re also the ones that talk about how active they are in church.

    There’s something wrong with this picture.

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