Monday, April 12, 2010

Culture Crisis

We need to talk. There are some things I need to say. We have a crisis in this country right now. I’m not talking about the economy or the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I’m talking about a culture crisis. We have our priorities in this country completely out of order. In this country, we spend more time talking about Tiger Woods and Conan O’Brian than we do about the economy or the wars, it seems. And it’s not just those two- it’s all athletes, actors, musicians. Anyone that has money and looks, we’re obsessed with in this country. Next time you take a trip to your local grocery store or department store, pay attention to the magazines that surround you once you get to the checkout lane. If those magazines and headlines are any indicator of where we are and/or where we’re headed in this country then we’re screwed.

Like I said earlier, we idolize celebrities and athletes that look good and are rich. But have we stopped to think about what we’re saying to future generations about what’s important in life? While we’re idolizing and obsessing over the latest celeb to grace the cover of some gossip magazine, people in other countries are idolizing people like Bill Gates (Microsoft) and Steve Jobs (Apple). We’re obsessing over image and people that industries have created, while other countries are obsessing over people that have received an education and worked hard to create themselves.

I don’t think it’s any coincidence that as we’ve become more focused on the Kobe Bryants and the Paris Hiltons of the world we are slipping behind other countries in education. According to the Programme for International Student Assessment, the U.S. ranked 35th in math in 2006 and I’m sure we have not moved up any. We’re lagging behind the world in math and science. Companies that need scientists and mathematicians are moving overseas for qualified workers, yet we gripe when we lose the jobs. We used to educate scientists and mathematicians and get them to stay in the U.S. for jobs but they’re now staying in their home countries and getting an education that’s just as great, if not better. That’s why we have countries like Iran and North Korea getting nuclear technology.

I could go on and on about this but I won’t. But I will leave you with this. Next time news anchors are going on and on for 20 minutes about Tiger Woods or some news site feels it’s breaking-news worthy that a comedian gets a new show, think about what we’re saying is important in this country. Next time the leading story on the nightly news is about an athlete or celebrity going to or being released from jail, pick up a book, read to your kid or make sure they understand fractions. God knows the media doesn’t seem to care about the future of this country.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Facebook stalker & Gay marriage, Pt. IV

Here's the last communication between me and my stalker- until she responds.

I look at information over and over and constantly analyze the newest, proven research. More and more research is saying that sexual orientation is something physiological and biological- not a choice. Now, if research comes out and and scientists/medical professionals, etc have conducted RELIABLE and VALID (external & internal) research- that can be reproduced (which is really just external valididty)- that turns over the evidence of orientation being physiological/biological, then I will reconsider my position. Honestly, I'm still not sure I would change my opinion on same-sex marriage simply because we protect other groups' rights and freedoms, even when that group's beliefs/opinions are choices. Example: religion. Religious beliefs are very much a choice, yet we protect their rights. We protect the rights of atheists even thought they have fought to take prayer out of school, which Christians such as yourself blame for the destruction of this country. I do not see you out fighting and protesting to take away their right to live out a non-belief they've chosen to follow.
Let's go back to the Sweden thing. How can you continue to listen to the AFA on something if their information is completely wrong? If they've been saying something about Sweden and gay marriage for 4 or 5 years, then they've been fabricating some information. Same-sex marriage did not become legal in Sweden until May 2009- less than a year ago. So how can something that has only been in place for 9 months have caused something 4 or 5 years ago?
New Orleans does not legally allow same-sex marriage. What likely happened with your friends is that her uncle had a "commitment ceremony." A commitment ceremony is not a legal union like a marriage. If I wanted I could have a commitment ceremony tomorrow with another woman here in Alabama. The same with Key West. Marriage is on the state level. Look it up. Only 5 states in the U.S. allow same-sex marriage: New Hampshire, Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa, Massachusetts; Washington D.C. voted recently to allow same-sex marriage. Any same-sex marriage outside any of these states or districts is not really a legal marriage.

As for the Terry Shiavo... where were these reports of this possible therapy when the issue was being decided? Was this therapy proven? That's the thing. Scientists, social scientists, etc., all look for things that are proven.

I'm not quiet sure I understand where you're going with the story of the banning smoking from movies and such.

The American Medical Association
The American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychological Association
The American Academy of Pediatrics
The National Association of Social Workers

All professional organizations that support research and we trust enough to decide what medical procedures work and others that are too risky or organizations that have a significant amount of resources into research on topics like this.
These organizations all say that homosexuality is not something that should try to be cured or changed. Research has proven that attempts to change a person's sexuality are actually harmful.

I believe in the power of God. But let's suppose that God maybe actually created someone gay. Why is that not possible to you? I've talked with people that wanted nothing more to be straight and prayed and prayed but it never changed. I liken it to someone that is black praying and praying to be white. People used to use the Bible to say that being black was inferior and blacks should be slaves. Or that blacks and whites couldn't marry.

Yes, I continue to find more information because more and more information is coming out that continues to point to sexual orientation NOT being a choice and that same-sex marriage have no effects on society.

Yes, you continue to find information, but most of your information is from one source- AFA. This is the same group that you said was making statements about same-sex marriage in Sweden 4 or 5 years ago. According to your first message to me, gays do not really want to marry because they would have been marrying all these years in Sweden. And I said earlier, same-sex marriage has only been legal in Sweden for about 9 months. When things like that happen, I have to question the validity of what this organization is saying. And AFA is in no way unbias in this issue. They make tons of money off hurting people and families that want to help their loved ones- so does James Dobson and Pat Robertson and others. None of these organizations that I listed above make money off saying that sexual orientation is not a choice and same-sex marriages do not affect society or straight marriages.

And I'm not sure I really understand what you said about animals. If you're trying to say that allowing same-sex couples to marry would cause people to want to marry animals..... Honestly, that argument and arguments about pedophilia absolutely disgust me. Just being honest. let's just suppose it's me that wants to marry another woman. There is a difference between me marrying another woman that is a legal, consenting adult and me marrying an animal that: 1) is not a person. 2) has no legal standing b/c not aperson. 3) b/c no legal standing can sign legally-binding contract (which is what a marriage license is).
And there's a different between me marrying a legal, consenting adult and me wanting to marry a child that is not a legal adult and cannot sign a legally binding contract. (A person cannot even get their own bank account in state of Alabama until their 19- the age a person becomes an "adult" in this state).

Facebook stalker & gay marriage, Pt. III

So you've read the first two posts about this stalker of mine. Here is her response to my message.

Tina, the Sweden example was one given by the AFA, which is why I mentioned it. They made that statement about 4 or 5 years ago, so I'm not completely out of it. Also, I do not think Massachusetts is the only place where gay marriage is legal: my friend Julie Wimberly from Judson(only there in my freshman year, so you wouldn't know her) I think said that her gay uncle got married in NOLA. Key West probably allows it too. And you didn't even say anything about the animals issue, when that has been mentioned in ADVERTISING - the SAME advertising as the ones that show gay lovers!
I don't think I'm the only one being stubborn here; you seem determined to not change your mind on your stance of this issue either. And by the way, you also seem very set on making gay marriage LEGAL, whereas when I suggested both to you and in a note I wrote about homosexuality - AND then sent you some more info about it - that we should be PRAYING THAT GOD WILL FREE THESE PEOPLE FROM THEIR HOMOSEXUALITY OR BISEXUALITY - you still seemed to be against any ideas or opinions I have. God can do anything. If gays are REALLY unhappy about their sexual orientation and CANNOT choose, then why don't they ask God to free them? And why do people like you and me not pray for them as well, asking God to free them from this bondage? I must confess that I have not yet prayed about this, but even when I mention this to you, you seem dead set against it.
Oh, and maybe I should add that multiple tests and research are not always true. I'm sure you remember the ever-infamous case of Terri Schiavo. Well, tons of tests were performed on her that said she would never recover; she was in a permanent vegetative state. The courts were siding with her husband about killing her, despite the fact that he didn't say anything about HER wishes until about 10(?) years after she supposedly became a vegetable, and by this time he was engaged to someone else and had at least two children by this woman. Well, finally they did kill her, and a year or two ago AFA made a movie WITH HER CHILDHOOD FAMILY IN IT, saying that they had been told she could have probably recovered with some therapy or something. The movie was called "The Terri Schiavo Story". There is also a 28-minute video about homosexuality that the AFA promotes now and then called "It's Not Gay". I've never ordered it, but, according to them, it has mental health professionals and former homosexuals talking about homosexuality and explaining that "the sanitized version of homosexuality being taught in schools in not the whole truth".
Another thing: I kind of suspected you would have something to say about my saying that gay marriage could open the door for more serious things. So, I'm prepared. This is not the first time I have seen such a question asked. A while back I was watching the news or something and it was being considered than any movies showing cigarette smoking should be rated "R" because they all too often make it look glamorous and it was believed that that was making young people start smoking. The guy doing the broadcast asked another guy "What next? What about more potato chips?(leading to increased obesity)" I don't remember what the answer was, but this story has a similar parallel. The only (possible) difference is that I really don't know for sure whether homosexuality is a choice or not, but even then, if it is not, Matthew 19:26 still applies: "With God all things are possible." If we pray that God will free them from their homosexuality, he CAN and likely WILL do it. All it takes is faith and sincerity. But in spite of my having said all this, since I also have said this to you over and over again and you also keep finding more information to supposedly "support" your view that homosexual marriage should be legalized, I'm assuming you're not listening to me either. I am not trying to speak to you from an arrogant perspective, but present a Biblical and loving perspective toward this issue. *Sigh* We're guilty of the same things, and equally stubborn. Well, I might raise my white flag, but I'm not sure yet. Maybe a little later.

Facebook stalker & gay marriage, Pt. II

Now you've read her initial message to me. Here is my response.

Ok… let me see if I can point out the fallacies of this argument. I feel like I’ve explained them before but you still fail to see the irrational basis on which these types of claims are based.

The first example. These two brothers want to get married “for the financial benefits.” So, is the argument that people will want to get married just for financial benefits or that incest could become legal? Well, let’s argue both.
I don’t really care if two people want to get married just for the financial benefits or other legal benefits. In fact, it happens all across this country now. Only these involve opposite-sex couples so people do not question the motives. So if you’re (or AFA is) opposed to this examples because the two men are taking advantage of the system, then you’re talking about reforming the whole marriage system. Plenty of people today get married to offer citizenship to non-citizens, provide health insurance benefits to friends that need medical attention, etc…
The incest argument. If you want to get real for a moment, Alabama actually allows incest. Cousins can get married in the State of Alabama along with about 18 other states in the U.S. The reason incest, such as siblings or parental relationships, is because we know that incestuous relationships can actually be harmful to people. Offspring of incestuous relationships often have children with severe mental and physical deformities. Those relationships are proven to be detrimental to society.

The second example. I’ve said it before and I will continue to say because... you just seem intent on not hearing and understanding this: bisexuals do not necessarily want to be with multiple people at one time. Just because a woman is bisexual does not mean she wants to be married to both a woman and man at same time, two other men at same time, or two other women at same time. Again, these relationships- polygamous relationships- are harmful to society. I’m sure there are studies that have shown that children face detriment because of polygamous relationships.
Let’s look at this another way, too. There are actually polygamous couples in this country, particularly Fundamentalist Mormon groups. Their religious beliefs teach that polygamy is acceptable and should be practiced. IF marriage is religious, then they should be allowed to practice their polygamous relationships because that’s how they practice their faith- and we are guaranteed the right to practice our faith in any way we choose, thanks to the 1st Amendment.

The third example. I’m sorry...but that one is just ridiculous. Let’s suppose that someone with Disasociative Identity Disorder (multiple personality disorder) presents themselves as personality A and personality A wants to marry personality B. Well, let’s think about this. At it’s basic, civil root, marriage is a contract between two people. It is a legal piece of paper that requires certain legal standing between two individuals. In someone with DID, there is only one personality (their true personality) that is a legal person. That person has a birth certificate and a social security number. They can’t create a new “person” and that “person” have legal standing.

I know you’re a fan of AFA and other conservative organizations that are opposed to equal rights for gays and lesbians, but you really do need to expand your pools of knowledge and the places/site you find your sources. Look at other sites and see their arguments. Look, read, understand the other side. Understand the arguments for and against same-sex marriage and look at them logically.

If you keep up with the fight for/against same-sex marriage then you should know that the last few weeks Prop 8 in California went before a Federal court. Experts from all sorts of fields, with years of experience doing research related to same-sex couples and marriage, parenting, etc., testified. Experts testified over and over again that research (research with validity and reliability) shows that same-sex marriage has not hurt marriage in any way. Opposite-sex couples still get married as they did before gay couples could marry in countries and in states where it’s legal. Children of same-sex couples are just as well adjusted as children of opposite sex couples. Even the “experts” for the side against gay marriage said that marriage would be beneficial to the gay couples and their children.

Sweden is not an appropriate place to refer when talking about same-sex marriage because it just became legal in May 2009. That is not even a whole year to the beginning of gay marriage. Yes, Sweden has a low marriage rate but it’s part of an overall trend that started way before same-sex couples could marry. of all people should know that culture is different in each country and we cannot assume our cultural values are the same as another country. In all of Europe, marriage has been in decline for years. It started before same-sex couples were ever allowed to marry and will continue.

Now, let’s go back to the polygamous and incest and how these groups will be arguing for marriage as soon as same-sex couples are allowed to marry. This has not happened in Massachussettes where gay marriage has been legal for 6 years now. It hasn’t happened in other states where same-sex couples are allowed to marry. What makes one think that suddenly it would become popular when it hasn’t been a factor before?

Honestly, I keep telling you these facts over and over again and yet you find more information- or emails- with unfounded information and beliefs and try to present it as fact. I know that you’re smart or else you wouldn’t have graduated college. Please look at the other side to this argument. Look at the info without any bias. Do not go into it looking for info to fit your belief or mine. Just go into without any preconceived notions. Look at SCHOLARLY articles and not just opinions that Maggie Gallagher has thrown out there.

Facebook stalker & gay marriage.

This is a recent message I received from a "friend" on Facebook. I always post notes on Facebook about issues in which I have a special interest. Usually this person responds on the notes with the same points. As many times as I've pointed out the fallacies in her arguments, she still brings them up.

A couple of days ago she sent me a message. She admitted she did not know if the email she received was real or made-up for the purpose of the message.

Here is her initial message, my response, her response, and my second response. As of this moment she has not emailed me back. (I will be editing just to remove names from messages.)

First message

Hey Tina,
Below is an e-mail that my former roommate... sent me when she and I were roommates in 2003-04. On top of homosexuality being against the Bible, this e-mail makes another point that makes me against gay marriage: if gay marriage is legalized, no telling what will come next, and even if some people think gay marriage is okay, I'm sure most people would be grossed out by sexual relations with animals, and I know incest relationships are not even smiled on today. As the AFA has put it, the LGBT community does NOT really want marriage; if they did, they would be marrying each other like crazy in Sweden. What they want is the freedom to practice homosexuality however they wish. Even people in Key West, a HAVEN for gays, don't feel comfortable talking about it anymore. Anyway, the story, which is probably untrue but still makes a good point, is below.

Scene: a San Franciso court room.
the judge is handing out marriage licenses
>-- "Next."

"Good morning. We want to apply for a marriage license."

"Tim and Jim Jones."
>"Jones: Are you related? I see a resemblance."
>"Yes, we're brothers."
>"Brothers? You can't get married."
>"Why not? Aren't you giving marriage licenses to same gender couples?"
>"Yes, thousands. But we haven't had any siblings. That's incest!"
>"Incest?" No, we are not gay."
>"Not gay? Then why do you want to get married?"
>"For the financial benefits, of course. And we do love each other.
>we don't have any other prospects."
>"But we're issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples who've
>denied equal protection under the law. If you are not gay, you can get
>married to a woman."
>"Wait a minute. A gay man has the same right to marry a woman as I have
>just because I'm straight doesn't mean I want to marry a woman. I want
>marry Jim."
>"And I want to marry Tim, Are you going to discriminate against us just
>because we are not gay?"
>"All right, all right. I'll give you your license. Next."
>"Hi. We are here to get married."
>"John Smith, Jane James, Robert Green, and June Johnson."
>"Who wants to marry whom?"
>"We all want to marry each other."
>"But there are four of you!"
>"That's right. You see, we're all bisexual. I love Jane and Robert, Jane

>loves me and June, June loves Robert and Jane, and Robert loves
>June and me. All of us getting married together is the only way that we
>express our sexual preferences in a marital relationship."
>"But we've only been granting licenses to gay and lesbian couples."
>"So you're discriminating against bisexuals!"
>"No, it's just that, well, the traditional idea of marriage is that it's

>just for couples."
>"Since when are you standing on tradition?"
>"Well, I mean, you have to draw the line somewhere."
>"Who says? There's no logical reason to limit marriage to couples. The
>the better. Besides, we demand our rights! The mayor says the
>guarantees equal protection under the law. Give us a marriage license!"
>"All right, all right. Next."
>"Hello, I'd like a marriage license."
>"In what names?"
>"David Deets."
>"And the other man?"
>"That's all. I want to marry myself."
>"Marry yourself? What do you mean?"
>"Well, my psychiatrist says I have a dual personality, so I want to
>the two together. Maybe I can file a joint income-tax return."
>"That does it! I quit!! You people are making a mockery of marriage!!"

I will post responses in separate posts.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bleeding-Heart Liberal Manifesto.

Yes, I am a Bleeding Heart Liberal. I believe we should take care of "the least of these." I believe that taking care of the poor is a moral imperative and we should do what is necessary to care for the least of these. I believe Welfare is important and a necessary thing because we have people in this country that try but still cannot afford food or housing. Yes, a few may take advantage of the welfare programs but they likely have children that depend on that welfare as well. (Do you really want to take away food stamps from a single mother just because she may not be trying hard enough to find work? Leaving those kids without food or other basic needs? And isn't "hard enough" a subjective view?)

I may not be the most religious person, meaning I do not consistently practice my faith in an organized way, such a church, but I hold dearly the principles found in the Bible and Jesus' teachings and try to practice them. I will admit that I fail so often to do what I can and all I can but I continue to try and be better.

One of the biggest arguments I hear against welfare and any government program to help the poor, including health care reform, is that it will be paid for with tax increases. Yes. And so what? They will not be tax increases on the poor. Maybe they will be imposed on upper middle class, and they will definitely be imposed on the upper class. Does that bother you? Why? Do you not have enough money for your needs and even many of your wants? It is just not fair if I work a white collar job and earn more money than I need and someone works 2 or 3 jobs and barely earns enough to get food and pay rent and some of my money goes to help that person eat and live.

I think our problem in this country is that we live in excess. And if I don't have that excess then I'm being denied something valuable. Do I need that extra house? Does John McCain need 7 houses, especially when he cannot even remember how many he has? Is that not excessive when he works for people (the voters) who cannot even afford one house or a nutritious meal each night?

I believe that when my paycheck, rather than the people around me and their conditions, becomes the center of my life I've lost my balance and my morals and values. I'll admit, each time I see the deductions from my paycheck I squirm a little; it's not fun to see that money taken from my paycheck. But I think where that money goes versus what I would do with it. Even with money gone I am able to pay my bills, buy food, and still have plenty left over for entertainment and other philanthropic activities. What would I have done with that extra money? It would have resulted in additional clothes, regardless of the fact that I have shirts and jeans in my closet that I've yet to wear or even remove the tag. I would have a few extra meals out, even though I eat out pretty much every weekend. It would be several extra Starbucks coffees.

Yes, I'm denied a few luxuries but think about where that money goes. It goes to help those kids down the street have a nutritious meal each night. It goes to help my uncle who is on Medicaid and disability because he has severe Type 1 Diabetes. It goes to my cousin who receives a check because his uncle is on disability. It goes to my grandmother who receives Social Security and Medicare. And if a single-payer health care system was implemented and a few more dollars were taken from my paycheck, that money would go to pay for health care for my parents- my dad who served as a firefighter for 25 years and risked his life to save a few lives and cannot afford health care now from his small pension from the State of Alabama.

As stated earlier, I believe in what I believe because of my values, taken from the Bible and Jesus' teachings. I've picked out a few verses and tried to organize them in a way that they progress.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
-Matthew 22:37-39

(The two greatest commandments, according to Jesus. And these are not just mentioned once but multiple times in the Bible.)

“We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.”
-1 John 2:3-6

(The great commandment, according to Jesus, is "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Well, how does one do that? According to this verse we love God by following God's commands. And we "must walk as Jesus did.")

“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, have the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. “
Philippians 2:1-4

(Again, we're back to this point of looking out for others rather than yourself. I believe that when I look at my paycheck and get upset I'm looking out for my own interests and not looking out for others. And that takes us back to the 2nd greatest commandment of loving others as we love ourselves.)

“What good is it… if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
-James 2:14-17

(Many people are scared of this verse because of the implications it has and maybe how it goes against the "faith alone" teachings that Evangelicals and Protestants teach. But it certainly fits in with faith alone. If we have faith in God, we follow his commands and his teachings. And those, I believe, require action on our part. Jesus didn't sit around and only tell people to believe in him, he accompanies that with action. What good is the Good News if it ignores people's needs of right now? People cannot focus on spiritual needs if their physical needs are unmet.)

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?”
-1 John 3:16-17

(I think this verse is pretty self-explanatory.)

“Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?”

-James 2:5-7

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
-1 Timothy 6:6-10

(This goes back to my argument that if we have what we need why should we care if our excess goes to help those that do not have what they need? I get that we want security and want to secure our financial futures but is storing up excess unbelief in Jesus meeting our needs? When we focus on our paycheck and making money we forget about relationships with others, I believe, and money becomes our object of desire and the only thing that is sufficient for us.)

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasures is, there your heart will be also.
No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”

-Matthew 6:19-21,24

“Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testity against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.”
-James 5:1-6

I am no theologian. I am not perfect. And I struggle with posting this simply because I'm putting something out there that I cannot even keep. I fail in these things. I love my stuff too much and too often. But I earnestly try to keep these values and ideals at the center of my life.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

God and Health Care Reform.

Conservatives are great about bringing God into the political race. They invoke His name at every meeting and they use the Bible and God as justification for much of their political beliefs. So, is health care another topic that Conservatives are looking towards their Bibles for an answer? One would think that since Conservatives and Republicans are mastered in showing how God believes what they believe this is another topic to which they’ve found answers in the Bible. Right?

In Matthew 25:34-45, we have the famous passage where Jesus talks about “to the least of these.” The story says that in the end God will separate the Sheep, His followers and believers, from the Goats, the unbelievers. How will God determine who is a Sheep and a Goat? People are separated into groups based on how they treated Him. In the story the King says the Sheep gave Him food, water, clothes, and cared for Him while he was sick. The Sheep though never knew they were caring for the King and asked “When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?” The King answers, “whatever you did for the least of these you did for me.” The King then turns to the Goats and said they never fed him, gave him something to drink, cared for him while sick or visited him while in prison.

As illustrated in this story, Jesus himself said the righteous will care for the sick and the least of these. In this country, at this time, the least of these are the poor without health insurance. Millions of Americans make too little to pay the outrageous premiums of private, for-profit insurance companies and while being poor, still do not qualify for the government funded Medicaid option. So where are Conservatives in this debate?

The Conservatives are the ones shouting at town hall meetings, spewing lies about death panels and other tall tales related to health care reform. (And I guess when they let their ignorance take the better and shout these lies the 9th Commandment, the one about not lying and bearing false witness, is no longer a part of their beliefs- if even for that quick moment?) Not only are the Conservatives completely opposing any type of health care reform, they are offering no suggestions. So they are still not taking care of the sick, like the Goats in the story.

The Conservative Christians are now the ones deciding who should get health care and who should not. They shout about Obama’s death panels, now it’s really the death panels of Conservatives. Can’t afford health insurance and health care? Sorry. Maybe you can try the debt thing that could result in bankruptcy and your children paying the bills. (Wait… Haven’t the Republicans continued to argue about not wanting to leave future generations in debt?)

If Conservatives really want to follow Jesus’ example they have two choices. The first is that they literally take care of “the least of these.” That means Christian doctors should offer free or reduced-cost services to the poor. The second is that churches should be willing to pay for or help contribute to the cost of people’s medical bills, whether the sick are Christians or not.
Or Conservatives can take the lazy way out, and still claim they’re helping “the least of these” and support a public option, even if means a few dollars more out of your paycheck.

“Let us resolve that the state of a family’s health shall never depend on the size of the family’s wealth.” –Senator Ted Kennedy.