Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Exercises Kindness, Justice and Righteousness on EARTH, for in these I delight
I wrote during the whole Health Care debate about the need for providing health care for our poor. Surprising to people, I wrote as a committed Christian. I wrote that health care was not only a good thing to do, but a Biblical mandate. It was also more than a political or theological parlor game; I had come up close to the Health Care crisis through my son’s condition and his brain surgery at the age of one. When I wrote that we pay the most for health care of any country in the world and receive the 32nd best health care in the world, I knew this from my own personal story. We had to work hard to get him the care he needed. A patchwork law now known as Obamacare did pass, and it is an improvement from what came before, thought certainly not a cure for what ails our health care system. It is a step in the right direction. My son will need this coverage in the long run as with his condition, he will have to coverage. When he gets older, the old system would have left him in the wind of non-coverage because of preexisting condition.
Now, as many predicted, the law is before the court to be decided on whether the law is constitutional. Clearly, through former precedents and its covering one sixth of the economy, it is within the constitutional guidelines and covered by the commercial clause. The judges looking to vote against it seem to look for any and all reasons to declare it unconstitutional. The question now rests with a Supreme Court judges who may not even have the patience to read the law before deciding on whether our founding document allows for our representatives to provide for the general welfare in the medial realm. The ominous question of Judge Scalia about being expected to read the law he was asked to pass judgment not on its merits, clearly that is beyond what the framers thought Supreme Courts reach and would be an act of gross judicial activism, but whether it is allowable by the US Constitution.
The strangeness of saying that our Constitution allows for the forced sterilization of its citizens, Buck v Bell, simply for being judged imbeciles (a judgment based on a hatred of the poor). Yet, providing basic Health Care for those same citizens could be thought of as unconstitutional. This rather speaks to the unseemly aspect of American history and culture, the running thread of hating our poor, which is a spiritual crisis within our culture. One look at the recently passed Ryan budget and one can see that the hatred of the poor continues even if we think we have move beyond Buck v. Bell.
I believe that the Bible is clear (through the Torah, Leviticus , minor prophets, and Jesus) how a society treats its poor reveals its level of oppression and God’s judgment. Can anyone seriously look at Joel, Micah and Jesus own words and think that we actually care about the poor? What will Americans boast about: our riches and wealth? Will we boast of our science and knowledge? Jeremiah, the prophet tells, us God wants us to boast our exercising kindness, justice and righteousness on EARTH, for in these are what God delights in. (Jer 9:24) Many Christians called me a socialist for believing that my faith teaches the taking care of the poor. Again, for me this not a left verse right issue, rather it is the perspective of my son and the millions of other that do not have a voice. My son is now the face for his school’s donation drive. Look at his joy and answer him why the US constitution does not allow for his general welfare and his general pursuit of happiness. Tell me how this is not a spiritual issue.