God's Politics

God's Politics


Chuck Gutenson: Is Universal Healthcare Unbiblical?

posted by gp_intern

The question of universal healthcare is shaping up to be a rather serious focus in this election cycle. With costs out of control and each year seeing more and more of us without access to affordable health insurance or health care, many see universal health coverage as the best (and, perhaps, only) longer term solution to the problem. This piece on NPR focused on the difficulties of “making ends meet without health insurance.” It isn’t a pretty sight.

While many Christians embrace the extent to which this, too, is a moral issue, sadly we still have those who seek to erect ideological boundaries by misusing scripture. On my blog, I examine one of the common arguments against universal health care offered by a writer on the Religious Right. This writer seems to think that the primary motivators of a biblical position is one that is driven by “tough love” and “personal responsibility.” Yet:

Throughout the bible, God continually models giving people far better than they deserve. In fact, if one looks at Jesus’ own ministry wherein he feeds the hungry, heals the sick, and both characterizes and models God as one who blesses others without regard to merit (in the Sermon, God’s goodness itself is characterized as blessing without regard to merit), the value system espoused by this writer would make Jesus, oddly, pretty unbiblical!

The author then moves to his central argument that universal healthcare is socialism, and socialism is unbiblical (presumably, something we all just know). Again, the author misses important points:

One does not have to argue that socialism is the only form of economy scripture allows, but to argue that it is precluded overlooks too much. Oddly, this writer would have to judge numerous of God’s commands as “unbiblical.” For example, God commands years of release, wherein debts are forgiven every seven years, as well as years of Jubilee, wherein lands are returned to their ancestral owners. God commands that garments offered as collateral by the poor be returned at night, since the poor would require them to stay warm. Amos 2 gives pretty harsh judgment of those who do not obey this command. Scripture requires that profit maximization be set aside to allow food to be gathered from the fields by the poor. Jesus commands that we give to those who ask from us, and in the Great Judgment of Matthew 25, he makes it quite clear that care for those on the margins is central to his assessment of our lives. These aspects of scripture were not missed by C.S. Lewis, who argued that, to be biblical, an economy would be more socialistic than not.

Sadly, the most serious underlying problem in the author’s evaluation is that it is driven mostly by a rather unbiblical set of precommitments:

In short, this writer has absolutized a particular vision of economies and has missed that what God intends us to make foundational is very different. [Rather than absolutizing markets and an abstract sense of freedom as the right to maximize profits, scripture makes convenental relationships central, as Walter Brueggemann notes.] We are called both to model and to defend economic relations that make neither dependence nor independence primary, but which instead make central the idea of mutual interdependence. It is the mutuality of relations that come from our owning our obligations to each other – whether embodied in governments or not – that determines whether a given system is biblical or not. Sadly, the writer missed this altogether, and, thus, missed giving us a Christian analysis.

For my full article, go here.


Chuck Gutenson is a professor at Asbury Theological Seminary and blogs at http://www.imitatiochristi.blogs.com/



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canuckelhead

posted April 30, 2007 at 9:29 pm


Great article, Chuck. Many of my Sojo comrades (woops, is that a socialist term?) will know the name Keifer Sutherland or “Jack Bauer” of TV’s 24 fame. What you may not know is that Keifer’s maternal grandfather, the late Rev. Tommy Douglas, was one of the driving forces behind universal health care here in Canada during the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. A long-time Baptist pastor, Douglas – recently voted “the most important Canadian in history (beating out Wayne Gretzky!)” – viewed universal health care as one of the most immediate implications of the OT affirmation that we are our brothers’ keeper and the teaching of Jesus that loving one’s neighboris tantamount to loving God with all of one’s being. So convinced was he of his beliefs that he left the pastorate to help found Canada’s New Democratic Party which was instrumental in establishing universal healthcare in this country. As a kid, growing up at a prominent Bible institute in Canada, it was a standing joke that many of the American students didn’t come here to study the Bible, they came to produce as many “free” babies as they could in a four-year college program.This, I believe, is the historical etymology of the term “freebie.”



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canuckelhead

posted April 30, 2007 at 9:31 pm


At the risk of incurring the wrath of Donald Wildmon, let me clarify that I’m talking about MARRIED American students in the previous post!



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Payshun

posted April 30, 2007 at 10:11 pm


To answer the question NO. p



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jurisnaturalist

posted April 30, 2007 at 10:18 pm


I believe that the church ought to offer universal healthcare coverage, like it used to, but that to look to the state to provide for us is devoid of virtue and dignity. The religious right gets it wrong because they refuse to assume responsibility for caring for the least of these around them. The religious left gets it wrong by looking to an involuntary institution rather than the one which Christ explicitly established to do the work of the gospel. The economic consequences of free universal health coverage are legion, not the least of which are adverse incentives for immigration, which is one of the driving forces of xenophobic discrimination among fear mongers everywhere. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone had free universal healthcare? Sure, but at what cost and to whom? Ultimately, the poor would be made to pay for the wealthy individual’s cosmetic surgeries and everyone would be forced to queue eternally while waiting for basic care.



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Wolverine

posted April 30, 2007 at 10:21 pm


While I remain opposed to single-payer government run health care as a matter of policy, I don’t see this as a matter of religious dogma, and Rev. Creech fails to show why we should treat it as one. Wolverine



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splinterlog

posted April 30, 2007 at 10:34 pm


I believe that the church ought to offer universal healthcare coverage, like it used to, but that to look to the state to provide for us is devoid of virtue and dignity. Hear Hear! This was after all a major institution of the Church before state and private institutions crowded it out. However, there are still places in the world (namely South Asia and Africa) where the Church still offers the best quality healthcare for little to no cost.The Canadian case is interesting because it is a Baptist minister Tommy Douglas who pushed for universal healthcare on the basis of biblical principles! I don’t know how far this is the case in places like the UK or Scadinavia.



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canuckelhead

posted April 30, 2007 at 11:04 pm


Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone had free universal healthcare? Sure, but at what cost and to whom? Ultimately, the poor would be made to pay for the wealthy individual’s cosmetic surgeries and everyone would be forced to queue eternally while waiting for basic care. jurisnaturalist | Homepage | 04.30.07 – 4:23 pm | #You’re absolutely right that universal healthcare is not the cure-all panacea that some make it out to be. It leads to such discussions as: what qualifies as elective surgery and in whose mind is it elective? queues do formin ERs and people get very worked up over medical staff’s judgment as to who’s situation is most serious, etc.There is a burgeoning “third tier” of healthcare presently d’vlping in Canada which is basically a form of paying your way to the front of the queue in private clinics. In the city where I live, several recent deaths related to poor ER medical judgments as to who among those waiting was truly in the worst condition has led to expensive lawsuits and costly gov’t investigations. Is U-HC abused in Canada? definitely! overwhelmingly so? I doubt it.



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jesse

posted April 30, 2007 at 11:23 pm


CS Lewis also wrote the essay “Willing Slaves of the Welfare State.” I thought this article might argue that opposition to universal health care is unbiblical, which sounds like a claim many here would make. The issue isn’t whether we should give to those in need. The Bible clearly says we should do this. The issue is whether it is moral to forcibly take money from others under threat of imprisonment in order to accomplish our “charity.” I’ve never read a convincing case (or even an attempt at such a case) here.Those points relate to the moral side of the issue. But the discussion fails to consider the pragmatic side, as well, which is why it’s sometimes irritating to read theologians discuss policy. What if something like Hillary-care did more harm than good?



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Kristi

posted April 30, 2007 at 11:39 pm


This is the too sad truth—that because we who call ourselves Christians will not put our money where our mouth is, as we are called to MULTIPLE times in the Bible, we expect the government to make the shortfall. Our government is not a theocracy, however I do think that it is within the government’s responsibility to provide health care for those who cannot afford it. Universal health care would be more than is the government’s responsibility AND it would create horrible queues for even life saving treatments, let alone elective. The answer isn’t going to be simple.



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neuro_nurse

posted May 1, 2007 at 12:56 am


There are some interesting comments here. I will add two thoughts: First, I have been on staff in two county hospitals that provide care for the indigent population. We already have universal health care. The problem with the system as it stands is that we pay to care for the end stages of disease states (expensive), rather than treat them early or prevent them all together (a good investment). The second is, and I know I m going to catch flack for this, I have a couple of nurse friends who have visited Cuba and seen their health care system in action, and it puts the U.S. to shame. Europeans come to Cuba for the high quality of the medical care. It has always bewildered me to hear on the one hand that the U.S. is the wealthiest on earth, and on the other hand we can t afford universal health care when counties far less affluent than ours manage to do so.



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phil

posted May 1, 2007 at 12:58 am


Before we call on the government to do something, the church needs to be doing its job and being a community where people’s physical needs are able to be provided for. Was Jesus’ bringing of the year of jubilee for the state or for his new kingdom?



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Gary

posted May 1, 2007 at 1:26 am


Liberal compassion: Liberal “A” feels compassion for person “B”, so steals from person “C” to give to person “B”.



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JohnH

posted May 1, 2007 at 3:02 am


Wonder how far Douglas would get today by citing the Bible in Canada?



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Canuckelhead

posted May 1, 2007 at 3:07 am


“Wonder how far Douglas would get today by citing the Bible in Canada?” JohnH | 04.30.07 – 9:07 pm | #and by that, you mean…???



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Mike Hayes

posted May 1, 2007 at 3:58 am


What source of funding might enable us to avoid objections to universal health care? What part of the budgets we all have might enable those of us who see the value in universal health care to just do it?



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Kristi

posted May 1, 2007 at 4:12 am


Neuro Nurse is right—there are countries where universal health care works—I believe that Sweden is also a good example. Yes, there are many of us who would be willing to give a percentage of our budget towards universal health care, but there are far too many who would protest being “forced” (ie taxed) to pay up for those they would see as “needing to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps”. This is a democratic society, so we get to vote on such things, and as long as we live in a country where the individual is more important than the whole, where being able to spend frivolously, and amass wealth, are more important values than the health and wellbeing of the whole, well this is the way it is going to be.



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jurisnaturalist

posted May 1, 2007 at 4:19 am


Kristi, if everyone on this blog voted together and agreed that you should buy us each a Bible, would that make it right? What if you could “afford” it? Utility does not justify theft. Collectivized action apart from the peculiar ethic belonging to the church is devoid of virtue. We do not do what we do because it works. We follow Christ in response to His call.



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butch

posted May 1, 2007 at 4:28 am


Before we call on the government to do something, the church needs to be doing its job and being a community where people’s physical needs are able to be provided for. Phil We are discussing political solutions and some suggest it is the churches job. If you think so leave here and go to work in your church to provide healthcare. If universal healthcare becomes law then refuse to accept it, then ask your congregation to provide healthcare.



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butch

posted May 1, 2007 at 4:30 am


Liberal compassion: Liberal “A” feels compassion for person “B”, so steals from person “C” to give to person “B”. Gary I wish I had been able to state my position so simply and clear!



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butch

posted May 1, 2007 at 4:35 am


What source of funding might enable us to avoid objections to universal health care? What part of the budgets we all have might enable those of us who see the value in universal health care to just do it? Mike Hayes Mike that is silly, you seem to think we might forgo the things we want now to pay for healthcare. I’m not about to give up anything to pay for someone else’s healthcare. Let them pull themselves up by their boot straps.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 1, 2007 at 4:42 am


Our military budget eats up the money for universal health care. Every time you see a politician christening a new aircraft carrier, or a new tank come rolling off of the assembly line, say goodbye to the $$ that could be spent on decent health care.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 1, 2007 at 4:43 am


Liberal compassion: Liberal “A” feels compassion for person “B”, so steals from person “C” to give to person “B”. GaryDo I take this to mean that you are person “C” and you don’t give a whiff about person A or B?



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butch

posted May 1, 2007 at 4:45 am


say goodbye to the $$ that could be spent on decent health care. Sarasotakid Arms are the biggest import our economy has and to reduce our war machine factories we will collapse over night.



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butch

posted May 1, 2007 at 4:47 am


Do I take this to mean that you are person “C” and you don’t give a whiff about person A or B? Sarasotakid I’m either A or B and I don’t give a whiff about “C”. I noticed that I didn’t even deserve quotation marks?



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canuckelhead

posted May 1, 2007 at 5:40 am


Liberal compassion: Liberal “A” feels compassion for person “B”, so steals from person “C” to give to person “B”. Gary | 04.30.07 – 7:31 pm | #OR, Liberal “A” feels compassion for person “B,” and therefore conscientiously convinces persons “C,” “D,” “E,” to help pass legislation whereby the COLLECTIVE WILL of the majority (A,C,D,E) is consciously directed to assist person “B” who may be a lazy, selfish bum but nevertheless qualifies as “neighbor” in Jesus’ directive to love your neighbor b/c Jesus never said “love your neighbor**” (**see marginal note) **unless, of course, your neighbor is a lazy, selfish bum; in that case, common sense dictates that it’s your responsibility to chastize and harangue him and withhold basic medical aid from him until he becomes a worthy contributor to capitalism just like you are which, after all, is the real basis for righteous standing before God



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moderatelad

posted May 1, 2007 at 6:17 am


Yes – there are some places that it is ‘working’ but will it keep on working. Why has England started to restablish private insurance? My sister has lived there for almost 20 years and she keeps a fund available so that if anything would go wrong – she would fly back here and get into a county hospital before she would try a hospital over there with her live. How about Canada where when the doctor’s office has used up their allotted funds for the month – they just close up until the first of the month. We should move slow on this because once it is established – you run the risk of the state making decisions about your health care based on their assessment and you will loose you ability to sue your doctor. Later – .



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butch

posted May 1, 2007 at 6:31 am


We should move slow on this because once it is established – you run the risk of the state making decisions about your health care based on their assessment Mod That is exactly what happens with many who have insurance now. I agree we need to move slowly but we need to move. The biggest problem now is poor preventive medicine.



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butch

posted May 1, 2007 at 6:48 am


What if we start with government paid preventive and see if it saves the cost of total care?



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Kristi

posted May 1, 2007 at 7:04 am


I never said that it wasn’t right to make sure every single person in America has health care. I simply stated the unpleasant fact that we are in a culture that encourages people to hang on to their money rather than share it. I certainly did NOT state that that is the correct attitude. My thesis statement is my last sentence—that as long as these things are the predominant values in our culture, things cannot change. Once more people believe in Christ’s message of community and service, THEN people with those values will be elected—and it is OUR job to spread his value system, not the government. At this current moment it does appear that not enough people in government are “following his call”. I will continue to fight for those who don’t have a voice, as I know that you will, and everything I stated in my last post does not counter that commitment. However, I believe in taking a good hard look, and facing the fact that all most politicians want to know about is the bottom line—NOT what is the right thing to do.



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Donny

posted May 1, 2007 at 1:30 pm


Look Lefties, Make up your mind on state and Church will you. If we are to force the Christian principal of taking care of your neighbor, then put into law the whole Gospel. Do away with your promotion of Secualr Humanisn, do not use taxes to fund your communism health care programs, stop supporting abortion for birth control, stop encouraging and teaching children to engage in homosexual sex, and teach the unedited version of the New Testament. You know, become religiously “right.”



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James

posted May 1, 2007 at 3:37 pm


The issue of universal health care, if it were limited to Christian interests and Biblical teaching, would be something absolutely inappropriate to impose in the United States, as the previous comment states. However, one needs only to look at the world around us to realize that issues of health care, like other issues relating to justice and poverty, are not limited to Christians. This, like so many matters relating to progressive Christian values, is something that people of faith and people without faith who are concerned about poverty and injustice can make a common cause about.



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squeaky

posted May 1, 2007 at 3:49 pm


Donny–perhaps you also should make up your mind about separating church and state. How is relying on the state to legislate your brand of righteousness any different from what you accuse lefties of doing?



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moderatelad

posted May 1, 2007 at 4:23 pm


Historically – hospitals in the US 50 years ago were institutions that were supported by churches/denominations that had started them many years prior. We would not have as many fine hospitals as we do today if it were not for the churches taking on the healthcare needs of their communities. A signifcant percentage of the nursing homes and other institutions that care for our elderly are currently owned by denominations or other not-for-profit organizations that look at care for the elderly as a ministry or obligation. So the church has done it’s part. Gov’t regulations are causing these institutions to have to sell out to the insurance companies or gov’t control and some have closed their doors.I think that the church historically has been the ‘Good Samaritan’ but it is difficult today. Blessings – .



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sqqueaky

posted May 1, 2007 at 4:53 pm


“Ultimately, the poor would be made to pay for the wealthy individual’s cosmetic surgeries and everyone would be forced to queue eternally while waiting for basic care.” Well, I don’t know how true that is–just a couple weeks ago, my Dad had to pay to have a growth removed because the insurance company saw it as “cosmetic”. The Dr. saw it as pre-cancerous…



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squeaky

posted May 1, 2007 at 4:56 pm


Here’s another thought–with all this fear of being forced to pay for someone else’s healthcare–aren’t we already doing that (those of us who have insurance)? Which is better, the government taking our money for other’s health care needs, or the wealthy insurance companies?



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moderatelad

posted May 1, 2007 at 5:19 pm


squeaky | 05.01.07 – 11:01 am | #the way the have screwed up SS and you want to let them have a shot at health care? Later – .



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squeaky

posted May 1, 2007 at 7:23 pm


And the insurance companies are doing a great job? How is a tumor removed by doctors because it could be “pre-cancerous” considered a “cosmetic” procedure? I think we probably could all agree that there are definitely problems with our health care system regardless of what we think the solution is. I can’t speak for Canucklehead, although my take on the Canadian health care system from the Canadian’s I have spoken to is that it definitely has its problems. However, when I ask if they would prefer the US system, they vehemently reply “no”. Rubber hits the road, the Canadians I have spoken to would stick to the system they have. Perhaps the problem is we are trying too hard to find the “perfect” health care model. I don’t think it exists, but certainly there are “better” models.



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moderatelad

posted May 1, 2007 at 7:33 pm


squeaky | 05.01.07 – 1:28 pm | #I believe that Canadians like their system as they can come to the US and get what needs to be done – done and they don’t have to wait like they do in the Canada. I agree with you as there should be a system that would work for all. But keep in mind that there is a significant percentage (47% to 54% depending upon which gov’t agency you log onto) of the uninsured that could could afford to purchase coverage but have made the determination that they do not need to at this time. As imperfect as we are – the US in the leader in the world when it comes to new medications and surgical procedures in the world. So lets not throw the baby out with the bath. Later – .



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jurisnaturalist

posted May 1, 2007 at 7:44 pm


We get so confused in our thinking when we try to define luxury goods as rights. Clean air is a luxury good. We can afford it now, but many people around the world would prefer a factory next door pouring out toxins to starvation. The same goes for health care. No one has a right to good health care. No one has a right to walk up to a doctor and say, “Treat me, now, for free.” Health care is a good, freely transferable and exchangable. The gross level of intervention and regulation by government has destroyed much of the relevant information necessary for efficient economic calculus. This has occured mostly to the benefit of insurance companies, large HMO’s etc, whom have sought political favors on a market where they were having trouble competing with (gasp) charitable institutions. The solution? Get rid of the intervention. Close the door to all whom would seek political favors, and let everyone buy and sell freely on the market.



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moderatelad

posted May 1, 2007 at 7:53 pm


jurisnaturalist | Homepage | 05.01.07 – 1:49 pm | #Good post. A doctor friend of mine told me that the two factors that he believes have caused the rise in clost of Health Care are in no order… 1 Lawyers – it is a medical practice not a science. Take two asprin and call me in the morning does not work for everyone. 2 80% of our HC costs is spent on those 80 years and older. Let them die with dignity and not do all the machines that only delay the final outcome.Later – .



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Donny

posted May 1, 2007 at 8:41 pm


Squeaky, I have no desire to push Christian culture on any populace. I wish Progressives and their Marxist socialism were as honest. I wish they would just be honest about outlawing us. Hate crimes legislation is simply anti-Christian laws covered up with bogusness. Universal health care?Go ahead. But those of us that choose to get insurance on our own, do not tax us. And take away our taxes for abortions, welfare checks, mental health facilities etc., etc., etc..Let communuites and cultures help their own. Guess what? Christians will be just fine. Who and what do you think is paying for the poor and needy and the worlds suffering now?Certainly isn’t Marxists. Chavez won’r even stop the crime in his OWN cities. Evil loves evil. I wish just once, a Progressive could be honest about what and who they are. Their Humanist Marxists through and through. This pretending to be Christian is laughable and sad, as so many are destroyed through its delusion but dance as if the party is never going to end. Any mature person knows it does. Remember it has been disproven that religion is the opiate of the people is.Opium is. And who and what legalizes drugs in the western world? “Proigessive” laws. C’mon people. Wake up.



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Kristi

posted May 1, 2007 at 9:04 pm


So why exactly are we Marxists? Because we believe that we have a responsibility to use our excess to help those who have not? I think Christ said that WAY before Karl Marx did!



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Kristi

posted May 1, 2007 at 9:17 pm


Also to Donny—and when did we start “teaching” homosexual sex in school? There is no slot a-slot a or tab b-tab b diagrams going on in schools that I know of! However if you mean that it is being taught that homosexuality is not a reason to denigrate and ostracize a person, well then maybe that IS being taught, along with the inappropriateness of other prejudices—ONLY GOD GETS TO JUDGE!



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Kristi

posted May 1, 2007 at 9:22 pm


To James-Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that universal health care and other issues were only Christian issues. I apologize if that is what I seemed like I was saying. I was just explaining my thoughts on what our responsibility as Christians is in a democratic society, and how we should work to change things from the ground up, as well as attempting it from the top down, which is many times like talking to a brick wall. We should always attempt to challenge the status quo, and our political leaders’ consciences.



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Kristi

posted May 1, 2007 at 9:36 pm


Okay, I’m going to take a wack at you jurisnaturalist:So are you saying that you do not believe that those who are making money off of poisoning our air and making us ill have a responsibility to clean up their act? They can have the same factory, and employ the same workers for the same pay, but it won’t make them as much money. And we know that they won’t do it because we ask nicely—so we shouldn’t expect those who have the power to make them do so, to exercise that power? It is an ethical responsibility, whether Christian or not to pay for the recovery of damages that you have grown wealthy creating! And about universal health care—those with loads can get everything they need health wise, plus tidy up a saggy, wrinkly body, plus they don’t have to live by that polluting factory. I mean how grossly immoral is that! And don’t tell me that you think everyone in America who is wealthy actually earned all that money! And again, we shouldn’t expect those in power to say, hey people are dying do something about it?! Some of your comments smack of Social Darwinism, and make me wonder where you are getting your ideas about what is and is not a social responsibility.



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canuckelhead

posted May 1, 2007 at 10:14 pm


“I can’t speak for Canucklehead, although my take on the Canadian health care system from the Canadian’s I have spoken to is that it definitely has its problems. However, when I ask if they would prefer the US system, they vehemently reply “no”. Rubber hits the road, the Canadians I have spoken to would stick to the system they have.” Squeaky”I believe that Canadians like their system as they can come to the US and get what needs to be done – done and they don’t have to wait like they do in the Canada.” ModLad Any human system, of course, has it’s weaknesses and U-HC is certainly open to it’s abuses. I’ve always said that the only reason Canada can afford to have the kind of health care we do is b/c we depend on Uncle Sam for defense, which prompts for interesting politics north of the 49th. E.g our new (January 06) Conservative gov’t is taking lots of heat for cozying up to W by staying in Afghanistan in what is essentially a miniature Iraq – 34 dead Canadian soldiers in the past year. I didn’t know we had that many in the forces. In any event, a month ago my sister tripped down their stairs and broke both C2 and C3 in her neck. Surgery was virtually immediate and (thankfully) three weeks later she’s walking around w/ a neck brace. She was telling me that “it didn’t cost a dime” until (w/ April 30 being tax deadline day in Canada) I asked her, “then how come I just sent 42% of my 2006 income to the feds?” Having said that, one thing we Cdns do not fear such as I’ve seen occur w/ many of my American pals from (U.S.) seminary days, is a catastrophic illness/injury to a child that even the insurance coverage they have thru the church’s they pastor doesn’t begin to cover; several of them have told me that were it not for well-off parents/other family, they’d be wiped out $$wise. Great. Pastors on welfare – there’s something the church can be proud of. Oh, and Donny, here in Canada we could get you some commy-sponsored medication for that thing you’ve got going there.



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canuckelhead

posted May 1, 2007 at 10:18 pm


“80% of our HC costs is spent on those 80 years and older. Let them die with dignity and not do all the machines that only delay the final outcome.” Mod LadM-L: Would that (= die w/ dignity), in your judgement, include the Terry Schiavos in the country? What do you guys think was learned from that fiasco?



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j&d

posted May 1, 2007 at 11:25 pm


“Liberal compassion: Liberal “A” feels compassion for person “B”, so steals from person “C” to give to person “B”.” Gary | 04.30.07 – 7:31 pm | # What are taxes? Is it stealing from person C to give to person B? What about grants for education? Roads? Or should we charge people for what they contribute to society to determine whether they should be allowed to use the road? Should some people be refused care on the basis that they are too poor? Why do we find it so absolutely necessary to live our lives in utter and complete selfishness and individualism?



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MB

posted May 2, 2007 at 12:16 am


I thought the US government was the people? Sometimes when I read these statements it is as if it is a seperate entity. Yet, our government only exists because we the people exist. I also find it curious that we can as a nation find it necessary to have a interstate highway system so that everyone can get around and we the people pay for that. Yet, somehow this is not considered a form of socialism. Or is it? It also seems to me it maybe difficult for some to have ability to pursue: life, liberty and happiness if they are sick and can’t afford a visit to the doctor or hospital. What’s worse is the idea of being able to get to the doc and not be able to afford the prescription or the tests needed to either cure or figure out what’s going on. I also find it curious in a nation that is supposed to be so wealthy that many are unable to afford a doctor or insurance. Yet many who can not afford health care work 40 hours plus a week and dont’ spend frivously. Something is wrong with the picture.



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Bren

posted May 2, 2007 at 12:40 am


Canucklehead is mostly correct in his description of the history of medicare in Canada. Where he errs is in the timing. Tommy Douglas did not begin the New Democratic Party, but the CCF (the Canadian Commonwealth Federation) which preceded it. It was his own experience as a child on the farm–his family could not afford hospital costs, and therefore someone was going to amputate Tommy’s leg (on the kitchen table) and then a doctor came by and fixed him up for free (no amputation required) that taught him it was wrong (and unworkable) to depend on the generosity of a doctor who might be in the area. And that there was/is a compelling need for universal healthcare. Universal healthcare is not free, in that each of us pays a healthcare policy premium which goes into the healthcare “pot” for distribution to hospitals, doctors, whatever. What’s ‘free’ is the freedom from worrying about paying for medical care–and denying oneself the visit to the doctor, the cancer treatment, the whatever, because one doesn’t have the thousands of dollars it would cost. It’s my view that universal healthcare is right, both from the Christian perspective, and from the perspective of ‘the public good’. If we believe that we are all equal in God’s eyes, those who are sick deserve healthcare without concern for whether the person is poor or wealthy, old or young. And for those who don’t want to make this just a Christian argument, we can add that all of society (including the economy) gains when everyone is healthy.



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neuro_nurse

posted May 2, 2007 at 1:38 am


jurisnaturalist, “No one has a right to good health care.” Please see the WHO Declaration of Alma-Ata. http://www.who.int/hpr/NPH/docs/declaration_almaata.pdf canuckelhead, I am very glad to hear that your sister did not have neurological deficits as a result of her fall. I started my career as a neuro nurse working spinal cord rehab. A C2 injury can result in complete paralysis including the diaphragm. Christopher Reeves, who I heard speak at the 2000 annual meeting of the Society of Neurosciences in New Orleans, was a C2 quad.M-L: Would that (= die w/ dignity), in your judgement, include the Terry Schiavos in the country? What do you guys think was learned from that fiasco?These decisions are made every day. Michael Schiavo was his wife s legal next of kin. The decision to withdraw medical treatment from his wife was his alone. Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of “over-zealous” treatment. Here one does not will to cause death; one’s inability to impede it is merely accepted. The decisions should be made by the patient if he is competent and able or, if not, by those legally entitled to act for the patient, whose reasonable will and legitimate interests must always be respected. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2278 http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/pt3sect2chpt2art5.htm Have I ever participated in withdrawing care from a patient and letting her or him die? More times than I can possibly count. moderatelad,Let them die with dignity and not do all the machines that only delay the final outcome.I could give you an earful on that topic! I m an ICU nurse who spent a year volunteering in Ethiopia. We spend thousands of dollars per day keeping moribund patients alive in the ICU because their families want us to do everything. The amount of money spend in one day prolonging one person s suffering could save thousands of lives in a developing country. Donny,But those of us that choose to get insurance on our ownDo you really think anyone chooses not to have health insurance?Remember it has been disproven that religion is the opiate of the people is. (sic) Opium is.Do you have a problem with opium? Morphine is an opium alkaloid that I administer nearly every day that I work. In fact, it would not only be unethical for me to withhold analgesia from a patient in pain, I could potentially be sued and lose my license for doing so. Opium, IMHO, is one of God s greatest gifts to us. If you were to suffer an MI (myocardial infarction, AKA: a heart attack), morphine would be one of the first drugs the nurses would give you and I guarantee, you would be very grateful for it!



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neuro_nurse

posted May 2, 2007 at 1:55 am


Courtesy and Respect: You agree that you will be courteous to every Beliefnet member, even those whose beliefs you think are false or objectionable. When debating, express your opinion about a person’s ideas, not about them personally. You agree not to make negative personal remarks about other Beliefnet members. You agree not to engage in derogatory name-calling, including calling anyone evil, a liar, Satanic, demonic, antichrist, a Nazi, or other inflammatory comparisons. God’s Politics Moderator | 04.30.07 – 10:54 am community@staff.beliefnet.com (After removing a couple of responses to Donny on the Mairead Corrigan Maguire: Nobel Peace Laureate Shot with Israeli Rubber-coated Steel Bullet thread) Does this include equating progressivism to Marxism and questioning our commitment to Christ?Progressive could be honest about what and who they are. Their Humanist Marxists through and through. This pretending to be Christian is laughable and sad Donny | 05.01.07 – 2:46 pm



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Canuckelhead

posted May 2, 2007 at 2:37 am


M-L, we recognize it was/is a miracle altho, of course, the medical people don’t call it that; when we first heard, my wife, who is a nurse, prepared me for the worst; so we’re verry thankful



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Ngchen

posted May 2, 2007 at 3:32 am


I’d like to chime in with my $0.02. To all the right-wingers: the market is excellent for distributing most things; however, there are exceptions. The classic exception is the example of negative externalities. The polluting factory is the typical example. The benefits of the factory (to the owner, and to a lesser degree the workers) are concentrated, yet the costs are spread over the population (who derive little to no benefit) as a whole. Most importantly, the decision makers using a pure market model are not those mainly affected by the pollution. Not regulating the factory would force the population at large to bear the cost at the benefit of a few, and is clearly unjust. Regulators balance environmental concerns with economic costs all the time; to claim that regulation inevitably kills business is inaccurate. Oh and BTW, it is far from true that the left is a monolith of atheistic, pro-abortion, hippie communists. LIkewise, it is far from true that the right is a monolith of racist lazy fanatical thugs. To those on the left: something that I find left-wingers tend to forget is the fact that there is no such thing as a free lunch. If A isn’t paying for something, then someone else (an individual or collective of people) is. Some things like basic education we as a society have decided we will pay for and mandate(public education). It probably is true that most things are most efficiently allocated by the market; but essentials (what economists call low elasticity items) may not be. Health care is such an item. Food is also, and I’m wondering why we have a health care crisis but not a food crisis (at least in the US). I think it would be great if the President would appoint a blue-ribbon commission to examine all the aspects of our health-care system, to see what’s working and what isn’t, and where all the money is really going. We spend more on health care than most other countries, but aren’t getting the best care. The only way to solve the problem of too much cost is to figure out efficiency improvements. Otherwise, any scheme would simply move costs around. I myself would love to be able to figure this puzzle out and maybe contribute toward solving it.



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Gary Schrag

posted May 2, 2007 at 3:33 am


Golly, some of us United Methodists didn’t know such good could come out of Asbury Theological Seminary. Thank you Chuck! Gary Schrag



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moderatelad

posted May 2, 2007 at 6:01 am


neuro_nurse | 05.01.07 – 7:43 pm | #I could give you an earful on that topic! I know you could and I believe that we would be in agreement on several item/issues. Having watch my father die in the hospital from a post operative infection – it opened my eyes to many things.Death with dignity – and I am not looking for a bunch of ‘Dr. Jacks’. If you are born – you will die. That decision should be made with the person that is ill – their doctor and family. Offer them the quality of life not always the quanity of life. The Terry issue – a great argument for an advance directive regardless of age. When I go – I want to go like my grand father, peacefully in his sleep. Not kicking and screaming like the passengers in his car. (tee hee) Blessings – .



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Canuckelhead

posted May 2, 2007 at 6:07 am


“Canucklehead is mostly correct in his description of the history of medicare in Canada. Where he errs is in the timing. Tommy Douglas did not begin the New Democratic Party, but the CCF (the Canadian Commonwealth Federation) which preceded it.” Bren Bren, you’re very right, of course. I just didn’t think this was the place for the minutia of J.S. Woodsworth and Canadian socialist history. I doubt our American friends are interested in that. Heck, I doubt most of our Cdn friends are interested in that, d’yathink?



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Bren

posted May 2, 2007 at 7:44 am


Cdns were interested enough to vote for Tommy Douglas as greatest Canadian, tho, Canuckelhead. You’re right that the political party name may not interest American friends. However, the business of Douglas’ nearly losing his leg because his parents couldn’t afford to pay the hospital bills needs to be placed in history as in, it happened a while ago. It was Douglas’ personal experience that caused him to recognize that it was, and is, WRONG to have this happen to anyone. Particularly since Douglas was a minister, which is important to many beliefnet posters, I do believe this Canadian experience is a model that Americans can, and should, consider.



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Daniel

posted May 2, 2007 at 4:24 pm


Robbing Peter to Pay Paul? jesse writes above:The issue isn’t whether we should give to those in need. The Bible clearly says we should do this. The issue is whether it is moral to forcibly take money from others under threat of imprisonment in order to accomplish our “charity.” I’ve never read a convincing case (or even an attempt at such a case) here.This is an excellent question, and I agree that those of us who view the government as the appropriate agent of action for social problems have not done a very good job of making this case. We assume that the felt need is enough, that America will remember how things were under Herbert Hoover and then how they were under FDR and require no justifications beyond this. What is the justification, then, for requiring people to take affirmative actions rather than merely prohibiting them from doing harm to others an leaving them free to do good only if the choose? First, the argument has a great deal of readily apparent merit. If liberals were suggesting we do this for the good of the person forced to take teh affirmative action then we wuold be Grand Inquisitors, intent on perfecting humanity by force if necessary. And I think that’s what CS Lewis worries about as well. He makes a comment in “Screwtape Proposes a Toast” that political liberalism seeks to chop down those men who would be great (like Martin Luther King) in order to make sure their success doesn’t make the mediocre and less-than-worthy folks feel bad. Ouch, that’s a powerful attack on progressive ideas. But I think all these attacks only work from inside the conservative viewpoint; I do not think they find an objective foothold in the reality of the liberal welfare state. First, the role of givernment is not a theological belief but a political one. And both political beliefs and theological beliefs arise out of the same psychological foundations that pre-exist before we ever try and make sense of the world. But those foundations differ depending on our upbringing prior to encountering the questions. Liberals view the government as We the People. Problems that are systemic in nature, that apply as much in Idaho as in Hawaii or Alabama, can often be adderssed by collective action. Partnering with charities or private interests to accomplish these goals is perfectly acceptable in a liberal framework, we need not have a nanny state. But, second, these actions must be funded by We the People. How shall we distribute the bill? Progressive taxes assume that part of the reason the wealthy are wealthy is because they have used the services and benefits of society to become so and therefore have more of a financial responsibility to maintain that system. It woul be hard for Wal-Mart to argue they haven’t used roads, sewers, watersheds, airwaves, welfare, medicaid, unemployment insurance, social security, and other state benefits to subsidize their large incremental cash flows. As a general rule, the more wealth you make in a year, the more you have a responsibility to reinvest in maintaining those same resources. But, third, this is not intended to cut down the greatest men in order to prevent others from feeling like failures – nor is that the result. It would be ludicrous to think that anyone feels better about their lot in life because Bill Gates has a higher tax bill than they do. Likewise, it is impossible to argue that Gates has been prevented from distinguishing himself and making greta contributions to society. Warren Buffett complains often and at length about how unfair it is that he pays less in taxes than his secretary does because the weathy get much of their income from capital investments, which is all taxed at a much lower rate and tax exempt in the case of interest income. So, what about health care? If the Constitutions’ claims are founded on fundamental principles of integrity, as any legal theorist would agree they are, then it must mean something to have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit if happiness. A child born into poverty should not die because of it – it was beyond their control. A person shoudl not die of starvation simply because we decide we’d rather horde the food under lock and key before we give them sustenance. These are systemic commitments, Constitutional rights. We can and should hold people accountable for their behavior, but policy and charity both work only with a broad brush. Feeding and treating the unworthy is the price of feeding and treating the worthy. And, according to Jesus, it has value in and of itself. So, the argument has pretty string roots in bipartisan political ideas and in a fairly neutral reading of scripture and church tradition. I think attacks on it complaining about having to do the right thing fall on deaf ears around here for good reason.



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Aaron

posted May 2, 2007 at 4:55 pm


2 80% of our HC costs is spent on those 80 years and older. Let them die with dignity and not do all the machines that only delay the final outcome. Interesting, do you have a source for that?



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Aaron

posted May 2, 2007 at 4:58 pm


I can just see Jesus foistering the responsibility of health care onto Ceasar, thereby lessening the personal responsibility of his followers. He was trying to create an earthly utopia afterall.



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moderatelad

posted May 2, 2007 at 5:04 pm


Aaron | 05.02.07 – 11:00 am | #Friends in the medical field from doctors to insurance people. I believe that you can google it and find out more. I have also heard people use the 70% by 70′s and older people.AGAIN – I ‘do not’ want to hire a Dr. Jack! It is just that to die well rather than hocked up to all kinds of machines and then have to turn them off is deeath with dignity. Later – .



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kevin s.

posted May 2, 2007 at 5:17 pm


Rev. Creech? I have no idea who that is. “M-L: Would that (= die w/ dignity), in your judgement, include the Terry Schiavos in the country? What do you guys think was learned from that fiasco?” That was a fiasco that had implications that reached beyond care for the incapacitated. At issue were questions of who could choose life or death for someone else. In this case, you had a man who CLEARLY had ulterior motives (financial, relational etc…) to end Terry Schiavo’s life. To this end, Universal Health Care advocates should be very weary of how they broach the government-controlled care concept in America. The moment Americans get a whiff that government might be deciding what’s best for them, you can kiss it goodbye. Having said that, how could the government afford NOT to refuse care for the terminally ill? And if we are already (ostensibly) providing health care for children, or at least funding it, where does this rise to the level of Biblical mandate?We have to pay for it one way or another.



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squeaky

posted May 2, 2007 at 6:57 pm


Clearly had motives–as we ascertain from the media. Or did you spend significant time with this man to be able to judge his heart? Those may have been at issue, but also at issue may have been how difficult it had become for him to see his wife suffer. None of us was in that situation, and none of us have the right to judge such an extremely personal and family matter.



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neuro_nurse

posted May 2, 2007 at 6:59 pm


moderatelad, “a great argument for an advance directive regardless of age.” That is probably the most important lesson to be learned from that fiasco!I am not looking for a bunch of ‘Dr. Jacks’. If you are born – you will die.Of course not, and I don t want to give the impression that I am some angel of death. Death is a part of life, and as a nurse it is my responsibility to help make that transition as easy as possible for both the patient and her/his family. When the dying person and her/his family have come to terms with death and are prepared to accept it, death can be beautiful. Medical technology has made it ugly. IMHO, our culture does not accept death, which is one of the reasons so few people have advanced directives people don t want to talk about it. Even my mother, who is a nurse, did not want to discuss the advanced directive I wrote several years ago. I will also opine that most lay people do not have a real understanding of medical ethics. Many people seem to believe that if we can keep someone alive, we should or have to. I met my wife while caring for her brother who was in a motor vehicle accident. He remains in a minimally conscious state and his parents take care of him at home 24/7. Everyone agrees that he would not want this. Unfortunately, at the time of his injury his parents were not made aware of the extent of his brain injury. If they had, they probably would have decided to withdraw care and let him die. My wife, who is now my legal next of kin, and I have had long discussions about end of life care, and I feel very comfortable with her making those decisions for me if I should become incapacitated because she knows the realities of quality of life. (Contrary to popular belief, people do not wake up from persistent vegetative states. Please don t tell me about all of the anecdotal reports from the popular press Search the medical literature and tell me what you find or don t bother, because I already know what you will find. neuro_nurse is more than just my moniker) kevin s.At issue were questions of who could choose life or death for someone else.That issue is already legally defined. Regardless of whether or not Michael Schivo had ulterior motives (financial, relational etc…) to end Terry Schiavo’s life, legally, that decision was his and no one else s. What was unethical about the Schivo case is that the public heard about it in the first place. It was a private decision. Peace!



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neuro_nurse

posted May 2, 2007 at 7:02 pm


squeaky | 05.02.07 – 1:02 pm Thank you. You made the point I decided not to attempt.



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kevin s.

posted May 2, 2007 at 7:34 pm


Squeaky,Your comment about looking into the heart cites the problem with allowing people to choose who lives and who dies, regardless of how the law reads. At any rate, the same technologies that make death ugly for the elderly allows others to live for 15-20 years. At present, insurance companie generally compensate for the difference by gouging the elderly.With a taxpayer-funded system, we are going to pull the plug. Think the AARP is going to be cool with a system the favors the young over the old? No dice. So who gets underrepresented in he system? Whichever minority happens to be in the wrong slice of the pie.



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canuckelhead

posted May 2, 2007 at 7:35 pm


“Particularly since Douglas was a minister, which is important to many beliefnet posters, I do believe this Canadian experience is a model that Americans can, and should, consider.” Bren | 05.02.07 – 1:49 am | # Right on.



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Aaron

posted May 2, 2007 at 8:01 pm


With a taxpayer-funded system, we are going to pull the plug. Think the AARP is going to be cool with a system the favors the young over the old? Sounds like Logan’s Run.



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neuro_nurse

posted May 2, 2007 at 8:21 pm


kevin s. I will be the first to tell you that end of life issues are a very sensitive topic. For some of the reasons you brought up, many hospitals now have a policy to ask patients whether or not they have an advanced directive upon admission and if not, to provide them with information about advanced directives.the same technologies that make death ugly for the elderly allows others to live for 15-20 yearsI wouldn t be doing what I do for a living if that were not true. However, I believe that among medical professionals, medical ethics lag decades behind medical technology, and that the majority of lay people do not have enough understanding of medical ethics to comment competently on decisions that are made every day. Medical professionals tread the thin line between ethics and law every day. It is not something we take lightly, our livelihood, the livelihood of our families, not to mention the lives of our patients, depend upon our professional judgment. The example of the belief many people have that people wake up after years of coma is a prime example of lay peoples misconceptions about medical care and ethics. I have seen extraordinary, even miraculous occurrences, but they are extremely rare and not to be expected. Should extraordinary care be given to everyone for the practically non-existent chance that a miracle will occur? Are you willing to pay for that? I worked neurotrauma for the majority of my 15 year nursing career. I ve seen the reality of neurological insults including anoxic injuries (global, as opposed to focal neurological injuries) of the type that Terry Schivo suffered. I assure you, you really do not want to know what I have seen. To put things in perspective, Americans have come to expect the extraordinary. By that I mean care that is not available to the most people on the planet. As I mentioned in a previous thread, I have participated in many cardiac resuscitations. When I worked in Ethiopia I watched a man drop dead of a cardiac arrest. We didn t have a defibrillator or critical care capacity. There was no point to starting CPR. That man s family were not upset that we didn t do everything. Actually, we did do everything we could. In developing countries, diarrhea and upper respiratory infections are the most common causes of death of children under 5 years old. We spend thousands of dollars a day keeping dead people alive in this country because we can. That amount of money could prevent hundreds of deaths by simply digging wells for clean water, providing oral rehydration solution, vaccinations, prenatal care, and nutrition programs, all of which are extraordinarily inexpensive in comparison to extraordinary care we consider routine in this country. Peace!



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Eric

posted May 3, 2007 at 4:26 am


Well done Chuck. You found a ridiculous column on the web and picked it apart. I can run circles around a five year old too. I really don’t see the Bible speaking to universal health care one way or another. The Bible speaks to how we should order our lives. Yes, we, as individuals and as members of a church, should care for those who are less fortunate. It’s a big leap though to say that this means universal health care is called for in scripture.



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Lauryan

posted May 8, 2007 at 2:35 am


I agree that there are vast amounts of the population who go without health care because of lack of affordability. The “system” as it exists is broken.But do we really want to take health care out of the private sector and put it into the hands of the government?The poor have Medi-CAL and the middle -to upper-middle income earners can afford the premiums. The rich can self insure if they wish. There are most definitely those who fall through the cracks. As someone who has participated in the free enterprise system of health care for my entire life, I recently had a startling awakening at what it may be like to have free health care from the government. Our family recently took in a foster child who is on Medi-Cal. I have never, in my entire life, been treated as badly as I was when viewed as “on the government dole”. We received what was obviously incorrect advice for this child, so we then went and had him seen by our own pediatric professional, and then got excellent care advice. What an eye opening experience. The doctor that saw him under the Medi-Cal system, absolutely did not want to treat him. When I told our pediatrician what the other doctor has said, she was in shock.Additionally, people come from all over the world to get their surgeries done here in the U.S. Why? Because in many of the countries, including Canada I might add, have immense waiting lists for procedures. In some cases, years. By virtue of our free enterprise system, we attract the most talented doctors. Who do you want doing your heart bypass? A doctor who is getting paid what he is worth and being recognized in his field, free to move up in the ranks? Or, one that is paid what every other doctor in his specialty is, as part of a system, and is unhappy and feels no motivation because he/she is underpaid?Please don’t get me wrong. I am 100% in agreement that we need to be able to provide health care to those who need it. I just don’t think putting the job in the hands of our government is the way to do it. There is a reason the health care in the U.S. is the best in the world, even despite the obvious flaws in the sytesm. Some time ago, I heard of a Christian program that “shared costs” to pay for health care for the individuals in their system. I’m not sure what their name was, but you made a monthly contribution, and sometimes more than that, to help others who had the need. The idea was that when your time came to need care, others would pitch in and give for you. That is something I could most definitely get behind, because it keeps our medical free enterprise system intact, and privatized.



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l'etranger

posted May 9, 2007 at 2:22 am


Lauryan – I think you are well-meaning but you inaccurate on a lot of this. “There is a reason the health care in the U.S. is the best in the world” Simply not true I’m afraid – please see the Commonwealth Fund’s international comparison work on this. The US probably has the best of the best doctors in the world, but they are such a small number that the overall provision is actually worse than most other western coutries. “Please don’t get me wrong. I am 100% in agreement that we need to be able to provide health care to those who need it. I just don’t think putting the job in the hands of our government is the way to do it.” Fair play – except that the VA health system which is entirely in the hands of the government and entirely socialised is widely considered the best and most efficient part of US healthcare system. The citations in the last 10 years in the academic literature are as long as your arm, and these are making their way into the public presses now too. The trouble is that a lot of the problems with US healthcare are precisely as a result of the market. e.g. Multi-purchasers and multiple providers leading to massive bureaucracy around chasing of the dollars. (bureaucracy costs in US healthcare are about 20-25% of total compared to less than 10% in most socialised systems – and about 2% at the VA). Fragmentation also emerging from the plethora of providers and purchasers making the continuity of patient care a nightmare – often requiring the patient (who is sick and frightened) to piece together the various bits of care they need. In most other systems the primary care doc does this, but in the US the fee for service system of payment for doctors which predominates makes this an unattractive career choice so there aren’t enough of them around. Direct to consumer advertising of pharamceuticals meaning that marketing costs for drug companies are twice as high as R&D, manipulation of patent laws to encourage investment in “me-too” rather than genuinely innovative drugs, and a far higher use of branded drugs as opposed to generics (typically 10% of the cost) than anywhere else in the world. finally private investment in capital – particularly diagnostic imaging equipment – encourages over testing and over-intervention. Jack Wennburg and Elliot Fisher have both shown pretty convincingly that the worst outcomes are in the areas of the US that undertake the most activity. My view is that Christians need to work out their aims – in this case a healthcare system which well actually works, and then work out the best ways of doing this. The rest of the world is doing better by recognising that healthcare isn’t a market in the usual sense because of the massive information and power assymetries, and attempting to create one only creates inefficiencies associated with transaction costs.



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Logica

posted May 3, 2011 at 9:07 am


Hrmmm… Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Greed (the emotional basis of Capitalism) one of the seven deadly sins and therefore of your Devil? Was not Jesus Christ a liberal socialist himself? “The rich man came to Jesus and asked, ‘How might I attain eternal life?’ Jesus replied, ‘Sell all of your possession, give the money to the poor and follow me.’” Furthermore, He says “it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get into the Kingdom of God”. Jesus also got angry when he saw the Temple Grounds being turned into a marketplace. Funny thing is, Jesus was not poor himself… So a guy that has money speaks out against those who also have money… your God is a socialist. If I were not an avowed atheist (mostly because of misogyny, anti-LGBT bigotry, and bitter anti-intellectualism inherent and rampant in the Bible, not to mention contradictions and false logistics), I’d say I could respect Christianity for the liberality/progressivism of Jesus himself. Too bad the better part of his followers are too blind to see it, let alone model after it.



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Logica

posted May 3, 2011 at 9:36 am


Lauryan, Okay listen up. Taking healthcare out of the private sector is EXACTLY what we need to do. If healthcare is privatised, then the hospital business-owners can choose ANY price they want to and they bitch about regulation because they are scared to death of their profit margins being threatened. I honestly and strongly believe that Medical insurance corporations have no place among us and are dangerous, conniving, money-grubbing douchebags with no regard for Human life… unless they are very wealthy and/or powerful. They are as immoral as your mythical Devil. Socialising medicine (ergo, handing it over to the government) would raise income taxes, yes, but it is absolutely necessary for the good of all people. You Christians preach to us atheists about morality… well, here’s a piece of morality for you: It’s immoral to make healthcare (something EVERYONE needs sooner or later)corporatised and left unregulated. It’s immoral to let insurance companies have their way with their clients by revoking coverage as soon as they find out your have some kind of pre-existing condition, are/were a smoker, have or have had any multitude of ailments, or whatever excuse they decide to make to not insure you. It IS moral to strip them of their power and make healthcare either extremely cheap or even free-of-charge (Europe, Canada, and Asia already have the right idea with their free, high-quality, fine-staffed, and short-wait universal healthcare… and no I’m not kidding about all I said just now. Anything to the contrary is just capitalist conservative propaganda. Go ask a Canadian if you think I’m lying). Don’t vote Republican. Clearly, we can see that they cannot be trusted because they are only motivated by Greed and they give Christians a bad name (hell, they drove me to leave the faith and hate Christianity for virtually every conservative policy they support). You can thank the zealous, pious, capitalistic, immoral, conservative Republicans for the increase in Atheism (considering you probably think atheism is an evil thing). I hate to be pain in the butt, but it’s necessary to get the message out there that you guys are doing it wrong and need to support progressivism (regardless of policies you might not like) because it’s we who will make thing better for everyone. This country is founded upon individual freedom and we should have just that… by the way, with socialised medicine, you CAN pick your own doctors and hospitals and you will get good treatment by a good doctor (who is paid well by all the nation’s taxpayers… yep, we’re all helping each other) and you will not have to wait very long to be seen. Capitalist Conservatives like to say everything contrary to this, but if you go ask a Canadian, they will tell you all about their healthcare system with a smile on their faces. The rest of the civilised world is going social with their healthcare because they all know it’s the morally right thing to do. Why aren’t we doing it, too, if we’re so civilised?



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posted 12:30:52pm Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Audio: Jim Wallis on "Value Voters" on The Tavis Smiley Show
Last week Jim was on The Tavis Smiley Show and talked about how the changing political landscape will affect the upcoming '08 election. Jim and Ken Blackwell, former Ohio secretary of state, debated and discussed both the impact of "value voters" on the election and what those values entail. + Down

posted 10:11:56am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Verse of the Day: 'peace to the far and the near'
I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will lead them and repay them with comfort, creating for their mourners the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord; and I will heal them. But the wicked are like the tossing sea that cannot keep still; its waters toss u

posted 9:35:01am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Daily News Digest (by Duane Shank)
the latest news on Mideast, Iran, Romney-Religious right, Blog action day, Turkey, SCHIP, Iran, Aids-Africa, India, Budget, Brownback-slavery apology, Canada, and selected op-eds. Sign up to receive our daily news summary via e-mail » Blog action day. Thousands of bloggers unite in blitz of green

posted 9:31:25am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »




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