Steel City Cowboy

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Let's Go To Church

For many years, the United Methodist Church has advocated for a Single Payer health care system. During the current attempt by the President and Congress to ram a health care bill through before anyone can read it, apparently the UMC has decided that it is going to try to throw its weight around.

Our church (St. Paul's United Methodist) evidently feels it is in the interest of Christian charity to support the current political position of the Democrat party on health insurance reform. They've said as much from the pulpit in the last few weeks (Health care reform now!) and today, they used their facebook account both to disseminate liberal health care reform propaganda and to point people toward a "Health Care Creed" on their website for members to sign.

Of course, this couldn't be what it looks like. You can't preach politics from the pulpit! It's just humanitarianism, my friends. The love of Jesus! I suppose that's a runaround the IRS buys. However, as the Health Care Creed that we are encouraged to consider points out, we should be honest. The United Methodist Church wants a Single Payer health care solution, and wants us to do what we can to bring that about. They stop just short of saying "Call your congressman!" But come on. There is only one group of people who have any desire to and can make this happen, and we all know who they are. Of course, it's not political.

I realize that many of the leadership team at St. Paul's feel strongly about this, and are willing to expend goodwill capital to bring it to the attention of the congregation. The beliefs of many in the congregation are diametrically opposed to this sought-after political solution, though, and believe as I do, that such a Single Payer system or public option that leads to such a scheme is in fact immoral. The leadership team's expenditure of moral authority is costing them in my eyes and in the eyes of others, most particularly when they deceive themselves into using the spiritual pulpit for political ends.

But all told, I suppose I should to submit to the notion that we should let the government take our labor by force and give it to those who are deemed in need by bureaucrats. Doesn't that count as helping your neighbor?

As Jesus often said, "Let's get the government to do something about it."


  • At 8/21/2009 9:45 AM, Blogger K T Cat said…

    Little known fact: The disciples ran up a $1.8T tab during the first year of Jesus' ministry.

    Or something like that.

  • At 8/21/2009 11:13 AM, Blogger Kevin said…

    And so Jesus handed back the denarius, saying, "Render unto Caesar that which is yours."

  • At 8/21/2009 11:29 AM, Anonymous Trouble said…

    I'm glad somebody finally has pointed this out. Most Christians instinctively understand that Charity is a virtue best practiced at home.

    I guess it takes a Ph.D. to misunderstand this idea.

  • At 8/21/2009 11:45 AM, Anonymous bandit said…

    I'm waiting for the NYT to run a feature about how Obama is trying to turn the US into a theocracy...waiting..still waiting.

  • At 8/21/2009 11:52 AM, Blogger Thor's Dad said…

    I think CS Lewis might have explained the Liberal Protestant mindset the best when he said that equating Love and kindness is a mistake. Check out this quote from the Problem of Pain:

    I might, indeed, have learned, even from the poets, that Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness....There is kindness in Love: but Love and kindness are not coterminous, and when kindness (in the sense given above) is separated from the other elements of Love, it involves a certain fundamental indifference to its object, and even something like contempt of it. Kindness consents very readily to the removal of its object - we have all met people whose kindness to animals is constantly leading them to kill animals lest they should suffer. Kindness, merely as such, cares not whether its object becomes good or bad, provided only that it escapes suffering. As Scriptures point out, it is bastards who are spoiled: the legitimate sons, who are to carry on the family tradition, are punished. It is for people whom we care nothing about that we demand happiness on any terms: with our friends, our lovers, our children, we are exacting and would rather see them suffer much than be happy in contemptible and estranging modes. If God is Love, He is by definition, something more than mere kindness. And it appears, from all the records, that though He has often rebuked us and condemned us, He has never treated us with contempt. He has paid us the intolerable compliment of loving us, in the deepest, most tragic, most inexorable sense.

    The Problem of Pain

  • At 8/21/2009 1:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I tithe to my UMC church, but it does pain me to know that part of it goes to the national (international?) organization. My local pastor is pretty conservative, but I know my denomination is not. I'll leave it to God to judge how it's used when we are called to account.

  • At 8/22/2009 5:33 PM, Anonymous Micha Elyi said…

    Kevin's got the bestest comment so far with his quote from the Liberal Methodist Gospel:

    And so Jesus handed back the denarius, saying, "Render unto Caesar that which is yours."

    In the More Liberal Methodist Gospel, the passage is translated as "Render unto Caesar that which is your neighbor's." That edition also includes "Love of money is the root of all," and "Covet thy neighbor's goods."

  • At 9/24/2009 7:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You'd probably like Donald Sensing's post about the subject here.


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