Today marks the historic signing of the landmark healthcare bill touted by some as the salvation of the nation and regarded by others as the final decent in to Armageddon. I don’t like the bill (and I’ll tell you why later), but I don’t think that any one piece of legislation is as good or bad as the voices in our land are portraying it. What concerns me more is the fear permeating every aspect of this process by everyone, every party, every media voice, and many of our citizens. We can take action, forge legislation, and make changes without throwing out common sense and faith and succumbing to fear. The fear surrounding this debate has given the enemy an opportunity to deceive, divide, and denigrate our people and our nation and this is why this healthcare initiative deserves the title, Mediscare, because it is proposed and opposed out of fear and fear always de-evolves into rancor, irrationality, and personal attacks by and upon all sides of the debate.
Right up front I will plainly state that I do not like the legislation for a litany of reasons. First, I don’t appreciate the manner in which the legislation was drafted (despite Obama’s promise repeatedly to create and draft this sweeping legislation with everyone’s input and televised – not the token roadshow broadcast recently). Second, this concept has been tried in earnest in Massachusetts and failed miserably (that effort proposed by a Republican) and in part in Tennessee with the same results. Third, our European friends that have already wandered down this path with one voice have warned us not to follow them. Fourth, the American people overwhelmingly have said (important in a democratic society) that they do not want this approach but that they want the government to start all over working together to forge substantive change in a bipartisan way. Fifth, when you have to basically bribe senators and congressmen in smoky back rooms out of the public eye and scrutiny to secure their vote it does not instill confidence in the product or the process. Sixth, this bill relegates control of over one-sixth of our economy to a federal bureaucracy that has proven its amazing management skills with such government entities as the post office, Amtrak, the Veteran’s Administration, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid (need I say more). Seventh, as every nation that has adopted this direction in healthcare can tell you, healthcare quality and availability go down and the costs skyrocket. Eighth, our nation simply cannot afford a one trillion makeover when we already owe fourteen trillion in debt. The U.S. government apparently cannot seem to understand what every working family knows. If you can’t make the payments on your fifteen hundred square foot house, you don’t fix the problem by buying a ten thousand square foot house. If you can’t make the payment and insurance premiums on your clunker you don’t go out and buy a BMW. Ninth (wow), to mandate that individuals must purchase the privately sold product of healthcare insurance or face an IRS imposed, controlled, and collected fine (they call it a tax) is blatantly unconstitutional (and they know but don’t seem to care). Finally, I can’t stomach the expanded funding of abortion on demand with my tax dollars (you should know that no executive order trumps legislation). The right to life is the right that supersedes all other rights and should be protected at all costs and it is unconscionable to expect that pro-life believers should have to not only accept abortion, but fund it.
Despite these reservations, there is something troubling me more than the bill itself – the fear that has invaded every aspect of this debate and process. The debate should center around the merits (or lack thereof) of the legislation and not party affiliation, political philosophy or race. It grieves me and I know it hurts the heart of God for someone to oppose something on the basis of affiliation, philosophy or race. It is just as grievous to support something for the same reasons alone. But fear is like that. I mean when fear shows up sanity and critical thinking disappear and people default to what makes them feel secure (even if it is morally repugnant and biblically in error). It is racist to oppose legislation on the basis of the race, creed, or color of those that either initiate the proposal or benefit by the proposal but it is equally racist to say that because of a person’s race their views or proposals should not be criticized as if to say that because of their race their ideas will not survive scrutiny (that significantly devalues that individual).
I don’t lend my voice to politics or political parties (although I will vote and express my views on issues in light of the Word). My voice and allegiance are at the disposal of the Lord Jesus Christ and with that in mind I want to exhort people of faith from all parties, philosophies, and races (the Bible truly only teaches one race – the human race, but for understanding only do I use this term) to get back into faith concerning this initiative and any other initiative proposed by our government. Fear opens the door to all sorts of evil and believers have no business hooking back up to the enemy just because they have strong opinions on a civil matter. Our hope is the Lord, his Word, and his Kingdom. If we win or lose the argument or succeed or fail to pass the legislation we want, let’s remember that we are citizens of heaven first and we should never compromise our royal decorum as kings and priests together with him to feel, speak, and act like the world regardless of the importance of the issue. No debate is worth losing our witness and way as believers and no issue is worth losing the blessing on our lives, families, and churches.
So, have and express your opinion (I’ve expressed mine and I will vote in November accordingly because I too am a citizen of this nation), but if you have slipped into fear over this as evidenced by the venom in your heart or mouth for any party, philosophy, or background, knock it off, repent, and be the Christian you need to be in this messed up and confused world we live in. The fact is no political party truly represents the interests of the Kingdom of God so we are left with the task of evaluating political efforts and decisions in the light of the Word and not their platforms, websites, or press releases. Join me in believing God for legislation that is the product of faith rather than born out of fear or opposed out of fear because, “everything that does not come from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23, NIV).