Sometimes I think the work Jesus did when he walked the earth was all for naught. Are there any Christians out there? Has anyone actually read the beatitudes? Where in that best-selling-book-of-all-time does it say we should ask the nationality of a person before we offer him a glass of water?
I am utterly amazed at those who call themselves Christians, yet would deny health care to great swaths of the American population. What can they be thinking? “Don’t mess with my Medicare,” a woman wrote to Obama. What she clearly meant was that she did not want to sacrifice so others might have some part of what she has.
Is this the kind of society we want? Is this what Jesus wanted? If an illegal Mexican worker comes to the emergency room, or brings his illegal child to an emergency room, do we really want to turn them away? Do we really want to allow a hospital to take my brother’s house because he can’t pay a medical bill – $33,000 for an eleven-hour stay and a surgery that did nothing to help him walk again?
Today I will try to find a Christian. I know there are some out there. Actually, I know a few. I’ve been way too pessimistic in what I’ve written. I know lots of Christians. They might not have read every passage in that best-selling book, but they care about others and are willing to share with those who have less.
Call me a socialist if you want. But if you do, and you believe that being a socialist is a terrible thing, don’t call the fire department if your house is on fire. Don’t visit the public library. Don’t call the police if someone robs you. Don’t send your children to public schools. Don’t apply for unemployment if you lose your job. Don’t ask for food stamps if your children are starving. If you’re disabled, don’t apply for disability. Don’t participate in Medicare when you turn sixty-five. When they send you checks from the Social Security fund, send them back.
Those are social programs meant to make all our lives better.
I believe whole-heartedly there comes a time when everyone needs a helping hand. My brother, who is paralyzed, has been a rugged individualist all his life. Car stuck in the swamp? No worries, I can lift it out. Can’t get that frig through the door? Never mind going for a hand truck. I’m strong. I can do it.
A lifetime of work. Of lifting, of pushing, of being there for everyone who needed a strong back and a willing heart. Now he needs some help. And that woman who wrote Obama is not willing to give it. Shame on her. If she goes to church on Sunday morning, someone tap her on the shoulder and ask her to leave. She never heard the message. If she ever read “the book,” she did not understand the words.