What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Ecc. 1:9
I am YHWH your God, who brought you out of egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me. Dt. 5:6 & 7
Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did destestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. Ez.16:49 & 50
I have a question for you, and I want you to really think about it carefully. The question is this; Should all American citizens have health care?
You will notice that I didn't ask "How," I asked a simple Yes or No question. Should all Americans have health care?
If you answered "No," then I am really curious as to why you would think it was acceptable for people to go without health care...especially if you call yourself a "Christian." Let's face it, everyone knows that well over 30 million Americans do not have health insurance...which in America largely results in minor forms of any healthcare, if at all, unless it is the form of medical emergencies. I find it amazingly disturbing that this fact doesn't register shame with the average American.
If you answered "Yes," then and only then can we discuss how that should be accomplished, whether private, public or a combination.
But it seems to me that very few politicians ever even ask this question to begin with.
So I was driving out to the cabin Thursday morning. The big discussion on the radio was on how the Supreme Court was going to rule on the whole so-called Obamacare plan. By the time I was driving home, the news was that Justice Roberts had made history by ruling it all Constitutional. By yesterday morning, for some it would appear that the world had ended.
I had friends saying that Roberts had been paid off for his vote. I've heard more comments on Socialism than I can remember, and I really don't care if I ever hear that term again. One friend said that his "Liberty" had been taken away. Another one said that if this healthcare plan is enacted, he was moving to Canada. (Yeah, no irony in that.)
All of this is a result of a hyper-partisan political system that simply can't stand the thought of things being anything other than black & white. No nuance, no grays...everything must be black & white. If Obama does anything at all, it must be bad...because it is Obama. I saw the same thing under Bush. If it's from a Republican, to the Democrats, it's evil. If it from a Democrat, to the Republicans, it's evil. "There is nothing new under the sun."
I have to confess that this entire situation had me laughing hysterically all day. I know American history fairly well. I have seen us go through situations like this over & over again, each time assuming that we had hit a wall and that we were now doomed for destruction.
But here is the greatest, and by far the most amusing, irony of it all; Obama's evil socialist plan to take over healthcare was originally a Republican plan that had the backing of the Conservative Heritage Foundation. You can do the research yourself. It's easy enough to find. But if you are looking for a quick synopsis of it all, click on the following link to hear it from the horses mouth.
That's my former REPUBLICAN Senator from Minnesota. He is a nationally recognized expert on healthcare reform. He is one of the architects who designed this bill...that Mitt Romney then went on to put in place in Massachusetts, and that President Obama then passed in to Federal law. So, a Republican plan ends up being opposed by the Republican party. Why? Because it's Obama!
You can stamp your feet, cross your eyes, and hold your breath until you turn blue, but you CANNOT deny that this plan ultimately was the brain child of Conservative Republicans. (It's right THERE, a Republican Senator is saying so!) If they had gotten this plan passed back when Clinton was in office, no one would be making a stink but the "Left." But now because Obama is in office, you hear the "Right" screaming about socialism, etc.
And the best part is, most folks, myself included, barely know what is in the bill in the first place.
In America, it is more important to win than to be right. In America, it is more important that your side triumphs than that something good is actually accomplished. Because this is what our gods demand, these tiny little gods of the Democrats and Republicans...and the other little god on our dollar bill.
In Genesis 19, two strangers enter the city of Sodom. They spend the night at Lot's house. The men of Sodom insist that Lot send the two strangers out to them so that they could rape them. This is where we get the conventional definition of the word "Sodomy" from. Generally speaking, when people hear the word Sodomy, they think of two guys getting it on.
However, under regular circumstance, one does not wake up one morning and think; "Hmm, I think I would like to rape a total stranger today." No! This is the result of a very long decline in the mind of a person. And it did not start with sex. If you want to find biblical verses that prohibit same sex behavior, rape, etc, then there are plenty of other verses that work much better. Do not use this one, because you have it wrong and are taking these passages out of context.
Much, much later, Israel is exiled to Babylon. YHWH sends Ezekiel the prophet to them to explain why this happened. YHWH says to the people of Israel; Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did destestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. Ez.16:49 & 50
Let me spell this out for you incase you are confused, angry, irritated, etc. up to this point: YHWH, the God of the BIBLE, is saying that the sin he is about to describe, which is apparently worthy of burning a city to the ground, is the SIN that SODOM committed. In other words, he is explaining what "Sodomy" actually is! Agreed? OK. I mean, this IS the God of the Bible talking here, so his word should actually mean something to "Christians," and this IS him talking...
SO...the definition of "Sodomy" is NOT about sexual perversion. (Again, plenty of other verses deal with that.) God's view of Sodomy = is they did not help the poor and needy.
Which sounds an awful lot like "they did not care about the most vulnerable in their society, country, nation." (What ever your political persuasion might be, You might want to think that "IF" you are a "Christian," your God just might give a HUGE damn about your poorest and most vulnerable.)
If you have a better interpretation of those verses
I would really like to hear what it is.
You can argue all you want, but you cannot change those biblical verses.
People moan about the sexual immorality of America. There certainly is plenty....and it's been like that since humans first organized. There really is very little new about it. "There is nothing new under the sun. "
But a society does not reach the level of Sodom...or modern America, where sex seems to saturate everything, until you first begin to reduce a human, made in the image of God, to a "Thing." You get there by not caring, specifically not caring about the least of these.
That's Sodomy, folks. America is very guilty of Sodomy.
I don't much care for politicians despite what they say. Most of them are creepy. But then again, most Americans are easily lead...like most folks everywhere I suppose.
I don't like Democrats very much. They throw money after money after more money on social welfare programs that are mostly a band aid. I believe in a strong and generous social safety net, but Democrats seem to be loath to put any type of accountability in to them. That's why so many people think they are simply entitled to them. Apparently they deserve it because they breathe. You would think that the DEMs would have pulled their heads out by now.
That having been said, at least the Democrats appear to care about the poor, even if their methods are sloppy & wasteful. Plus, I give them credit for not running around pretending that their party is Jesus' favorite.
Republicans? Well, in the last four years with the rise of the TEA Party cult (Apparently a death-cult at that, if you recall the CNN debate and people applauding over folks with no health care dying, and others cheering for executions in Texas.) and others who espouse an Ayn Rand Social Darwinist approach to life, that party has really gone off the deep end. So much so that, like I pointed out, they even oppose their own health care reforms.
And now there is this...
You can slice & dice it any way you want to. In fact, you can even say, as many Republicans I have heard say, that you are actually helping the poor by cutting off food stamps and the like. (I suppose they would argue that it is keeping them from being obese.) The fact remains, you are talking plans & money that exist to help the most vulnerable, and giving it to the military.
I should point out that the U.S. already has the strongest military in the history of man, and spends more than the next six strongest countries combined.
That, my friends, is Sodomy on the highest level.
For the record, I was a life-long Republican. I didn't vote for Obama. However, at this point in my life I guess you could say that I am a Liberal by default. It's the same for my sort-of theological stance. I am an Arminian by default. I simply do not like most of what I see in the behavior and attitudes of those who call themselves Calvinists. Far too many of them act like arrogant jerks and trash the people who don't have the same head knowledge. The same would go for what now passes for the Republicans party. I simply do not like them as people, much less their ideas. They act like jerks because the other side doesn't have Jesus endorsing their political platform. All which puts me in an awkward spot, because I certainly do not agree with everything the other side is doing. Maybe I am just choosing the lesser of two evils...and both are pretty ugly.
I guess that I simply do not comprehend how so many people who call themselves "Christians" could ever in good conscience even stand for a second the idea that so much aid should be cut off to the poor. Reforming is one thing. I demand that! But when was the last time anyone, from any side, actually propose meaningful reform? (Hint, hint, 1996 Welfare to Work program...essentially 16 years ago.) No, no reform...just cuts.
So the President got his Republican healthcare plan "Okayed" by the Supreme Court. Many folks are pissed off at Chief Justice Roberts, because to them it is obvious that he doesn't know the Constitution. (I guess he would disagree.) Our "God-given rights" are being taken away as Americans. The Federal government will now require people with no insurance to buy it from private companies. (And private companies are all about socialism, you know.)
Here's a thought; on judgment day, the odds are that Jesus will not look us in the eyes and say, "Well done, my good and faithfully interpreting the Constitution servant." I don't think Jesus cares all that much about the Constitution, the Magna Carta, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, or any other man-made document. I doubt he has a strong opinion of gun rights or the Reserved Powers clause one way or the other.
No, I get the idea that he will take the Constitution and blow his nose in it. He will then throw it in the lake of fire along with all other man-made documents. Then he will turn around and state that "Whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did to me."
What are you going to say to that?
You can give me every argument you want. You can talk about the Constitution this and the Constitution that. You can give me every political & economic theory you want. I don't care. It doesn't mean anything to me. In fact, such arguments have grown to actually offend me, because I see you as putting man-made ideas ahead of Christ's concerns. I care if what ever it is you espouse looks at least a little bit like Jesus...and I know that this is difficult.
I have heard it said many times by folks that "It isn't the government's job to help the poor." Other than that being a lie from the pit of hell, and that you just had Satan speaking through you, I would like to point out that Jesus holds EVERYONE and EVERYTHING accountable. In his own time, Jesus pronounced judgment on the cites of Galilee that he had preached in. In Ezekiel, the prophet has visions of entire nation states and people groups being lined up together in their own areas awaiting judgment.
Who is responsible for helping the poor? You and I...and our towns, cities, States, nations AND our governments.
If you reject that truth, then wear your new name tag with pride. You are a Sodomite! You should rejoice in that. You don't have to like it, but you cannot deny it.
I will readily acknowledge that there is no such thing as a perfect plan or theory. I doubt very much that this new health care law will be the end all & be all of plans. Humans are flawed and far from perfect. But I do like the idea that, generally speaking, most of my own citizens will now get some basic coverage. I think that is something that Jesus would affirm. It would be hard to argue otherwise.
I saw one of my favorite heretics, Greg Boyd, tweet yesterday that he could understand people disliking the government taking more money from us. However, he couldn't understand why anyone would get upset about the government using it to help people in the way that this plan does. I can't understand it either. It may sound presumptuous, but I really don't think Jesus could understand it either.
The problem is that ultimately, ultimately, we as Americans simply do not care. We pay lip service to it, but we don't really mean it. Americans like their Sodomy too much. You don't have to like that, but deep in your heart you know it's true.
And on that day when we all stand before Jesus and he says "Whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did to me," what are we going to say in response?
It's just a thought.