We wonder whether many of the foot soldiers in the religious-right movement will ever wake up to how they have been used. Over the years we’ve all seen how religious-right pressure groups wade into areas that would seem to have nothing to do with promoting “traditional family values” (whatever that means to them) and other “culture war” issues. Case in point: a group called CRAVE — Christians Reviving America’s Values — is calling on supporters to oppose the Obama administration on health care reform. From a CRAVE press release headlined “America Cannot Afford Health Care” (and quoting the group’s president, Don Swarthout):
What have the uninsured people been doing for health care all of these years? The answer is simple. They have been going to Emergency Rooms to be treated because our laws and the Hippocratic Oath taken by doctors say that they must be treated. . . .
Let’s remember that hospitals are in business to make money. They cannot continue to stay in business unless somebody, you and I, pay for those who cannot pay for themselves. So the hospitals figure the cost of treating the uninsured into the costs of treating responsible people who can pay. Therefore, you and I are ALREADY paying for people who cannot pay for themselves.
Now the Government wants to run our Health Care Program. Never mind the fact that the Government has stolen our Social Security money and has replaced it with worthless IOU’s. The government is broke and cannot pay us back what they stole from us in the form of Social Security money. Of course the government does not say anything about that fact. Besides we already have a $12,000,000,000 dollar deficit.
Swarthout concluded, “Health Care for everyone would be nice…if we could afford it. However, for America Health Care is just another good idea that we cannot afford.”
We’ve seen similar e-mails from other religious-right groups, such as the Family Research Council. Texas Freedom Network hasn’t taken a position on national health care reform. It’s not one of our issues. But how in the world did it become an issue for the religious right?
The reality is that the religious right is, as we have long argued, a political movement, not a religious movement. And it is tied at the hip to small-government, conservative economic interests. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, of course. But we wonder if conservative religious activists are fully aware of which masters they are really serving.
UPDATE: Another example — the American Family Association, which organizes boycotts against corporations that aren’t sufficiently anti-gay, has sent out an e-mail blast to supporters alerting them to July 4 “TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Parties” across the country:
The current administration is quickly turning America into a socialist state where the government owns and runs the various businesses. Our government has taken over major insurance, banking, and automobile companies. Before long we will be presented with a $2 trillion health care bill run by the federal government.
It is time that those of us who love our country, our children, and our grandchildren stand up and be heard.
I also encourage you to take a few moments to view Ken Hamm’s “State of the Union” video. Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, presents powerful new research addressing the current spiritual state of our nation.
Um, thanks, but no.