Whose Values?

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, conservativeĀ 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.

13 thoughts on “Whose Values?

  1. I have one response and one response only for both Christians Reviving America’s Values (CRAVE) and the Family Research Council with regard to paying for medical care for those who cannot pay for it themselves. Here it is:

    When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
    And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink. I was a stranger, and ye took me in; Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the LEAST OF THESE my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink. I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

    I have a warning for the Religious Right and Bob Dylan sais it best. “IT’S A HARD RAIN GONNA FALL.”

  2. This leaves me practically speachless.

    This is the most ignorant and un-Christian thing I have ever heard.

    The cost of the current healthcare system is unsustainable. 50 million peole have no healthcare. Maybe another 50 million are underinsured.

    I always thought helping the sick was a Christian thing to do. I thought a healthier population was a happier and more economically productive population.

    Silly me.

  3. PHarvey. You suffer from a disease called intelligence and common sense. I wish for a plague of it.

  4. Somehow, I think, that if the government hadn’t bailed out the auto industry (at least), the same groups would be criticizing the administration for not doing anything and costing America jobs. Then they would reason that he hates America and wants it to become a socialist state.

  5. Nick, that’s certainly the case. No matter what Obama/Congress does, it will be twisted to fit the RR’s agenda. Bush was the one who started buying up all the troubled businesses, but that’s forgotten already.

    PHarvey, what doesn’t kill you…

  6. Tom,

    Charles Says:

    July 1, 2009 at 9:39 pm
    PHarvey. You suffer from a disease called intelligence and common sense. I wish for a plague of it.

    That is a disease I’m happy to die from.

  7. it is a flat-out lie to say that all an uninsured person has to do is to go to an emergency room to get appropriate medical treatment. No emergency room will provide chemotherapy for cancer, for example, or the chronic, consistent care that a patient with uncontrolled Type I diabetes or uncontrolled epilepsy needs.

  8. What Christians call “the Old Testament” is full of stories of how our prophets railed against those who did not care for the stranger, the widow, the orphan; in other words, the underclass and those who could not speak for themselves.

    The Hebrew words for “charity,” “righteousness,” and “justice” are basically the same word. So the meaning is clear: a charitable person is a righteous and just person, and vice versa.

    I see no charity in the RR.

  9. Is compassion a freedom that we have or something that should be forced upon us?
    Look, I hate the fact that people go without healthcare. It sucks, but am I the only one that is scared about the fact that we are no longer going to get a “free-look” period that was promised before it gets voted on? Transperancy? How are we supposed to trust that we have somehow come up with a plan better than Canada or the U.K.?

    I had surgery a few months ago that under a universal health care system would be deemed as a non-emergency procedure. I missed alot of work. What kind of waiting list would I go on before I could have a surgery like that? Is it true that in some countries, if you have a greater chance of dying, then you will not be a priority? Where is the compassion in that?

    What about the economic impact of this? Forget the deficit and the taxes that will forced upon us. What about jobs? How many jobs are reliant on the current health care system? Not just processors, doctors, nurses..but salespeople, long term care insurance companies, health insurance companies, etc. People will lose their jobs, and the government will be there to rock their cradle when that happens. More government jobs, more dependency on government. The closer we get to complete reliance on the government, the closer we’ll be to _________. If you have the argument of, health insurance companies will be fine because employers can still carry health coverage. What employer is going to continue to pay costs out of their pocket if people can get it for free elsewhere? These collapse of these companies will drive long term care costs up, as well. Long term care is broken into two categories of people. One, the people pay for insurance and get to choose how they recieve their care. Two, the government gets to choose, but before the government will take care of it, you have to spend down your assets to under $2000 and you have no choice how you recieve it. My point here (sorry, I got on a tangent) is that when we rely on the government, we lose the option of choice.

    Has everyone else considered the standard of living cut that they will take when a plan like this goes into effect? What has everyone else done to help there brothers and sisters afford healthcare? or are you waiting on the government to do something, so you don’t have to be proactive? If you have given in some way, how will the government taking out of your pockets to achieve the same thing, affect your willingness to give? Keep in mind, you will have alot less money to give at that point. My point is, the more we depend on the government to do things for us, the more money it will take from us, and the less we will be willing to help our brothers and sisters ourselves. Charitable giving dollars (to a well-minded charity) will ALWAYS go alot further than what the government can do for the same money. That’s government mandated compassion. That’s not freedom. God gave us this free will to choose to do right and wrong. He didn’t force the right choice upon us, just as no other leader should force that upon us. Let’s figure out another way, and be proactive about it instead of waiting on our government to do that for us.
    That’s my two cents.