Sunday, September 06, 2009

Health care reform

We cannot call ours a just society if we do not guarantee every man, woman and child a basic level of care—preventative, curative, ameliorative and palliative—for their bodies and minds.

I do not understand those who would deny to others the health care that they themselves enjoy.

Underneath all the reasons have given for opposing universal coverage and a public option, there seems a basic principle: some people's lives, health, livelihoods and happiness are just less important than others'.

There is a blindness out there to the suffering of others. For anyone following any spiritual path, this is antithetical to the path of righteousness.

When I hear my conservative Christian friends rail against universal coverage and the public option, I remind them what Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew:

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’"

Just as people are to be judged by the manner in which they treat the poor and downtrodden, so are societies.

Will we as Americans take it upon ourselves to provide for the least among us? Or will we, callously and selfishly, allow our brothers and sisters to slip through the cracks for the benefit of the affluent?

I pray we come to our senses.

With metta,