One can approach the issue from an individual moral and Christian perspective, but shouldn’t there be a discussion of the institutional costs/prices that are charged for health care? How much does capitalistic and specific institutional greed contribute to the costs? Is there a way to effectively and fairly control the costs without giving up competitive-driven charges in the rest of our financial system? Americans should hear an objective discussion of all options.
Many Christians are unaware that a former Baptist minister in Saskatchewan, Canada, introduced the continent’s first single-payer, universal health care program. The Reverend Tommy Douglas, a social democrat, not only introduced the template for Canada’s health care plan, he also set an example of fiscal restraint and of limited government, which current leaders would be advised to emulate. In 17 years as premier, Douglas produced 17 balanced budgets.
Kelowna, British Columbia
As a frequent visitor to the USA, I was struck on the one occasion I needed health care by the first question as I was greeted at reception: “Do you have insurance?” Fortunately, my employer provided travel insurance. Here in Britain, since 1950 we have enjoyed free health care at point of use. Except it is not “free”; a modern health service with high investment in technology comes with a cost to the government budget. Last year , pre-COVID, it was $200 billion a year, around 10 percent of GDP. This year , it will be much more, as the government used military engineers to construct several emergency COVID-19 hospitals in closed sports arenas, which had to be staffed by retired doctors and nurses and military medical personnel. Also in the UK, prescription medication is half the price as in the US, as the National Health Service has massive purchasing power with big pharma.
I was disappointed with the lack of action by Daniel Harrell. He was like the priest and Levite in the Good Samaritan parable. He saw a need and talked in platonic language but failed to act. My wife had two bouts with cancer, 12 years apart. I do remember the two-plus hours of chemo and how weak she was after each treatment. She read the article and said, “I would have told you, ‘Go help the lady. I will be here when you return.’” The last paragraph expressed concern for the sick beyond ourselves and our loved ones and love for our neighbor and enemies. It is truly hard to reconcile this statement with the total lack of action on his part. He was blaming everyone for not having a system in place to solve the problem. Maybe God was wanting him to step forward.
Jesus called Matthew—a man that was as far Left as one could be in his day. He worked with the invading Romans and took money from his own people and gave it to the Romans. Jesus also called Simon the Zealot—a man that was as far Right as one could be in his day. Zealots were an ancient Jewish sect that aimed to have a world that would have a Jewish theocracy and resisted the Romans. They were fanatical and uncompromising in the pursuit of their ideas. It is amazing that these two individuals, along with the rest of the apostles, could work together to help change the world for the gospel ministry of Jesus Christ.
Mark Allen Deakins
In my experience, people with opposing views can have good dialogue if their focus is on explaining to you why I believe and act how I do, and listening to you explain to me why you believe and act as you do. The conversation will always go bad if the focus is on why I am right and you are wrong.
I was very encouraged to read about churches installing renewable energy systems as a way to honor God and steward his creation. I was especially grateful to see this presented as a truly pro-life issue. This year’s huge ice cap melts, extreme weather, and record-breaking wildfires underscore the urgency. The consequences of a warming climate are landing first and hardest on the poor—“the least of these” whom Jesus gave to our care.
This is brilliantly written without one “I feel” in the whole article. Thank you for the clear research, thoughtful quotes, Bible references, verses, and the guiding reference to social responsibility as it applies to loving one another and what that witness means in the kingdom of God. I’m just reading this article November 4 and it is so very true today.
Jennifer L. Porter
Lyrical, thoughtful, and perceptive—as ever from Sandra.
I find this article timely in light of some of my recent reflections on the roles of women in my congregation. The authors make a compelling case about the roles all Christians play in the advancement of God’s kingdom. Where are we failing in carrying out God’s mission? Are we blinded by prejudices that hinder our effectiveness as a congregation? What responsibilities are we not encourag-ing those best equipped to carry them out? By doing so, what blessings are we spurning when we fail to follow God’s heart for the church and the world?
Sometimes well-meaning Christians tell you when something is happening in your life that God will give you nothing you cannot handle. That is not true—well-meaning, but not true. Sometimes we need a heaven amount of help, from God, the family of God, or both.
Mick Sheldon (Facebook)
Jay Kim’s story is mine as well. My mom was widowed at 29 years of age. She lost her husband, my father, in the Korean war. I was three years old, and I do not have any recollection of my father. My mother never married again. She worked hard to put me through schools. I became a church pastor here in California, and my mother joined us. She lived to 94 years and went to be with the Lord. She lived next to our church praying; serving others has been her life. My mother enjoyed seeing my son and daughter and their children. I am grateful for my mom who never gave up her hope on me.
David Young Hwan Gill
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.