Sunday, August 16, 2009

#146 Health-Care Reform and Jesus

Well ... turns out HE showed up too, later in the week (see last post), at a "Tea Party" event in San Francisco--again by proxy. There, the wing-nut tea-baggers were anti-Obama everything, health-care reform foremost; the Christian god was a face in the crowd, or rather a picket-sign, which asked the question: "Who would Jesus insure?" An insidiously clever question, considering all the well-kept "Americans for Prosperity " folk ranging about. Yet these 99% conservative Republicans should've known the answer immediately, since you can bet that 99% of them were conservative Christians too. Irresistibly for these Church-bred, Sunday-school-literate types, the placard would doubtless invoke the doubtless unspoken, guilt-ridden answer: "the least of my brethren."

Obama himself quoted this passage from Matthew 25 during last year's campaign at the infamous Saddleback Church affair. He emphasized the positive side of Jesus's words in response to a question about public health care, to which, at the time, he was fully committed. And the future President's context was perfect for the occasion, though he didn't quote further. If he did, he could have pointed out that Jesus was pointedly concerned about the poor and the sick. Those who gave them succor would sit on the right-hand side of the Son of Man on Judgment Day and "inherit the kingdom."

But then it gets ugly. Earlier, in this protracted sermon, coming right after evicting the money changers from the Temple, Jesus had already condemned various grafters and greedy folk to an "outer darkness" where there shall be much "weeping and gnashing of teeth." Then, appropriately, in the self-assumed persona of the Son of Man, he awards the Kingdom to the right-hand-sider, righteous humanitarians in the celestial docket: those who clothe the naked, feed the hungry, help the sick. (Notice: all secular virtues.) But eternal woe betide those who don't:

Then shall he say also to them on his left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels ...

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?

Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. [Matt. 25:41, 44-45]

I hope this scenario reminds you of our self-appointed prophet Mr. Craig Anthony Miller from last post. At that Lebanon PA "Town Hall" meeting he took on the role of Son of Man and assigned "deserts" on Judgment Day to health-care reformers like Sen. Specter and his "damned cronies on the Hill"--exactly those to whom Jesus would grant eternal reward. After all, the primary impetus for reform was to provide medical aid for the poor and sick, "the least" among us. If the despicable Miller wants to use the Bible as a club ... he ought to read it first.

No comments: