I could take a lot of time and page through the Bible to find quotations where the founders of the Christian religion advocate helping the poor. I grew up hearing some constant homely advice about helping others who are not so fortunate; “It’s the Christian thing to do.” In support of that advice, my parents (not particularly a religious sort) taught me the Golden Rule. I know I don’t need to repeat that Rule here, but just for sake of completeness for those “Christians” who seem unaware of its existence, I will; “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” For the past few years I have frankly grown tired of pious politicians and right wing red-necks claiming our country was founded on Christian (and only Christian) principles and, by God, our children ought to be forced to pray in school, at athletic events, on the streets, whenever anyone meets or gets together. These are the same people who constantly bemoan the decline of our American way of life because creationism (a two or three sentence concept mentioned early in the Bible’s Genesis) is not taught in our public schools.
It is with all this background that this Sunday morning blog is written with a heavy heart (and more than a little anger) after reading about what is being done (literally in the name of Christianity) to the poor people of our country. As reported in this morning’s newspaper, “The refusal by about half the states to expand Medicaid will leave millions of poor people ineligible for government-subsidized health insurance under President Obama’s health care law even as many others with higher incomes receive federal subsidies to buy insurance (Underlining mine). Starting next month, the administration and its allies will conduct a nationwide campaign encouraging Americans to take advantage of new high-quality affordable insurance options. But those options will be unavailable to some of the neediest people in states like Texas, Florida, Kansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Georgia, which are refusing to expand Medicaid. More than half of all people without health insurance live in states that are not planning to expand Medicaid. People in those states who have incomes from the poverty level up to four times that amount ($11,490 to $45,960 a year for an individual) can get federal tax credits to subsidize the purchase of private health insurance. But many people below the poverty line will be unable to get tax credits, Medicaid or other help with health insurance.”
This era in American history will go down as the time when our national slogan became “Do as I say, not as I do.” What a Christian legacy!
Just saying . . .