THE COLOSSAL FAILURE OF CHURCH AND STATE
As a senior citizen, you would think that I would be thrilled to now have free health care as a benefit of still being alive at 67. Yet, I am actually appalled at the colossal failure of both the Church and the State to have utterly ignored most who are under the age of 65. In fact I believe that health care would be better if it reflected the image of a common flower. Would it not be silly for a person to find a flower that had struggled along without assistance all its life, and as it is dying, someone thinks now is the time to fertilize and water it?
An intelligent gardener would have been watering, fertilizing and insuring plenty of sun and protection for all of the flower’s life, not just as it was wilting and dying. At 67, I am not dead, but certainly feel the reality of wilting just like an aging flower.
The only real explanation for this failure is twofold. On the one hand, religion is the first to have failed its flocks, since no religion takes responsibility to be the primary health provider for their followers. The example set by Jesus and His disciples was to heal both the old and the young, even raising some from the dead. Yet today those who dare preach in the name of our High Priest Jesus Christ just stand by and offer hollow prayers to their sick and dying followers, while sending them to paid practitioners. The Church’s mission is to teach adherence to God’s laws, including those of healthful living choices and food selection, while also providing healing exactly as Jesus and His Apostles had done. Christ’s instructions to the Apostles included the admonition to literally heal the sick, not just preach, and to do it all totally free of cost to everyone, not just a select few. So where are our healers today? Most churches will say that in today’s world, God has provided professional clinicians to deal with health issues. No doctor can save anyone from ultimately dying, so will in the end send every one of their patients back to God. If a doctor cannot save a person from that certain eventuality, why bother even trusting one in the first place? I am reminded of an ancient truth inscribed in the pages of Acts. “In God we live and move and have our being”. This means that every single moment of our lives is a gift from God, and if God chooses to remove that gift at any time, no clinician can change that. It is also inversely true that if God wants a person to continue to live, no illness of any kind can snatch that person’s life from God’s loving care!
Now, this does not mean that a person should not take advantage of emergency services in the event of accidental injury.
The Churches of our modern world have failed us, so what about government? Government has yielded to corporate interest by giving free health benefits to all who are nearing the end of life’s cycle, rather than to also include those who are nearer the beginning. Corporate hospitals love it since we older citizens will surely require more intervention to stay alive than a 35 year old, thus we are a lot more dollar-able!
Not surprisingly, it was corporations who drove Medicare such that the taxpayer would be on the hook for expensive palliative care instead of insurers and mega-hospital entities. These same people drove the new law to their distinct advantage, while heaping mountains of insurance premiums and co-pays on the unsuspecting citizens of the entire nation.
This is nutty economics to spend the bulk of national and personal resources on something that was intended by our Creator to be an essential and totally free service of the church or State.
So who are the winners?
For starters, let’s go back in time to the initial health care debate in congress just a few years ago. We all remember the outcry about so called “death panels” which supposedly would have had the power to pull the plug on your aging grandma?
First and foremost, that silly idea was designed by lobbyists to kill a public option by diverting attention with a sensational line for the news cycle. This went right over most Americans heads, since grandma’s health care was not at risk at all, because she already had Medicare anyway. Yes, it was a ploy to take the public’s eye off the real problem, no free health care for most of grandma’s kids and grandkids!
So neither the Church nor the state has accepted responsibility to do the right thing and provide health security to all the citizens under their care. No, instead they were all too happy to relinquish that responsibility to those who would extort the public trust in the name of profit, rather than in the name of public good. Politicians and church leaders have all walked away from a God ordained responsibility with huge financial gain for them, while leaving the rest of the populace to the fate of a broken and dangerous health care system.
The way of our faithful loving God is to prevent anyone from profiting on another’s misfortune, and more especially when that misfortune brings added risk to life itself.
Not very many people are aware of the third leading cause of death in American hospitals, yet a very brief search on the internet reveals a shocking statistic; Cancer kills the most, followed by heart disease, and thirdly, medical mistakes and overtreatment.
Every medical procedure carries risk of death and/or side effects that can, and often do last a lifetime. The same is true of drugs. They carry risk, which is smilingly described with pretty music and slick video on television to make a potential user focus on the possibility of a positive benefit, despite undue risk.
There are absolutely no risks associated with simple trust in our Creator, and in the end, it is only the Creator who is capable of saving anyone from the ultimate disease, that of death itself.