October 29, 2010

Jesus the socialist

The best status update circulating around Facebook:

"Obama is not a brown-skinned anti-war socialist who gives away free healthcare. You're thinking of Jesus."


C. Jones said...

But Jesus never demanded that someone else pay for the medical care he gave. He also never required the government to provide medical care for everyone.

Streak said...

The first sentence is ridiculously stupid. Insanely stupid.

And the second one is actually part of my point. It is a dodge for Christians to say that, because Christians and private charities are incapable of providing health care or addressing those issues. When you say that, you are saying that you don't want to change anything about those uninsured. The message of the Bible, for you, is that those who are uninsured, are on their own.

C. Jones said...

The first sentence is right on the money. It's true. You're trying to suggest that Jesus was a socialist, but he was not.

I don't mind if every American has health insurance. I don't even mind if we provide for health insurance for all American citizens with tax money(citizens only). How about if we eliminate the Department of Energy and the Department of Education and apply that money to health insurance for those who don't have it? Would you go for that?

Streak said...

No, Jesus healed people as God. He didn't expend financial resources to do so, so saying that he didn't demand payment is stupid.

As for him being a socialist, clearly this quote was tongue in cheek. Socialism didn't exist in Jesus's time on earth, but he did spend a lot of time criticizing wealth and even telling people to give away their wealth to follow him. Does that match up with Republican policies?

Why would you want to get rid of the agency that oversees nuclear energy and waste? That is not smart.

Bob said...

"He also never required the government to provide medical care for everyone."

Neither does the health care bill, so what is your point?

steves said...

I am fine with gov't healthcare. Jesus had very little to say about the structure of government beyond that people should obey those in authority. Frankly, it is stupid to insert him into most debates on gov't policy.

C. Jones said...

OK. Keep a dozen nuclear inspectors and eliminate the rest. And don't forget the Dept. of Education.

Streak said...

Good points, Bob and Steve. Though I would still suggest that Jesus had far more critical things to say about wealth than he did abortion and homosexuality.

C Jones, I am not sure why you have such a problem with the Department of Energy. Surely we need more than a dozen nuclear inspectors and you should remember it also deals with nuclear waste and safety. In addition, it invests a lot into research and development on better uses of energy. After this last few years, it seems patently obvious that energy is a national security issue.

As for the Dept. of Education, I know this is a common rant by fundys and those on the far right. I don't get it. It is the smallest department and does a lot of things that we would find useful. Oversees financial aid, and ensures national laws are followed regarding privacy and civil rights in our public schools.

We don't have to choose between nuclear safety, energy efficiency, a national education plan--and providing healthcare. As Bob noted, those added to the healthcare rolls (still not added yet) will have to pay for it. We aren't handing out free healthcare to people who can afford it.

steves said...

I am not sure about abortion because that depends on how you conceptualize when life begins. He most definitely says more about wealth than homosexuality.

As for the federal departments, there probably is a fair amount of waste and duplication of services. I don't think the answer is to get rid of everything, but rather to see what is the best way to deliver good services that are cost-effective. That will free up money for other things like infrastructure and providing healthcare to people that can't afford it.

C. Jones said...


The government is being sued right now about whether it has the authority to force people to buy medical insurance. If it can, then is there anything that the government cannot force people to buy? And do we really want to live in a country where the government has that much power?

Let's see how the elections turn out.

steves said...

The government is being sued by grandstanding AG's. The government gets sued all the time by states bacause of numerous things, so this is hardly new. The government, in most states, forces people to buy auto insurance if they want to drive. I know this isn't the same things, but I just wanted to point out that it is not unprecedented.

Do you have any idea how much the unisured already cost society. Setting aside the argument that it is just wrong to not provide medical care to people, it costs a tremendous amount to treat the uninaured. I had a client last week that had no medical insurance and a varity of medical problems. Over the course of two years, he was unable to see a doctor due to the inability to pay. Instead, he waited until he got bad enough and went to the ER. His bills for the last two years totalled $300,000 +, which will end up being paid by the rest of us.

It would have made more sense to provide him with routine medical care that would have cost a fraction of what we ended up paying.

The government will likely use this as one of their arguments. They will also use the interstate commerce argument.

C. Jones said...


"it is just wrong to not provide medical care to people"

How do you know that? If that is so, why should we limit it to Americans? Does our moral obligation stop at our border? Why should it? Are we morally obligated to provide medical care to Brazilians, for instance?

And why should Americans be the only ones that morality applies to? If I need medical care, why shouldn't Mexicans, or the French be morally required to provide it for me? Why should the moral burden fall only on Americans?

Monk-in-Training said...

"Observe those who are heterodox concerning Christ Jesus' grace, which came to us, how contrary they are to God's will. They have no regard for a love feast, none for the widow or the orphan, the oppressed, the bound, the freed, the hungry, or the thirsty . . . they exhibit enmity and deceit in their dealings with one another. They have no regard for love; they despise the good things we expect hereafter; they regard present things as if they were durable; they ridicule him that is in affliction; they laugh at him that is in bonds."
St. Ignatius

Jesus was concerned how we treat each other, both individually and corporately. Our cultures reflect our individual persons you can not separate the two, and I think Jesus was speaking to both.

What a funny update!

Br. James Patrick

steves said...

That is just my opinion. With the exception of some kind of catastrophe, I am content to focus on health care for us before addressing the rest of the world. ; )

As for France and Mexico, you are free to make your case to them. Good luck.

Streak said...

Steve, very nicely put on the justification for the mandate. C. Jones, when you ask if we should provide medical care to people, then you are simply behind. As Steve notes, we already do, and Obama's Healthcare reform didn't change that at all. If an illegal immigrant or indigent person is run over by a bus, we, as human beings, send them to the hospital. We provide them care. Why not do it in a more efficient manner?

Your question about Brazilians is not a serious question. Though I will note that if you are ill traveling through France you will get care. Quite good care.

C. Jones said...


You might be content to focus health care on Americans, but how do you know that fulfills your moral obligation? And if you could, please answer my original question as to how you know we are under a moral obligation to provide it for anyone? If you can't provide an answer, then just say so.

Streak said...

A), as we keep saying, this healthcare bill doesn't actually provide healthcare but gives them access to it.

B) my obligation to help my neighbor is one found in the Bible where Jesus commands us to be concerned for those around us.

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steves said...

Basically, I just think it is the right thing to do. I think this passage covers it, if you want another justification:

Matthew 25:35-40 (New King James Version)

for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

I understand that this isn't a mandate for gov't care, but as it has been pointed out, the most efficient way to provide care for all who need it is through some type of system where everyone has access to decent medical care.

Nice quote MIT. St. Ignatius was the patron saint of the church I attended as a child.