Obamacare is going to kill America. Giving free health care to those who give nothing back is ridiculous. No one is giving anything to me.
But our church (denomination) believes that health care is a basic human right.
Yes, sure, for people who earn it.
But, if it is a right, it should be provided for all people, no matter what.
Okay, fine, everyone should be cared for, but why should I have to pay for it?
Who do you suggest should pay for it?
Uhm, that is pretty much what is happening now.
Obamacare is NOT the government paying for it. We’re paying for it. People who work hard and earn a living are being forced to care for those who want a free ride.
Isn’t that what Jesus said should happen — those who have care for those who don’t?
That socialist bullcrap. God helps those that help themselves. We should care for the needy, not the freeloader.
Who decides who has legitimate needs and who is taking advantage?
God, I hate this liberal garbage. There are charities to help the poor, and anyone who will lift a finger to help themself will do just fine. I am sick and tired of being told that the riff raff of the world are my responsibility.
Now, I don’t know which side of the argument feels “right” to you, but I do think one aligns much more closely to the Christian gospel than the other. Issues of “responsibility,” “compassion,” “giving,” and “justice” are clearly evident. In question is simply what we believe the most Christ-like response might be. It bugs me when we take basic human values and dismissively politicize them — caring for our own needs and preserving tradition is “conservative”; caring for others and promoting change is “liberal.” Rampant us/them-ism becomes our sword and shield — used to both attack those who differ and defend those who concur.
A second example is much more personal, and requires a bit of a set-up. Two women, lifelong members of the same adult Sunday school class, share a history of pleasant acquaintance, and in fact taught each other’s children in Sunday school. Each has enjoyed “Christian fellowship” and a sense of harmony and unity… until tested. In a recent exchange, everything changed.
I have something to share today that has been tearing me up. I want to share with you and ask you to pray. Our daughter recently told us she is gay. We never ever suspected she was lesbian, and it came as a shock. For awhile we kept asking “what have we done wrong?” and “why is this happening to us?” My husband and I cried — it really tore us up. We have been praying and this past week we feel we really had a revelation. We realized that our daughter is still our daughter — she hasn’t changed. She isn’t bad, and she isn’t doing anything wrong. She is still one of the kindest and most considerate people we’ve ever known. She is sweet, smart, and she loves God and Jesus. She doesn’t need to change; we do…
NO. No, that is NOT right. Don’t tell us you think gay is okay. It is clearly a sin. And don’t you dare let yourself off the hook. I am sure you don’t want to think you did anything wrong, but this would NOT have happened if she was raised right!
What are you saying? We didn’t make her gay. We loved her as well as any parents ever love their children. How dare you judge us?
I am not judging you — God is judging you. Just read your Bible. Your daughter is an abomination.
Don’t you say that. Don’t you say that! You have no right. We shared this because it has been a very traumatic experience for us. We’re trying to understand this. We wanted to share with people we trust — who would help us.
Help you what? Help you say sin isn’t sin? Help you pretend your daughter isn’t sinning?
Everyone in this room is a sinner! We have all sinned. I’m not comfortable with gays, but I just know I am not in a position to judge. When it was about other people, it all seemed crystal clear. Now that it is about us, I’m not so sure. I don’t know what is right or wrong. I only know I love my daughter — God LOVES my daughter — and I cannot believe all you can do is condemn her and blame us.
At this point, the distraught mother got up and left. As soon as she left, her “friend” got the last word — “it’s people like her that are destroying the church!”
Once again, I am not pushing one view over the other — whether you feel that homosexuality is sinful or not is not my focus. My focus is on how “good” Christians choose to treat others with whom they disagree or of whom they disapprove. Where is the grace? Where is the love? Where is the compassion and caring? Where is the kindness and mercy? What gives a person the right to attack and insult and injure and shame another? Our faith? Our righteousness? This kind of selfish, caustic, patronizing and intolerant approach to Christianity is one of the greatest turn-offs to young seekers in our culture.
By our fruits we shall be known. If what we produce is judgement, condemnation, intolerance, exclusion, hostility, contempt, narrow-mindedness, shame and disapproval — then these things will define us. I find it difficult to verify such a definition scripturally. If the fruit we produce is mercy, grace, love, kindness, patience, generosity, gentleness, compassion, joy and inclusion, it will define our witness to the world.
It is a moot point how we treat the world when we can’t treat our brothers and sisters with grace. Those who cannot play well with others will have no interest in playing with strangers. Such a reality saddens me — as does every comment and opinion that says that anyone should not be extended God’s grace and love.