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August 19, 2009

Obama Attempts to Debunk Rumors in Call to Faith Leaders

President Obama pitched government-funded health care as a “a core ethical and moral obligation” in a conference call open to the public tonight, saying that some people are "bearing false witness."

"This notion that we are somehow setting up death panels that would decide on whether elderly people get to live or die. That is just an extraordinary lie," he said. "You’ve heard that this is all going to mean government funding of abortion. Not true."

Obama also said his opponents have claimed that elderly Americans that a new health insurance system could jeopardize Medicare.

"Many of you have older members of your congregations. They’re all now scared to death that someone is talking about cutting Medicare benefits," he said. "That is again simply not true."

Faith in Public Life estimated that 140,000 people participated in the call.

"These are all fabrications that have been put out there in order to discourage people from meeting what I consider to be a core ethical and moral obligation," Obama said. "And that is that we look out for one another. That I am my brother’s keeper and my sister’s keeper."

Sojourners President Jim Wallis, Florida megachurch pastor Joel Hunter, and Director of the Domestic Policy Council Melody Barnes also spoke.

Earlier today, Family Research Council launched a new TV ad in five states that claims Obama’s health care plan will lead to publicly funded abortions.

President of FRC Tony Perkins released a statement responding to Obama's call.

"This evening, President Obama stated that abortion funding in health care reform is a 'distraction,'" he said. "If that is the case - then why not end this so-called 'distraction' and amend the bill to explicitly prohibit abortion funding and coverage with his health care plan?"

Comments

I am absolutely flummoxed, appalled and disheartened that Christians in America can support the rights of people to own guns and yet are against people having healthcare

Some Christians have so lost their way

“If Jesus were here today, he would be a Republican” says one portion of the population. “Not true,” says another portion in objection. And still yet another portion throws its hands in the air and knows not what to think.

The truth is, no one knows what Jesus would be, and there is really no use speculating, except to say that he would still be himself. That means he would heal the sick when he saw the need to do so, not worrying about insurance, income, means of support, etc.

“But he lived in a different time” will be the objections voiced by some, including those who consider themselves to be ardent followers of his. As such, they need to realize he now lives in this world, too, through each of us. He does not live in the world we created, but he lives in us.

The example he gave us was not one preoccupied with financial bottom-lines, profit-loss statements and whether one was in the black. It was an example preoccupied with fellow human beings, responding foremost above all to their suffering, and seeking to alleviate it.

Luke 17: 11-19 gives a specific example, when Jesus healed the lepers as he was walking through a village. They called out for his mercy, and he responded. He did not ask for insurance cards; he did not turn down their request because he did not honor their coverage. He saw a need and he responded to it.Without concern for how it would affect him.

“Well, he was the Son of God,” some might say. Then why did Jesus weep when Lazarus died. Jesus knew he would be resurrecting Lazarus in a matter of minutes, but it did not matter. Jesus wept.

Jesus wept because of his humanity at the moment. Yes, he was the Son of God. But he was also among us in human form.Among those who were mourning and weeping, he was doing the same. Feeling their pain, as a recent politician shamelessly asserted applied to his own feelings.

Jesus lived in the world that existed when he walked the earth.The world that exists now has been developed by man. It is debatable whether his input and guidance have really been considered in such development. It also is really beside the point.

We do much reshaping of Jesus in our image, invoking his blessing into all sides of a political argument. Yet we rarely seem to stop and consider what he really did during his life, and how to truly follow his example. In several examples illustrated in the Bible, it seems apparent and simple: He healed the sick. Not looking for profit but giving love.

As we consider the current health-care reform debate, maybe we should focus on following where his example might lead rather than making him fit our predetermined desires.


Please don't fall for the lies. The big Insurance & Drug Companies are spending millions to convince you that we should keep things "as-is". No, we don't have to get rid of competition altogether. Some Govt' competition would not do that.
Got the *Ingredients?
Then you can pay what Insurance Companies decide they want to charge you---if they will insure you at all, that is.
*Ingredients:
(a)1 part hard work
(b)1 part integrity
(c)1 part self motivation
(d)1 part preparation
(e)1 part good luck, and/or greed

Do you really think you are what/who you are because of parts a-d? Maybe, so, in part----but if hard work, motivation, and good education would make you rich, then why are so many (with those attributes) out of work?
The common denominator for the rich----(e)

Do you really think you are what/who you are because you are a "good Christian" and the Lord has blessed you, because of your efforts? Then why are there "real (humble) Christians", who are destitute?

We all know that "guvmant" can run health care for a whole lot cheaper and more efficiently than the private sector. We know that because the "guvmant" over and over again has always been very careful with the public's money. And we have great examples of "guvmant" efficiency in the areas of the military procurement. For example, back in the '70's the Navy was purchasing toilet seats for the incredibly low price of $300/seat. WOW! Hook me up with some of those savings, huh. And, also, they were paying only $60 for a hammer. ONLY $60 DOLLARS. FOR A HAMMER. Show me where to line up for that bargin. And the "guvmant" has done such a great job of containing costs when it comes to social security and medicare. And the "guvmant" has really done a wonderful job in education. In fact, our country spends more than any other country on education. So that means we render superior educational services to our children. Hey, I are a produck of the publik skuls. I mean there is virtually "zero, zilch, nada" corruption going on there. Now that Mr. Obama is President, we can all just relax and trust the "guvment" with our health care.

As a Christian who knows what it's like to be destitute and who has lacked health insurance at various times, I am tired of being exploited by politicians and lobbying groups that are seeking a government takeover of the health care industry. It's not that I am against people having health care; I am against forcing my neighbor to pay for my health care. Furthermore, as followers of Jesus, we are supposed to trust in God, not the state, to supply our needs. Christians who are advocating for a government-run, publicly funded health care system need to keep in mind that nothing from the government is free. Anything the government provides has to be paid for by taxpayers, who have bills to pay and families to support just like you and me.

To Dan & Julie, Please pardon me for the appearnce of making this into a debate. But, actually that's a good thing. As a follower of Christ, I feel compeled to present the facts (as I see them). Not to fault you for the way you see it, but to provide an alternate view. Dan, I don't agree with you, but your statement is clever and funny. Nope, the Guvment aint so good, sometimes. I'd much rather pay them my taxes though than to live with the fear and hopelessness the folks did back before there was Goverment run Social Security and Medicare. Julie, please consider this. It's not what you make (your gross pay) It's what you have left (your spendable income). If for instance you make $100 and the government takes out $25---that leaves you $75?(or does it) Does it mean you have $75 spendable income? Nope, because you now must pay the insurance company what ever they want to charge you. If you're young, and/or healthy, they might not charge you much at all--But heaven forbid that you get really sick-and/or loose your job and health care through them.
Now consider this --e.g. Say you Gross $100 and your deductions are $30--that leaves you $70--but the othe $5 pays for a Medicare type basic health care (for you and every other eligible person in the US). It costs Medicare about 3% to administer benefits. It costs most Insurance Companies around 20-40%. Where does the extra 17-37% go? Ans.-- $Billion salaries to Major Insurance Company Exectives & to investors. Making a profit is not bad or wrong in most instances, but off health care is sinful (in my opinion). I'd perhaps have no complaint about private industry administering our nation's health care, if they were Non-profit Companies.
Finally, neither of you may agree with me, but I challange you--Look further into it. Go beyond Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, & Fox News--See what others have to say on the subject. All of us Liberals are not the evil "Baby killers" that you fear so much. God Bless you, In the name of Jesus (the first Liberal)>

You should not fall for this pseudo president and his false statements.
He intends to ride roughshod over those who have the medical care they like and want.
Suddenly he is enlisting the religious community. Will we next be hearing from Rec. Wright and his hate America speech?
What has happened to the separation of church and state?
What has happened for the concern for the unborn.
It would seem that morals and ethics have gone out of the window.
There is no need to rush into a huge change that hasn't even a proper foundation. They can't even prepare an outline with proposed costs for these programs.
Let them do the planning, footwork and trials before they propose so much change that the United States will become a state of chaos and Medicine will be available to none.
Think of you parents, grandparents and the unborn. Before you think you know what is going on read the thousand + pages of this proposal.

I'm one Christian who supports the government of every country providing healthcare to every citizen as a basic moral and ethical human right. It is the only decent thing to do. Even if I were not a Christian I would still want this. It is interesting that "the who is going to pay for this" always rears its ugly head. How about who pays for wars that do nothing but destroy people's lives?

I often wonder how come the same concerns are never expressed then...

I went to the emergency room last year to get a finger lanced due to an ingrown nail.

The bill that my HMO sent to me, showed that the cost that the hospital charge for this 5 mins procedure was $1,800.00.

Something needs to be done!

The Uninsured

10-20 Million Illegals
10 Million would qualify under Medicaid, Healthy Famlies
10 Million earn $75,000+ and will not buy insurance

Leaves an estimated 14 Million actually without and
need assistance to get health insurance.

Jim - Thank you for your complement. I was trying to bring a little humor into the conversation - and not berating those with whom I disagree. You claim to be a liberal and as you can tell, I am a traditionalist and conservative - of the old variety. But I think we could be friends. Maybe? All righty, then. Just wait til I tell my mom I made a new friend - AND he's a liberal! I hope she won't ground me. ;-) But back to topic ('cuz it's getting awkward now) Why don't we as a country start with some practical reforms like tort reform and portability before we decide to overhaul the entire health care system? Seems like what the Dems are proposing isn't going so well. Lots of anger out here in middle America. Also, what is being proposed by the Dems seems very similar to the health care systems in Canada, Great Britain, Germany, et al. And from what I hear, those systems aren't very good.

Mr. Obama tries to debunk "rumors?" I hope the clergy reminded the President that he should not lie and neither should the government steal what God has so graciously given each of us. It is up to the individual to be generous, not be dictated to from the government how much we are to give.

Jim, Dan and Peggy

Have any of you read the bill? I'm currently on the 657th page of the 1000 pages

Have any of you actually read it?

As a Christian I have been following the debate on Helathcare closely and trying to make up my open mind. I am concerned that people do go without health coverage in a very wealthy country. But we also are a country whose governance is declared in our Constitution and I do not find National Healthcare as a Right in this document. It would seem that what we should pursue first is an amendment to our constitution to provide this right rather than trying to find Rights by how we feel things ought to be. All who claim to be in favor of Healthcare as a Right should adopt at least one other person who is presently uninsured and cover them. With 250million insured and 50million uninsured there should be plenty of takers to cover all at their own expense even if only 25% of the insured are convinced that this Right exists. God Bless us with insight and compassion with coercion.

Perhaps this will help shed some light on the situation. May God help us all

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ht_W5_Ogh0U&feature=player_embedded

Jim, never in my life have I ever called liberals "baby killers." Why on earth would you assume something like that without even knowing me? Is this the kind of "tolerance" you embrace: falsely accusing someone with whom you disagree of having said something hateful when you have no evidence to indicate that this is even true? And for the record, I can't stand Rush Limbaugh, and none of my views about this or any other issue are based on anything he has said (I don't even listen to his radio show). My views on this subject are based on the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, and the Holy Bible, none of which suggest that I have a right to force anyone to pay for my health care or any other need I may have. And to Justin: Why do you assume that all Christians who are opposed to government-run health care support wars that do nothing but destroy people's live? For your information, not all fiscal conservatives support the wars our government has been waging. I sure don't. And while we're on the subject, why hasn't our supposedly peace-loving president pulled all of our troops out of Iraq as he promised? If Obama has gone back on this word about this, a key part of his campaign platform, how can we entrust our nation's health care to him?

Justin and CL - I don't have to read the bill. I have you to do it for me. Just post an executive summary of it, and I will read that. I have more important things to do with my time - like reading and responding to you. But really, since both houses of congress are securely in the Democrat's grip, why don't they just pass it NOW! Don't wait. You got the votes. SO DO IT NOW! What's the hold up? Can't be the repubs. Every one of their 300 amendments have been tossed by the Dems. So, then, my point again: why read the bill?

The only way to fund this is to FORCE healthy 20 and 30 year olds to buy insurance. That is a waste of their money, foolish, immoral, and a deal breaker from the start. Without this there is no money there for the companies to take on new people who have pre-existing conditions. You don't even need to open the Bible to know that Obama's schemes are LOONEY LOONEY LOONEY! He promised Planned Parenthood before the election that abortion funding would be included in the health care bill. How gullible can Christians be??

In order for the central government and the international banking community to thrive and prosper, they have to create the perception that the working class, which will bear the principle cost and the interest, needs the things they invent.

So, while we're all obligated, Christians and non-Christians, to funding the politicians and bankers and their efforts to feed the poor and heal the sick, pray that the spirit of charity will increase to keep pace with the spirit of entitlement.

Sorry Julie. Really, I did not mean to point that comment toward you directly, but your point is well taken. Again, Sorry!
I suppose I’m a little sensitive. I’ve been the only Liberal in my Ultra-Conservative Southern Baptist Church for years. My wife is a life long So. Bapt. & even though I don’t see “eye-to-eye” on all issues, we get along pretty well, anyway—they love me in spite of me being a “Yellow dog”—ha). Sadly though, some folks automatically assume that I am pro abortion just because I’m a Democrat. Actually, I’m even more conservative on that particular issue than lots of my Republican friends. Lots of them say it’s Okay to abort a baby if it’s a case of Incest or Rape. I don’t (at least not automatically—maybe never—gotta admit, I’m not sure). The only reason I could go along with abortion is in the case of saving the Mother’s life.
You sound like a wonderful person. Glad I got to have this discussion with you, my Christian Sister. Jim>

The implication among the Christian Left, including some who have commented above, is that if Jesus were here, he would be healing people and not looking for profit. I agree 100%. So why not go out and be like Jesus, and help heal people and don't look for profit? But that's a different thing than trying to force others to pay for government's idea of how to heal people Governments way of healing people may not always be the best way, can we concede that? Look at the British NHS.

I don't recall any scriptures where Jesus tells the Roman authorities that they ought to have a health care or welfare plan. Jesus instead made converts and started the church, so that it could show His compassion. The role of government as outlined in the bible is mostly to render justice in civil and criminal cases, and to wield the sword against enemies and evildoers. Leave the job of showing compassion to the church - we could always do a better job there. The government never has been and never will be good at showing compassion. It is staffed by civil servants who just want to get paid and go home.

Regarding the idea that reaping profits for health care is a sin: if that's true, then reaping profits for farming or food distribution should also be a sin, because they are also essential for survival. Using this rule you could pretty quickly determine that all profit is a sin. But the fact is that the free marketplace is the only system that has been shown to provide wealth for any society, wealth which can be used in a compassionate way, and which generally elevates many people's standard of living.

Thank you, Jim, for your gracious apology! As a registered Republican who has a strong propensity toward Libertarianism/Classical Liberalism, I am sure that there are many areas in which you and I would see eye to eye. One of the people I admire most, the late Congressman Larry McDonald, was a Democrat. He was a passenger aboard Korean Air Flight 007, which was shot down by the Soviets. McDonald was a cousin of General George S. Patton and was the only sitting member of Congress to have been killed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Like you, Congressman McDonald was a pro-life Democrat. He was also a true patriot who was much more conservative in his views than most Republicans are today. I'm glad to have met you, Jim, and I pray that our Lord Jesus will bless you with His presence daily.

Great response, Joe! Governments have never been good at showing compassion. I doubt that any of us would really want a health care system that operates with the level of compassion found among employees of the IRS!

History has shown us what happens in countries where the producers in society are forbidden from making a profit; eventually they stop producing, or the goods and services they produce become vastly inferior because there is no incentive to create a superior product. Do we really want that to happen to America's health care industry?

"History has shown us what happens in countries where the producers in society are forbidden from making a profit; eventually they stop producing, or the goods and services they produce become vastly inferior because there is no incentive to create a superior product. Do we really want that to happen to America's health care industry?"

You know it wouldn't be so bad but comments like that kind of fall flat when you consider the experience of every other industrialized nation (and also some less industrialized nations) in the health care field. It should be a source of great shame to all of us that the USA lies 38th behind nations like Columbia in the WHO table of health care statistics. As far as what Jesus had to say about health care...that's a ridiculous argument Joe...Jesus certainly had a lot to say about how we treat one another...Matt 25 e.g. If the role of government according to the bible is just to administer justice in criminal and civil cases or fight wars then I have no idea why the Prophets spend so much time railing on about the poor. Sodom's sin was not one of bad court systems, it was serious injustice and oppression of the poor. If we have government by the people and for the people then, as far as I'm concerned, what that government does or does not do is our responsibility.

Oh and by the way Joe...what exactly do you mean...look at Britain's NHS? Do yourself a favor and actually check the facts out using some source other than Glen Beck or Faux News. If you do you will find that British people are far far happier with their health care system than Americans are. That's why both the Labor PM, Gordon Brown, and Conservative opposition leader, David Cameron, both came out so strongly this week in defending the NHS against the lies being spread by GOP leaders and Insurance industry lackeys over here.

"If the role of government according to the bible is just to administer justice in criminal and civil cases or fight wars then I have no idea why the Prophets spend so much time railing on about the poor." It is true that the prophets castigated the people of Israel for failing to help the poor. But aid to the poor was never administered by Israel's civil government (the judges and later the kings). It was always administered by the religious leaders. And in New Testament times, the apostles took up collections for the poor (and even sold their own property to raise funds for the poor), but they never lobbied the Roman Empire to forcibly redistribue wealth.

"Julie, surely you're not suggesting that ancient Israel had some sort of separation of church (or temple) and state? That just flatly misrepresents history." There is ample biblical evidence that ancient Israel had a system in which the different "branches" of its government had distinct functions and responsibilities. For instance, we know from 1 Samuel 13 that the king was not permitted to offer up burnt offerings; this role was reserved to the priests.

Your point about the early church leaders being a despised minority is well-taken. However, it cannot be denied that under the New Covenant, almsgiving is supposed to be voluntary--done out of love for Christ. Throughout the epistles, it is clear that no one was forced to give. See 2 Corinthians 9:7: "Each person should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under complusion, for God loves a cheerful giver." Can you honestly imagine that Jesus would seek to use the power of the state to force people to be charitable?

To Justin: my friend, owning a gun is a freedom and right you have as a citizen, but forcing your fellow citizens to buy you a gun, and your ammo, and your custom gun rack for your pickup or any other gun accessories you like, is not a freedom and a right. The issue at stake here is not "access to health care" but "access to health insurance"--anyone can get treatment at an emergency room when necessary.

Re: something needs to be done: It's your choice, friend. Your lanced fingernail could have waited until the next day. Why complicate the triage of the ER with an ingrown nail!? OR, even better you could have done it yourself. I'm not finding anywhere in any constitution or lifebook that any of us has an entitlement to avoid the mild discomfort of an infected ingrown nail.

So. If you need a gun, let me know. I'd gladly give you the cash to buy one long before I'd yield my tax dollars to buy you one.

Christian lawyer, I am not advocating anarchy if that's what you think. Neither am I am advocating democracy, which descends into mob rule because the will of the majority is imposed on the minority, either through brute force or by voting the minority's rights out of existence. What I am advocating for is a return to our constitutional, republican form of government whereby the federal government is strictly limited in what it can do in promoting the general welfare.

If you look at Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, you will see that the clause about promoting the general welfare does not give the federal government carte blanche to do whatever it (or the voters) thinks it should do for the so-called "good" of the people. Following that clause is a list of specific powers delegated to Congress (I believe there are 16 or 17). Please read that list and tell me where you see the provision of health care.

Futhermore, the general welfare clause includes the phrise "in order to ... secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity..." How is forcing taxpayers to pay for other people's health care compatible with the blessings of liberty?

When you say "Voluntary was the [early church members'] ONLY choice," are you really saying that Jesus, Paul, and the other disciples would have preferred force? The Bible I have says that Jesus came to redeem us from the curse of the law. It says that believers are free to give what they have chosen in their hearts to give. It says that we are not supposed to be enslaved by anything (See Galatians 5:1, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.")

It sounds to me as if you believe that Jesus came to free us from poverty and financial ruin rather than from sin and the curse of the law. I have been in financial ruin, and I can testify that it is NOT the worst thing that can happen to someone. To me, it would be far worse to place myself under the yoke of the law and reject the liberty that Jesus purchased for me with His precious blood.


Jesus came to fulfill the law not overturn it Julie...he says that very clearly. Jesus also came to redeem the whole world to himself...every part and we who are redeemed are partners in that redemption, otherwise why pray "let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven". Once redeemed we're not just supposed to twiddle our thumbs until we get to heaven. We're called to be part of the work of redeeming the whole of creation...and I believe that includes the injustice of health care for some but not everybody. But that aside...if you really believe that the constitution states the government has no role in securing the general welfare of the people then I expect that you are campaigning even now to dismantle social security, medicare and medicaid.

So let me see if I get this right.

None of you have read the proposal of what the President is intending in reforming health care. And you are the same people commenting

Either I am living in a bizaroo world. Or Americans are truly some of the most stupid people to ever walk the face of the earth!

I may take a dim view of Bill Maher, but I think he hits the nail on the head when he said this:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-maher/new-rule-smart-president_b_253996.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECYXeD_s1u8

SKHENDO - Are you a born again bible believing Christian?

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Posted by: SKHendo at August 22, 2009
To Justin: my friend, owning a gun is a freedom and right you have as a citizen, but forcing your fellow citizens to buy you a gun, and your ammo, and your custom gun rack for your pickup or any other gun accessories you like, is not a freedom and a right. The issue at stake here is not "access to health care" but "access to health insurance"--anyone can get treatment at an emergency room when necessary.
Re: something needs to be done: It's your choice, friend. Your lanced fingernail could have waited until the next day. Why complicate the triage of the ER with an ingrown nail!? OR, even better you could have done it yourself. I'm not finding anywhere in any constitution or lifebook that any of us has an entitlement to avoid the mild discomfort of an infected ingrown nail.
So. If you need a gun, let me know. I'd gladly give you the cash to buy one long before I'd yield my tax dollars to buy you one.

Very true, Julie.
It’s absurd to think that the general welfare clause of the U.S. Constitution was meant to give the federal government permission to do anything it wants. That clause is strictly limited, and can operate only within the powers specifically delegated to the federal government (note: healthcare ISN’T one of them) by the Constitution. And, in case that limitation on power wasn’t obvious enough to some people, they added the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to make it intensely clear.

9th Amendment – "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

This means that the people have numerous, unspecified rights with which the federal government must not interfere, including health care.

10th Amendment - "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

This means that most powers are held by the states and the people, and the federal government must NOT legislate in these areas, including the area of health care.

To be clear: Healthcare is NOT a power delegated to the federal government!

Legally, power over healthcare is left to the states and the people. Period.
Now, if enough people want that changed, they can amend the Constitution (as per Article 5) so that healthcare becomes a federal matter.

However, UNTIL the Constitution is amended, it is illegal for the federal government to legislate healthcare. This means that people who advocate for federal health laws now – without an amendment – are lawless anarchists.

Heather, you REALLY need to read the previous post!

Justin - Why read the bills? The Democratic MAJORITY can pass whatever bill they want to NOW without a single Republican vote. So, why all the hoopla? Why all the sturm und drang? Why all the drama? Why do the Dems constantly accuse the Repubs of standing in the way of health care? Indeed, WHY? The Dems DON'T NEED ONE, SINGLE REPUB VOTE. THEY CAN PASS WHATEVER BILL THEY WANT TO NOW!!. So PASS THE **#!!&@* BILL and let's move on. THANKS!!..I mean,Thanks for letting me get this off my chest. (BTW, I provide towels when I talk to people. Hope I didn't get anything on anyone.)

Avery...I READ it...I still hold on to what I say. Given your constitutional scholarship I would imagine you hold similar concerns about social security, medicare and medicaid. So when are you and Julie going to start to demand the dismantling of these blights on our nation?? It is the logical conclusion to your "constitutional" argument against welfare. By the way your 10th amendment argument was used to start the Civil War...good company you're keeping there.

Heather wrote: "Jesus came to fulfill the law not overturn it Julie...he says that very clearly. Jesus also came to redeem the whole world to himself...Once redeemed we're not just supposed to twiddle our thumbs until we get to heaven. We're called to be part of the work of redeeming the whole of creation...and I believe that includes the injustice of health care for some but not everybody. But that aside...if you really believe that the constitution states the government has no role in securing the general welfare of the people then I expect that you are campaigning even now to dismantle social security, medicare and medicaid."

Yes, Heather, Jesus did come to fulfill the law, and He did so by paying the penalty for our sins through his death on the cross—not by forcing people to obey the law through government coercion. He also came to redeem the whole world, not through the power of the state but by reconciling the entire world to himself. This is not going to be accomplished through legislation or brute force; it can only be accomplished through believers who are committed to obeying Christ’s command to make disciples of all nations. This doesn’t mean believers are supposed to sit around twiddling their thumbs until they get to heaven. Followers of Christ are called to be salt and light, to feed the hungry and visit the sick. But we don’t need the government to do those things, and Jesus never told us we should steal from our neighbors to fund such acts of mercy.

If you truly desire to work for improved access to health care for the needy, I’m not stopping you. You are free to donate your money (whatever’s left after taxes) to charitable hospitals and other outreaches that provide free or low-cost medical care to the poor, whether in the United States or overseas. Or, go back to school, earn your medical degree, and donate your time at a free clinic. You can also promote free-market solutions to the so-called health care crisis, including the one proposed by Rep. Ron Paul, HR 3217, or the Health Care Choice Act of 2009. Unlike you, Congressman Paul believes that real reform entails more liberty and less government coercion, not the other way around.

As to your last point, I don't think it matters to you what the Constitution says, but once again I refer you to Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, where heath care is NOT listed as a delegated federal power. For that matter, nowhere in the Constitution does it state that Congress is authorized to set up a retirement program for American citizens.

If you don't like the Constitution, you are free to work to amend it, but please stop trying to invent a "right" to health care where none exists. Nothing is a "right" if I have to force someone to provide it for me.

Dan

If I were the President, I would do exactly as you are suggesting. But apparently the poor man seems to be a man of his word. I'm going to have to start wondering about him soon! I recall him saying that he was going to reach across the aisles and work with the republicans. Obviously they do not want to work with him. When will he wake up and realize this and just move on without them, is all I want to know.

I am still blown away by you and all the others who can discuss something and comment negatively on something that none of you have any knowledge of.

Amazing, absolutely amazing. Truly I'm blessed to live in this society.

I now perfectly understand the quote about empty vessels making the most noise...

Oh, Justin. You big joker, you with your "empty vessel" comment. Pshaw, Pshaw. Now be serious just for once. Seriously now, as I recall early on Mr. Obama said, "We won the election." signifying that he was going to do what he wanted to do, and the repubs could either get on board or be left behind. I don't ever recall him saying "We will wait for our brothers and sisters across the aisle to see the light and join hands with us and all America so that we may together lead our country to into the bright....yada, yada, yada." So I don't think its the repubs being recalcitrant that's holding up the works. And nobody else does either. Now be honest with us all - you don't think so, do you? I didn't think so. Thanks for your honesty. The Pres is not waiting for the repubs. He's waiting for his own party. You see, the Dems are in a dither (a little alliteration there). Dithering Dems dancing daintily all over the place (see Justin others can be clever, too). They are scared-to-freaking-death of their constituents' wrath. And they know that if they pass this stinker there will be H-E double hockey sticks to pay back home. I have never seen anything like this in my entire 57 years. The Dems are cowards and don't want to go down alone. They want to spread the blame. That's why no repub in his or her right mind should vote for this bill. Let the Dems own it - for good or ill. If it works like the Pres says it will, then the Dems will still be power long after I die a natural death (suggested by the death panel, of course). But how strange it seems. They are frightened of their own monster. (It's ALIVE! It's ALIVE!) Now its time: You libs won the election, you have veto proof majorities in both houses. Man up, VOTE FOR THE FREAKING HEALTH CARE BILL TODAY. YOU DON'T NEED A SINGLE REPUBLICAN VOTE. There are millions suffering without adequate health care and you dems have suddenly dear-in-the-headlights frozen in your tracks. You are like possums running in circles in the middle of the road. The president of the USA - a dem - challenged you to pass the health care bill before the August break. You said you would - but you didn't. WHY NOT!! It wasn't the repubs fault, 'cuz you don't need them. YOU STAND ON THE CUSP OF GREATNESS, ON THE LEDGE OF OPPORTUNITY. Take the next step - off the ledge. Please. 'Cuz if you don't, America, having escaped from the Egyptian (read Republican) captivity will wander aimlessly in the wilderness...of non-health care... for the next 40 years before she will be led into the Promised Land of Single Payer health care. (Man, my extended metaphors always suck.) "We are the ones we've been waiting for." (the Prez) Lead us into that brave new world! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Julie, answer the question...do you think that social security, medicare and medicaid should be abolished?? According to your interpretation of section 8 of the constitution they are not legally covered either. I would remind you that the Supreme Court in 1937 didn't agree with folks like yourself who were trying to use the constitution to block social security as you are doing with health care. Your comments overall suggest that you think government is somehow separate from the people and all religious responsibility is personal and not corporate. Government in the US is "of the people and by the people" (unlike the Roman empire for e.g) therefore we the people have a responsibility as to the actions of that government.

Dan

I've left the discussion with you. I can't discuss something with someone who has not educated himself about the topic.

God bless

Justin: You can't? Or is it just that you don't want to admit the obvious? (Rhetorical Question, here) I've made my point. Buh Bye.

"Julie, answer the question...do you think that social security, medicare and medicaid should be abolished??" I thought my answer would have been obvious by now, but I think that if at all possible, they should be phased out or privatized (of course, anyone who is currently dependent on those programs should not lose their benefits). But before that happens, those programs are going to be bankrupt (even Time Magazine did a cover story on this a few years ago, which surprised me). The Social Security system could have been salvaged through the Social Security Trust Fund, which was supposed to set aside the contributions of those who are currently paying into Social Security so that they would be safe. Unfortunately, I believe George Bush Senior (whom I did NOT vote for) signed a bill allowing Congress to raid the trust fund and use those contributions for other things (most likely pork and spending on our already bloated military). This means that by the time people my age are old enough to collect what they paid into Social Security, those funds will be gone.

And Heather, I wholeheartedly agree with you that we have a responsibility as to the actions of our government. This is why I have been working most of my adult life to holding our government accountable for obeying the Constitution. Meanwhile, I will leave you with the following quotes:

"Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government."--James Madison, Father of the Constitution

"A government that is big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take away everything you have.--Congressman Davy Crockett

"Everyone should give what he has decided in his heart to give, and not under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."--the Apostle Paul

I pray that you will not take offense at my strong opinions about this subject, which are based on my family's history living under a tyrannical government that tried to kill them (but which enjoyed tremendous popular support because of all the social programs it created through the wealth it had confiscated from an oppressed minority). May the peace of our Lord Jesus be with you always.

Yes Dan

You have made the point well - that you know nothing about the subject matter.

I'm afraid I don't deal with people showing such "brilliance". Especially when they are that proud of it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECYXeD_s1u8

God bless

Now Justin, don't be a sore loser. The point of my little satirical rant was this: Why read a bill when there really is no bill yet? I think I heard there are, in fact, several versions in the house and another one in the senate. But nothing has come to the floor yet. So what's the point? But even if there were a bill, what's the point anyway in "me" reading it now? Don't you know that many of the members in congress only read a kind of executive summary of a bill? Why would you hold me to a higher standard? Seriously Justin, the dems have tossed out some 300 amendmants the repubs have suggested. They obviously only want the repubs to rubber stamp what they - the dems - want. The dems can pass anything they want to - NOW! And whether or not I read it is irrelevant. So just because my little rant riled you, doesn't mean I don't have some valid points. The nature of satire, anyway is that it's like a verbal caricature. It's not authoritative, nor is it necessarily accurate. It's just poking a little fun at something. My only rule (for me, that is) is this: I try not to say anything cruel or mean about anyone especially those posting here. For example, I have never called you an idiot or moron or any other name. I just like to see the absurdity in this and other topics and have a little fun. That's all.

Hey "Guys", this discussion over the past few days has been GREAT! This is how we Christians should do things. Let's use our "knoggens", think for ourselves, and quit automatically believing everything that the likes of those on the far Righs or far Left tell us.
In this debate, as with most important issues, it's usually those of us in the middle who's level headed ideas will prevail (at least I hope so)
This forum is wonderful. Thanks to CT for providing it. To my new friends "Christian Attorney", Heather, Julie, & others who've commented, my thanks for your participaton. I'd love to get to know you better, if your so inclined. Feel free to email me at ccbiggs@juno.com
(by the way Julie), I live in KY, where Ron's son Rand Paul is running for US Senate--I generaly vote for the one who is closer to my philosophy, rather than the person[who usually votes streight down the "Party Line"]--Rand is running as a Republican & I probably won't vote for him, but some of his ideas are interesting. Bless you all, JIM>

Heather, since you keep bringing up social security, medicare and medicaid, here’s my opinion.
We should either phase-out all 3, or pass a Constitutional Amendment giving the federal government power to legislate in these areas.

Now let me ask you a question. Do you actually believe that the federal government is obeying the 9th and 10th Amendments anymore?

Jim, why won't you vote for Ron Paul's son for the U.S. Senate?

Avery and Julie,

Thank you for your opinions. At least you're both being consistent as opposed to those who are vehemently opposed to health care reform and yet hold on to these other entitlement programs. I personally believe that access to decent health care is a right and not a privilege and, as such, should be federally mandated so as to prevent disparities between citizens living in different states. I also think that the Great Depression taught us that a safety net such as social security, is necessary to prevent absolute destitution in old age as was witnessed in this country during the 1930s. There are some things that personal charity can deal with, but there are others (health care is one) that all charity can do is place a band aid on the problem. I think it's a stretch indeed to believe that by providing these basic life preserving rights at the Federal level we are somehow on the road to a Marxist Leninist state. All other Western Industrialized nations have managed this, and more, without that occurring. As to the Constitutionality of these matters I think there are more opinions on the interpretation of the Constitution than there are articles or amendments themselves. The Supreme Court in 1937 displayed this when it ruled that Social Security was indeed lawful under the Constitution although it was close. I personally believe that the preamble to the Constitution says it all when it states "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

I know you don't agree with me but I can think of no greater promotion of the General Welfare of the people than equitable and affordable access to health care. I believe that it's right up there with providing for the defense of the nation.


Peace,

Heather

Avery,
Like I said before, I usually only vote for politicians who share my basic, over all philosophy. I have found it nearly impossible, over the years to find a Republican who I could agree with, more than his/her Democratic opponent. In fact, I have only knowingly voted for one Republican in my life (A family Dr. here in town, for Coroner—I figured that political philosophy does not really matter that much for that job).
I will listen to what Rand Paul has to say, but since His Dad is a long time Republican, and he, himself claims to be one too, and I just cannot see me ultimately choosing him over his Democratic challenger. I realize that I have a very “jaded” view of the Republican Party and its followers. I’ve heard it said (in jest, of course) that the un-official “tag line” of the Republican Party is this “I’ve got mine, to Hell with you”. I’m sure that there are still some caring folks out there who are also members of the Republican Party, but frankly I don’t know many, though. At least not of the Baby-Boomer generation and younger.
Perhaps I have been able to meet some during these few days of discussing this issue. I hope so. Most Republicans that I know seem to have bought into the Reaganomics and Bush, Jr. theory “It’s your money”. Personally, I do not agree. I think it all belongs to God and we all are to spread the wealth. (e.g. If my family of 4 has 6 slices of bread and our neighbor has none, it’s incumbent upon me to give them our 2 extra pieces. That, instead of keeping all 6 pieces for ourselves, while they go hungry).
Some might ask, “Then why don’t you just pay more taxes, if that’s the way you feel”. Okay, I’m more than willing to do that. God has blessed me beyond measure, I’m more than happy to pay more taxes so that my fellow citizen has basic health care. That’s precisely why I am (like the good Republican, Teddy Roosevelt, was) for the “Progressive Tax system”---That is; the more you make, the more you owe. Seems I remember something in the Bible like that (“To whom much is given, much is expected”)
Perhaps I have been able to meet some of those good and caring Republicans during these few days of blogging. I sure hope so.
Jim

Two comments.

First, Can we keep the comments down to 7 pages each? Just can't resist using up every one of those 1500 characters, can we? I know it's tempting, but brevity is the soul of wit.

Second, I think it's pretty ridiculous to make this healthcare reform look like a liberal plot to kill babies and old people. It's worse - plain old scaremongering. For crying out loud, the plan doesn't force anyone to accept government insurance, much less let a government bureaucrat decide whether you need surgery! Come on, let's debate, not hate.

But Brendan

How can you debate with someone when they are quite deliberate in their ignorance?

How can you debate with someone when they have no intention of educating themselves about what the issue is all about?

How can you debate with someone when the pat themself on the back and rejoice in the fact that they don't know what the issue is about and have no intention of learning for themselves what it's about?

And how can you debate a bill when there really isn't a bill yet? And why do you want health care bill that we as a country can't pay for? And why would you want health care run by a govt. that cannot and has never been able to competently run any - ANY! - program. They (those pushing this health care reform) say that it will be "deficit neutral". Yeah, right. When has any program the govt. managed been deficit neutral? Remember Pres. Nixon's REPUBLICAN administration capping gas prices in the '70's? What happened? Gas rationing - long lines. And then when the prices were uncapped they went sky high. What is going to happen when the govt. caps health care reimbursement? Do you think Social Security is safely solvent? Or Medicare? Or medicaid? Are they secure programs? Even Pres. Obabma says the deficit is going to be much higher than he predicted. Duh! Doesn't take an economist with a PhD to figure that out. Those who are posting here in favor of so-called health care reform like to conveniently ignore the obvious and logical consequences of the govt's financial actions. And still I haven't heard a logical reason for throwing out the "other side of the aisle's" amendments (All 300 of them!) and then having the temerity to ask repubs to rubber stamp their version (whatever that will be). Oh, yes. We have a post-partisan President. I forgot. Maybe, but not a post-partisan congress.

For Dan...a simple explanation in favor of universal health care....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jng4TnKqy6A

Enjoy...

Heather - Yes, you are right about one thing: it is simple. Verrry simple.
My rendition of the current debate:
"And now boys and girls, let's line up at the door. Boys in one line. Girls in the other. And now I want you to zzzzip your lips and throw away the key. Now put your hands behind your backs and we all march down to vote for the libs health care reform bill. Which one? You're talking, little man. Do you dare question the great ones' (the dems not the Prez - okay him, too) motives and judgment? Are you trying to cause trouble little man? Didn't you zip your lips and throw away the key?"
I am a product of the '60's. Question Authority! Don't ever believe the govt.spin machine: not repubs, dems, independents. Because if you ever do stop questioning their authority and judgment, you will end up in some Viet Nam or Iraq or Afghanistan and wonder how did we ever get into this mess. Same applies to this huge monetary sucking black hole called health care reform. Always love your country. Never trust the govt.

Justin: I just got around to watching the Bill Maher youtube video. He is funny. I laughed. And Bill Mahr is a recognized expert on health care reform, too. I can tell. I trust Bill Maher. So he must be right. And you said you read all 1000 pages of which bill? How'd that work out for you? You got all the facts at your fingertips now? Which bill, btw? Several, according to dem Ike Skelton, are in the house. And dem Claire McCaskill said there was a senate version - but she didn't know about the several house versions. (The old shell game routine going on here. Can't you see it?) So are you going to read the senate version, too? And how do we really know that you've read any of it. Oh, that's right. For the same reason we should believe the lib's idea for health care reform - because you said so and because they said so. Well, that certainly settles it for me. Remember, I asked you for an executive summary of whichever bill you read? An executive summary that is a product of your own reading. I'm still waiting. After all you said you read it. So prove it. I mean none of your posts even showed a scintilla of proof that you read it. Reading and comprehending can be different. Yes, Justin, brilliance, pure brilliance. Buh Bye.

CL: 1. So, when a bill comes out, I will read that. 2. If we are in deep doo doo debt now, I fail to see how we can afford what the libs are proposing. And you really believe a politician when he/she uses the term "deficit neutral." You can always tell when a politician is lying: their lips are moving.
3. Really, CL, Justin said he couldn't debate with someone who hadn't read the bill yet. But which bill? And how do we know he read it?
4. Debate in DC yes, but here? Now? That's kind of like debating who is going to win the super bowl when we don't even know who the teams are that will be playing. Kind of fruitless. (Hence the satirical rant.) And CL I know that you know that our debating carries little weight in congress - regardless of how much sausage we grind here -, 'cuz they're the legislature. And dang, I even heard the Pres.'s own spokespersons disagreeing what's in the bill. So, come on.
5.But of course the dems have never tossed in an insane amendment and then voted against the bill. CL, trust me, the dems would never do that.
6. Quoth you: "On another thread (you just can't let this go, can you) you refuse to meet or get to know any gay Christians to see whether the fruits of the Spirit are reflected in their lives, yet you feel free to condemn them." I'm shocked at you Christian Lawyer. Would you please help me remember where I said that? Well, I accept your apology for libeling me.
7. And I'm "snarky"? I'm hurt you would think so. Well, one man's snarkiness is another man's satire. You know, I guess I listen to Bill Maher too much.

Simple, yes Dan...but true too. That is indeed the picture of the present US health system. I know I wouldn't want the fire or police department to act the same way. The truth is we can't afford to NOT do anything about it. Health Insurance premiums keep rising and more and more employers are not offering health insurance to their employees because it's so prohibitively priced. I think it's down to 62% of all employers right now that offer health benefits. If that number keeps falling we're really in trouble. Throw a swine flu epidemic in and the system will be overwhelmed. I think your defense of the Republicans in the reform effort is a little thin. The behavior of folks like Grassley (I'm not sure I can vote for a bill I helped write) in the last two weeks have underlined how they have become the party of NO. They are not interested in offering anything realistic...they just want Obama to fail so I agree with you when you say the Dems should go it alone. The issue is too important to sacrifice on the altar of bipartisanship.

Dan

You have really surprised me, but then when I compare you to what Bill Maher states in his video - not so much surprise after all.

I don't know which video of Bill Maher you have watched, but the one that I have posted here, deals with the stupidity of the American public. And frankly I have to tell you that there is lots of demononstration of this quality here.

I still do not understand why you are commenting on something that you are proud to not have read or educated yourself about.

But then again as I have said this goes so in line with what Mr. Maher is talking about in his video...

Now Justin - SURPRISE! - didn't I say that when the criminal class in congress brings a bill to the floor, that I will look over it then? Did I not say that? (The correct answer is - yes.) And debate with you and anyone else at this point is pointless. For eg. one day Nancy Sebellius gets up and says one thing about the bill; then later on "Bob" Gibbs gets up and refutes what Nancy said. The adinistration doesn't even know what the bill is. And you do? And you expect me to, as well? Then Clair McCaskill doesn't exactly know what the house is doing and Ike Skelton doesn't know what the senate is doing. And when someone protests the proposed health care reform, the politician just says: "That's not in our bill. Must be in the House/Senate version." Also, if I'm not mistaken, the jury is still out whether this Bill (whichever one it turns out to be) is constitutional. Something about the powers that belong to the federal govt. Also, Justin. At least we all know now who you consult for your understanding of health care reform: that constitutional scholar and recognized expert on health care reform, Bill Maher. Impressive!

Heather, you didn't answer my question.

Do you actually believe that the federal government is obeying the 9th and 10th Amendments anymore?

Of course, I don't mean obey according to a new "interpretation," wherein these amendments mean nothing, I mean as our Founding Fathers intended.

CL, when you post a quote from Dan (or anyone), it would be nice if you posted the link as well.

Avery...Did you read my post above?? I'm really not sure what you're getting at. I can only assume that you believe the provision of health insurance for all to be a violation of States rights, and hence the 10th amendment of the US Constitution. I'm not sure where you're going with the 9th as this protects rights of individuals not specifically listed in the Constitution. That seems quite open ended to me. As I said in my quite lengthy post above...what the Founding Fathers meant is open to interpretation..it's what the Supreme Court spends a lot of time doing. You are obviously a strict constructionist in your interpretation and believe that the Founding Fathers knew it all, everything is crystal clear and nothing needs to be interpreted for the modern world. It always amazes me that the Constitution and its authors are thought to be more infallible than the bible to some folks. I don't believe the Founding Fathers had everything right at all. If they did there would have been no need for any amendments in the first place. They were quite wrong, for instance, about people of color and women who had no say or rights in the Constitution as it was originally written. For example, the Dred Scott case was decided on strict interpretation of the 5th amendment as it pertained to the deprivation of private property. I think that decision could be argued to be strictly constructionist of the Supreme court of 1857..but still very very wrong. People still argue about the Civil War and whether emancipation of slaves violated the 10th amendment. The Constitution and it's amendments have always been open to interpretation by the Courts. That is the function of the judicial branch of government after all. Our nation would never have moved forward if not. As far as the provision of universal access to health insurance is concerned I'll repeat what I already posted. I personally believe that the preamble to the Constitution says it all when it states "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

I can think of no greater promotion of the General Welfare of the people than equitable and affordable access to health care. And I don't think this violates the 9th or 10th amendment in any way. In fact the 9th amendment may very well cover such a right.

Someone said: "Why don't we as a country start with some practical reforms like tort reform..."

Because enacting 'Tort reform' is a straw man argument; malpractice claims constitute .55% of the health care budget –conservatives are just ‘parroting’ the line they get from conservative talking heads, who keep the myth alive because it is seen as a ‘back-door’ means of defunding Democratic candidates by limiting the amount of money they can receive and, hence, contribute to political campaigns…

Trial lawyers, by and large tend to vote for Democratic candidates

Anyone who makes a ‘what about tort reform’ statement is as uninformed as the person who doesn’t want ‘government’ involved in Medicare –with all the absurd connotations implied


FACT: Frivolous lawsuits do not exist as represented by tort reformers.
A May 2006 study conducted by Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women''s Hospital shows that 97 percent of medical malpractice claims are meritorious . Eighty percent of those claims involved physical injury, which killed or permanently disabled the victim. Sadly, only 56 of these claimants received compensation for their losses.
FACT: The number of lawsuits has significantly decreased in recent years.
Between 2002 and 2003, the number of tort cases filed on the federal level decreased by 28 percent, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. In 2005, the Justice Department reported that the number of federal cases has decreased by 79 percent since 1985.
Between 1992 and 2001, the number of civil trials filed in state courts decreased by 47 percent, according to the Department of Justice. The number of tort cases specifically, decreased by 31.8 percent during that same time.
FACT: Businesses, not consumers, are far more likely to file frivolous lawsuits.
Businesses and their attorneys are far more likely to file frivolous claims than the average American. In a recent study, 69 of the 100 most recent sanctions due to cases of frivolous lawsuits were against businesses and their attorneys. US businesses file four times as many lawsuits than private citizens.
FACT: Medical malpractice claims have a negligible effect on US health costs.
According to the Congressional Budget Office in January 2004, medical malpractice costs constituted only two percent of the total cost of healthcare in the United States. Other figures from Public Citizen show that malpractice costs represent only 0.62 percent of the nation’s expenditures for health care.
In 2003, the top HMOs in the United States reported doubling their profits, according to the Jacksonville Business Journal.
FACT: Many people who are seriously injured never file a claim.
Of the hundreds of thousands of people who are harmed by medical malpractice annually, only one in eight ever file a claim, according to a Harvard Study.
Of the thousands of people injured by consumer products each year, only ten percent file a claim to seek compensation for their losses and suffering, according to a study by the Rand Institute for Civil Defense.
THe fact is, insurance companies do not make money off of premiums –they make money off of premiums, which are then invested. When the stock market goes down, ‘doctor’s’ (and everyone else’s) premiums go up to offset the loss.

Thank goodness I'm a believer. If I wasn't, I fear the barely-veiled virulant anger emmanating from BOTH SIDES of this argument would seem awful worldly.

I have strong political beliefs, but have only recently realized that I was living OF the world in my pursuit of what I believed to be moral righteousness and (sadly) superiority. Again, we are not to be of the world.

Give to Ceaser: Christ did not say for us to give our taxes to Caeser because we agreed with what the money was going toward. He asked us to recognize the leaders - for better or worse - and to be obediant to His promises. In fact, the money demanded from the Jewish people was CONTRIBUTING TO THEIR VERY DEMISE! While I don't like the idea of my money going towards abortion, or rewarding laziness, I'm willing to bet doling out your hard-earned money to a government bent on your persecution - read: Roman occupation, funding the barbaric gladiator sports and the martyrdom of thousands of believers - was significantly more consequential and harder to swallow then to fund Congress' pet-projects. The early Christ did not want His people bickering over secular matters...while, again, I vehemently disagree with many of the Administration's pursuits as I believe them to be subversive, I refuse to get bogged down in secular matters when the Kingdom of God is far more important.

Interestingly, last night at bible study, we were reading Phillipians 2:

" 1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete BY BEING LIKE-MINDED, HAVING THE SAME LOVE, BEING ONE IN SPIRIT AND PURPOSE. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."

We need to stand for Christ. Not for healthcare or abortion, Democrats or Republicans. though important in their own rights, God's freewill allows people to make their decisions - we cannot legislate-away sin, we can only witness for Him and pray that we can reflect His glory and compassion to those we encounter.

Thank goodness I'm a believer. If I wasn't, I fear the barely-veiled virulant anger emmanating from BOTH SIDES of this argument would seem awful worldly.

I have strong political beliefs, but have only recently realized that I was living OF the world in my pursuit of what I believed to be moral righteousness and (sadly) superiority. Again, we are not to be of the world.

Give to Ceaser: Christ did not say for us to give our taxes to Caeser because we agreed with what the money was going toward. He asked us to recognize the leaders - for better or worse - and to be obediant to His promises. In fact, the money demanded from the Jewish people was CONTRIBUTING TO THEIR VERY DEMISE! While I don't like the idea of my money going towards abortion, or rewarding laziness, I'm willing to bet doling out your hard-earned money to a government bent on your persecution - read: Roman occupation, funding the barbaric gladiator sports and the martyrdom of thousands of believers - was significantly more consequential and harder to swallow then to fund Congress' pet-projects. The early Christ did not want His people bickering over secular matters...while, again, I vehemently disagree with many of the Administration's pursuits as I believe them to be subversive, I refuse to get bogged down in secular matters when the Kingdom of God is far more important.

Interestingly, last night at bible study, we were reading Phillipians 2:

" 1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete BY BEING LIKE-MINDED, HAVING THE SAME LOVE, BEING ONE IN SPIRIT AND PURPOSE. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."

We need to stand for Christ. Not for healthcare or abortion, Democrats or Republicans. though important in their own rights, God's freewill allows people to make their decisions - we cannot legislate-away sin, we can only witness for Him and pray that we can reflect His glory and compassion to those we encounter.

Several posts ago, I mentioned that tort reform, change in portability laws and other reforms could, according to conservatives, bring some much needed improvement in the nation's health care. CL said that tort reform wouldn't have much effect because it would have to be changed on a state by state level. He should know, he's a lawyer. But what about this quote from Howard Dean: "Dean, a physician, did say that the bill doesn't include tort reform because trial lawyers would oppose it.

"This bill has enough enemies," Dean said. "The people who wrote it did not want to take on the trial lawyers in addition to everyone else."
http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/vocal-minority-greet-howard-dean-at-town-hall-2009-08-26.html - A candid comment from Howard Dean. Hmmmmm! Now we know the truth. BTW, I just discovered that Missouri has enacted tort reform!

Yes Dan, MO has enacted tort reform...I live in MO and I can tell you it has had no effect on my premiums. As Brian stated above, according to the CBO medical malpractice costs constitute only 2% of the total cost of health care in the United States. Not sure that's even going to make a dent in the problem and although I wouldn't mind seeing less sleazy ads for ambulance chasers, there are some genuine cases of malpractice out there that do need to be addressed.

Heather: I'm not sure you can say it has had no effect on your premiums. Could your premiums have been more without the tort reforms? Also, seems like, according to H. Dean, that tort reform is a sure way to rile the lawyers. He himself said that tort reform would make more enemies. So they didn't include it. Hmmmm. I wonder. It wouldn't create enemies if it were not hurting someone's pocketbook. Instead of ramming through this massive reform bill, why doesn't congress and senate do something different: i.e. methodically work through reform that all Americans can be happy with. What they're doing now sure isn't working.

Heather, don't know if there's a point to responding, I don't think he gets the numbers in the article I posted...

And what makes you think I read your post, Brian? You apparently have an exaggerated opinion of your own importance.

Hi Heather! I am sorry I have not touched based with you recently; I work during the week so I don’t have as much time to debate this as I’d like. One thing I would like to point out is that the Supreme Court has not always been right about the way it has interpreted the Constitution. I believe at one point the Supremes decided that a black man was not considered a person (I think this was the Dred Scott decision but I’m not sure).

As someone who knows what it’s like to be without health insurance (and many other basic necessities), I believe there are worse things than being without health care. During WWII, my German dad and my grandparents, being of Jewish ancestry, were on a list of people who were going to be sent to a concentration camp if WWII hadn’t ended when it did (my grandmother found this out from someone she knew who worked for the German government). Their experience made me very wary of any promises made by government. I can understand your concern about people facing destitution in their old age and needing a safety net, but there is no way to guarantee that there will always be enough funds to ensure that such people will be taken care of. If there aren’t enough working people to pay into the social security system, it will eventually collapse. There are many people my age (in their 40s) who realize they are going to have to work for the their rest of their lives and will never collect social security or be able to retire because the entire system will be bankrupt by the time they reach retirement age. Yet this doesn’t exempt us from having to pay into a social welfare system from which we will never receive any benefit. Is that fair? Is that biblical? Is that just? Please tell me how you can guarantee that I will recieve whatever I have paid into the system when it goes bankrupt.

By the way: hi Jim! I just saw your post now (after replying to Heather) and I look forward to discussing these issues with you further, as time allows. God bless!

Rummy wrote: "Give to Ceaser: Christ did not say for us to give our taxes to Caeser because we agreed with what the money was going toward. He asked us to recognize the leaders - for better or worse - and to be obediant to His promises ... While I don't like the idea of my money going towards abortion, or rewarding laziness, I'm willing to bet doling out your hard-earned money to a government bent on your persecution - read: Roman occupation, funding the barbaric gladiator sports and the martyrdom of thousands of believers - was significantly more consequential and harder to swallow then to fund Congress' pet-projects. The early Christ did not want His people bickering over secular matters...while, again, I vehemently disagree with many of the Administration's pursuits as I believe them to be subversive, I refuse to get bogged down in secular matters when the Kingdom of God is far more important."

Thanks for your perspective, rummy. Your comment illustrates the importance of understanding Scripture in its context. I can see that you are very passionate about your walk with the Lord and you understand the type of all-out commitment He asks of His followers. However, I'm not sure you addressed the full context of what Christ was saying in Matthew 22 about rendering unto Caesar. First, you quoted Jesus as having said, "Give to Caesar." But you left out two very important parts of that verse: the part about giving Ceasar "what is Caesar's and God what is God's." To a Jew living at the time of Christ, it would have been understood that God owns everything--including all that supposedly belonged to Caesar. This is clear from Old Testament Scriptures that say, "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it."

I believe that Jesus’ statement, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s,” is not so much about taxation as it is about giving God His proper place. I think this is why the Pharisees left Jesus and went away after hearing His answer. Their attempt to trap Him had failed, because Jesus elevated the discourse beyond the realm of taxes, reminding them that one’s primary loyalty, allegiance, and financial obligation are to God. When it comes to rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, the Scriptures make it clear that no earthly government can rightly demand everything from us, since it all belongs to the Sovereign Lord who created all things and for whom all things were created (Colossians 1:16, Exodus 19:5, Psalm 24:1-2, Haggai 2:8).

You correctly point out that our tax dollars today are being used to fund evil, and you seem to think that Jesus couldn't care less about the fact that His followers would allow their tax dollars to be used in these ways. But the Bible clearly shows that God's people are not to facilitate or promote evil: "Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Because of this, the wrath of the LORD is upon you" (2 Chronicles 19:2).

Looking at the New Testament, Paul’s language in Romans 13:7 seems to suggest that the requirement to pay taxes is conditional. He says, “IF you owe taxes, pay taxes.” An open-ended interpretation of Matthew 22:15-22 would suggest that citizens are obligated to turn over whatever money Caesar demands, but this is obviously not true. For instance, if you received a bill for a liquor tax and you didn't own a liquor store, should you pay the tax? Your interpertation of Matthew 22 seems to suggest that you would pay the tax even though there is no legal requirement for you to do so.

Indeed, one could legitimately ask whether Christians "owe" taxes to a government that is using their tax dollars to fund immoral and ungodly activities, such as murder or unprovoked wars of aggression. As an example, would it have been right for Christians living in Nazi Germany to pay a tax specifically earmarked to build the gas chambers where Jews were put to death?

You say that the Kingdom of God is more important than secular matters, as if God has nothing to say about so-called "secular" matters, even when they are in direct conflict with His Kingdom. Politics is not merely a secular matter. The Bible has a great deal to say about the proper role of government and how leaders are supposed to rule. Righteousness and justice are the cornerstones of God's Kingdom, and when secular leaders fail to govern righteously, God's people have a sacred duty to hold them to account. This is in is large part what the Old Testament prophets were called to do, as seen in Isaiah 3:14-15 and similar passages.

Heather, I read your posts from beginning to end, and you still didn’t answer my question. I’ll try to make it clearer, and I’ll split my reply into two parts in order to make it easier for us both.

First, this isn’t about feelings. It doesn’t matter how you or I feel about particular provisions of the Constitution, including the 10th Amendment. Whether we agree or disagree with them, my point is about their meaning and lawful application.

Second, I don’t think our Founding Fathers knew everything, nor were they perfect. They were, however, true statesmen endowed with great wisdom, and they created what is probably the best form of government in history. They knew from hard experience just how dangerous central (federal) governments could be, so they purposely created a Constitution which strictly limited federal power; a document which gave (delegated) very few powers to the federal government, so that it couldn’t trample our freedoms. This is really just basic history.
Do you not understand this?

From your writing, you seem to think the federal government has no limit as to what it can legislate, as long as it’s done for the General Welfare, which really would include anything and everything, wouldn’t it?

Nothing could be further from the truth.

If your understanding is correct, the 9th and 10th Amendments would not only be unnecessary, they would be in direct opposition to the General Welfare clause. This would make no sense, now would it? Think about that.

The obvious, non-contradictory understanding of the General Welfare clause, is that it was NEVER INTENDED to give the federal government open-ended power to do anything it wants in the name of the public good. That’s a nonsensical interpretation which flies in the face of limited government. Rather, it was meant to be used only within the limited framework of powers which were granted (delegated) to the federal government by the Constitution. Sadly, our government began abandoning (ignoring) this concept last century, with the help of the Supreme Court.

You wrote:
“I'm not sure where you're going with the 9th as this protects rights of individuals not specifically listed in the Constitution. That seems quite open ended to me.”

Exactly! It was meant to be open ended - because our rights are vast and numerous - and few are listed in the Constitution. They were too numerous to list. The 9th Amendment was meant to protect these rights from federal interference. In essence, it means: “Federal government – keep the hell away from our rights! Don’t attempt to legislate or control them in any way!” Do you understand this? The 9th Amendment is an open-ended LIMITATION on federal power! That’s the whole point of its existence, and why it was included in the Bill of Rights, which is about the rights of the people. It doesn’t make sense any other way. Please, tell me you understand this….?

Here's something to think about:
http://www.wnd.com/index.phpfa=PAGE.view&pageId=108440
"...GOP Alternative to Obamacare"
"The "Empowering Patients First Act," or H.R. 3400, was introduced by Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., and 27 co-sponsors on July 30, 2009, prior to the congressional recess. It was then referred to eight House committees.

The head hijacker is Speaker Nancy Pelosi. As Rep. Price pointed out during a radio interview with me last week, the rules in the House assert that bills will remain in committees "for a period to be subsequently determined by the speaker." Thank you Nancy!

The highly contentious 1,000-plus-page Democrat health-care proposal cleared the committees in a few days. The 63-page Republican alternative is stuck in committees, and it can't get out. Speaker Pelosi can simply keep it there while they continue to try to shove their proposal down the throats of the American people."

Heather, are you there?

Heather, are you deep in thought over my 9th & 10th Amendment posts?

Are you finally seeing the light?

I think I used the wrong term in my last post. I meant to ask if Heather has conceded Avery's points about the ninth and tenth amendments. I am also curious about her answer to my previous question: how can she guarantee that Social Security funds will be available to those who have paid into the system once they are old enough to collect benefits? For those who have so much faith in the Social Security program, I can only wonder how can they will ensure against the system going bankrupt.

Why is so much of American Christian religion infused with a sub-text that God indicates the virtue of some of his flock with material well being. Many members of these churches believe at some level that comparative material well being is a sign of God's favor. And so anything that redistributes well being (like taxes or mandated health insurance or, Heaven forbid a single payer health system) will have ends contrary to God's will.

In my opinion this is horrifically out of touch with what I consider one of The New Testament's most important messages: "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Matthew 25:40

I thought this was interesting so I had a look on http://www.thearda.com which is the association of Religion Archive Data.

You can only compare 8 countries at a time, but this is what I came up with for Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Philippines, USA

__________________ AU_|_CA_|_DK_|_FR_|_GB_|PH_|_US
Belong to a faith 81%| 68%|90% | 57%| 83%|90%| 78%
Attend once a month_25%| 36%|11% | 11%| 19%|79% | 60%

From Wikipedia, I could find that the first six countries have universal health care. The US - the only one that doesn't

This doesn't explore enough countries to draw any conclusions, but it is kind of interesting to see how faithful the US is in comparison to a small slice of the western world. And yet how awful we are in basic human ethics.

Heather, since you're no longer denying the meaning of the 9th and 10th Amendments and their limitations upon federal power, I'll end with this.

Federal intrusion into health care is a violation of the 9th & 10th Amendments - an usurpation of power!

People who support this are supporting lawlessness, and the end of such a degenerative journey will be chaos and horror. You can't trust a lawless government - it will do anything for power. In the end, no one will be safe.

Health care costs have become a growing burden for American families. With the raising costs of premiums and other out-of-pocket expenses, it has forced many people into bankruptcy. More than 46 million Americans go uninsured each day, 9 million of whom are children.

Health care is generally provided by employers, so what happens when you get laid off and no longer receive health care? What happens when that person's child gets sick and after many tests finds out their child has cancer and needs expensive treatment for a chance at survival? Who's going to pay for the treatment he or she needs?

By having the government control health control, we can develop a centralized national database which makes diagnosis and treatment easier for doctors. We can also eliminate wasteful inefficiencies such as duplicate paper work, claim approval, insurance submission, etc. By doing so, medical professionals can concentrate on healing the patient rather than on insurance procedures and liabilities.

Currently, patients often avoid physicals and other preventive measures because of the costs. More than 76 percent of those who filed for bankruptcy in 2001 due to medical issues had insurance at the beginning of their treatments. By slightly increasing taxes, free medical services would encourage patients to practice preventive medicine and inquire about problems early when treatment will be light. Some believe that universal health care would bankrupt America, but the Congressional Budget Office found that it would actually save $100 to $200 billion dollars per a year, according to the Connecticut Coalition for Universal Health Care.

By supporting universal health care in the United States, you will be ensuring that each and every American family can have one less thing to worry about and can concentrate on family values and appreciate their well being and lives together.

Currently there is a Proposal for A New Health Care System

As we all know the health care system in the United States is currently in critical condition. It must be re-invented in order to care for all Americans and reduce the costs for everyone. Health care needs to be viewed like we view education…no one left behind. This report will focus on all aspects of health care including ambulatory care, long term health care and mental health care. Quality will also be an important factor in re-inventing a new health care system for Americans.

In making the decisions on how to improve health care, one must exam all the issues with the current system. Strengths, weaknesses, costs, risks, administrative responsibilities and capital investments all are taken in to consideration to define the new health care system. In order to implement the new system there must be cooperation from all parties involved such as doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, employers and even the federal government.

Currently the health care system works by private health care companies providing individual and group plans to the public. People that can not afford to pay for heath care the government provides their plan referred to as Medicaid and for individuals over 65 the government provides a plan referred to as Medicare. For years, people have paid for this insurance by taking a portion of their wages and contributing to the Medicare system as a way to be assured they will be taken care of when they reach retirement age.

The problem with both private health care and the government system is the cost of health care has
dramatically risen and premiums and wage contributions have not kept up the cost. I believe the reason for the increase in health care is that there are too many people managing the system. Historically, doctors used to allow 20 percent for managing their practice; this has now sky rocketed to 60 percent. Why we ask; we have the health insurance companies managing the doctors, the employers managing employee benefits and the insurance companies, consultants managing the employers and the government trying to manage the underprivileged and the elderly.

We are now beginning to see these affects on system with higher premiums, increased wage contributions and the quality of care diminishing. We are also witnessing higher and higher numbers of individuals that can not afford the premiums but do not qualify for the Medicaid. This sector of the population is, in my opinion, the hardest hit individuals. They are single working mothers, business owners and minimum wage workers.

A change must be made. There will be many challenges such as who will run the system and how it will affect both quality and our economy.

But a change has to be made. We can no longer continue like this

A. We ARE the government.

B. The Preamble of the Constitution: "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

If insurance premiums are going to be paid, in my view, better to pay them to The People than to The Rich. To me, that just makes sense.

As a people, we SHOULD care for our fellow man, and take some things for a given. We do that with schools, roads, police, prisons, fires, and even broadcasting. No person in this country should be forced into bankruptcy to stay alive to choose between a second mortgage and keeping a finger. Like The War on Drugs, our system of health care isn't working right for a lot of folks. Folks die, every day, because it's all about lining the pockets of the wealthy, rather than caring for our fellow man.

I'd much rather have a government bureaucrat make health care choices than a for-profit HMO figure head.

Some of you folks exemplify a terrible thing that we have become as humans. And what’s even worse you call yourselves Christians. It's embarrassing that some Christian folks illustrate how low we've sunk with our selfishness.

It's all about the all mighty dollar. It shouldn't be! Some things are best done socially. The roads. The police, the fire department, the schools, the libraries. Some things we need to do, because they're the right to thing to do. Should we let our fellow citizens suffer? I'd like to think that some things we do, as a The People / The Government because they're the right thing to do. No one should lose their life's earning because they get sick.

While we should become more responsible, if we have universal care, we'll be able to intervene sooner, so, instead of being a $80,000 surgery, it's a $200 office visit.

You don't have to be a great thinker to figure out an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

May God hell us all

We think more about bailing out rich banks (that money could have funded public health for 10 years), and propping up badly managed auto manufacturers than we do of saving our people.

Something is very wrong with how we Christians treat others.

Perhaps some of you think only non christians are in this predicament. I've got news for you!!!!!!!!

If you are Christian who believes in false rumors and lies that get spread just for an agenda, then you’re not a Christian at all. Read your Bible folks, stop being ignorant.