Everybody’s blogging about health care reform. Everybody’s talking about it, reading about it, screaming about it. You can’t live in this country these days and not know that this is THE subject, THE issue that surrounds us all.
Information is scattered across the surface of all we see and hear – TV screens, ipods, laptops, radio, newspapers, magazines. Wouldn’t it be nice to just know which data is accurate, which is true? And then there are opinions. Oh, my goodness, are there ever opinions. Some spewed, some skewed, some almost lewd. The volume is on its ugly way past 10.
So, in the midst of this cacophony of thunder and noise from all directions, how in the world are people who would like to think of themselves as rational, decent, law-abiding, caring citizens supposed to decide what the right path is? What are we supposed to say to our congressmen and senators to help keep their feet planted not in the hardening cement of partisan positions but on the strenuous but noble path toward real solutions that stand the test of time?
Well, one thing I’m not going to do is clamor for or against any proposed plan, bill, strategy, president, congressman, or senator. I don’t have any specific solution to suggest. No idealogical drum to beat. What I do suggest is that we be guided, as we should always be, by what we know about God. What, in our core, we believe to be Right, with a capital “R”. That uncomfortable place where we line up our emotional human responses and urgings against the truths that have existed since Time began, those that do not change depending on the societal winds of current days. Those that were set down by a Creator who was planning for eternity.
We might not completely agree on those tenets, but here are some that keep demanding my attention right now:
- We are to do the best for God, man, and ourselves with whatever resources, talents, and gifts we have. He did not imbue us with them arbitrarily.
- We are to work for our supper, if at all possible.
- We are to share, to help those who truly cannot help themselves.
- We are to work and play nice together.
- We are to settle disputes in a respectful, honoring way.
- We are to fight for justice and against injustice.
- We are to be guided prayerfully by God.
I was raised in a conservative environment. I am conservative myself at my core. Most of that, I believe, is good. Hard work, strong values, decency, the core freedoms of democracy, and only as much government as is absolutely necessary. So, you may form an instant opinion from this as to how I would vote, were some of the controversial plans currently tossed around be put to us in a referendum. But, it isn’t that simple, is it? Because here’s the kicker for me – Jesus said to His guys a few centuries ago….”When you did it unto one of the least of these, my brothers/sisters, you did it unto Me”. He followed that sobering statement with, “When you did it not unto one of the least of these, my brothers, you did it not unto Me”. Who is my brother? Who is the least of my brothers? Whoever they are, they look just like Jesus. And I think it would be best if I treat them that way.