Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Christian Duty to Government

Romans 13
ESV - Submission to Authorities
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

This is to remind you that if you are a Christian but are sitting there talking all kinds of bad about President Obama and the Affordable Care Act that you need to check your heart and your attitude. 

Reasons why the ACA is good:

1. Our bodies are temples. We are to take care of them. If we get sick, we should go to a doctor. 
2. Jesus Himself said in Matthew 25:31-46 that how we treat the poor, the hungry, the sick, the homeless, etc. - the least of these - is how we treat Him. Do you want to be sorted into the goats because you denied someone the help they needed?
3. It allows some women to get certain birth control pills for free. Not all women and not all birth control. This is good because the increased access to birth control can lead to far less unwanted, unexpected pregnancies which can then lead to far fewer unnecessary abortions. Let me clarify. Unnecessary abortion is any abortion that is not sought out because of endangerment of the mother or the baby. If a pregnancy got to a point where both the mom and baby were in danger, then by all means terminate the pregnancy because that way only one life has to be lost as opposed to two unless the woman is far enough along that the baby can thrive in which case just do early birthing. Also, I make this point because of the silly or stupid laws being enacted to make abortion illegal while at the same time cuts keep being made to SNAP and idiots keep trying to repeal the ACA. These so-called pro-lifers are not pro-life because they want to force women to carry babies yet they also want to starve them and kill them by preventing them from having food or healthcare. 
4. It increases the need for greater personal responsibility. People with pre-existing conditions can now get insurance which now means they can get healthcare. These are the people who the ACA was designed for. People who if they were lucky to get insurance at all could be dropped when they most needed it and end up homeless as a result of bankruptcy from killer debt. People who might have just flat out denied. These people are the largest percentage of what used ERs and might not have been able to pay the whole bill which would then cause the costs to go up for all the insured. Again, if you ask what Jesus would do in this case, refer back to Matthew 25. 
5. By standardizing at a minimum what insurance can and cannot do, it makes every subject to something called equality. In America, we supposedly believe that all men and women are created equal with certain unalienable rights. Yet in America, there are several subsets of the population who are treated as inferior. The disabled is one of those groups. And many sicknesses can turn into disabilities if they are not treated adequately enough. But many people who fall under this category of disabilities only need one thing: insurance which gives them a key to healthcare. After all, why should only the rich have affordable healthcare.

I am not saying that the ACA is perfect by any means, but it is a right step in ending the gender and disability and income disparities. Not everyone will come out winners. No human law enacted ever produces 100% winners. However, I am perplexed and even incensed by all the people claiming to be Christians acting the way they are. And to boot, then they ask "why are our freedoms being taken away from us?" Did any of them ever stop to think that their "freedoms" overstepped another person's freedoms and that's why they are now being penalized?

Look, I am a Christian. I am not perfect, but the conservatives and the republicans, and especially the tea party terrorists, do not corner the market on Chrisitianity. I don't like abortion any more or less than any other Christian, but I do believe that the government does play a role in being charitable toward the welfare of its citizenship because I know from experience that not all churches are able to handle all the needs of all the people all the time. So I support the SNAP, the SSDI, the SSI, the veterans, the ACA, and any other program that helps people. I do not support drug testing anyone who is on any assistance program simply because to drug test them means children could end up hurt and suffering and because Florida already found it to be a waste of money and an invasion of privacy. The excuse I read this week on that issue - but I have to do a drug test to keep my job. No, you don't. No one that is not potentially endangering lives or impaired if they use drugs has to take a test. I learned that pre-employment drug tests are illegal because they lead to what I have experienced: discrimination. Doesn't matter if you can provide the prescription. Also, the tax dollars could be better spent expanding Medicaid in my state so that the TANF recipients can have insurance and be put through drug rehab programs and the tax dollars could be better spent on welfare-to-work programs. Our state already says SNAP recipients who are of age and physically able are supposed to be seeking employment. No new legislation needed and Congress already passed that anyway. 

At any rate, I felt I needed to share this today because instead of lashing out at people like I could do, I decided to point them to specific scripture and remind them of God's words on the matter. 

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