Sunday, March 9, 2014

Using Matthew 25 in Election Years

So, I have a confession. And to make this confession, I have to rewind to when I first came of age to vote. When I came of age, I was eager to register to vote. Why not? It is a rite of passage. Only one problem! I was young and naive and had no clue about the issues or why it should matter. At that time, I was in a Southern Baptist church and I thought I had to vote republican because that is what the church believed. So I voted for Bush. And it turned out to be some of the worst years I have ever seen for this country and my family. Constant struggles. People losing jobs left and right. People losing homes. People going broke for lack of health insurance. Hospitals becoming profit-driven instead of charity-based. Healthcare becoming more of a business than a service. I wrote countless e-mails to the president. Response: We'll fix it. We'll fix it. By the time the elections in 2008 came around, things were at their worst yet and still nothing had been done to fix anything. 

In 2008, two main candidates came up: Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama. Well, here is my confession. 1. I voted for McCain. He proposed the Affordable Care Act which was the answer I was looking for regarding the mess of insurance. He was republican. And I was supposed to vote republican if I am a Christian, right? 2. I figured Obama couldn't win because Amerrica wasn't ready for a black president. 

Well, guess what? Obama won. And guess what else? He passed the very same Affordable Care Act that McCain promised he was going to pass! And guess what else? The republicans let me down big time. The uprising of the tea party whose main mission was to obstruct anything and everything the black man in the president's office tried to accomplish no matter how good or right for the country it is or was ruined the Republican Party for me once and for all.

Here is what I have observed about the tea party:

They tend to be hateful extremists and they do it in the name of Jesus. They have distorted what the Bible says and they have criminalizes the poor, the sick, the hungry, children, the elderly, the disabled, and even the veterans. Just today alone, I saw them asserting that if a person doesn't pay taxes, then they should have no rights. Well, here is my response: IF they truly believe that, then they need to leave America right now and take their ungrateful butts elsewhere because many veterans do not pay taxes because as soon as they are done serving our country, many of them end up with no jobs, no homes, and very little income at all which is why they do not pay taxes. And disabled people are the same way. Matter of fact, until the ABLE Act passes, disabled people are kept in a state of low income because the ones who are lucky enough to get a job can only work part time if they need their benefits. And on top of that, between benefits and work, they cannot exceed $4000 in assets a year. But by the logic of the tea party comments I saw today, the disabled people and the veterans should have NO rights because they don't pay taxes. Right? 

Do you know what is happening? I used to be republican until the tea party extremists came along. And when Romney came along spreading his venomous vitriol around, I heard a great sermon issued called SWOOP. In that sermon, it was stated that if Christians really believe that mess about the 48%, they need to repent. Because that attitude wasn't helping to further the kingdom of God. The passage was Matthew 25. And it was because of that sermon that I prayed through Matthew 25 going into elections in 2012. And as a result, Obama was the choice I made. 

So, here's something. Romans 13 outlines our responsibility to government. Matthew 25 outlines our responsibility to those who are the least of these. And either God is sovereign and therefore everything happening right now is part of His will including Obama and the Affordable Care Act, or God is not sovereign. But if you believe in the sovereignty of God, then you need to trust that EVERYTHING is in His will. 

So this year, how am I voting? I don't know for sure, but I do know I will not be voting for Chad Mathis. Why? 1. He opposes the ACA. 2. He comes from a medical specialist background - orthopedist. 3. I know him from when I was seeing an orthopedist. He treated my broken foot in 2007. In 2008, he suddenly quit seeing me. No letter, no call, nothing. He committed abandonment which is unethical. And the way I reason that is like this: If he cannot ethically dismiss a patient, how can he practice ethical politics?

Oh, and at this point, if the only thing a candidate can say about the ACA is repeal, then they need to go home. Because by November, everyone who wants insurance and can get insurance will have insurance and will have already saved thousands of dollars on healthcare costs. No way will any of us want to ever regress! 

Do you know what happens to the money saved on healthcare costs? It goes into the economy. My own family has needed home repairs coming up. Long overdue. We have to buy goods that are needed to make the repairs and pay for services that are needed to make them. This means money is going back in the economy that didn't exist before because everything was being paid into healthcare. So the $300 saved in January because of more comprehensive insurance will pay down medical debt first. Then after that, it pays down other debts. Then it gets used to stimulate the economy. 

Who wouldn't want that?

What would Jesus do? Jesus would make sure that everyone is taken care of.

Is healthcare a right? If all men and women are created equal under God, and all men and women have the right to the pursuit of life, liberty, and justice, then yes, healthcare is a right. And if it takes insurance to make healthcare possible, then insurance is a right too. 

How do I figure? Because autism means I have a way of thinking literally and I am thinking literally right now. 

But Matthew 25 is how people should respond to the least of these! Government is comprised of people just like churches are comprised of people. So if Matthew 25 is about how people should respond to the least of these and government and churches are comprised of people, then government and churches are to follow Matthew 25. And when any sector of government or any church fails to respond according to Matthew 25, it brings the rest of them down. 

Want to win people over to the kingdom of God? Start following Matthew 25. And repent of your bad attitude toward the poor, the sick, the disabled, the hungry, the disenfranchised. Because not everyone on SNAP, SSI, SSDI, or even TANF (often called welfare) is a lazy, moocher. Many are veterans, retired, and disabled. Not all of them are drug users. Not all of them are gaming the system. Not all of them are takers. 

And if you have a problem with taxes helping people, then get off the roads, withdraw your children from public schools, and do not ever call 911 for anything because those are tax dollars helping people. 

Like I said, I use Matthew 25 when approaching elections, and I will continue to do so. And as long as any of the least of these are being attacked in any way whatsoever by any candidate, I will not vote for that person. At this point, that means that I cannot morally or biblically vote for any person who opposes the ACA because that is an attack on the sick and disabled (many disabilities are from sickness that went unchecked, untreated, or under treated). 

I am open to comments by the way. A healthy debate is always good. But bullying and harassment is never good.

1. Republicans don't own God and don't corner the market on Christianity.
2. Democrats can be Christians and Christians can be democrats.
3. Political leanings don't determine who a person is.
4. While I lean toward the democrat party right now, I am just as opposed to gay "marriage" and abortion as the next person who leans toward the republican party. The only difference is that my life experiences shaped my political beliefs in such a way that I have no choice but to consider those when I am choosing who gets my vote as opposed to just voting so generally. Because while republicans claim to be pro-life and spend all this time voting to make abortion illegal, they also keep voting to cut SNAP and SSI and SSDI and veterans benefits and they keep voting to repeal the ACA (50 times failed now), which makes them pro-birth and not pro-life because if you are going to force a woman to carry a baby, you must ensure that her healthcare and food is provided for as well as the baby's healthcare and food. Not everyone in any party believes 100% of the things that the party believes in. 
5. Right now the God the republicans, and mostly the tea party, is painting a picture of, is a God that contradicts the scriptures. While some democrats may not adhere to God as part of the party, the God I see through their actions is lining up more with scriptures each day. But perhaps, the reason that the democrats refuse to justify things by God is because you really cannot mix God and politics. Logically. So while the republicans are justifying hurting the least of these by misquoting scriptures and taking scriptures out of context, the democrats are not taking it there because things become too murky if they do. God is God. And all authority under heaven is appointed by God. But God is not to be mocked or contradicted. And if the republicans keep criminalizing the least of these, then they are no better than the democrats who don't mix politics and God at all. 

That is my honest opinion. 

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