So am I the only one who sees the sick irony of our country today?  I hear so many people talking about the government trying to steal our money, and how evil President Obama is for trying to create a healthcare bill that will enable the poorest of us to have access to affordable healthcare, and frankly, I do not understand how we can have so little compassion for our fellow human beings.

How is it possible that we claim to be Christians, but refuse his call to love and compassion as long as we or someone we care about isn’t in trouble? And sometimes even then, we pretty much just offer to ‘pray’.

I went without health insurance for five and a half years, and spent another five years without enough money for the co-pays so I could get the help I needed.  I got a helluva lot sicker than I needed to because I couldn’t afford to see a doctor when my issues were mild.  I remember what it’s like to hope and pray I didn’t get sick and end up in the hospital because there was no way I could pay the bill.

I remember what it was like to go in to the ER without health insurance and be sent home with some pills when I probably should have been admitted and undergone some actual medical testing.  And the few times I did end up getting tested for something [only after we had insurance, but not quite enough to cover my expenses] I remember sobbing because there was no way I could pay the medical bill and feed my kids, too.

I also remember being on Medicaid and going into a doctor’s office for my kids and being treated like I was an uneducated piece of trailer trash who didn’t deserve any respect because I was part of the problem in America, sucking on the government tit. I remember going into the WIC office to get vouchers, and jumping through the hoops of proving I was poor, just so I could pay for formula so my kids could live.  I hated all of it, but I had no choice.  We were in a situation where I couldn’t work because of my health, and Steve had a job, but it didn’t pay well enough to cover our living expenses, let alone pay for health insurance [which wasn’t offered where he worked].

So yeah, I’m all for a healthcare plan that gives the poor access to medical care.  And I’m willing to pay for it even though I’m still not rich, and still living paycheck to paycheck.  Because the ends finally meet at the end, and I’m willing to share what little I have so that others have an opportunity to live a life that’s just a little bit easier than what I’ve been through.

If that makes me a bleeding heart liberal or a moron, then so be it.  At least I never, EVER forget that each and every person on the planet has a soul that is just as sacred as mine is, a human being that is just as deserving of dignity and respect as I am.  Not because they’re extraordinary, or even decent human beings, but because they were created in the image of God, and bear his reflection, no matter how dim it may seem to me.

As for why I support the government using my tax money to help the poor, well, it’s because the people who were supposed to do it dropped the ball in a bad way.  Yeah. I’m talking about the majority of the citizens of the US because most of us claim to be Christians.

If we had taken up the responsibility given to us by Christ himself and taken care of the poor, the weak, the widows, prisoners, and disabled, the government would never have had to step in in the first place.  But we didn’t.  We didn’t give a shit, and let them suffer and die alone.

And so when the government says, “You know what, this is wrong.  We need to do something about it,” Those same “Christians”, who refused to offer succor to the helpless on their own, stand up in protest, saying their money is being stolen from them.

At least the government is trying to help.  Christians today seem more concerned about having their huge church buildings and social clubs than actually doing something useful that will not only give someone immediate relief from suffering, but have eternal consequences as well.  I think it’s a sad sad day when a government as corrupt as ours seems to have more compassion for the weak and helpless than the people who were charged with being a “light in the darkness”.

I can’t count the number of massive buildings I see on the outskirts of town and when I get to looking at them, find out they’re church buildings worth millions of dollars, that cost thousands each week to keep up, that are open for ‘business’ a whopping two or three days a week.  If that was a business, it would be closed down in no time.  I’m sorry, but if you give a quarter of a million dollars to various charities or missionaries or whatever, but spend millions on maintaining your building, where are you really storing your treasures?

I fell into the trap for a long time that said if the political candidate claimed to be a Christian and was against abortion, I was morally obligated to vote for that person.  But once I got to looking at how these people voted for the already born, I found that they did nothing to prevent child abuse, nothing to make sure our children get a good education [and the one time they tried, after it became clear it wasn’t going to work out the way they’d hoped, and became a nightmare for everyone involved, they did nothing to fix it], and were all for killing or at the very least disrespecting anyone who doesn’t believe in Christianity.  Not only that, but they did nothing to make sure that anyone who can’t afford exorbitant insurance premiums and co-pays have access to decent healthcare.

How in the bleeding hell is it better to have no access to healthcare than to have some?!?  How is it better to pay an HMO countless thousands of dollars to tell you that since you’re probably terminal, they aren’t going to pay for your chemo?  Or that since you’re schizophrenic, you’re better off living on the streets with no medication or money than in an institution?  And how much of an asshole does it make the people who say that stuff out loud, whether literally or figuratively through their voting?

Who are you to tell anyone they don’t deserve medication because they don’t have a job?  Who are you to judge someone who doesn’t have a job as unworthy of compassion?  You don’t know their story.  You don’t know how they ended up where they are.  As someone who’s been there, I can tell you that I was never uneducated trailer trash, and even if I had been, I would still deserve to be treated with respect by virtue of my being a living entity on this planet.

Jesus said, “Whatever you do to the least of these, you have done to  me.”  If that’s true, how many ‘Christians’ are gonna feel like shitheels when they see the one they claim to serve?

3 responses »

  1. I’ve been in the same boat. I remember crying because my kids needed medical care, but because we had medicaid they had to wait months to get an appointment. I’ve been in the ER because my athsma decided to go crazy-which could have been controlled if I could have afforded a rescue inhaler. I’ve gotten the looks, like I’m a lazy good-for-nothing–even though I was working two jobs and going to school.

    These so-called christians are just fine with health care reform, as long as it doesn’t touch *their* wallets. Now that I am in a position where I can (barely) afford my family healthcare, I still remember what it’s like and would gladly pay a little extra in taxes to help someone else. Not to mention that in this economy one never knows what will happen and when we could need those services again ourselves.

    There are great things to be said for giving one a hand up in life.

  2. I hear ya, Angie. I don’t think people who have never had to be on Medicaid realize just how different you’re treated. We would have had to declare bankruptcy three times if it hadn’t been for Medicaid, and I probably would have gone hungry if it hadn’t been for WIC, but I hated every minute of it. Not because I was ashamed of needing the help, but because of the stigma that goes along with flashing the red card in the Dr’s office, or dragging out the vouchers in Wal-Mart as the people behind you roll their eyes and look frantically for a shorter line.

    What boggles my mind, though, are the people who have been there and still have no compassion for those who are in the same boat now. Or the people who actually have medicaid or medicare or disability *right now* who consistently vote against the very thing they depend on for medicine!

    I just don’t understand how people can be so callous and desensitized to human suffering. Hell, I have to avoid the news because it makes me cry every stinkin’ time I turn it on. I can’t deal with the pain I see. The tiny bit I do find out about is overwhelming and makes me wish I was “somebody” so I could do something to help. There are days when I’m ashamed of my species, you know?

  3. Reblogged this on sarahjanelives and commented:
    i can still remember when my 20 plus year old daughter was a little girl. i had transitional educational assistance and food stamps. both of us had medicaid. i used that to live on as i went through nursing school and then promptly got off and started funding the same opportunities for others when i went to work as a nurse. if not for those programs, what might have happened to all the sick babies i did cpr on during my time as a neonatal intensive care nurse? some of those babies undoubtedly belonged to some of the same type of people who bash those who use government assistance. one memory that really stands out for me is buying my daughter a birthday cake at the bakery. this was back in the days of the coupon books, which — let me tell you — were infinitely more humiliating than the debit cards used today. the weather was abominable outside. it was unseasonably cold and there was an awful rainstorm outside. when i got to the checkout and handed over the coupons, i was curtly told by the checker (who also happened to be one of the managers) that i could sack up and carry out my own groceries. she told me she wasn’t gonna do it, because she paid for them, and the least i could do was get them to the car myself. i was mortified, and the expressions of those in line behind me didn’t help. i will never forget that. i know how hard it is for anyone with any pride or self respect to use government aid. anyone who has not been forced to do it needs to zip their lip about those who do. i do not grudge any of the money taken from my checks over the years to help others. after all, i used the money from others to put myself where i am today. what comes around goes around. it is really such a shame to see modern christianity devolve into finger pointing, name calling, insanity, and intolerance. shame on you people. you are sheep. i can tell you what jesus would do. he would tell you to straighten up and stop judging others. how can you profess to be acting in his name, when he taught peace, love, and tolerance? i don’t see much of that at all nowadays.

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