Praying for Socialized Medicine


The apparent political implosion of Obamacare after Scott Brown’s Massachusetts win is already enraging the Religious Left.  To have been so close to fulfilling a decades long crusade only to face defeat can be infuriating.  When government controlled health care is seen as portending the advent of God’s Kingdom, then the fury is even greater.

Writing for Jim Wallis’ Sojourners, activist Valerie Dixon impatiently urged “congressional courage” to defy public opposition to Obamacare.  It’s a typical Religious Left theme:  Help the people even when they don’t want it!

“Now is not the time to read more into election results than we ought,” Dixon anxiously cautioned.  “And even if the election were a referendum on health-care reform, so what?  This is a representative democracy. It is a republic because we expect our leaders to lead.”  How wonderful that the Religious Left is now interested in political and constitutional theory.  More frequently, they demand virtual rule from the streets.

But Dixon explained that we should expect Congress, when overriding the people’s opposition to government-controlled health care,  to summon the “moral vision to lead us forward and to have an enthusiasm and a commitment to that vision which is so strong that we will see the vision too.”  In other words, maybe Americans will awake to the beauty of Obamacare if Congress will presciently force it upon an unwilling public.  After all, “We need our elected officials to demonstrate the virtues necessary to do what is right for the American people.”

Evidently Dixon, like the rest of the Religious Left, does not believe that Obamacare proponents are obligated actually to persuade Americans of the merits of their “vision.”  Just pass it, at whatever cost, and hope that public opinion will supinely surrender when they have no option left.  “We need them to demonstrate the virtues of responsibility, commitment, complexity, and love,” Dixon serenely opined about Congress, which is so well known for these noble traits.  “Now is the time for courage.”

Contrary to Dixon’s insistence that a republic is supposed to be about leaders stubbornly defying the public will, America’s divided form of government is supposed to inhibit radical agendas that lack consensus support.  Famously, if apocryphally, America’s founders supposedly framed the Senate especially to be a “cooling” saucer that resists the heated “vision” of zealots, with or without majority support, who want to impose what many Americans ardently oppose.  “ The country needs the moral clarity that universal health-care legislation will bring,” Dixon insisted.  But if such a vision arouses such widespread resistance, its proponents, at least in American democracy, are obliged to argue more persuasively before the nation must kneel before it. Evidently, the Religious Left realizes its arguments have failed, but it still demands the coercive powers that Obamacare would grant.

Similarly, another Sojourners columnist bewailed the collapse of public support for Obamacare.  “The insurance, pharmaceutical, medical, and financial industries are simply delighted that a majority of Americans are now unwilling to do what it takes in order to have a fair, compassionate, and reasonably priced health-care system,” fretted LaVonne Neff.  “We like the health care we currently have, even though our insurance premiums and copayments increase every year as our coverage decreases and our claims are denied. We don’t want to change our system in any way. Except, of course, to make it better. And cheaper. Without actually changing anything.”  She snarkily concluded:  “We believe in magic.”

The real “magic,” of course was the proposal that government directed health care could, through centralization and force, provide better and more expansive health care at reduced cost and increased efficiency.  Neff cited the usual and now discredited claims that other Western countries have better health statistics because of government health care.  Americans do have greater health problems because of behaviors not as common to Europe’s homogenous and more static societies. But America remains virtually the best place to actually receive care once sick.

Immune to factual data, history and human nature, government-controlled health care has long been and remains the object of the Religious Left’s frenzied faith.  What tent-revivals once were for evangelicals, Obamacare rallies have been for the Religious Left.    Last month, United Methodist, Presbyterian, and United Church of Christ lobbyists joined with Vermont socialist Senator Bernie Sanders and at a Capitol Hill Obamacare candle light vigil and rally.   United Methodist Board of Church and Society chief Jim Winkler unthinkingly defended the Senate’s version of Obamacare’s abortion coverage, which would become one cause of its demise.  “American families should have the opportunity to choose health coverage that reflects their own values and medical needs,” he implored.  “A principle that should not be sacrificed in service of any political agenda.”

Surreally, Winkler further cluelessly pleaded that Congress “should stand up for the people who could be most helped by health-care reform” by “enacting meaningful legislation now that includes a strong public option.”  A little later, Winkler convened a press conference with Michigan Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow and, perhaps sensing the impending collapse, became a little histrionic:  “Authentic health-care reform has been delayed by insurance companies seeking to protect vast profits and grotesquely inflated executive salaries.”  He further angrily alleged:  “Demagogues have frightened many U.S. citizens — including the so-called “teabaggers” who are demonstrating on Capitol Hill today — into believing their health care is at risk.”

Even last month, Winkler was complaining at his press conference:  “One disappointment has followed another,” while warning recalcitrant Congressmen that “they risk facing the same prophetic judgments once visited upon the rulers of Israel,” and insisting:  “Now is the time for moral courage in the face of money and power.”  In other words, Winkler realized most Americans opposed Obamacare but desperately demanded that Congress approve it any way.  After all, it’s the Lord’s will, or so the Religious Left insists.

Winkler shrilly complained that pro-life “faith leaders of various stripes have placed their ideological and financial agendas ahead of the needs of the American people” by opposing Obamacare.  Unselfconsciously, he actually was describing the Religious Left’s own zealous and apparently failed imposition of health care statism on an unwilling nation.

  • FBastiat
    • stamlerms

      They not only are anti-religious, but they do not believe in God either. The two are NOT interchangeable. I have an extremely strong belief in God, and am totally against all organized religions.

      • VN Vet

        That’s cuz you’re stupid!

  • jwsnodgrass

    How about just "Praying" not to get sick if you think there is an "Almighty" listening

    • Rifleman

      How about just praying for food to fall out of the sky? Perhaps if you amused yourself on occasion by reading a Bible, you wouldn’t ask such ignorant questions. It didn’t kill me to read mohomed, marx, engels, lenin, trotsky, hitler, mao, alinsky, gore, and hussein. In fact, it reinforced my beliefs, gave me better understanding of why they were wrong, and showed me how they would try to take my freedom or kill me. Who knows, you may learn how to throw an intelligent insult at Monotheists.

      • deleted2471056

        You're philosphically very right, Rifleman. There's nothing like finding out how screwed up other "false gods" are to make a person appreciate the one of the Bible. I'm not particularly pious but you can bet your ass government will never be my god. Being dead, on the ground, beats the Hell out of being alive on my knees.

        • Rifleman

          It also increases my appreciation of the Founding Fathers (and the philisophical roots of their thinking), and I've come to realiize, and somewhat understand, that there is a connection between The Bible, its' individual choice, and the idea of individual rights and freedom the Constitution was written to protect.

          I've noticed that people who say they aren't particularly pious, are more often than not are more pious than most in what I consider the most important ways.

  • johncarens

    Word pictures are always important when conveying an idea. Here's one: Debbie Stabenow (the "junior" senator from Michigan who was hanging out with Winkler) was a hall monitor at Sexton High School in Lansing as a teenager. So, that's the sort of person who furiously clings to these vapors of Nationalized-Government-Controlled-Authoritarian Health Care: Sour and prissy little girls that like to narc on the rest of us while we enjoy our lives, and raise our families, and, gasp, worship God.

    The "Religious Left" is an interesting concept, one that I've heard posited many times. In this application, though, I wonder: It seems to be a collection of Deadheads and Druids, actually, if we want to cruise the Pantheon. Their churches, the Presbyterian, the Episcopal, the Methodist have all seen their attendance drop sharply over the last three or four decades, while the Evangelical bible-teaching churches and more orthodox versions of Catholicism and Judaism have seen huge surges in attendance. Why? People are thirsting after righteousness and authenticity, and nothing is more inauthentic than a bunch of old hippies staggering into the churches they scorned as kids, and finding an open pulpit from which they can vent the same screeds they did all those years ago. In fact, a friend took me to such a "church" many years ago now, where the "Faith Leader" droned on and on about the allegory of the Beatles "Yellow Submarine"– it was supposed to be some sort of Dr. Suessian metaphor about living together as friends. Clearly, The Gospels didn't cover the subject well enough.

    As they were back then, these people are simply authoritarians, nothing more. And they flop a religious burka over their extreme radical ideology so no one can see in, but it sure has a religious patina when we see it from the outside.

    And further: Anyone who uses the vile, vulgar smear "teabagger" to describe liberty-loving, patriotic Americans who are simply engaged in good-old American dissent, or who uses bland, multi-culti phraseology like "faith leaders" isn't in any sense what normal Americans would describe as religious. "Goofy", maybe. But not religious.

    • jack

      Ann Coulter is a deadhead. And the ‘Archdruid’ of one of the biggest druidical factions in the US is a conservative.

      • johncarens

        Ann Coulter is a fan of the Grateful Dead, yes (primarily because of their liberteen bent, I guess); but, as a thoroughgoing, introspective and thoughtful conservative, her theological compass is clearly set as an evangelical Christian. But, forgive me, I guess I am missing the point here. I am simply pointing out how incoherent the left's view of reglion vis-a-vis the state is.

    • stamlerms

      Debbie Stanenow is only one of many horrible people from Michigan. That state is corrupt from the top down, all the way to the bottom. There is not one honest court in the state, not one honest politician. And we all thought Illinois was corrupt.

    • Guadapoopé

      I agree with all that you said, above. I might add, though, not that it is necessarily pertinent, it really behooves us all not to just recognize these idiots as authoritarians but why they seem to think they are so uniquely qualified to order everyone else's life. I have a million theories on that but I think it tends to, in the end, be very simple–they are their own gods. What's that old quote about the person who has himself for a lawyer has a fool for a client? Substitute god for lawyer.

  • Yo Landa

    Who can forget Ted Kennedy's little grandchildren plaintively leading "Lord hear our Prayer for socialized medicine" at one of his innumerable memorial services… Though it would be hard to choose the most nauseating moment of the week long King's farewell to this repeatedly elected trust fund baby drunken murderer, this was really up there near the top. Something drove me to watch it. I believe it was another Wellstone Memorial turnoff and paved the way for Scott brown.

  • Gleeson

    If Mr Winkler truly thinks American families should be able to choose their own health care to fit their particular needs (with which I agree), then it would seem that he ought to be supporting efforts to do away with State mandates that impose coverage you may not need and that add a CBO estimated 15-20% cost to your coverage and he should support policies across state lines. Things the other side of the aisle have been proposing throughout and the majority party has ignored. Nor should he support a bill that might include taxpayers covering someone else’s abortion. Does Winkler actually listen to what he’s saying?

  • Adheeb

    Francis Schaeffer thought that Communism was a Christian heresy and he was right. Theology and politics go hand in hand.

    Somehow theological liberals take the example of Christ's voluntary self sacrifice for the benefit of mankind as an endorsement of government's robbery of the rich to give to the poor. In the ten years prior to his election to the office of vice president, Joe Biden gave a total of $1,000 to charity …. $100 a year …. two bucks a week. But this same Joe Biden crusaded for billions of dollars to be taken from taxpayers and given to nontaxpayers. He like so many liberals is delighted to give away someone else's money.

    Christian teaching is that one gives willingly to help those in need. Christ gave Himself not someone else to be our example.

    • JAS

      "Christian teaching is that one gives willingly to help those in need. Christ gave Himself not someone else to be our example. "

      I think you have hit on the primary reason that leftists hate Christianity so much. Leftists are notoriously niggardly. This is proven out in Studies. Marxists want the government to be the source of all "charity", minus of course the profit for the politburo.

  • USMCSniper

    Leonard Piekoff

    Health care in the modern world is a complex, scientific, technological service provided by highly skilled people. How can anybody claim that they are born with a right to health care?

    Under the American system you only have a claim to have health care if you can pay for it, i.e., if you can earn it by your own action and effort. But nobody has the right to the services of any professional individual or group in any service field simply because he wants them and desperately needs them. The very fact that he needs these services so desperately is the proof that he had better respect the freedom, the integrity, and the rights of the people who provide them.

    You have a right to work, not to rob others of the fruits of their work, not to turn others into sacrificial, rightless slaves laboring to fulfill your needs.

    • Guadapoopé

      We have a DUTY to work, not rob others…As usual, Jar, you're right.

    • bushlikesdick2

      Why should I have to pay to put you back together for Bush's wars that directly benefit the wealthy? Maybe you should go without the VA.

      • mamapajamas

        Sorry, but the VA is an EARNED benefit. It's one of the things the military gets for having a preposterously low salary.

  • John C. Davidson

    Socialized medicine is unsocialble!

  • Rifleman

    When did complexity become a virtue? Somebody needs to remind Dixon that while “universal health care,” otherwise known as socialized medicine, does offer moral clarity, stealing is clearly wrong, and contrary to God’s law.

    Winkler is obviously a commie impersonating clergy. I say impersonating because commies are atheists, but that never stopped them from infiltrating religious organizations. I’m mildly surprised he didn’t qualify “teabaggers” with, “not that there’s anything wrong with that.” There’s nothing moral or courageous about hiring someone else to plunder. Armed robbers display more of both than winkler.

  • Mike

    Being a Democrat is incompatible with any faith.

    • chuckray

      Not true. NOT TRUE at all. They have an evangelical faith in Algore and his global warming religion.

    • Guadapoopé

      Thank you. I've been saying that for years. They do have their own religion, though.

    • stamlerms

      I totally agree. When you read the last version of the healthcare bill, you realize that no one with a belief in a supreme being could come up with such a holocaustic attitude toward human life. The bill clearly states that each individual will be limited to $5000. per annum in healthcare allowance. That means an appendicitis attack is a death warrant. A mildly serious car accident is a death warrant as well. So would be all forms of cancer, necessary surgery, etc. Anything more serious than the flu, and you're left to die. The average cost of one year's incarceration in prison is just over $41,000. They will gladly throw you in prison, but to make you well is out of the question. Too expensive.

  • Stephen_Brady

    The most important issue in this article is that the religious left … having abandoned faith in God, the Creator … has turned towards human being, the created, as the savior of the human race. How they can look at themselves in the mirror, in the morning, and believe that they are qualified to create justice and equality, and impart hope to their fellowman, is beyond me.

    Effectively, the religious left has ceased to be Christian, and turned towards government to assuage their guilt before the Creator. They will be sorely disappointed.

  • Delfin J Beltran MD

    Universal Healthcare was first written in the original Sodial Security Law as written by Edwin Witte, State of Wisconsin legislative bill writer at the behest of FDR. Only the SSA side of the bill was introduced in 1935. In 1953 Professor Edwin Witte, Univ. of Wisconsin, Department of Economics spoke to the 1953 UW MD class of which I was a member and heard him tell us that the government was going to take over medical care. Mr. Witte finished his sermon with, "Before you finish your residencies, we will own you."
    Ownership of another human is commonly referred to as slavery – and the is the obvious intent of the current US government presidency and legislators.

    • bushlikesdick2

      The world is already socialist and so is the U.S. — get over it and get use to it because pure capitalism doesn't work and neither does pure communism– They are dysfunctional. Socialism, as it is defined today, is evolving into functional capitalism that gives everybody the responsibilty to shoulder the needs of society. So the rest of you have to stop being selfish and ignorant of the common necessities of man kind.

    • Guadapoopé

      Estoy de acuerdo, Dr.

  • bushlikesdick2

    According to a recent Gallup Poll, over 70% of Americans want healthcare reform — just not in its current form

    • Guadapoopé

      Reform, maybe, not a government takeover. Be prepared to give up more than your personal responsibility if the Demmunists get away with this. Do you oppose interstate operation of the insurance companies? If so, why? Government has no incentive to be competitive–all it has to do is raise taxes if it starts losing money. Where does that end? Can private-sector companies do that? No. Ya think that might compel them to be a little more efficient? You sure trust a lot of untrustworthy people. Consider this–these people probably "think" just like you. Sorry, but not surprised, that the school system, the funding to which the Democrats have controlled for 60 years and running, didn't teach you enough, if anything, about the basics of capitalism or free-market forces. You, like, a helluva bunch of other Americans, are being played in as evil and cynical a manner as can be. Unfortunately, we will all pay dearly for the prevailing ignorance on this issue. do what adults do–get a job and buy yourself health insurance.

    • Stephen_Brady

      Dicky, this just isn't so (and I noticed that you didn't provide a link to proof of your assertion). According to Rasmussen, only 40% of the American people want Obamacare, while 58% oppose it. Moreover, 61% say that it's time to drop healthcare and move on to saving the economy.

      Read about it:

      If you want the DEM's plan, you are in a definite minority of the American people …

  • poetcomic1

    Stop posting and posting and posting this. You are taking this honorable man's words and turning them into SPAM.

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  • Frank Bunyard

    It's too bad Christian Science can't make a come back. Then there would be no need for healthcare because there would be no such thing as illness. It would all be in the individual's head, and with a little "right-thinking" the sick soul would be healed.

    • Rifleman

      What's stopping you?

  • Evelyn Withey

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    • Guadapupe

      'Hope you enjoy it, Evelyn.

  • Hobart

    As long as we're pleading for our Congressional representatives to lead with compassion and love, let's point them in the direction of saving the lives of unborn children who are massacred at the rate of millions per year. Let's plead for Congress to open up to Christian morals and Christian teachings.

  • Methodist Gram

    Mr. Winkler referred to me as a "teabagger" since I was one of those who attended townhall meetings and demonstrated at a Tea Party rally in my hometown. It is a slang term with homosexual crude meanings. Is this man out of his mind? Many of us at these meetings are lifetime United Methodists. Our biggest worry with government spending is what legacy we are leaving for our grandchildren. Now I realize that we need to organize townhalls and Tea Parties to demonstrate against our own United Methodist Church officials who should have their mouths washed out with soap. They are far-removed from the people that they are supposed to represent, as well. Their arrogance will be their downfall.


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  • maxxy

    if such a vision arouses such widespread resistance, its proponents, at least in American democracy, are obliged to argue more persuasively before the nation must kneel before it. Evidently, the Religious Left realizes its arguments have failed, but it still demands the coercive powers that Obamacare would grant.

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