Some of you know that I've been a big supporter of the Canadian system of health care. When I was 18, I shattered my knee cap and within 24 hours was in surgery having it repaired; stayed in the hospital for a week, learned how to walk again (with crutches then a cane), and did two years of physical therapy - and the only thing that came out of my (read: my parent's) pocket was 20% of the physical therapy bill. From where I sit that seems like a pretty good deal.
So I've been following the battle south of the border over the US HealthCare bill (Obamacare) closely.
I haven't blogged in a while, but I wanted to share a couple of observations and reflections.
The crux of the argument, at least as I understand it is that forcing individuals to carry a minimum level of health care violates personal liberty.
|Fill in your own joke about violating liberty|
“The ultimate question is whether the doctrine of the goodness of God or that of the inerrancy of Scriptures is to prevail when they conflict. I think the doctrine of the goodness of God is the more certain of the two. Indeed, only that doctrine renders this worship of Him obligatory or even permissible. To this some will reply ‘ah, but we are fallen and don’t recognize good when we see it.’ But God Himself does not say that we are as fallen as all that. He constantly, in Scripture, appeals to our conscience: ‘Why do ye not of yourselves judge what is right?’ – ‘What fault hath my people found in me?’ And so on. Socrates’ answer to Euthyphro is used in Christian form by Hooker. Things are not good because God commands them; God commands certain things because he sees them to be good. (In other words, the Divine Will is the obedient servant to the Divine Reason.) The opposite view (Ockham’s, Paley’s) leads to an absurdity. If ‘good’ means ‘what God wills’ then to say ‘God is good’ can mean only ‘God wills what he wills.’ Which is equally true of you or me or Judas or Satan.”As a Christian, I need to believe in the goodness of God over and above everything else that happens to me or else it's too easy for the awful parts of life to get the better of us. I met a guy last night who had just lost his 6 year old daughter and was driving through on the way to Vancouver. If God commanded that then He's a terrifying reality, but if He is Good, then He weeps and suffers alongside us. I have to believe, and I think Christians need to believe, that God is most pleased when his people chase after the Good.
My biggest question through all of this is the one at the top of this blog: what happens when liberty gets in the way of that Good? I don't want to be political, and I really have no horse in this race, but it makes me so happy to see 30 million people gaining access to what I consider to be a fundamental human right. But the biggest irony is that as this takes place, Canada makes moves in the opposite direction. There are nearly 27,000 refugees in Canada who are in the process of losing access to that basic human right.
I wonder what the church can do about it?
When we read a passage like this - Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others (Philippians 2:3-4) - aren't we bound to try and put it into practice? I don't have answers, but I can't shake this feeling that there is something wrong about this. If we believe that this is a fundamental right, rooted in the Goodness of God, then we need to do something about it.