“Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:26-27
There’s a lot of talk about who “deserves” healthcare. Depending on who you talk to, unemployed and underemployed people are either lazy (mooching off the system) or unfortunate (born into poverty). I believe there are people of both kinds, and it’s not as simple as we like to think. But I do know that rich people have a “safety net.” If their stocks crash, they are likely to have a Plan B (and C and D) that involves dipping into resources unavailable even to the middle class. Rich people rarely have a financial need that they can’t get bailed out of. And yet… they have talked us into believing that they are so much more deserving that we need to “look after” them; to make sure they aren’t hurt by those at the bottom!
Jesus and His followers didn’t have access to insurance; nor did they have much choice regarding healthcare. They paid taxes and they couldn’t vote. But the Bible clearly says to take care of the outcast: the orphans, the widows, the unloved and unlovable… and we can vote. By turning my back on young mothers who live in hotels, on children who are alive because they weren’t aborted, on hardworking people of color, on veterans who fought for my country, I am not obeying God.
The Bible exhorts us to look after those who are in distress—not those who are deserving. I believe voting for healthcare for everyone is the best way modern Christians can do this.
Talk is cheap. We have the ability and the responsibility to help people in need.