The real face of “universal” health care (a repost)

Note: The constitutionality of universal, government run and mandated health care is being argued before the U.S. Supreme Court this week. This has prompted many to express their opinions on the subject. I’d like to add mine by reposting this essay. Why not write something new? Because my views have not changed on the subject since I originally expressed them in this post on July 27, 2009.

There are many advocates of government-run “universal” health care. They advocate it because, they say, everyone has a “right” to health care.

Medical2I am adamantly opposed to government-run “universal” health care. You may have seen some of the reasons many like me oppose the idea: Government-run “universal” health care will result in…

  • The rationing of health care
  • Exploding costs
  • Medical decisions being made by federal bureaucrats rather than doctors and patients
  • A lower quality of health care
  • The creation of many more bloated, out-of-control government bureaucracies

I oppose it for these reasons, too — but not primarily for these reasons. No, I oppose government-run “universal” health care primarily because I am absolutely opposed to slavery.

Huh?

You read that right. Because I abhor the practice of slavery I could never support it in the form of government-run “universal” health care.

How are the two even connected?

It’s really quite simple when you stop long enough to consider it. What it really boils down to is what is and is not a “right.”

The Declaration of Independence is brilliant in its wording.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Note these rights are few yet comprehensive. We have a right to our life, we have a right to our liberty, and we have a right to pursue our own happiness. Basically, as long as we do not infringe on the rights of others in the process, we can do whatever we want. Also note these rights occur in nature. We have them by virtue of our birth. They are provided by God. They are innate. They are intrinsic. They belong to us.

Now, consider what the supporters of government-run “universal” health care consider “rights.”

Obviously they think health care is a right. But often these same people will say everyone has a right to…

  • A house
  • A good job
  • Three meals a day
  • A “living” wage
  • An education
  • Reliable transportation

The list can go on.

But do you see the difference?

In her book, “The Virtue of Selfishness,” author Ayn Rand took a similar list of proposed “rights” and exposed it for what it is by asking a simple question at the end of each stated “right.”

At whose expense?

You think you have a right to a house? At whose expense?

You have a right to three meals a day? At whose expense?

ShacklesAdd that question to the end of each “right” and you begin to realize there is a difference between what the founders regarded as rights and what modern politicians often regard as rights.

This new list of “rights” does not occur in nature. They are the result of someone’s labor. Someone has to produce a house. Someone has to provide meals. And, if you claim that person A has a right to a house you then, by default, are claiming they are entitled to the product of person B’s labor. Which makes person B a slave.

This is what government-run “universal” health care is. It is slavery. If one person has a “right” to health care then the person who provides health care becomes a slave — because the product of their labor is not their own.

I know there are many who would say, “That’s ridiculous. Doctors get paid for their services.”

Really?

Slave owners have always made a similar argument. “Slaves,” they would say, “are treated fairly. They are given food, housing and clothes. They are compensated.”

Aha, but we both know the slaves did not get to dictate the terms of the exchange.

Neither do the health care providers in a socialized medical system. Bureaucrats determine the terms by which they will deliver their services and to whom they will be delivered. They can’t charge what they want and they can’t refuse service if they’d like. In fact, most of the decisions free people make about their own lives are taken away from those who provide health care (and from those who receive it) in this kind of system. It’s slavery.

And, I think it’s fair to say, if you support government-run “universal” health care you support slavery — at least in principle. Sure, you probably reject the kind of slavery that existed in America for a couple of hundred years. But, if you support government-run “universal” health care, you’re really just quibbling over the degree to which an individual is enslaved.

I realize many Christians maintain the Bible supports this sort of socialized nonsense. They especially like this passage…

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” — Acts 2:42-47

They claim this passage supports socialism because the early Christians pooled all of their resources and shared everything equally. Yes, these Christians did that. However, they were not mandated to do this by the government and they still had private property (Note how they broke bread in “their homes”).

Some continue to argue that God judged Ananias and Sapphira because they did not participate fully in the communist ideal of the early church. They pretended to give all of their possessions but secretly withheld some for themselves.

But Scripture does not bear this out. Peter even affirmed Ananias and Sapphira’s control over their property when he said:

“While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” — Acts 5:4

They were judged because they lied to God. They wanted to appear great in the eyes of men for giving everything they had while holding back. Peter’s comments confirm that they were under no obligation to do this.

But doesn’t the Bible tell us to care for the sick?

Yep.

But it never gives that responsibility to the government. It is always given to individuals or the church. Sorry, but a compelling case for socialized medicine can’t be made from Scripture.

The bottom line is this: Government-run “universal” health care has been an abject failure everywhere it has been tried. We have plenty of examples that confirm this fact. It is immoral on a number of levels and it is not biblical. And, in light of all of that, I think it is fair to question the motives of those who support it.

It is not death to die

Frank Shell was the pastor of my home church in Clinton, AR. His younger son, Joe, was my college roommate for four years and is one of my best friends in the world.

Yesterday my wife called me at work after receiving a text message from Joe.

Brother Frank died.

I hurt.

But, God’s providence had already provided a word of encouragement for me. Mere hours before I received word of his death, I visited one of my favorite blogs, Pyromaniacs. On a weekly basis Pyromaniacs features an excerpt from another of my favorite preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Here is yesterday’s offering of Spurgeon…

Die I must—this body must be a carnival for worms; it must be eaten by those tiny cannibals; peradventure it shall be scattered from one portion of the earth to another; the constituent particles of this my frame will enter into plants, from plants pass into animals, and thus be carried into far distant realms; but, at the blast of the archangel’s trumpet, every separate atom of my body shall find its fellow; like the bones lying in the valley of vision, though separated from one another, the moment God shall speak, the bone will creep to its bone; then the flesh shall come upon it; the four winds of heaven shall blow, and the breath shall return.

So let me die, let beasts devour me, let fire turn this body into gas and vapor, all its particles shall yet again be restored; this very self-same, actual body shall start up from its grave, glorified and made like Christ’s body, yet still the same body, for God hath said it. Christ’s same body rose; so shall mine.

O my soul, dost thou now dread to die? Thou wilt lose thy partner body a little while, but thou wilt be married again in heaven; soul and body shall again be united before the throne of God. The grave—what is it? It is the bath in which the Christian puts the clothes of his body to have them washed and cleansed. Death—what is it? It is the waiting-room where we robe ourselves for immortality; it is the place where the body, like Esther, bathes itself in spices that it may be fit for the embrace of its Lord. Death is the gate of life; I will not fear to die, then, but will say,

“Shudder not to pass the stream; Venture all thy care on him; Him whose dying love and power
Stilled its tossing, hushed its roar, Safe in the expanded wave; Gentle as a summer’s eve.
Not one object of his care ever suffered shipwreck there.”

The parable of the ducks


On a balmy Sunday morning in the land of the ducks, all the ducks awoke, preened their feathers, and waddled to church. When they had found their respective pews and squatted down, their duck minister waddled arduously to the pulpit. Opening the duck Bible, he turned to the place where it spoke of God’s great gift to ducks — wings.

“With wings,” the duck preacher orated, “you ducks can fly. You can mount up like eagles and soar to the heavens. You can know your freedom from the confinement of pens and fences. You must give thanks to God for so great a gift as wings.”

All the ducks in the congregation heartily agreed, shouting, “AMEN!”

Then they all went home…

…waddling.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. — James 1:22

ABCs new show — who is to blame?

A lot of Christians are upset this morning over the debut of a new ABC television series entitled “GCB.” The original title was “Good Christian B—–s” — taken from a novel by the same name. The fervor comes because the series portrays a group of church goers in Dallas, Texas as gross hypocrites, prone to gossip and worldly living. Apparently the “Christian” characters on the show engage in lewd behavior and then justify their actions by taking Scripture out of context.

Drew Zahn, a writer for WND.com, said the pilot episode, “stars actress Leslie Bibb as Amanda, a mother of two and onetime “mean girl” in high school who returns home a widow to Dallas, only to discover she is the center of malicious gossip in the Christian community.”

According to Zahn’s article, all of the trailers, advertisements and sneak previews for the series suggest the show will be snide, steamy and seriously offensive.

Dr. Ted Baehr, founder of Movieguide and chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission, wrote an article about the show in which he said, “ABC-TV has taken blasphemy against God, the Bible, God’s church and Jesus Christ to new levels of depravity.”

I find the whole situation quite upsetting, too. But, probably not for the reasons you may suspect. I’m not upset with ABC for producing a show like this. Producing lewd, provocative television shows will produce good ratings and good ratings will draw advertisers. All of this means money. Worldly men seek money. It’s what they do. Scripture declares that men are slaves to sin. It’s not a justification for their behavior, you understand? But, when unregenerate men behave sinfully I am not surprised. It’s what I expect of them.

Instead, I am upset that the producers at ABC are able to observe something in America’s churches that makes for lewd, provocative television shows. There is truth in what they’ve portrayed on the screen. There are people who claim the name of Jesus Christ, who attend church regularly every Sunday, who then live the same kind of worldly lives as their neighbors.

I see this as a result of a church culture. Growing up in the Bible Belt, you just go to church. It’s what you do. But, just because you go to church and have your name on a membership roll does not mean you are truly a regenerate believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus, Himself, said this was the case…

Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?” And then will I declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” — Matthew 7:21-23

Pews are populated with people who are absolutely convinced that they are saved because they “walked an aisle” or “prayed a prayer” or “joined the church.” But, Jesus makes it clear that many such people are lost.

You see, according to Scripture, a real believer will be different than the world.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come. — 2 Corinthians 5:17

In fact, Jesus said you can know the difference between the real Christian and the pretend Christian.

You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, you will recognize them by their fruits. — Matthew 7:16-20

I don’t see ABC as blaspheming the name of Jesus for producing such a show. I see the people who claim the name of Jesus on Sunday and then live like the devil on Monday as the ones who are blaspheming Jesus’ name.

It is one thing for the world to behave in a worldly fashion — they are of the world. It’s normal for them. It is quite another for Christians to behave in a worldly fashion. We are not supposed to. If Christians took seriously their biblical responsibility to hold one another accountable, this sort of thing would not be as observable to the producers at ABC. True believers who had behaved like the world would repent. Unbelievers masquerading as believers and populating the pews on Sunday would not long endure when confronted. Either way, the name of Jesus would be protected.

The WND.com stories invite Christians to write letters to ABC in protest. You can do that if you like. But understand that it is becoming more and more in vogue to offend Christians. The producers at ABC might enjoy knowing they’ve offended believers. Allow me to offer an alternative to Christians…

Fix the problem.

Hold one another accountable in love. Repent when confronted with your sin. Conform more and more to Christ. Remember, Jesus told us the world would hate us…

If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. — John 15:18-20

Let’s just make sure the world hates us because we are obedient to our Lord and NOT because we are gross hypocrites.

More evidence of man’s depravity

A group of medical “ethicists” linked to Oxford University recently declared that, ” Parents should be allowed to have their newborn babies killed because they are ‘morally irrelevant’ and ending their lives is no different to abortion.

“Ethicists” indeed.

This is a perfect example of the doctrine of the Total Depravity of Man.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! — Isaiah 5:20

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” — John 8:42-47

These “ethicists” even make their proclamations from, what they perceive as, a position of moral authority. ” The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.”

I am reminded that the Nazis murdered whole categories of people they deemed as lacking “those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.”

The horrors of hearts enslaved to sin are on display for a whole new generation to witness.

May God grant repentance.

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