“The wise speak only of what they know, Gríma son of Gálmód. A witless worm have you become. Therefore be silent, and keep your forked tongue behind your teeth. I have not passed through fire and death to bandy crooked words with a serving-man till the lightning falls.”
With this, Gandalf the White dispatched Grima Wormtongue. It’s quite a rich quote, and I won’t try to dissect the fullness of its meaning; other than to point out that Gandalf takes very much a “I’m not going to sink into a debate with you – I don’t have to” approach.
I generally try to take the same tack when unserious people pick up serious topics and try to flippantly inject their interpretation of some notional Christianity. However, I’ve been drawn into the fray by this:
Now, let me note that the healthcare debate is a worthy one indeed. I, with very libertarian leanings, tend to believe that government involvement will only lower the quality of healthcare. Thus, I cannot support as “good” a program that will result in poorer healthcare. But if serious people like William Willimon or Shane Claiborne want to weigh in on Christian perspectives relative to healthcare reform, I will gladly respect their views, even if I disagree. But when Walker Lundy uses a bard’s trick and references a single scripture, then implies that anyone not in favor of all out socialism is not Christian in their thinking; well, I suppose it’s time to speak up. After all, the whole purpose of this blog is to discuss the notion that freedom, with defense of human rights, is the proper role of government – from a Christian perspective.
As for Mr. Lundy: speak of what you know Grima – nothing more (Proverbs 17:28 … I can quote scripture too).
The government is not God and should not be elevated to such status (Exodus 20:3). History has shown quite clear that men deprived of political and economic freedom will ultimately be made to suffer (see Nazi Germany, Soviet Union, Khmer Rouge, or the Chinese Cultural Revolution). Opposition to a healthcare reform that will in all likelihood reduce the quality of healthcare for millions is NOT inconsistent with Matthew 25:37-40 and the final judgment. We oppose bad governance and degradation of the healthcare system for Christian reasons.
Finally, could the debate be elevated? Sure, but Mr. Lundy’s article certainly did nothing to support that cause.