“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” – Matt 7:12
When I was growing up I remember running across what seemed like an odd little law in North Carolina. It was not illegal for a minor to smoke cigarettes – but it was illegal for a minor to purchase cigarettes. I suppose for some reason it was politically untenable in the tobacco state to outlaw consumption, but they did find a way to hamper purchase by kids.
The law displayed an important principle of free markets: there are two parties to any exchange. If we couldn’t stop one party (the minor) we can stop the other (vendor). Did the law stop children from smoking? No. But it made it at least a little more difficult for them to acquire cigarettes.
We see the principle at work in the Obamacare fallout of today. Years ago the president declared that you would be able to keep your insurance and doctor. It was true, in a very backward sense. The law does not outlaw your purchase of insurance – but it does prohibit many insurance providers from offering you the same plan (or the same plan for anywhere near a comparable price). He should have said “if you like your plan, and your provider is economically foolish enough to offer it to you at a massive loss, then you can keep it.” Providers are not economically foolish though, and folks are losing their plans left and right.
My insurance has gone up, but only a modest amount compared to many of the horror stories we see in the news every day. My mother on the other hand got flat out booted from her very nice insurance plan that was provided under my father’s retirement from IBM. After he died last summer she was allowed to keep the plan … until the “affordable” care act kicked in. Not anymore. She had to go out and get a new plan, at a much greater cost with much greater deductibles. Thanks guys.
On the grand scheme the oppression of Obamacare is a small thing compared to what Christians across the world suffer. And the Lord gave us a great example when he actually paid taxes to Rome – a horrid, murderous regime. He wasn’t here to throw down the worldly regimes and set up righteous, kingdom rule; He was here to set the people free.
There is a slight difference in this case though. We are a democracy. Not only that, a democracy where a vast majority portend to be Christians. A government of the people, by the people, and for the people is a government that is the people. If the government oppresses the people, it is the people oppressing each other. And if the people are by-and-large Christians, then it is Christians oppressing each other (and the rest).
My objection then is not that the government is intentionally harming the people – that is one thing – but that it is harm promoted and condoned by Christians! Folks who will say on Sunday that they are my brother and sister, will on election Tuesday use the power of the ballot to kick my little, old, widowed mother off of her insurance. Well done guys – what a great testament to the Golden Rule.
The Bible says to “be angry and sin not” (Eph 4:26) – so I’ll stop now before I accuse my “brothers” of worse. Know this though, friends, that I object to your treatment of me. I object, and a great number of your fellow countrymen do as well.