I had wanted my glorious return to semi-regular blogging to be ushered in with football predictions, but I have something else on my mind at the moment and it won't go away until I share it with a wide and largely anonymous audience. There's this little debate going on around these here United States of America where health care is concerned. I'm certainly not going to be the first person in access to the internet to weigh in on this, so there are a few things I'm going to skip over for your sake.
The misdirection, misinformation, and outright lies coming from the right, for example, are documented by my heroes over at Media Matters in a far more thorough fashion than I'd be able to muster all by my lonesome.* I'll also skip my rallying cry to do whatever it takes to get the "blue dogs" out of office via their next primaries if they don't feel like health care should be accessible to everyone. For good measure, I'll even move on past the part where I lay out the reasons that anything less than the single-payer, universal health care we're all supposed to be afraid of is a cop out.
No, what's annoying me the most in this debate is the silence. A deafening silence coming from the Church. Now, to be fair, there is some good stuff being done quietly. There's The 10:10 Challenge, for example, which I think is fantastic. However, there isn't one loud voice coming from the big, honkin', capitol "C" Church.
This wouldn't be such a big deal, but apparently the Christian faith has pockets that can get bent out of shape over the need for legislation to remove the rights of gay folks. Heck, there's even a very vocal group of Christians who scream and contort their faces in front of anyone with a camera because they hate the idea that evolution is being taught in science classes. These two issues are things that the Church is divided on, though, as we disagree over the interpretation and study of the surrounding scripture.
So certainly on this issue, where there is absolutely no reading of any scripture that would translate to Jesus being of the opinion that there are people who don't deserve access to health care, the Church should easily rise up and in one unison voice demand that health care be treated as a human right. On this issue, shouldn't the side the Church takes on this issue - and we're talking the entire Church, lunatic fringe and all - be a slam dunk? Shouldn't this be the modern Church's finest hour, where we put aside the issues that divide our faith and rally behind the teachings that tell us, unequvically, to take care of those who need it?
Apparently, the Church is afraid of what compassion would look like on our pay stubs underneath Social Security. Apparently, the Church is too busy letting Dobson scream bloody murder over fictional "death panels." Apparently the Church, after being told for so long that only one political party has any of our interests in mind and seeing that party work so hard to deny people the right to proper care, is just too confused to get together and push the government to do the right thing in the tradition of the Old Testament prophets (only probably without the pillars of fire...at least, I'd hope so).
The Church in America has its share of failings. This silence, especially relative to some of the noise parts of it have been allowed to make at other times, is probably our biggest.
*For example much of their information gathering comes from folks who, bless their hearts, can watch far more Fox News and listen to far more talk radio than I could stomach.