The great cowboy philosopher/humorist Will Rogers once said: “This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.” That may have never been truer than now. Congress is back, and the nation is bracing for what is about to be done to us.
The health care legislation has most of the nation’s attention, as well it should. Just about everyone is in agreement that health care reform is needed. However, the methods proposed are from extreme opposite views, which are touching some of the most fundamental differences between liberals and conservatives in the nation. This could be a good thing.
Certainly it is reasonable to expect both sides to give a little, and there was some hope that the President’s speech to the joint session of Congress on health care reform would offer some conciliation to the huge and maybe unprecedented outcry from citizens in the town hall meetings over the last few weeks. Those hopes were dashed. There was little or no conciliation, but rather an even more challenging, and as many perceived it, threatening tone from the President. Many in his party ridiculed and demeaned the protestors, seemingly thinking that the only legitimate protestors are those that agree with them. This is so important, and the potential consequences of losing this battle are too terrible for us to give up. Keep calling and emailing your elected officials from the President on down, and keep speaking out. The battle is not lost, and even if a most terrible bill is passed, the war is not lost.
The President asked during his speech on health care: Where were other ideas? Many were waving their hands, but were not acknowledged. Many other plans are being proposed, but even the media seems to pretend they do not exist. Don’t give up though.
I’m Raising My Hand
In his speech, the President said that he would call out anyone who misrepresented what was in his proposed health care legislation. Okay, if those are the rules, I personally call out the President about his misrepresentations. There were at least four big ones in his speech and many more in the legislation that is now on the table in Congress. I challenge him to a public debate on his health care legislation proposals.
I am not joking, and the President should be willing to debate me. He has an overwhelming advantage. I have never debated anyone before, and he is both experienced at it and good. I don’t have a large government funded staff to do the research and help prepare me for the debate. I will even let him use teleprompters since it is believed that he cannot function well without them. I will not take notes with me to the debate if that would make him feel safer.
I’m sincerely not trying to embarrass the President, but he made the rules. If we think there are misrepresentations, we can call out the one making them, and so I call out the President who I think is making major misrepresentations about his reform of health care. If he is afraid to have a public debate about it, I’ll debate him in private. I would do it shooting hoops, playing golf, or even drinking a beer. My goal is not publicity, but I am concerned that he is only hearing from one side. If he could hear from the other side and consider the deep concerns that obviously millions of Americans have about his plan, maybe he could find a way to move back toward the center and relieve the increasing pressure that has the potential of getting much worse if it is not relieved. Of course, I would be happier for someone who could do this better than I could, but until someone else steps up—I call out the President—I call him to a debate on this issue.
Where We Agree
I do agree that health care reform is needed, as I think almost all Americans do. I also agree that affordable health care should be available for every citizen. I would even agree for the government to do this if I thought it could, but the government has proven over and over to be incapable of running just about anything efficiently or effectively. Right now we have good reason, and I would add that anyone who can reason should view the government like a baby with a hammer. Like a baby, it is unlikely that he is going to build anything with that hammer, but instead he is very likely to damage whatever he gets near. The present Democratic plan will severely damage both the quality and availability of health care for everyone, except for the President and Congress, who obviously will have their own health care plan so that they do not have to suffer the consequences of their own folly. If they don’t think it’s folly, then let them all agree to submit themselves and their families to the plan that they want to impose on us, standing in what will surely be increasingly long lines with all the people who they claim to be doing this for.
Even though I think the proposed health care legislation would end up being one of the greatest follies our country has ever made, I am nevertheless thankful to live in a country where the government at least wants to help the people, even if it is so clumsy when it tries that it ends up hurting more than it helps. Now I don’t think anyone has perfect intentions, but there are usually good intentions mixed in with even the most evil motives, and history has shown that even some of the most evil people can do some good. We owe much of our judicial system to Napoleon, who deeply cared about the common people in some ways, wanting them to be justly treated, even if he would also have hundreds of thousands of them to be in wars that were about his vanity.
People have mixed motives to some degree on just about everything. If we are doing evil, we sometimes use the little percentage of good intentions we have as justification for the evil. If we want to do good, we often have to battle the selfish and evil intentions that are also present. Since the Fall, it is unlikely anyone has ever done anything with perfect motives, but we just do the best we can and try to be obedient and stand for what is right. Sometimes this means taking a stand for something that is just a little more right or a little less bad than other choices, but our choices define us, and we will be judged on them.
For this reason, I try to never totally reject anyone or totally trust anyone but God. If I am aggressively challenging someone, I always have it in my intent that when turned, even the most evil people can become the greatest champions of truth, just as the Apostle Paul is one of the greatest examples. It seems that as deep as the devil gets his roots into someone, when the roots are removed, that is how deep the Lord can fill us. So if I am challenging someone as evil, or having evil intent, I am sincerely hoping that the confrontation is a presentation of the truth under the anointing that will help to set them free. For this reason, we should never demonize people. As the Apostle Paul wrote, we are not warring against flesh and blood, but against higher powers who are keeping them in bondage to do their will (see II Corinthians 10:3-4).
Because of the above, I also do not ever claim to have perfect motives either. I know that if I have more light or better motives it is because of the grace of God. This is not just a cliché, but sound, biblical truth. In many ways, President Obama may be far more righteous than I am. I was raised in a very conservative environment and I became an extreme liberal and even a Marxist for awhile, just out of rebellion. From the background and environment that Obama grew up in, we should wonder why he is not even more extreme than he is. I think he also has much better motives than I did for having his perspective on things. That being said, Obama is far more extreme than I think the vast majority of the people who voted for him believed him to be, and the change he is trying to impose on America is profoundly un-American and will not take root. The push back is just beginning.
It is also a misconception that Obama had a big mandate for change. He outspent the McCain/Palin ticket by about 8 to 1, while the Republic party in power suffered one of the worst economic catastrophes in history, and yet with just a 3 percent swing in the vote, McCain/Palin would be in office. This was shockingly close under the conditions and was hardly a mandate and certainly not one for the extreme changes that Obama is seeking to impose on the country. After his election, most Republicans expressed goodwill, and just about all wanted to support our first black President. Obama has misread this goodwill and is losing it faster than probably any President in history.
There is a lot of evidence, and more seems to be coming to the light almost every day, that there are some evil agendas behind the present health care legislation. However, I also think that there are some sincere and noble desires to help people mixed in. We should also have greater faith in the Lord to change people than we do in the devil to keep them in bondage to do his evil. It is still right to hope and pray for the best for our new President. This hope has turned into a lot of disappointment and increasing alarm, but we cannot ever give up hope. If Obama has an illumination, or revelation, and turns from some of his agendas, he could end up being one of our greatest Presidents. If he continues going the way he seems set on going now, he will be one of our worst. That would be a tragedy for us all.
If the Democrats cram their health care plan down the throats of America, we will be in for some increasingly unsettling times. Their plan is so flawed that major problems will begin showing up very fast in health care, and Obama’s chances of being reelected, as well as that of most Democrats, will continue to diminish. Republicans know this, and there is a vitality and energy rising in the Republican Party correspondingly fast. Many may be thinking we should just let the liberals fail with their health care plan, but there is much more to it than that. Many people, potentially millions, are going to be hurt. Some, and probably many, will needlessly lose their lives before the mess can be straightened out. This is why Christians should be mobilizing. To stand for righteousness is more than standing for biblical truth—it is standing for what is right. We have to think of the people.
Of course, liberals claim, and with some justification, that the problem with conservatives is that they do not consider the people, especially the needy. That may be true with some, but overall it is a false accusation. When the tax returns of those we elected last year were made public, it was shocking how little they gave to charity. Correspondingly, many were astonished by how much is given to charity by elected conservatives. The liberals want to give, but with someone else’s money, not their own.
Conservatives, in general, do care about people, and in practical action it seems they actually care far more than their liberal counterparts—they just don’t talk about it as much. Conservatives just don’t think government can do the job without waste and inefficiency, which often ends up hurting many more people than are helped. This is a belief based on sound reasoning and the government’s own track record. But there is a bigger issue still with Christians.
When you institutionalize charity, it becomes hard, cold, bureaucratic, and usually selective in spite of the best efforts to make it available to all. Jesus and His followers had a purse that they obviously used to give to the poor. When Jesus indicated to Judas that it was time for him to do what he was going to do, all of the disciples thought he was supposed to go give something to the poor. Even though Jesus healed them and multiplied food to feed them, He still gave money to the poor. If that was basic to the life of Christ, it is basic Christianity.
We need to also consider that Jesus had the power to instantly alleviate all poverty for the whole world right then. Why didn’t He do it? We know that He will do it in the age to come, but there is something fundamentally flawed and ungodly about trying to do all things for all people in our own strength and time.
The obvious tract records of those who claim to want to help everyone have proven to be those who talk but actually do little. Those who want the government to do everything are often the ones doing nothing personally. There is a huge disconnect here. This was one of the main points of possibly the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace. As we are seeing in the present and rising division in America, that could well determine if we have war or peace.
I also agree with President Obama who has repeatedly referred to the “special interests” as the ones behind the opposition of his plan, which is true if you consider the interests of the American citizens or professionals as special. In both cases I think they are, and they deserve to have their interests considered too. However, when Obama says the AMA supports him on this, he fails to tell the truth about how the AMA only represents about 17 percent of health care workers because it is so out of touch with them. Medical professionals are overwhelmingly against the Democratic health care reform plan. I have not talked to one yet who did not feel that it would wreck the whole system, destroying what is the best health care system in the world in spite of its flaws. It needs fixing, but what they are proposing is like changing the engine and drive train because the car has a flat tire. Tort is the flat tire!
The real “special interests” who are blocking the health care reform that would actually work to improve health care and make it affordable are lawyers who were reported to be the biggest contributors to the Obama campaign. Tort reform basically fixes the biggest problems with the cost of health care. Other changes could help too, but lawsuits are by far the biggest source of skyrocketing costs. Why is this most obvious factor not being addressed? This is the biggest source of support for Obama and for many in Congress. If Obama is going to throw “special interests” into the debate, then we need to examine him with his own standard.
Tort reform was actually mentioned in Obama’s speech, but it was mentioned in a way that no one considered a serious attempt to make it a real part of his proposed reform. His solution was to save enough by cutting waste in the system to pay for the nearly one trillion estimated costs. Think about that. Who in their right mind would even trust the government to find waste in a system? This is not only surreal; it is insulting for him to believe that any thinking person would buy that. If the government can’t even run the cash for clunkers program, how in the world are they going to run health care, much less find a trillion dollars worth of waste to pay for it? Can anyone give one example of the government finding and cleaning up waste?
If you still do not think this is really bizarre thinking, let’s take the President at his own words. Remember when he demanded that the federal government cut one hundred million dollars from its budget this year and that he was doing this to “send a message?” That’s correct—he mandated that the federal government cut one hundred million dollars (not billion). What kind of message was that? If he had proposed cutting one hundred billion it would have been laughable, but for him to demand cutting this paltry amount was scary because it showed just how out of touch he is. One hundred million is literally about four hours worth of interest on the Obama deficits. That’s right. Interest on the Obama deficits are about 25 million an hour.
The real message is that they need someone in this Administration that can do math. I’m not good at math either, but I can tell what this adds up to—this Administration is deeply out of touch with reality, and we are going to pay dearly if they do not have a revelation soon.
We are in a fix that is beyond human remedy. We can expect an increasingly serious call to prayer in the body of Christ, and we must respond to it. The best of all outcomes would be for Obama to have a revelation, and turn back to the center where the overwhelming majority of America is, and where the “path of life” is almost always found. There is a ditch on either side of the path of life, and when we overreact to either ditch, we usually fall into the one on the opposite side. America’s best times can yet be ahead, and they can start now. We could also be headed for civil conflict that is more devastating than we even want to think about. The only hope is for Christians to get engaged. We are told in II Chronicles 7:14:
and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
I am not trying to be caustic, demeaning, or disrespectful. I am trying to sound an alarm because alarm is fitting when we are facing the kind of disaster we are headed for. However, I realize that I can be caustic, demeaning, and disrespectful. This is a flaw that I hope you can overlook if it’s offensive. However, I am telling the truth. This is about much bigger issues than health care reform. The American people are beginning to feel like they are riding in the back of a 747 jetliner with a pilot who has never flown a plane before, and he’s up there flipping switches to see what they do. Evil, or immature leadership, is one of the judgments of God against a nation as we see in Isaiah 5.
We need to speak out boldly about the issues, but we have our own repenting to do, too. The promise to heal the land was if God’s people, not the heathen, but His people, humbled themselves, prayed, and turned from their wicked ways. Let’s start with ourselves. If we, as Christians, voted for any other reason than what is right in the sight of the Lord, we have departed from a basic devotion to the truth, and we must repent of what caused us do that.