Congratulations, USA, on healthcare reform

I would like to congratulate the people of the USA on the passing of the healthcare reform bill, as reported by the BBC. At last that great country is proving its greatness by ensuring that a small portion of its riches are spent on providing proper access to health services to even its poorest citizens. No longer will we see the scandal of the poor dying uncared for at the rich man’s gate, like Lazarus in Jesus’ parable (Luke 16:19-22).

I am glad also to see that President Obama will continue to ensure that federal money is not used to fund abortion, so removing a weakness in the bill which Michael Barber was right to object to.

But I was sad to see the following in the BBC report:

The Republicans say they will seek to repeal the measure, challenge its constitutionality and co-ordinate efforts in state legislatures to block its implementation.

Do they call this democracy? The elected legislature has made its decision, and do they want to block it? I trust no one who calls themselves Christian will have any part in these continuing efforts to deny to the poor and to sick children (who couldn’t get insurance because of pre-existing conditions) the very most basic of Christian compassion, proper health care.

0 thoughts on “Congratulations, USA, on healthcare reform

  1. As a traveling American who has over the years had to cope with both the British and Canadian ideas of health care, as well as a devout Anglican, I find this commentary somewhere between tragic and laughable. Living here, “Obamacare” is simply tragic. There is a chance, small but worth pursuing, that we can repeal this before it does too much damage, and replace it with some modest reforms which will actually help people.

    After all, no one in the States is without health care. PERIOD. Likewise, the number who want insurance, as distinct from health care, and cannot legitimately qualify for it, is less than 15 million, not the 45 million endlessly quoted. If they in fact lacked health care, not just insurance, it would be hard to justify destroying a system which works well for 95%+ of the American population. Since they don’t, it is impossible justify on other than ideological grounds.

    It can never be repeated too often that Jesus died to take away our sins, not out minds.

    Treg

  2. 15 million is 15 million too many. PERIOD. People do not have access to health care if they cannot afford it, if they are turned away from hospitals because they don’t have the cash. The British NHS has its problems, but no one is ever turned away or denied life saving treatment on financial grounds.

    Treg, if you have better proposals for “modest reforms” that provide affordable health care for the 15 million, or whatever the figure is, then put them forward. But if your “modest reforms” don’t fix the problem, then they are a waste of time.

  3. Hi Peter

    The medical profession has now done many studies about prayer & healing.
    They’ve found prayer helps people get well and leave the hospital sooner.
    Prayer therapy and Scripture therapy is beneficial and available to all. No side effects.

    If the government was really interested in peoples health
    they would mandate “getting to know God and pray.”

    They cried to the Lord in their trouble… he sent His word and healed them…
    Psalm 107:19-20

    Why is the first place people run to a doctor? Why not go to Jesus?

    I already have “Universal Theocentric Health Assurance” 😉

    And it’s available for “Who-so-ever will.”

    God’s Words of Comfort & Healing”

    http://web.me.com/love101

    Thank you Jesus…

  4. As a Canadian American who has experience both systems. Generally glad it passed. The central issue for most American Christians and government provided health care, though, is government funded abortion.

  5. Mike, thanks for some support from an American Christian, but then it is what I would expect from the Canadian side of you. Yes, I can see that abortion is an important side issue here. I hope Obama can be trusted to keep public money from funding it.

  6. Hi Peter,

    One of the big problems that a lot of us in this country have with this bill passing is that if everything we hear about the negative side of this issue is correct, this bill may very well create more problems then it solves. If that is the case, and I think it very likely is, then we have just created a monster not a solution.

  7. We need health care (and health insurance) reform, but this isn’t it. All this is is a requirement that everyone buy coverage from the same companies that have had 17 years (since the last reform attempt) to fix the mess that is our current system. Just as with mandatory auto insurance, the working poor will remain uncovered. I haven’t had coverage in over 30 years, so I definitely want something passed, but simply saying that I must come up with $500 or more each month to give to the insurance companies.

    Currently, people go untreated because they have no insurance (including 1/3 of Californians) and their conditions aren’t serious enough for the emergency room. But the plan, as passed, emulates Massachusetts’ plan, where 1 in 6 people with coverage cannot afford to seek medical treatment, and where low-income people were made into lawbreakers because they have to choose between paying rent and paying insurance.

    This isn’t reform. This is a gift to the greedy and incompetent insurance companies. This is “bail out phase two”. This is the government shutting the door in our faces, when we could have had a plan that was single-payer, universal, taxpayer-funded, sponsored by / managed by a cooperative of the state and territorial governments as allowed under the Constitution. (This plan violates the Tenth Amendment, among other portions, although I don’t see any court enforcing that any time soon.)

  8. @Tregonsee:
    What you’re reporting isn’t the America I live in. Most of the people who work in the hotels and restaurants you visit have no insurance, and except for emergency care, cannot obtain medical care. I worked in foodservice for 15 years, so I know this personally.

    The people working in that big discount store chain? Many have no coverage. In fact, their employer spent millions of dollars about five years ago to defeat a California ballot measure that would have required employer-paid care for all working Californians. The people at the gas station / convenience store? No coverage.

    With no coverage and no money to pay full-price out-of-pocket, none of the people mentioned above have access to non-emergency medical care.

    Unfortunately, the measure passed won’t help most of them, because they won’t be able to pay the premiums for the coverage that they are now required by law to purchase.

  9. Peter

    In my experience…
    Sickness and dis…ease “Often” has a spiritual componant.
    Unforgiveness, bitterness, broken hearts, anger, fear, worry, rejection,
    envy, accusation, self anger, self hatred, self rejection, depression, etc.

    Can proper medical treatment cleanse from sin and renew a mind?
    No, only the Blood of Jesus and the love of Jesus.
    Can proper medical treatment heal a broken heart after years of rejection?
    No, only the Blood of Jesus and the love of Jesus.

    Doctors do the best they can, they have helped me.

    BUT, they can’t do what Jesus does. Heal the heart. Heal from the inside out.

    So called, “proper medical treatment” is limited to the carnal mind.

    For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
    Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God…
    Romans 8:6-7

    P.S. Peter can you check. I’m not receiving follow up comments from your site. thanks.

  10. Cheryl, I don’t know all the reports that are going around. I don’t pretend that the bill as passed is perfect. But I know some people have been telling barefaced lies about for example how bad the British system is in order to undermine this reform. Our NHS is far from perfect but it is not a monster – and you are wisely not just copying it. So I wouldn’t trust all you hear, but wait and see what happens.

    W^L+, I quite understand your reservations. I would have preferred something which broke the power of those big companies. But I thought there were alternatives in the bill for those who really cannot pay. The BBC report states “Medicaid: Expanded to include families under 65 with gross income of up to 133% of federal poverty level and childless adults”. Doesn’t that include most of the people you mention?

    Amos, I agree with you about the blood of Jesus, but people need medical treatment as well. You appear to be subscribed to comments for this post, and for several others at this blog, with the e-mail address which you provided. I’ll send you a test e-mail to that address.

  11. Peter,

    If the information we are receiving is correct, people will face fines or impisonment for not having health insurance. In a country that has prized it’s “freedom” for years, this in itself is a “monster.” And I still think from what I am hearing, that the abortion issue is far from over.

    Besides all of that, we keep hearing reports that many doctors have been threatening to quit if this bill was passed. If that is the case, we will have many less doctors in the system trying to treat a whole lot more people. How is this going to make for better medical care for the country as a whole? Some people will be getting care that they didn’t before and others may not be getting care they would of before because of longer waiting times and the possible doctor shortage. Besides, we all know that stressed out, over worked doctors are not at the peak of their observational powers, decision making powers, and skill levels.

    Besides all of that, there is a very real concern that the funding for all of this just isn’t there without large tax increases and running up our federal deficit to an even more ridiculous height then it already is. It is supposed to save money, however, there is not a concensus at all that this will really happen.

    There are also those out there that state that this particular bill and the way it is put together is actually unconstitutional.

    What a mess!

  12. Cheryl, I agree that fines are less than an ideal way of handling this. But here in the UK we have to pay our National Insurance contributions which find the NHS. For most of us these are automatically deducted from our salaries. Self-employed people who fail to pay potentially face fines – but they are not denied medical treatment. Would you prefer that people who do not pay are left to die? Is that what freedom is about?

    If the doctors quit, what will they do? There are plenty of other doctors in the world to take their place. No doctors are going to quit well paid jobs and start working as janitors. This is an empty threat as a political manoeuvre.

    I can’t comment on the detailed funding issues. But I know there is plenty of money in the USA to pay for this if it can be got out of the pockets of the selfish rich, many of who call themselves Christians but act like that rich man who ignored Lazarus.

  13. Peter,

    “(CNSNews.com) – Nearly one-third of all practicing physicians may leave the medical profession if President Obama signs current versions of health-care reform legislation into law, according to a survey published in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.”

    From here: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/print/62812

  14. TC, I thought the abortion issue had been settled. If it has, will you and most Christian Americans accept the reforms?

    Cheryl, the article fails to explain why healthcare reform “could be the proverbial “last straw” for physicians who are already demoralized, overloaded, and discouraged by multiple issues”. Is there any basis for predicting that “income and practice revenue will “decline or worsen dramatically” as a result of health reform”, or is this simply a scare story that has been put around by opponents of reform which has panicked some doctors? I am confident that only a tiny proportion will actually leave the profession because of this.

  15. Peter,

    I hope you are right and that this will be a good thing for all concerned. However, I must say I continue to have have very severe concerns from many perspectives at this time.

  16. Peter,

    This is from CNN news this p.m: http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/03/22/health.care.lawsuit/index.html?hpt=T1

    It regards some states that are planning to sue the federal government on what they believe is the unconstitutional requirements of this bill.

    Note that part of the concern is that states are being mandated to fund some parts of what is required in this bill and believe that they have no way to do it and still to continue to provide for the other services that they must also pay for.

  17. As a Christian in America, I agree with Mike Aubrey and T.C. that the real issue is public funding for abortion.

    I commend Bart Stupak and his fellow prolife Democrats for a good effort to amend the bill, but they caved at the end. Obama’s “executive order” was for political effect, and the measures to prevent public funding for abortion in the bill are accounting gimmicks. Even though I’m a Protestant, I’m with the Catholic Bishops on this issue, as with nearly every other social issue in America.

    On the other hand, I do recognize that the bill is not entirely bad. It will have a positive effect in terms of saving lives. I’m not certain it will address the issue of insurance premiums, however. Currently, my family spends 1/5 of our income in medical insurance, and that’s *after* taxes.

  18. Cheryl, I accept that states have a right to challenge the constitutionality of the bill and to object if they are being forced to pay for its provisions. I don’t know the details of this issue.

    Tyson, I can see that the abortion issue is not entirely settled, but I think the time to kick up a further fuss would be if the President ever attempts to rescind his executive order.

  19. Peter,

    There is also another issue involved in this whole bill. Among it’s provisions seems to be a complete takeover by the federal government of all student loans. If I am understanding this correctly, student loans won’t be available from banks anymore starting sometime in July of this year. A student will only be able to get a loan directly from the federal government at that point. Where is the money going to come from for all of those loans? And I have heard that the logistics of the switch is so complicated that students may not find money available for them to go to school this fall.

    Besides, why should the federal government take over, without even any specific debate or vote on this issue, an aspect of free enterprise in this country? We have had federal student loans avaiable for years. But they weren’t the only loans available.

    Are you starting to see why some of us are having a very hard time with this whole scenario?

  20. Peter

    What is “proper medical treatment” in the USA?

    Here’s some interesting info and stat’s.

    * 7,000 deaths occur each year due to medication errors in hospitals
    * 12,000 deaths occur each year due to unnecessary surgery
    * 20,000 deaths occur each year due to other hospital errors
    * 80,000 deaths occur each year due to nosocomial infections in hospitals
    * 106,000 deaths occur due to adverse effects to properly prescribed medications

    This equals 225,000 deaths due to what are known as iatrogenic causes.
    iatrogenic = of or relating to “ILLNESS CAUSED BY” medical examination or treatment.

    Hmmm? Seems like hospitals are no place for sick people. 😉

    Seems you better “hear from Jesus” when a doctor or hospital wants to fix you.
    If a doctor prescribes a medication you might want to check with Jesus first.
    Jesus might have a better idea. Yes?

    Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice.”
    John 10:27

    And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
    Luke 6:46

    Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice,
    that he might instruct thee:
    Deuteronomy 4:36

    Is our trust in doctors or Jesus? Jesus heals – doctors just collect the money. 😉

    P.S. Comment forwarding now working. My error. Pushed a wrong button.

  21. A. A. Love,

    Our family has recently been through a bizarre bunch of medical errors here locally. None of them have proved to be life threatening. However, lab work that isn’t done when ordered and lab reports that are lost (among other things) certainly can produce very severe consequences. I know a family who’s elderly mother was in the hosptial here because of dehydration. She was given some strong medication meant for a phyciatric patient in the extended care and the family was told at one point that they thought she was going to die.

    I can only wonder how much worse it may get if a whole lot more patients are suddenly flooding the system and there are maybe even less doctors available to handle the patient load. I’m not sure I will feel able to trust them at all. My trust level here locally already isn’t very high at the moment. I don’t know what the answer is to that whole scenario. But I don’t see medical care as a whole getting better because of this new law.

  22. Cheryl, I didn’t know anything about this student loans issue. But what is it doing linked to this bill? I agree that a state only student loans system can be a disaster – our UK one is at the moment. But this is nothing to do with health care.

    Amos, I agree that there are serious issues with modern medicine, and the system is not perfect. But how many lives each year are SAVED by medical intervention? Your figures need to be put in proper perspective.

  23. Exactly Peter. What is it doing linked with health care?? I don’t know. Probably a way that they saw to fund the health care issue. I guess I am not sure. All I know is that it is there. I heard one of the Representatives talking about it himself last night in an address to the rest of the House.

    Never mind what the reason was. We now as a nation have to deal with the consequences of it unless something is done to change it. And it was all passed in the health care bill that our President is signing today.

  24. Peter

    Okay proper perspective. Lets see…

    Here are the top 6 causes of death in the USA.

    1 – Heart disease: 631,636
    2 – Cancer: 559,888
    3 – Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 137,119
    4 – Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 124,583
    5 – Accidents (unintentional injuries): 121,599
    6 – Diabetes: 72,449

    The 225,000 deaths due to what are known as iatrogenic causes rank third. WOW!!!
    The medical profession is not very proud of that number. Not many report on it.
    225,000 deaths caused by so called “proper medical treatment.” Oy Vey! 🙁
    I wonder how much exersize and proper nutriton will help this cause of death? 🙁

    My most important figure is “ONE,” putting Jesus first. Becoming “ONE” with Him.

    ..for I am the LORD that healeth thee.
    Exodus 15:26

    Jesus – By whose stripes you were healed.
    1 Peter 2:24 Isaiah 53:5

    Will anyone abandon there life to Jesus? Hear His voice? And trust Him?
    He is looking for sons, led by the Spirit.

    Trust and obey NOT think and decide.

  25. Cheryl, all I can say is that if Republicans had taken a constructive approach to improving the bill rather than trying to kill it at any cost the USA might have ended up with a much better package.

  26. Cheryl

    You write…
    “I’m not sure I will feel able to trust them at all.
    My trust level here locally already isn’t very high at the moment.
    I don’t know what the answer is to that whole scenario.”

    Your answer and “Trust” is always in Jesus. He is our provider.

    Have had no health insurance over 20 years.

    Had to learn to “Trust” in Jesus. Nothing against doctors.
    Wasn’t always fun and games. Been in a few tough spots
    that caused some doubt and fear. BUT…

    Got to see many miracles, in my life and others.

    Seems, when your desparate, no other place to go, there is a benefit.
    Jesus shows up. Worth it all.

    His promise is…
    And we know that all things work together for good to them
    that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
    Rom 8:28

    Giving thanks always for all things
    unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
    Ephesians 5:20

    My suggestion is to start thanking God for “all things.”

    Even this bloated and twisted, so called “Health Care.”

    God’s ways are higher then our ways. Yes?

    Give thanks always for all things.
    Found out “giving thanks” is part of the healing process in God.

    For pain, for sickness and dis…ease, for everything.

    Proverbs 17:20 – A merry heart does good like a medicine. Yes?

    Well, grumbling and complaining and you die in the widerness.
    Your heart is no longer merry when spending the day grumbling. 😉

    Be blessed… God has the best idea.

  27. A. Amos,

    What you say is all well and good. And I agree, our ultimate trust is certainly in Jesus. However, when you or a family member or friend does go to the Dr., it is nice to know that they are probably going to be a help and not a hindrance to your health and well being! And things obviously aren’t so wonderful in that department now and I think it may only get worse with this new health care plan.

    Peter,

    In one of your first comments to me you made this statement:

    “I can’t comment on the detailed funding issues. But I know there is plenty of money in the USA to pay for this if it can be got out of the pockets of the selfish rich, many of who call themselves Christians but act like that rich man who ignored Lazarus.”

    Since I see no way of accomplishing this unless we have a modern day Robin Hood show up on the scene, we still have what appears to many to be a very huge funding problem on our hands here! (Unless of course the Spirit produced huge conviction in the hearts of the Christian and non Christian “selfish rich” alike and caused them to give huge amounts of their money to somehow fund health care for the poor.)

  28. Henry, thanks for the articles. The links work for me. It sounds like the Canadian system would be a good model for the USA – as would the British one, which is rather similar except that it also offers optical and dental care – subsidised for all, free for young, old and poor people.

    Cheryl, some people expected Obama to be a modern day Robin Hood. He could “rob” the rich by taxing them. He probably will end up doing that in effect, funding the deficit by raising taxes. Of course any such suggestion will kick up another storm. But the New Testament seems to approve of rulers taxing their people in order to improve their quality of life – see Romans 13:6-7, 1 Timothy 2:2-3.

  29. Henry,

    I tried reading the articles from a different browser and the links worked fine there. Thanks.

    Peter,

    I guess it depends on how high taxes are raised if it ends up improving the quality of life or not. And is it really right to tax the rich at a much higher rate then the rest are taxed? Is that not in effect penalizing people for earning money? (Assuming of course that those riches are earned legally).

    And of course, if taxes are raised too high across the board, it ends up having a detrimental effect on the economy in general.

    This is just not a simple issue and I think the new laws have tended to complicate things even more in at least some areas.

  30. Cheryl, I think the biblical teaching is probably that rulers have the right to impose taxes as they see fit. I didn’t say anything about progressive taxation (higher percentages of higher income) which I accept is controversial, but would certainly support a tax of a fixed percentage of income – and a modest rise in the percentage to fund health care. Making that percentage too high is obviously not good for the economy and so a balance is needed, but there is legitimate government expenditure and it has to be funded somehow.

  31. Peter,

    I’m not at all arguing against a governments right to impose taxes. However, I was very curious about how you thought we could fund our health care here by getting the money from the rich. I’m sure there will be tax increases to pay for this. But even then, is it going to be enough?

    Our government has a way of enacting legislation that costs a fortune and then we go into debt as a nation to pay for it. How long can a nation continue to exist as a free people with a national debt in the trillions of dollars anyway? If the figures I just read are correct, we now have a national debt of close to 12.7 trillion dollars and it is climbing as I write this.

  32. Peter,

    I think I made a mistake about the student loan issue I was talking about. Evidently it is part of the reconciliation bill that the Senate still needs to pass before it can go to the president. (This is a bill that was passed in the House trying to “reconcile” the House and Senate versions of the health care bill). So I guess that part hasn’t actually been made law yet but will be if it is not changed and this bill passes the Senate and is signed by the President.

  33. Cheryl, thanks for the clarification about student loans. This certainly should be a separate issue, so I am glad it is to some extent.

    I’m not qualified to discuss the taxation issue in detail, but there are certainly trillions out there somewhere, in personal and corporate pockets, which the government could tax if it chose to – but of course it would not get re-elected if it did so choose.

  34. Peter,

    I guess that the student loan thing would replace federal subsidies to private banks providing student loans with loans that are directly coming from the federal government. The argument is that it can be done a lot cheaper by removing the middle man. However, it still seems like a dangerous thing and a prescription for disaster to have everything coming directly from the federal government. The government effectively becomes a monopoly that can do whatever it pleases in this case.

    I’m sure students could probably still get a loan from a bank but probably at a much higher interest rate which I reckon leaves the government as the only one effectively handling student loans any more.

    One Senator is quoted as saying that this change in student loans would cost the nation 30,000 jobs.

    It sounds like this reconciliation bill may also “unmandate” some, or all, I don’t remember which of the amounts the states are required to put forth now to put this bill into effect. So, there are obviously still room for some changes to be made here and it will depend on how the voting goes on this whole “reconciliation” bill.

    This whole bill as passed was several thousand pages long. An overwhelming amount that I wonder if was even read by most of the folks voting on it! I still consider the whole thing very troubling. Time will only tell how it all works out for sure.

  35. On the student loan issue, I didn’t know it was included, but here’s how it has been up till now. Banks make loans that carry federal guarantees of repayment, generally including subsidized interest (meaning that the student’s cost is less than the bank gets). Above a certain amount, loan are guaranteed, but unsubsidized. These loans are often made in the parents’ names, so there is some likelihood of repayment.

    Some of them enter repayment immediately, while others are deferred for a year or two. In order to defer payments, students have to regularly file certifications of enrollment from their colleges. Now, banks hire servicing companies that cut corners. Those servicers may lose or ignore the certification, resulting in a default. Taxpayers pay the loan back and the Treasury then initiates collection against the still-enrolled student. It takes the intervention of a Congress-member to roll back the penalties and reinstate the students’ eligibility for student aid.

    Note that because of the federal guarantees, these loans are “risk-free” for the banks. But as a result of investigations of misconduct, most banks left the government-backed student loan market.

    Now, just to complicate things, many of the students that take out loans are actually low-income enough that their entire cost should be paid with grants, but Congress refuses to fully-fund the grant program. So students graduate from college with $100,000 of student loan debt and astronomical payments.

    By the way, if the student still needs to borrow more money than the federally-backed loan programs allow, banks will make high interest rate loans to them. These loans are unregulated, not backed by taxpayers, and almost certain to lead the student to financial ruin.

    That is why the government has been gradually withdrawing funding from the Stafford loan program (federally guaranteed student loans) and moving toward the direct lending program. If the banks really want to keep making gov’t backed student loans, all they have to do is clean up their act.

  36. What I am wondering is, where is the federal government going to get the money to directly lend to all of these college students? Dumb question I am sure as I can think of no other way then to raise taxes some more to pay for this item also.

  37. The real problem for me is not with the governments of the United States of America or the United Kingdom…, but with the Kingdom of God as we see it functioning on this big ball. Why the Church has never been able to effectively care for the poor and sick in its communities is one of its greatest failures. While there are many smaller good models throughout Church history, by in large the Church has been far more interested in funding its buildings with its “worship” functions led by its “servants” which have a continual tendency to morph into an authoritarian clergy caste. The question Christians should ask when faced with the inadequacies of their governments ability to help the poor is, why have we the Ghurch failed to lead the way?

  38. Cheryl, I suppose that the federal government will borrow the student loan money from the same banks which have up to now been lending it directly, and students will pay most of it back. All that will change is who administers the scheme, so no extra cost to the taxpayer, at least in theory.

    Jay, don’t forget that the church, or many branches of it, has a long record that it can be proud of of providing “care for the poor and sick in its communities”, and beyond them, in many parts of the world – mediaeval Europe, early America, and mission fields all round the world. But over the last century or so, as a consequence of broader secularisation, this kind of general care has come to be seen as a function of the state, not of the church. This is in part because the church has chosen to withdraw from these areas, but only in part. Also I could argue that this is the state’s duty, not the church’s – after all in 1 Timothy 2:2 it is secular rulers, not the church, who are supposed to ensure that “we may live peaceful and quiet lives”.

  39. Peter, I did not say the church had no good examples , but they have been now and historically far to little.

    I don’t think we can apply the passage in 1Tim 2:2 to mean that the state has the primary responsibility towards the poor rather than the church. It is true that Paul calls the secular leaders diakonos also, so the Church is not competing under the rule of God in that way but complementing the government. At the time that text to Timothy was written, the Christian population was still very much a minority within some type of monarchy, but when Christians become a majority, they must be the leading voice and example to bring the godly systems of justice to their government. In a democracy they also will become the the leaders of the government. I am not saying the Church and state become one, but it is the church that should lead the way to social justice. I am just afraid the church is all to happy to led the government do this work while the church invests most of its resources into its religious machinery.

  40. Jay, I think this brings up all kinds of difficult issues about Christian responsibility in a state with a Christian majority, which are simply not addressed directly in the Bible. It would be good to debate this sometime, but I don’t think this is the place for it. Anyway it is of little relevance because neither the USA nor any other country has a real Christian majority in terms of people who allow their faith to affect their behaviour, and in particular their wallets. That is not at all to endorse the situation in which “the church invests most of its resources into its religious machinery”.

  41. Pingback: The Silly Season of Political Paranoia (and a dose of something else) « Robot Pirate Ninja

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