The healthcare reform bill has passed the House, and will be signed by the President today at the Department of the Interior.
The Republican Party was unanimous in opposing this legislation. They remain unanimous in opposing it. They are going to try to repeal it immediately. They are going to mount court challenges to it. They will do everything they can to impede, stall, and block this legislation from going into full effect.
I have to give the G-No-P some credit. They have been consistent and disciplined in remaining on message the whole time, maintaining a united front against any bill that would change the status quo of healthcare reimbursement in this country. On that one point they show the Democrats how to do opposition politics.
I am a Christian. That means that the status quo is my enemy. Jesus came to upend the status quo. That challenge is not completed yet. If I am truly a follower of Jesus, then I must be actively involved in reforming the status quo. What's the phrase? "Comfort the troubled, and trouble the comfortable."
I read a definition of "conservative" the other day. Among other things was the phrase "resistant to change." Well, change is coming. It will come either with or without our participation, but it will come. Christians are to be agents of that change, not preservers of a tradition that is counter-productive to helping our brothers and sisters live humane, productive, full lives. We are called to be subversive of the status quo.
Conservatism today has morphed from an essentially empirical suspicion of grand social theories and a reliance on things that were known to work, to an inbred desire to horde what I have, to gather more, regardless of the effect it has on others, and to preserve and enhance my personal power, which is the highest good. Care for life is only evidenced before a person is born; once they're out of the womb, look out for yourself, buddy, but don't try to get mine. Good luck with that "life" thing.
Now here's the challenge I feel. The Republicans are my fellow countrymen and women. More than that, they're my fellow human travelers on this blue ball we call Earth. And even more than that, they're my brothers and sisters before God.
What I see when I look at the Republican party is birthers, deathers, agin'ers, haters, race-baiters, dingbats, wingnuts, loudmouth blasphemers, schemers, and hateful people of every stripe, all united in hating what I and so many other Americans believe in. How in the world am I to reconcile with this howling mob? More to the point, how am I to treat them as a follower of Jesus?
In this Lenten season, I have to wonder if these same people are the kinds of people who stood around yelling at that man nailed up to the cross like a piece of siding on some 2 x 4's. Were these the same kinds of people of whom he said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do?" Am I that forgiving myself? Now there's something to ponder as I walk day by day toward Easter...