What Would Jesus Insure?
The religious left rallies for Obamacare.
12:00 AM, Sep 4, 2009 • By JOSEPH LOCONTE
Nevertheless, this is just what the latest gaggle of religious progressives are defending. Their coalition includes the United Methodist Church, the National Baptist Convention, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the United Church of Christ, and the Presbyterian Church (USA). A somewhat shadowy organization called the New Evangelicals is also on the list, alongside the Gamaliel Foundation, which got attention during last year's presidential campaign because of its radical anti-Americanism and extremist redistribution schemes.
It's one thing to underwrite the lethal use of force against the unborn as part of a nationalized health-care system. It takes a certain moxie, though, to persuade oneself that such plans warm the heart of the Almighty. Yet this is how defenders of the president's agenda, including the president himself, like to talk. Passages in the Bible about compassion, justice, and the plight of the poor are grafted into policy speeches and legislative proposals. In a recent pastoral letter, the National Council of Churches cites the parable of the Good Samaritan, who helped a stranger "in desperate need of health care." The not-so-subtle conclusion: get behind the president's plan. "Will you join us in this witness to the Christ," the letter implores, "who still brings Good News to all?"
Religious progressives are not the only ones, of course, who tend to politicize the Christian gospel: Too many conservatives, with Republican help, have played the same scandalous game. In this case, though, liberal Christians apparently need reminding that the "good news" of their historic faith--the message that still sends persecuted believers resolutely to their deaths--has nothing to do with universal health care. It is the belief that God sent his Son to die for the sins of mankind, to rise from the dead, and to offer forgiveness and life to anyone who would trust him.
What Jesus might think about government-run health care is anybody's guess. But his attitude about false prophets--"a brood of vipers"--should make the religious left just a little anxious about the righteousness of their cause.
Joseph Loconte is a senior research fellow at the King's College in New York City and a frequent contributor to THE WEEKLY STANDARD.