I have written a few columns recently suggesting that health-care reform is not only needed, but is also a moral imperative. It is a gross national sin for us to have the medical resources we have and then only provide them to people who can pay for them. Jesus’ insight about to whom much is given much is required applies to every resource on this planet – from corn to penicillin.
Of course, if you don’t think that God is the giver of all good things, if you are one who believes we have what we have and God had nothing to do with it, then Jesus’ wisdom probably sounds more like socialism than biblical grace.
As you might imagine, this position has prompted considerable response from readers. Some of it has been thoughtful and has caused me to rethink some things. But some of the responses have just been ludicrous, comical. My favorite so far is the letter I got suggesting that I was promoting the idea of the government stealing our money for health care.
Stealing our money? Let’s think about that for a minute.
Did you know that the government steals our money in order to maintain our military forces? The outstanding service by our young men and women in the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force are paid for with stolen money. And not just their salaries. Health care for our troops, food, transportation and even support for their dependents – all paid for with ill-gotten booty.
How about the local police department and the brave people who patrol our highways as deputies and state troopers? That’s right, all paid for with stolen money.
And if we ever call the fire department or for paramedics, realize we are participating in a scheme financed with stolen money. Even communities with volunteer firefighters still receive some stolen monies for equipment and training.
Ever go to a public library to read a book or a newspaper or just to surf the web? When we do, realize all those resources are paid for with stolen money.
And while we are reading, remember this: If we learned to read in a public school, our teachers, our books, the desk we sat in and the lights over our head were all paid for with stolen money.
Ever mail letters to friends and family? When we do, don’t forget that the post office that handles our mail is not able to do what they do for the mere postage we pay. Those services that can take a letter from one end of the country to the other in a matter of days are subsidized with stolen money.
How do we know that the pump that says we’ve put one gallon of gas into our car is telling the truth? How do we know that those measurements are correct and we are not being ripped off? Stolen money makes sure that the weights and measurements of commerce are fair and accurate.
Later, when we go to the grocery store to pick up some meat and potatoes for dinner, how can we know that the meat was properly processed and those potatoes are not tainted? Well, believe it or not, stolen money funds an agency that watches over our food supply.
So if we are willing to steal money for all these kinds of things, why not steal a little money so the uninsured of our country can go to the doctor when they get sick?
James L. Evans is pastor of Auburn First Baptist Church in Auburn, Ala.
James L. Evans is a retired Baptist preacher living in Alabama. Over 35 years, he served churches in Alabama, North Carolina and Virginia. In support of his pastoral work, Evans published 5 books including “First and Second Corinthians: Immersion Bible Studies” (Abingdon Press (2011).