Ask Yourself "What Would Jesus Do?" (Unless it's a question of money, then you should fight to keep it)

I have some conservative friends that will probably never speak to me again after reading this, but that's their choice. This is just my opinion and they don't have to like me for it. I consider myself fairly conservative, leaning toward libertarian, but I am honestly frustrated and disgusted by what many conservatives are doing these days to get their point across. What's worse, many are doing it under than banner of "The Religious Right" (as in "we are Right and you are wrong").

Let me start with one that was just completely ridiculous. I saw this commercial the other night on late-night TV. I haven't seen it since and couldn't find the website, so I'm hoping someone told them how much of an idiot they are and they shut down. The commercial said something like this:

"The liberals are trying to shut down American industry by declaring CO2 a pollutant. If they do, then the world will end because CO2 is actually good for the planet and if we produce more of it it will be good for all of us. Let congressman Joe Blow know that we want our CO2."

Seriously, that's what it said. Now any 4th grade student will tell you that plants use CO2 to produce oxygen, but they will also tell you that too much CO2 isn't a good thing. They will tell you that plants use so little CO2 that if everything that produces CO2 were to suddenly go away (humans, animals, all that stuff) and the plants were left alone with the CO2 that's already in the air, they would never run out. They can also point to a time when there was more CO2 and the world wasn't any better. They teach this stuff in GRADE SCHOOL. (Let's not go to the whole "All teacher's are Liberal Fascists" argument, ok?)

So are we honestly counting on the stupidity of the American people that we are willing to invent an issue that doesn't really exist to try to disable our current government? Or are we honestly too stupid ourselves to know how stupid we are in our attempts to distract our government from real issues?

The one that's driving me and everyone else up the wall is health care reform. No one, except maybe the insurance companies that are doing quite will, will deny that there are problems with our current system. Everyone that's been to the doctor or knows someone who's been to the doctor can tell you about some experience with the system, be it large or small, that is a symptom of it's broken-ness. Can we all agree on that? Yes? Good. No? Then I'm really happy that you don't have any serious health problems, because if you did, then you would know just how broken it is.

Either way, everyone has on opinion in the current debate over health care. There are so many sides to this problem that I don't think it's possible, unless someone devotes themselves to it full time, for anyone to fully understand the current debate in Washington. But the biggest thing that everyone seems to be howling about is the so-called "Public Option".

This, in itself, is a complex issue, but here's how I understand it. Imagine a Wal-Mart. (Let's call it Insurance-Mart.)The products on the shelves of this Insurance-Mart represent all the options you have for buying health insurance. That can there represents MetLife, that box is Blue Cross, etc. If you are buying health insurance you have many bright shiny options to choose from in the Insurance-Mart. Some people don't have to shop at Insurance-Mart because their employer shops there for them, but other people come here when they need to.

Now, when you shop at a real Wal-Mart, next to the name brands you'll see a Wal-mart brand. Like if you are buying spaghetti sauce, you'll see Ragu and Prego and Hunts, but you'll also see Sam's Choice or Member's Mark or something like that.

The public option for health care would be like the "store brand" in our Insurance-Mart. It's cheaper, doesn't taste quite the same, but it's just as good. Some people will choose the store brand because they can't afford the name brand.

Now, it's a lot more complicated than that, but that's a pretty good way of looking at it from a layman's point of view.

Now what people are freaking out about is paying for it. Someone has to produce the store-brand for it to be on the shelf. The people freaking out don't want their hard-earned tax dollars going to help people that don't deserve it. (Let's just forget the reality of tax-payer supported programs like Medicaid and Medicare and how many people on those programs don't deserve it...) And that's a valid point. But what if people DO deserve it? What if someone is really honestly desperately in need or they will die?

(Incidentally, if you want to read the bills, here they are:
senate bill:
house bill:
senate finance bill (the one that says how it's all getting paid for):

Some people would say, "So what? Let them die. I'm keeping my money." And the worst part about this is, some of the people who are saying that are saying things like "The Bible doesn't say I have to help people this way" or "God wants me to be rich, you must have done something to deserve to be poor."

And that just makes me want to puke. To these folks, "What Would Jesus Do?" seems to apply to every part of their life except where their money is concerned.

A conversation with them might go some thing like this:

What would Jesus do? Well, let's look at what Jesus DID do. He walked on water, He gave some sermons, He healed the sick and the lame, He died on a cross, He came back to life.... wait.. go back a couple... what was that? He healed the sick and the lame? Yes, he helped people who couldn't help themselves.

You mean the very people that I, I mean, some are saying don't deserve to live because they are poor are the very people that Jesus helped while he was here on Earth?

Yes. Exactly. So why wouldn't you want to do the same?

Well, it's all very well and good if I want to do it on my own, but the government shouldn't force me to do it by taking my money and giving it to others.

Ok, I see that point. (Let's just not discuss how you want the government to force other people to do things, like not get an abortion. But OK.) So, exactly how much of your money do you give out to help these people? Oh, and before you answer, did you ever consider that if you and everyone else who thinks it's a good idea actually DID it, the government wouldn't have to, did you ever think of that?

That's when they usually start calling me a liberal socialist and throw things at me.

If you want to debate health care reform and what is right and what is wrong, fine, but don't hide behind your Bible and say you're entitled to keep your money. As a believer you should believe that it's not your money anyway, everything belongs to God and He loans it to you to do something with it. Don't hide behind James Dobson and pretend you know what you're talking about.

Ok. I'm off on a rant. I'll stop that now.

My original point was, why are some so gung-ho to derail this President and his programs? Is it just because he is a liberal? I don't think so. The Clinton era had much more radical programs and ideas and I didn't see people saying we should shoot him. In fact, many of the things that are coming around now are things that Clinton tried to do when he as in office. (Does anyone remember the flap over Clinton's plan for a single-payer health care system? No, of course not.) There just seems to be something about the individual that is President rather than what he says that seems to get to people.

Now, for the record, let me just say, I'm not too fond of the President's plans - not all of them anyway. But that's not an attack on him as a person or his beliefs, just his policies. Also, there are some things he stands for that I LOATHE. However, I'm not going to go out there and make up lies to try to derail the process. Lies will backfire from both ways. All I or anyone else can do is KNOW what is TRUE and work the system the right way. That's how Abraham Lincoln did it, that's how Truman did it, and that's how we need to do it.

I'm ranting again aren't I? I can't help it. I'll shut up now.