Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hope for Healing and an Intelligent National Debate

Miraculous healing, a staple belief of most major religions - certainly the Christian faith.

One of the most moving stories in the Bible is the story of the woman who's twelve years of suffering was ended when she elbowed her way through a crowd and touched the hem of Jesus' garment.

Equally as moving is the simultaneous story of a man who had summoned Jesus to come and heal his 12 year old daughter. Jesus was going to see this young girl when the woman struggled to get healing from the Master anyway she could (Luke 8:40-56).

No matter where you stand on 'faith healing', the one thing that is just as true now as it was two thousand years ago, is the fact that illness and healing move people to anxiety, desperation and, when no cure can be found depression and despair. For those of us who believe the Bible, we understand the most important thing in situations like these is hope. If that is true, how despicable is it to intentionally instill fear in those who face the prospect of uncertainty when it comes to illness and the dire need for treatment and health care.

We are in the midst of a national controversy with regard to health care. A national conversation can be had that is both vital and vigorous. Most importantly it should be substantive. Promoting fear during these times is a dastardly tactic that ought to be decried from every serious citizen. Intentionally misleading people with specters of 'death panels', 'euthanasia' and wild distortions accompanied by images of Nazi Germany and Hitler are unworthy of the intelligent national conversations that can be had around health insurance reform and health care that involves how we provide coverage for Americans, how it should be paid for and who should pay. Legitimate passionate discussions, based on facts about the role of the market in treatment can be had and set a standard for how we deal with difficult issues in this country, while serving as a model for the world. But hysteria, fear mongering, insubstantial accusations, racism, xenophobia and irrationality are the resort of people who have no real contribution to the debate and whose desire for the status quo simply show their discomfort with change and no faith that we can make America better.

Most importantly, it robs us all of hope; hope that we can perfect our national life in ways that make our country a place that constantly seeks to make room for everyone.

Or we could just leave those who can't afford health care to hope for a miracle...

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