Tag Archive: health care

Being the season of politics and campaigning, we are being bombarded by declarations of America’s greatness. It’s like if a politician doesn’t tear up just saying the words, ‘god bless America’ he/she is shunned forever. “Not only did they not mention god, but they didn’t say we are the best! And where was the flag pin?!”

Why are we so obsessed with convincing ourselves that we are the best? Why do we ignore all facts and statistics when we claim that we are the best?

I decided I would do a little research and look at America by the numbers:

  • 31st in K-12 education
  • 25th in math
  • 37th in life expectancy
  • #1 in obesity
  • 37th in overall health care
  • #1 in gun related injuries (not death), #1 in gun ownership
  • #5 in wealth inequality
  • 34th in infant mortality
  • #5 in divorce
  • 1 in 6 americans are hungry
  • 48.8 Americans live in food-insecure households
  • #22nd in Gender Equality

We’re #1! We’re #1!

I don’t mean to sound unpatriotic, I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given. But let’s get real. The stats above don’t ‘shout’ the best. What exactly makes us ‘the best’? Our military? Our freedom? (Yeah, if you are a 40+ year old white straight christian male).

There is a fine line between pride in your country and being dangerously ethno-centric! There is literally a country song with the words, “we’ll stick a boot in your ass ’cause that’s the American way.” USA! USA! And we can’t believe other countries don’t like us. “They hate us for our freedom”.

You may be wondering, what exactly is the problem with all of this behavior?

If we consistently preach that we are the best, we never try to learn from others. If we think that we are #1 across the board, we will ignorantly follow status quo while others are passing us up. If we falsely believe that our health care is #1, we are letting infants die while we ignore the latest improvements. Companies that don’t evolve- fail. Countries that don’t evolve- will fail.

I have heard many a right leaning politician or pundit say things like, ‘uh oh, what is this Europe?’ Would that be so bad? France is #1 in Health care. European countries are ranked higher than the US in education. Now I am not saying we should try to be France, but I am saying we need to stop acting like we are some how superior to the rest of the world.

It would be political suicide, but I would love to hear a politician say that we have a lot to learn from the rest of the world. Why don’t we investigate or study the best policies and proceedures from the world and see what we can learn? Would that be so bad?

Or nevermind……’Merica!

Religion and Politics

I have had it up to here! (Picture me with my arm up over my head). We need to wake up and smell the BS that is being thrown at us in the name of our political process. In my humble opinion, if you are going to represent the ‘Christian Conservative’ you have to care about people who are less fortunate. If there is one thing that I know to be true, it is that Jesus (regardless of whether or not you believe he is God) cared about the poor, the sick, the less fortunate. He believed that it was wrong to hoard all of your money while others were suffering all around you. He believed that it didn’t matter what color, status, nationality you were, if you were in need- he tried to help.

So, why does the so-called ‘Christian Conservative Right’ have a monopoly on morality? They are constantly talking about the god-less left and our lack of values. How is trying to take care of people in need ‘god-less’?

I believe adamantly that we need to feed, educate, and offer health care to the poor. I am also a liberal. (Therefore, also a socialist and going to hell.) The conservative christian right is cutting funding for social programs right and left. Now, they will tell you it’s because spending is out of control (and it is), but they are not willing to cut defense and discontinue the tax cuts to the wealthy. The greed is out of control. I cannot imagine ever getting to the point that I care more about my bank account than the health and well being of millions of people.  I would actually respect them more if they came out and said, “You know what, I am greedy. I like being rich and I think I deserve it more than everyone else.” But, don’t claim to be the party of Christ and then let people suffer and die when you could have prevented it.

And then there are the pro-lifers out there are constantly preaching that abortion is murder no matter what the conditions. In my opinion if you are going to be ‘pro-life’ -that should include ALL life, not just unborn babies. We could prevent thousands of deaths every year by offering preventative care to our women (you know the baby carriers). The pro-life community should be up-in-arms about all the preventable death that goes on every day with our poor. (And don’t even get me started on birth control).

Now, don’t worry, I am not totally crazy. I know there are a lot of christians out there doing very good work in the name of Jesus. They do care about the less fortunate. But for those of you Christians that DON’T fit into this category, you should be just as angry as me.

Stephen Colbert had a great quote: “If this is going to be a Christian Nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we have got to acknowledge that he commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it”.

What’s is going to be? Love thy neighbor, or ignore thy neighbor and pray they don’t ask for any money?