I'm just going to make a few comments on some letters in today's Birmingham News. I will post the letters, or parts of them, then respond in general to them.
Letters to the Editor from the Birmingham News
The foes of progress are neither patriots, Christians
Now the forces that at one time divided this Union, blocked the rights of women, people of color and people who immigrated to this country; that opposed rural electrification, the highway system, Medicaid and Medicare, the space program; that have always been against progress, rally again.
They use the "N-word" and anti-gay epithets against noble, tested-in-battle legislators. They rally for "states' sovereignty," the same as states' rights was the rallying cry for the preservation of segregation. They would like to tear down the United States public school system, the greatest investment of democracy in the world.
Don't let them cloak themselves in the American flag or hide behind the cross. They are neither patriots nor Christians. Their actions thinly veil their hatred of equality, of every man and woman having the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
To deny health care denies the right to life. To deny a fair wage and an education stunts the opportunity to pursue happiness.
Support the right of every man and woman to be healthy, to be educated in a well-funded public school system and to have the opportunity to make their future according to their effort and ability, not to what station they are born into in life.
Are we our brother's keeper?
After reading the letters and posts in the various Alabama newspapers of Alabamians' response to the passage of health care reform legislation, I guess the majority of our citizens agree with Cain and believe we are not our brother's keeper.
Jesus didn't mean government
Syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. always presents an interesting view of the world; mostly inaccurate, but interesting. His column "The Gospel of Glenn Beck" (Other Voices, Monday) was no exception.
Pitts' sarcastic explanation of Scripture is most revealing. Jesus did teach that each of us has a responsibility to help others. This was especially true for widows and orphans. I am not aware of any teaching that in order to accomplish this, Jesus gave government the responsibility or the authority to take from whomever it saw fit and give to whomever it deemed needy. That was Karl Marx, not Jesus. Jesus instructed you to give from your resources, not someone else's.
I am afraid there will be no reward or joy in forced obedience to one of God's commands. That is doubly true in that you have to violate several other commands to achieve this one.
That is why God gave us a free will. Or did that also come from the government?
Jesus also told us the poor would always be with us. That was so we could continue to receive the joy for helping them.
So here's the situation.
All three writers are from Hoover.
The first writer makes the point that health care is a right, which I whole-heartedly agree with, and makes a constitutional argument for health care, something I did here, in September, 2009.
The next writer questions the values of the anti-reform crowd, and makes the biblical argument for health care, something also did at the above link.
The third writer questions the role of government by using the words of Jesus.
I am not aware of any teaching that in order to accomplish this, Jesus gave government the responsibility or the authority to take from whomever it saw fit and give to whomever it deemed needy.
It just seems a little hypocritical to me to say that Jesus does not want the government to do his work in assisting the poor, yet these same people are basically theocrats who want the government to rule on a biblical basis when it comes to controlling who we love and live with and when they declare holy wars on developing nations.
It is clear that the people of this country will not willingly help the poor to the extent that help is needed, otherwise my city of Bessemer would look a lot different. I know that we are a generous people, and only have to look at the response to Katrina or the earthquake in Haiti to know that. But those in our neighborhoods who do not have the ironic misfortune of a natural disaster to point out their needs are ignored.
Take this guy. He suffers from Parkinson's disease and was at a recent Teabagger event.
Teabaggers mocked him and one guy even tossed money at him.
The man tossing the money had a epiphany, it seems.
"I snapped. I absolutely snapped and I can't explain it any other way," said Chris Reichert of Victorian Village, in a Dispatch interview.
In his first comments on an incident that went viral across the Internet and was repeatedly played on cable television news shows, Reichert said he is sorry about his confrontation with Robert A. Letcher, 60, of the North Side. Letcher, a former nuclear engineer who suffers from Parkinson's, was verbally attacked as he sat before anti-health care demonstrators in front of Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy's district office last week.
"He's got every right to do what he did and some may say I did too, but what I did was shameful," Reichert said. "I haven't slept since that day."
"That was my first time at any political rally and I'm never going to another one," Reichert said.
"I will never ever, ever go to another one."