Another Christian Voice

Having spent three Town Halls nose to nose with people who told me in one breath that they were Christian and in the next that people who made ‘bad choices’ could just go ahead and die–well I find this really refreshing. Godspace takes the point of view that it’s contrary to Christian values to deny health care to the poor. They must have been reading that subversive New Testament.

Having trained as a medical doctor and worked in countries with both socialized and privatized healthcare I am very aware of the pros and cons on both sides. But I must confess that I have never worked in another country where people are afraid of going bankrupt because they get sick. Evidently in the US half of all bankruptcies are due to illness. Nor have I been in a country that thinks it has the best health care system in the world yet allows eighteen thousand people to die each year because they are uninsured. And the US has the highest infant mortality of any Western nation. These factors alone give me cause for concern so I am delighted to see that other far more able voices than mine are being raised about this issue.

The post has a diverse range of views in the comments, and lots of links, see the rest of it here.

8 thoughts on “Another Christian Voice

  1. Nancy-your self-description would guarantee your demise in a place like Iran-just ask the Zoroastrians and Bahais who escaped the slaughters there.I met a number of them in my job.Jews and Christians were tolerated-they were not because they were considered pagans in the case of Zoroastrians and apostates in the case of Bahais.
    But you still think Islam is the religion of peace while Christianity is made up mostly of vicious hypocrites.How you can justify sharia law in the face of so many womens’ spilled blood is beyond me.If they want sharia law in Saudi Arabia or Iran,it’s none of my business,but that can never take root here.

  2. Joe, some of my best friends, and my family who I love are Christian. My husband is a Baptist.
    A few years ago I was in the Providence Chalk Painting Festival, and I drew a portrait of Amina Lawal. Her lawyer, a Nigerian woman, was a guest speaker at my church, which hosts an Amnesty International write-a-thon. The international attention, and the good work of her lawyer saved Amina Lawal from being stoned to death for adultery.
    I recall hearing Rush Limbaugh make fun of the feminazis who were making such a fuss about the Taliban–this was well before 9/11. I was signing petitions, and feminists deserve some credit for stalling the people who wanted to make deals with the Taliban.
    Brave women and their male allies in the Muslim world are fighting for justice against bigotry enabled by religious fundamentalism.
    If I call out my Christian neighbors for their contradictions, I’m doing my small part for free speech–and incidentally taking shots at the people who claim that they are the only real Christians and all those millions who think they are Christians are hell-fodder. My intended target is fundamentalism, which uses religion as a tool of hatred and violence. Religion killed 20 Christians in Salem, and many more over the history of our nation. Freedom of religion must be constantly defended.

  3. Since,unlike you,I don’t pay much attention to Rush,I missed that.
    I get turned off by fundamentalists of any religious stripe,but my basic response is to ignore them.
    I don’t discuss my religious beliefs with anyone because I really don’t give a damn if they agree with me or not-I do,however think atheists are fools with no vision beyond the end of their noses.
    Atheism,or secular humanism, is also a belief system,even if the concept of a Creator isn’t involved.I don’t want that belief system force-fed to public school students.
    I grew up with school prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance,and flag ceremonies.It didn’t cause me any harm and helped reinforce my love of this country.Maybe in your world view that is passe,but I can’t go for the one-world kumbaya way of thinking.There are individual countries for a reason-people want it that way.
    Schools should stick to teaching unadulterated basic knowledge and skills,which are sadly lacking.I hear college graduates from highly regarded institutions speaking like ignoramuses and not even being grammatically correct.
    My wife is a Christian and I think she lives her beliefs-she doesn’t wear it on her sleeve or try to show everyone how generous and thoughtful she is,because she has the virtue of modesty.
    I know this-she’s no hypocrite-she opposes same sex marriage,yet when the minister in her church retired and the new minister came on board and announced he was gay,and lived with a partner,she,unlike quite a few other members of the church,did not leave in protest.She figured the man’s behavior as a minister should determine whether she stayed.Now he’s about to retire.The church didn’t “turn gay”although there are a few members of that orientation.The church is also interracial(more than just white & black)in an un self conscious way.
    I don’t attend any organized services so I’m neutral about the whole deal.She has been very direct with the minister about not suporting same sex marriage.
    My daughter is a practicing Christian also,but she believes in same sex civil unions.
    My son is kind of like me and doesn’t think about gay issues at all since isn’t and doesn’t know anyone who is.He just thinks the whole thing is hard to understand.
    Apparently my wife and I raised our kids without the help of a “village” and they didn’t turn out to be automatons parroting our specific beliefs.We always encouraged them to think for themselves and avoid “party lines”.
    Sometimes it seems you feel obligated to support anything Obama does or anyone he appoints because you cannot think of him with a critical eye at all.
    A lot of people,myself included,were gratified that the US could elect a Black President in such close chronological distance to a shameful past of segregation and Jim Crow laws.The fact that it was an event of great historic import doesn’t convince me that the right person was the recipient of that honor.It’s a conflict that I believe a lot of people want to avoid thinking about,but I have no problem doing so.
    We did the right thing,but it was the wrong man.

  4. Very interesting stuff.

    Over the last century there has been a movement towards the celebration of “toleration” and a denouncement of “universal conviction” as I’ll put it. What many of you call fundamentalism is only called so because not everyone hold those beliefs.

    For example, we’re all fundamentalists when it comes to murder. A healthy majority of people believe that killing a random person on the street is “wrong”. But, what if a person held to the belief that killing was not “wrong” and indeed shouldn’t be punished. The state had no right to punish people who committed acts of elimination (or some other semantic phrase-play). It’s likely we’d call that person a fundamentalist and if they used a particular religion to frame their ideology we might be inclined to think many of those linked to that religion (or lack thereof) were just as wacked out.

    So in my opinion the word fundamentalism has been misused to characterize minority (or differing) opinions by both those on the left and right. If I were in the south and some folks were reading this blog they would characterize many of you as “fundamentalists”.

    So to me, it’s tomato tomato. I think if you identify and are committed to any particular religion your beliefs influence how you act in almost every way. If you do not subscribe to a religion that too influences you and colors how you see those that do, for good or bad. None of us are purely unbiased and non-judgmental. We are all flawed people who at any moment are prejudiced by our beliefs.

    I’ve heard a lot of dumb comments by those on the left and right. I think it’s nuts that some people don’t want the president to address school kids. I mean, that’s crazy – in my opinion. But what i see as “nuts” others believe as their right to protect their kids from a menacing influence. I think our responsibility as people is less to call others “nuts” and instead see how we can persuade those to our perspective if we believe that perspective is the “right” one.

    And I agree with Joe, Barak doesn’t walk on water and if one agrees with him 100% of the time, you’re either his clone or a drone drinking the Kool-aid.

    1. Don-a very interesting take on fundamentalists.I just tend to see them as people who don’t enjoy associating with those who don’t believe as they do.I guess i generally apply it to religion.I dislike being hounded by folks who think I need to hear their credo or read a tract,or in the case of Jews,which religion I was “born”into,being told to tie little boxes containing prayers in a language I can’t read or understand to my head and arms.Jewish fundamentalists only proselytize other Jews who they consider “fallen away” like myself.They are also unforgiving of people who “marry out”.They’re free to kiss my ass.
      They,like most people I call fundamentalists,are uncomfortable outside their own narrow world.
      I fundamentally believe in certain things of a spiritual nature,but I’m not going to bother anyone with the details because I don’t think they want to hear it.
      If someone thinks random killing is ok and justifies it with religion or anything else,I don’t see it reflecting on a religion-they’re just crazy.Lotta cazy people around.My(thankfully)late mother in law got command hallucinations to kill people and purify the house with fire.She never quite succeeded in either,but not for lack of effort.
      I dealt professionally with stark raving lunatics when I was a NY State Court Officer assigned to the Kings County Supreme Court section for competency hearings in criminal cases.Most courtrooms had 2 or 3 officers.We had 7.Many of these people had religious delusions,but I would never call them religious.
      Thanks for the challenging comment,Don.It was thought provoking.

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