Yesterday, I touched briefly on groups of Christians whose choices seem out of touch with their pro-life mantra, and wondered why they don’t receive the tough questions pro-abortion or pacifistic Christians would receive. Not to say they wouldn’t have good answers, but to give good answers, one must be asked hard questions.
Minutes after posting that, I heard on my way to work an NPR report from outside of the Supreme Court, which is hearing arguments this week on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.
Sonari Glinton interviewed some of the people protesting and standing in line.
GLINTON: Mike Crowder is a minister from the suburbs of Salt Lake City. He opposes the health care law and he’s come to pray for the justices.
MIKE CROWDER: This whole mandate, regardless of how people have perceived it, it has awakened the people of faith all across this country. People are beginning to see, whoa, wait a minute. Maybe these things that I think aren’t that important, don’t deal with me on a day-to-day – maybe they will come in and deal with me and my church and how I live my life.
Mike Crowder – who I’m sure would identify himself as pro-life – needs to answer some hard questions.
A mix of emotional, hard-hitting and practical questions such as these:
- What relevance does the purchase of health insurance – which covers the 100 percent certainty that you, at some point, will need medical care of some kind – have to religious freedom?
- Are you prioritizing the concept of state-sanctioned individual liberty, which is not found in the Bible, over caring for the poor, which is?
- Before enactment of the Affordable Care Act (and probably since, as the big expansions of coverage don’t come until 2014), more than 120 people died every day – 45,000 each year – from diseases or injuries for which they could have received treatment had they adequate health insurance. What is your plan for providing health insurance to those people?
- Are you one of the 85 percent of Americans who supports requiring insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions? If so, how do you make sure premiums don’t spiral out of control without a requirement that younger, healthier citizens pay for the health insurance they will eventually use?
- How would you explain your opposition to the parents of children who were previously denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions but can now afford medical treatment because of the ACA?
- How do you propose relieving the problem of high medical costs – which caused more than 60 percent of all bankruptciesbefore the economic collapse? Further, how do you fix an insurance system in which three-quarters of all medical-related bankruptcies occur among people who are insured at the onset of their health problem?
- Pray for the Supreme Court justices all you want. I’m sure they need and appreciate your prayers. But please explain to Zoe’s parents (video above) why you are praying for the Supreme Court to take away their daughter’s health security. And, for that matter, explain to me why you think God is interested in fulfilling such a heartless request.
In short, my questions for Christians who opposed the Affordable Care Act and now support its repeal amount to this: What’s your alternative? What are you for? When Christ calls us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, house the homeless, what do you think he meant?
If when confronted with a law that will save families the shame and ruin of bankruptcy; the terror of unexpected, unaffordable illness; and the horror and tragedy of needless death, your instinct is to oppose it, then you better have a good solution in its place.
When Christians oppose abortion, they are swift to point to a legitimate, workable solution for most cases: adoption. The mother is not saddled with a child she has decided she cannot or will not raise herself; a family receives a child to love, in many cases because they cannot have one of their own; and a life is saved.
But when Christians oppose life-saving, family-preserving legislation on the (legally questionable, in this case) grounds of individual liberty, that isn’t the spirit of Christ. That’s the spirit of modern American selfishness, a focus on personal rights over helping others. If you oppose the Affordable Care Act and have no good alternative to save little girls like Zoe, then you need to rethink your priorities. Because life may begin at conception and exist in the womb, but it is no less valuable to God after birth.
A typical response is that this kind of work should be reserved for the church. Fair enough. Let me know when you’ve gotten the churches to raise enough money to cover 53 million uninsured Americans – and make sure it’s enough to cover or fully pay for (in the event they can’t get coverage) any potential medical condition they may have. Meanwhile, let’s leave the ACA in place as a stopgap until you have all that money in place. After all, I’m sure that, as a pro-life Christian, you won’t object to saving a few thousand lives. Right?