Jesus and Universal Healthcare

Jesus and Universal Healthcare

I am again hearing people say that Christians should support or lobby for universal healthcare…because Jesus would have. Somehow, to be unpersuaded is to be rather unChristian.

To my mind, healthcare is a good but is not a right. And that leaves me conflicted. However, I do not have the right to demand of anyone that they provide me healthcare unless it has been contractually promised.

Of course, a government may promise universal healthcare and then be obligated to such promises. But governments are notorious for growing bureaucracies, lining their own pockets, equivocating, hesitating, and rationing. And the latter shouldn’t surprise us as the relevant resources are radically limited; they are scarce.

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Not My President!

Not My President?!

Oh, I know the frustration of not having the candidate of your choosing win an election. That’s right, the results of the elections in 2008 and 2012 were struggles for me. I took the results, and the resultant years, in as much of a stoic fashion as I could muster. And I’m not at all satisfied this time around either.

I keep hearing voices proclaiming, despite his apparently legitimate electoral success, that Donald J. Trump is “not my president.” Of course, this would work perfectly well for any Canadian, for any citizen of a European or African or Asian nation (that is unless they have dual citizenship). But will it work for American citizens? I find that prospect rather doubtful. Since the refrain continues to resonate, here are a few of my own thoughts.

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Restoring the Constitution: Senator Ben Sasse

Senator Ben SasseRestoring the Constitution
Senator Ben Sasse on
Uncommon Knowledge

In early 2016, Ben Sasse, a junior Congressman from Nebraska, was asked by Chuck Todd what conservatism meant to Sasse in the twenty-first century. His response almost sounded scripted. However, one gets the impression that the answer simply emerged from the clear and clarifying convictions regarding the U.S. Constitution that reside in the very marrow of Dr. Ben Sasse.

Now Senator Sasse has been interviewed by the intrepid Peter Robinson on the program Uncommon Knowledge. The topic? Restoring the Constitution. This is a conversation worth listening to a time or two or three. 

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When Scalia Died (updated)

When Scalia Died

When Justice Antonin Scalia (1936-2016) died, many American conservatives lost their breath…and their hope. Others, I imagine (and now know), rejoiced. Both to their shame.

Over the last handful of years I have come to appreciate and admire Justice Scalia. I have read a number of his Supreme Court opinions and dissents (though I think I like his dissents much more as they are an education in themselves!), as well as some of his books: A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law, Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges, and Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts. I’m no legal scholar. I’ve not gone to law school. But there are times when I’ve wondered whether I should have.

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Top Ten Posts for 2015

Top Ten Posts for 2015

Kevin James Bywater

• • •

I can never anticipate what readers’ responses will be to any particular posts I publish here on this blog. Sometimes the responses are rather surprising. More often than not, it appears, the greatest responses arise in light of some controversial event: some political revelation, a tragedy, a social movement, some travesty. Regardless, here are the top ten posts for 2015.

OxfordMeme-CSLewis-learned_life

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A Muslim for President?

mosque

Recently Dr. Ben Carson (who is running for the GOP presidential nomination) commented that he “would not advocate putting a Muslim in charge of this nation.” He qualified this by noting that the faith of any presidential candidate could not be “inconsistent with the Constitution.”

Naturally, pundits ran amuck, feigning to school Dr. Carson in the U.S. Constitution and how it prohibits a religious qualification for any office. Of course, it is rather fun to bloviate online, or on the telly, in mocking tones, as if Dr. Carson were not aware of the Constitution. Appreciation for nuance is a rarity in social media, or in the media in general, or simply in general. But I think it is time for some clarifying nuance. 

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5 Quick Thoughts about Voting

There are five things that come to my mind when I think of citizens voting. Well, much more comes to mind, actually, though I’ll limit my thoughts here to five.

1. We should seek to be informed.

This does not mean that we obsess in the attempt to know everything about anything and everyone. It merely means that we don’t cease investigating, at least periodically, in order to have an increasingly informed opinion about the individuals, options, histories, and proposed or potential consequences on offer. And I believe some time should be invested not only in knowing the positions of those we deem to be the opposition; I believe we should seek actually to understand why they see the world the way they do, to consider the support they offer for their views, and to contemplate whether they might have some points to consider (a few, if not many). There is little virtue (if any) in simply being reactionary. 

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God Calls Us to Be Faithful

On 11 June 2013 Ryan T. Anderson delivered these remarks at a banquet for the Alliance Defending Freedom’s Academy: Calling and Witness, Holiness and Truth. Here is an excerpt:

[T]he marriage debate is just one earthly battle, one among many that the people of God must wage. It is not ours to determine when we will succeed in it, or how. And ultimately, it is of secondary concern. For the only success of ultimate importance is holiness. The only real tragedy in life is not to have been a saint.

That success can be had—that tragedy avoided—whatever happens in law or culture. For holiness is not the world’s gift, but God’s; and what it calls for is faithful response. We give the other side a victory only if we fail to respond. Only if we spurn God’s calling to each of us. Only if we withdraw from the fight, out of indifference or despair.

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Election 2012: Randy Alcorn’s Thoughts

Randy Alcorn has posted the first four installments in a series on the upcoming election. His remarks are helpful, clarifying, insightful, and motivating.

These are moderately lengthy thoughts that will take a few minutes to complete. Even so, they are worth considering if you are a committed Christian wondering how to navigate your way through the pressing issues.

So, read on!

Part 1: Racial Issues, Helping the Poor and Financial Responsibility

Part 2: Which Candidate Will Best Protect Religious Liberties?

Part 3: Which Candidate Has More Christian Beliefs?

Part 4: Do the Candidates Have Different Positions on Abortion and Does it Matter?

Good Ol’ Baby Killers: Planned (Un)Parenthood

What is the most dangerous place on Earth for humans? Planned Parenthood. Why? Because just under half of the humans who enter there fail to exit alive.

That’s right, the good ol’ baby killers are back in the spotlight: Planned (Un)Parenthood. And it is ever more obvious that President Barak Obama is aiming for abortion being safe, legal, and…as frequent as possible. And funded by the government!

Rare? Who cares about rare? Why should it be rare? Should clipping one’s nails be rare? Should any personally-judged surgery be rare? Of course not. Who are you to judge?! No, Obama is an abortion extremist!

So, for a bit of reading about the largest abortion mill on the planet, here are a couple offerings (both PDF for download):

Killer Angel: A Biography of Planned Parenthood’s Founder, Margaret Sanger, by George Grant

Grand Illusions: The Legacy of Planned Parenthood, by George Grant

And as the election approaches, may I draw your attention to some of my earlier thoughts:

I Elect to Be Truly Pro-Life

The Lesser of Two Evils in Voting