Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The incident I’m about to relay to you all was told to me by a person of the utmost reliability. Although I did not witness it firsthand I have no reason to doubt it happened.
The city where I live, about 33,000, I believe, has one medical center/hospital with an emergency room. Yesterday, one of our homeless men was brought in, diagnosed with the flu-confirmed case, apparently-and released back into the general population with a prescription for Tamiflu which he cannot possibly fill and no place to go. The overnight low was in the mid-20’s and the local police took him to our day shelter which, due to the extended cold spell, has become a temporary overnight shelter as well. The shelter took him in and will fill the Rx as soon as they are able; he will at least be somewhat comfortable and will have a warm place to stay for a few days.
My concern here, aside from our guy with the flu, is that everyone else in the shelter-12 or so, plus staff-have now been exposed to the flu. People will be coming and going, hanging out at local convenience stores, fast food places and using public restrooms. The staff-day and night-will be going home to their families. Not to be too paranoid but this is how stuff spreads. How many others will become sick because one local hospital refused to treat a homeless patient without insurance?
We as a nation, in my opinion, are failing our brothers and sisters living on the margins who, for whatever reason, cannot adequately care for themselves. Universal, government-supported health care is operating with various degrees of success in many countries today and there is simply no excuse for not having it here. We do not need to re-invent the wheel-we can take the best and leave the rest. If we so choose. This is not socialism or redistributing wealth or anything else; it is simply government providing equally for all its citizens.
Over this past year I have heard much about moral decay under President Obama; most of which focuses on sexual issues. There is indeed moral decay in this country and it has nothing to do with sex. This decay presents as social justice but the real issue, as I see it-the elephant in the room-is the fact that there are those who have taken it upon themselves to decide who is worthy to live and who is not. The criteria is simple-one either has wealth that may be extracted or requires wealth to be distributed. In other words, if you’re working you’re good. If you’re not working, you are not good. If you are sick or disabled you are not good. If you require government support in the form of Social Security or Medicare or Medicaid you are definitely not good. Don’t believe me? Consider who benefits from the policies of the current administration; consider who is making these policies. Are policies being made to benefit the greater good of all Americans, or for the benefit of a chosen few? Look objectively here, think critically. There is no room for moral equivalency-each policy stands or falls on its own merit.
Christians in particular have the unique ability-and responsibility-to evaluate things in light of Biblical teaching. To this particular point I will simply say, pay close attention to the ancient prophets where they acted as God’s prosecuting attorneys; bringing God’s charges against God’s covenant people. Keep in mind, regardless of our theology, we all believe the Church Militant is the presence of God on earth today and certain universal and timeless principles hold true still.

Finally, let me say there are some with whom I disagree yet manage to maintain a close personal friendship, people I love and admire and respect. We simply disagree on some things, and I expect, even welcome, disagreement here as well. I believe, in the end, personal relationship is key. Let us not become so lost in ideology we forget how to disagree agreeably and in the process loose our love for one another.


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