II Corinthians 10:5

"Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."

September 24, 2009

"Obama Care" Opposed

Greetings friends! The blogging season has started again (at least for us), which means that with God’s help we will offer thought-provoking and encouraging blogs on the issues of the day through the lens of a Christian worldview.

One of the bigger issues that has been discussed has been that of universal healthcare, better known as, “Obama Care.” I have been challenged to come up with a basis for my negative position towards “Obama Care” not politically speaking, but Biblically.

Consider the following excerpt from an article critical of Christians entitled, “The conservative Christian's reaction to ‘Obama-Care.’” http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7556-Salt-Lake-City-Christian-Examiner~y2009m8d16-The-conservative-Christians-reaction-to-ObamaCare

"Now, there are many problems people have with what is being touted Obama-Care, but besides Sarah Palin inanely ranting on her Facebook and the legitimate concern of raised taxes and lower quality health care, one of the most resounding proclamations coming from conservative Christians has been: “I’m not paying for some welfare jerk’s hospital bill” or “if you want health care, then get a job!” Somehow, according to certain Christians, God picks and chooses which political confrontation He wants to weigh in on. With gay marriage, He was all over the place! Bible verse here, bible verse there, Rick Warren here, President Monson there, but He’s nowhere to be found on this one for some strange reason.


The Christian right hasn’t brought Him up once because there aren’t bible verses that support blatantly selfish catharsis. There are only verses that say we need to help the poor, love our neighbor and love our enemy and welcome the less fortunate with open arms. People were so quick to want to force their Christian values on people who didn’t necessarily share their beliefs, but none of them want to force those same values on themselves!"

Listening to the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, or Glenn Beck, I often find myself getting caught up in their political agenda, and forget to support my view Biblically. It’s not that their arguments against the left are necessarily wrong; it’s just that they are focused on rebutting the left’s policies for political gains. They have no over-arching reason for their beliefs except for political reasons. However, we as Christians do. While we may agree with these talk show hosts that “Obama Care” wouldn’t be good because it is socialist, or that it would put our country further into debt, or that it would raise taxes on a certain class, or that it would provide federal funds to abortion providers, there ought to be further reasons Christians don’t support this ideology, beyond that the Republicans/conservatives don't.

The Bible states in Exodus 20 that we should not steal. “Obama Care” would raise taxes on small businesses and wealthier individuals. Believe it or not, “Robbing from the rich is still robbing.” Therefore we Christians oppose “Obama Care” because it robs/steals from a certain class, which is wrong and evil.

“Obama Care” would put our country into something like 1.6 trillion dollars into debt. Psalm 37:21a says “The wicked borrows and does not repay…” Being in debt isn’t a good thing. Chances are, that we would never repay this enormous amount of debt. Therefore, Christians could oppose “Obama Care” for the reason that going into so much debt and likely never paying it all back would be wicked. Christians might also use Proverbs 22:7b (“The borrower is servant to the lender.”) as a passage/reason for not wanting this plan. Especially since we would be selling our future generations into the servitude of a communist, mostly anti-Christian Government.

Exodus 20:13 says, “You shall not murder.” Proverbs 16:12 explains, “It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness…” This is why Christians oppose giving federal funds to abortion providers. It is against God’s moral law and is extremely wicked.

These are just a few of the issues covered when talking about “Obama Care.” Unlike the gentleman’s opinion in the article above, there ARE Biblical reasons to oppose this health care overhaul. I have no doubt that more reasons could be found with more study and examination. As Christians, we must be ready to represent who we are. We are not a political party, but followers of Christ. This may mean we fit into a certain political party, but don’t let those politics drive you. Remember that we have an over-arching position as Christians – to represent Christ and to draw our support and reasons from Him and Him alone for our beliefs – so that we uphold Christ and not a party’s political agenda.

DW

14 comments:

Aronne said...

Karl Marx would have a bone to pick with you, Daniel! - But I certainly don't.

Federally funded abortion is about as wrong as it gets. But an aside on this: what about state-funded abortion? It's just as wrong, but it happens in a number of states in the country today. Is there some a particular project devoted to ending that evil?

Anyway, interesting thoughts as always, but it's bed time for this blogger.

christina hall said...

Glad to read another "Northern Lights" post! I love the picture at the top (that's new, isn't it?).

Dan, your points in this post are generally solid and clear, but I am confused over your argument that ObamaCare is stealing.

You say: "Obama Care” would raise taxes on small businesses and wealthier individuals. Believe it or not, “Robbing from the rich is still robbing.” Therefore we Christians oppose “Obama Care” because it robs/steals from a certain class, which is wrong and evil.

I say: please let me define "rob" for my own sake so I can think through this clearly. :) ...

...OK, to rob is 1. "to take something from (someone) by unlawful force or threat of violence; to steal" or 2. "to deprive (someone) of some right or something legally due"

If you were using rob in the first sense, it seems you would judge inaccurately. To my knowledge, we are not being forced to "render unto Ceasar" by any unlawful force, and we are still allowed to leave this country of ours (along with the ruler we voted in) if we decide too much is being asked of us.

If you meant rob in the second sense, I am confused. The Bible does not condemn the levying of taxes (Matt 22:21). I didn't know we had a "right" to be an untaxed people...for I don't understand how you are determining when the taxation (an action not fundamentally immoral) becomes stealing. Can you actually put a $$ amount on a tax that would be lawful, and one that would be stealing? Would 1% more or less tax actually change the moral nature of the act (I hope it is clear I am addressing just the raw act of taxation)?

Alright, that's all. Hope I've made some sense at 12:30 in the morning. :) BTW, another way to combat government-run health-care Biblically would be to argue that health care has not been allotted by God to the sphere of the state (Romans 13).

Isaac Alzen said...

Yeah, I think the issue of taxing the rich is more of a socialism vs. capitalism issue than it is a matter of robbery. Even though it might not be fair (and bad for the economy), I don't believe disproportionate taxation is stealing.

Tylery said...

Good points!

Way to look at this issue from a Biblical perspective! Indeed, how easy it is to be caught up in the political fray...especially when you are listening to Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, etc. ;)

Christina:

Good point about the word robbing. However, I don't think that Dan was claiming that force is being used in the collection of taxes. Nor do I think that he was saying that we have a "right" to be an untaxed people. (If he was, that might be a future post! ;))

Speaking of Romans 13, I noticed something fairly interesting...

Romans 13:1-6

1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.


Hmmmmmm...while the government isn't "robbing" folks through "disproportionate taxation" (thanks Isaac ;)), the beginning of verse 5 seems to indicate the reason concerning the levying of taxes.

First, government has been but in place by God to "bear not the sword in vain." They are to protect the citizens and "terrorize evil." Not the funding of abortion. Not putting future generations in debt over a ridiculous health care program. The list goes on...

Christina, you ask when taxation becomes stealing. I don't think a $ figure would be appropriate. However, I think it is quite obvious that government can "abuse" its authority when it comes to taxes. (We are seeing it now with these cattywompus government programs.)

Well, enough of my ramblings.

Food for thought.

Thanks Dan!

Tylery said...

One more thing......Go Twins!!!

Isaac Alzen said...

About the taxes again, people were taxed pretty heavily by Ceaser, but Jesus still said "Give unto Ceaser that which is Ceaser's." Jesus didn't really imply that Ceaser was robbing the people. Obviously, from an economic standpoint, there are many reasons to oppose heavy taxation. But I don't know if it's a moral issue of thievery.

Twins all the way! (Best case scenario, we make the playoffs and get swept by the Yankees, but hey, miracles happen)

Northern Lights said...

In response:
Without going into how certain taxes are illegal, I'll leave it at the following: Of course we are not being forced to "render unto Caesar" by an unlawful force. It's perfectly legal for our government. They are the ones who make and decide when to enforce the laws. I digress, because the purpose of the blog wasn't to discuss the illegality of taxation.


When using the word "rob" the denotative definition offered by Christina doesn't exactly fit the context in which I was writing. I was going for more of a connotative term like: "rob"
-"to take what is not yours."
Without getting too technical, this is what the government would essentially be doing...taking something from a certain class and giving it to another. I am not encouraging people to not pay taxes ("give unto Caesar..." No doubt some of Caesar's taxes were robbery) Are all taxes robbery then? Probably. That doesn't mean we shouldn't pay them. However, since they are a form of robbery, I think we should oppose them -
and this plan of thievery so more robbery doesn't occur when it's law.

Eva said...

Good points Dan and you're remembering that you are a Christian first/pilgrim/stranger, American second.
I believe we must remember the overriding issue...

"Though shalt not murder" might be a the only reason to hang your opposition to Obama(non)care.

Abortion alone is enough, but there are learned men who have examined the healthcare proposal and adamantly believe that this proposal will lead to a selective euthanasia of the old and disabled by putting the power of who and who will not die in the hands of men. The history of communism would probably verify that it gives the power of the government to do such evil deeds. Rationing healthcare by the government will necessitate such ends, as it is evident that this country IS bankrupt.

Christians do not need any other biblical reason, which makes robbery a mute point by comparison.

Anonymous said...

Great article Dan. You are right in defining it as robbery too. The government is stealing from future generations.

Keep up the good work.

Brian

Isaac Alzen said...

Dan, I definitely agree with you that our government has too much taxation and redistribution of wealth. It's unfair to the people who work hard for their earnings. However, in your article you said you were going for biblical reasons to oppose Obama's plan. Abortion and debt are absolutely biblically addressed issues, and you covered them nicely, but I'm not aware of many passages that address overtaxation and condemn the government for redistributing wealth to the poor. Maybe there are some, but I don't remember any. You mentioned Exodus 20, but if you apply that verse to taxation you could say that every government is being immoral due to taxes, even if they tax everyone equally and not disproportionately. They are taking money away, so they are stealing. So is all taxation immoral? Isn't very basic taxation necessary (i.e. for roads, the military, etc.)? I think the amount of taxing our government gives its citizens is both wrong and impractical, but I don't know where the issue is specifically addressed in the Bible.

Ted Sands said...

All the points mentioned aren't just political i.e socialism, abortion funding, debt but are undergirded by a biblical worldview as this article points out. So, even though you started out contentious i.e. we should look at this biblically instead of or as well as politically, what it should have been is, "We have looked at this politically and this is the biblical basis of those politics." In other words, agreement instead of contest.

christina hall said...

I think most people understand "rob" to mean unjustly taking something that does not belong to you. So in the mind of your readers you would seem to condemn taxation. Perhaps be more careful while choosing words in the future?

christina hall said...

Ok, so you indeed meant to condemn all taxation as immoral (I didn't catch this from the original post). This being the case, you were always being perfectly precise in your choice of the word "rob". I certainly did not intend to create a paper tiger, so thanks for your patience with me.

I agree with Isaac in that I don't think scripture condemns all taxation.

David Quimby said...

Dan,

I agree with your advocacy of a biblical vs. political agenda. Not only the right thing to do, but more likely to be effective, since based on truth.

I like theft and debt as biblical perspectives.

On theft: Not only is theft wrong (whether or not you define all taxation / 'execessive' taxation / 'unjustified' taxation as theft), but God loves a cheerful giver [2 Co 9:7].

Involuntary / coerced redistribution is theft - morally, if not legally. True, God is pleased when higher performers redistribute to those who are (legitimately) disadvantaged. But 'all' redistribution should be voluntary.

Biblically, the church (not the state) should meet the needs of society. While we should be realistic in recognizing that the church (due to the imperfection of the human heart) has not been perfect in meeting the needs... even if the church isn't meeting the needs, God loves a cheerful giver. He doesn't want a coerced giver. Just like he doesn't force us to love him - wouldn't be true love. And, ultimately, his supernatural reason for giving is to disciple the heart of the giver, not meet the needs of the recipient. He can flick his finger and meet the needs - he's not agonizing over our giving to meet the needs.

David