Obamacare and the United Methodist Church
I am one of many Methodists who were shocked, appalled, and incensed to hear Nancy Pelosi thank the United Methodist Church for helping pass Obamacare last Sunday night. I knew the top leadership of my denomination was left-leaning (fortunately my home church stays admirably silent on overt politicizing). But this current issue hits too close to home for me to remain complacent and compliant. These politics will hurt too many innocent Americans--i.e. the 85% who are taking care of business and satisfied with their health care, including me and my family. (" I am one of the many millions who are outraged at the Left's attempt to destroy the private health care system that has served my family so well..." as John Hinderaker says.) It is clear that this particular bill will have a LOT of bad and hurtful consequences, not to mention continuing to polarize and inflame our country instead of unite it in common cause to reform and heal.
It is not a question of good guys who want to help people vs. bad guys who do not. All sides have good intentions and want the best for the country. But not all sides have the best solutions, and Obamacare is a dismal plague headed our way, a slow-motion trainwreck about to consume our country. I have to stand up and protest, and say that the leadership of my church does not speak for me. And I am furious that it would purport to do so in this.
Traditional Christians and Jews have understood that Providence has a vital vocation for families, religious institutions, private business, independent charities, and a whole range of non-government actors. Traditionally, they have believed that the government only does, to paraphrase Lincoln, what the people cannot do for themselves. But the old Religious Left, joined increasingly by Evangelical Left wannabes, leaves almost no civic space for the private sphere. In their almost totalitarian perspective, the state is an endless cornucopia of goods and services providing for every human need. Families, churches, businesses and charities become almost inconsequential, or are, at best, mere compliant hand maidens to an all powerful government. Most religious people would find this fantasy nightmarish. But this nightmare animates nearly all the social justice activism of religious leftists....
Signers of this “Call for Political Courage, Vision, Leadership, and Faith” include officials of the Episcopal, Presbyterian USA, Evangelical Lutheran, United Church of Christ, and United Methodist denominations, along with Jim Wallis’ Sojourners, Evangelicals for Social Action, the National Council of Churches, Quakers, Mennonites, left-wing Catholic orders like the Maryknollers, a couple Muslim groups and several Jewish organizations. Some of these groups, or at least their elites, have very little theology any more. But they are increasingly unified behind a single unifying spiritual principle: worshipping at the altar of the state.
Syndicated columnist Walter E. Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University, said it best when he opined, 'For me to voluntarily open my pockets to help the poor and needy is a worthy and honorable act of human compassion. But for you to reach inside my pockets and take my money to do so is stealing for which somebody should go to jail.'
Yesterday we were treated to the news that some of the nation's religious leaders had been recruited by Obama to promote his plan for a government takeover of healthcare.
And they gladly jumped on board like giddy sailors ready for another voyage into the exciting seas of political activism.
Although many are quick to condemn rightwing, evangelical groups for 'taking their faith into the political marketplace,' Leftwing religious groups are given a pass in the mainstream media when they engage in overt political activity.
After all, when they do it, it is 'a moral obligation,' or so they would have us believe....
By sitting in my church pew each Sunday and contributing to the collection plate, am I helping to further these totalitarian visions--in my name?
Here is a round-up of some of the news I have discovered:
"Health care bill's passage called 'huge step' toward affirming United Methodist social principles" (more like socialist principles, if you ask me).
"How did the UMC come to define health care as a 'right'?" (not a pretty process--and not unlike the machinations of Congress)
"Pelosi hails church agency on health reform" (congratulatory pats on the back all around. I don't recall us Methodists being asked to weigh in on this. Meanwhile, more Methodists in Congress voted NO than voted Yes)
The Congressman who was allegedly spat upon is a United Methodist Minister (allegedly) UPDATE: Tempest in a tea party teapot. It was a set-up.
The UMC had a history of vilifying George Bush (a Methodist) for his policies:
Despite his Christian example, his reliance upon the United Methodist Church's preferred political body to enforce its own resolutions with regard to Iraq, and his unwillingness as the leader of state to repeat the mistakes of Munich in appeasing those who openly threaten and the mistakes of his predecessor in ignoring the clear warnings and acts of war upon the United States by Islamic jihad, the United Methodist Church chose to single out one man for the world's ills: George W. Bush, United Methodist.
The UMC has been against Stupak and supportive of abortion for a long time (they think 'health care is a right,' and that publicly-funded abortions are more health care than eugenics or murder, evidently)
Obamacare: A Social Justice Nightmare for the Whole World: "Killing opportunities for charity may fit perfectly with the Marxist-oriented Kumbayah Fallacy, but it proves a diabolical mockery of the doctrines on genuine Social Justice." (If even my 14-year-old can see this, why can't the bishops?)
Maybe it's time to become Amish. Seriously, many commenters are advocating that Methodists seek out non-denominational churches more suitable for Christians who are not statists, leftists, or Marxists and who no longer wish to lend their unwilling support to those unworkable and immoral ideas.
I have traditionally been proud that my denomination, the United Methodist Church, did so much good for so many people around the world. Now, feeling I have no control over exactly what the ruling philosophy and ultimate aim of its do-goodism is, and knowing that it is often actually bent toward what I am diametrically opposed to for its immoral nature, I don't feel I can lend my unqualified support any more. In fact, I feel duty-bound to protest and speak out.
Incidentally, if my church is now politicking in Washington alongside Nancy Pelosi, shouldn't it lose its religious tax-exempt status?
UPDATE: An antidote to leftwing hijackers of my religious denomination? -- The Institute on Religion & Democracy is on the case. I will find out more about this.
UPDATE: Nancy Pelosi's triumphant Palm Sunday message to Glide UMC in San Francisco.
UPDATE: MethodistThinker.com is a great website that keeps up with all of these developments and more within the United Methodist Church. Here is there summary and update on the health care bill debacle. Many Methodists are steaming--and leaving the church.