Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What the Bible Says About Health Care

A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest and a Levite were going down that road, and when they saw him, they said to him, “It is not the temple’s obligation to provide health care for people. That would be socialized medicine.” And they passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him, and when he saw him he was moved with pity. He went to him and said, “It is too bad that you are not a Samaritan. In Samaria we have universal health care coverage. But as a Judean you are expected to provide for your own medical care privately. Good luck!” (Luke 10:30-34)

As [Jesus] approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard a crowd doing by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” Then he shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” …Jesus stood still and ordered the man to be brought to him, and when he came near, he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Have you paid your medical insurance premiums?” (Luke 18:35-38,40-42)

One day, as we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave-girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners a great deal of money by fortune-telling. While she followed Paul and us, she would cry out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation.” She kept doing this for many days. But Paul, very much annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “We would like to help this girl, but apparently her owners’ health insurance policy does not cover treatment for mental illness. And we certainly would not want to interfere with free enterprise. I’m afraid there is nothing we can do.” ( Acts 16:16-18)


Buena Onda said...

Where can I get a copy of The Ironic Bible?

WSJM said...

Hi, B.O. Right! (This posting was simultaneously a letter to the editor of the local paper responding to a story about the "Iowa Christian Alliance" which is in the thick of the right-wing opposition to Obama's proposed health care reforms. (Yes, actually, it was printed the next day!)

SueM said...

I love these, they're great. Did you write them yourself?

Also makes me glad for our NHS "free at the point of delivery" in UK- even if it isn't perfect.

My vicar once preached a fantastic sermon on how God's grace is "free at the point of delivery."

WSJM said...

Thanks for your comment, SueM. I've read several remarks in various places about how awful the UK's National Health Service is. All of them made by Americans. British commentators, on the other hand, all say that the NHS, though as you say not perfect (what system is?), provides very good care to most people most of the time.

(I even got some minor care, free, from a country doctor in Scotland in 1961!)

Brad Evans said...
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