I'm overwhelmed with a mixture of nausea, pity, and horror when I read things like this (link below). The religious right -- the people who believe and distribute this kind of excrement -- is the faulty foundational substance that is poised to result in the collapse of our nation. The obstinate perseverence with which this segment of our population refuses to use their minds appalls me, as does their willingness to consume, unquestioned, the decaying refuse that is fed to them by their so-called spiritual leaders. If someone wants to argue against the currently proposed healthcare reform bill, there are plenty of reasonable, rational angles from which to attack it. It's so much easier, however, to be told that something is an absolute evil than to have to recognize and accept shades of grey. Absolutes are simple, elegant, easy... dilusions.
LINK TO ARTICLE
Here is the response that I posted on Facebook (I reigned myself in a bit and directed it towards the likely target audience. Maybe tomorrow I'll add more... without reserve):
I have nothing but respect for [the person that posted this link], but it would be irresponsible of me as a physician to hold my tongue. This article is an example of the worst kind of destructive and misleading rhetoric. It attempts to prey on the emotions and spiritual sensitivities of its target audience while ignoring the truly important facts of the matter. It talks of putting healthcare decisions in the hands of bureaucrats while ignoring the fact that in the current system, decisions regarding your medical care are made by private insurance companies. In the current system, physicians are NOT at liberty to treat you as they see fit, primarily due to the evils of the private health insurance companies. And I assure you, that if you're concerned that the government doesn't have your best interests at heart, the for-profit insurance are even less interested in your health; they are interested in your money and in NOT paying that money out when you're sick. Please DO NOT trust articles such as this just because they are coming from a pastor. If history has taught us anything about the church and its shepherds, it is that they are human and that they are as corruptible as any other human. Examine the facts. Look at the numbers. Look at the millions (46.6 million, approximately) of uninsuredAmericans who are suffering every day. If you have never lived in a poor city, such as New Orleans or Albuquerque (I've now lived in both) and seen the horrors wrought on the health and lives of the uninsured poor, do some research before you let a pastor's article on a website make up your minds about what is or isn't best for the country as a whole. Consider the amount of time Jesus spent promoting health for the poor and the words that he had for those who preyed upon them (think of today's insurance companies as vaguely equivalent to Judea's corrupt tax collectors). I know I can't convince anyone of anything. however, I do hope to remind people to use their minds... the minds that God gave them. Think critically. Look at the evidence. Our minds are equipped to examine issues in detail and it would be a slap in the face of the creator of these minds to just accept ANYTHING that is handed to us on a plate. Use that organ of consciousness andcreativity to dig deep, think hard, and make sure that what you're reading (regardless of where you're reading it -- including right here), jives with the common sense and skills of logic that are part of your legacy as members of the human race.
On a side note, I am personally very upset at Mr. Joyner's (mis)use of Tolkien's character Gandalf. Examination of Tolkien's writings make it clear that he did not want his works to be seen as spiritual allegories, and that the evil powers in his books are, if anything, representative of the military-industrial complex and the way in which it destroys the environment and oppresses the poor.