Christianity & taxes

At the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama suggested, as some have put it, that Jesus would tax the rich:

President Barack Obama on Thursday tied his proposal to raise taxes on wealthy Americans to his faith, telling leaders gathered for the National Prayer Breakfast that Jesus’s teachings have shaped that conclusion.The rich should pay more not only because “I actually think that is going to make economic sense, but for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’s teaching that ‘for unto whom much is given, much shall be required,’” Obama said at the Washington Hilton, delivering remarks at an annual event that every president has attended since Dwight D. Eisenhower.

via Obama: Jesus would tax the rich – Jennifer Epstein – POLITICO.com.

I like the response by Mary Theroux of the Independent Institute:

Yes, that Jesus was always looking for ways to make Rome more powerful!

Here we see two different ways of looking at taxes and at government:  Liberals think taxation is virtuous because the government is always helping people, so in order to help people more we need to give the government more money.  Conservatives think government basically exerts power over people, so giving it more money makes it even more powerful and lessens the liberty of its citizens. 

The text that the president cites (Luke 12:48), in context, does not refer to taxes, but it can apply to money as to everything else.  A person who has received much FROM GOD has much that is required BY GOD.  Not the federal government!   The president here is putting the federal government squarely in the place of God!

A person who has been blessed with lots of money should indeed do good with it, including helping those who lack money.  But it isn’t necessary to go through the federal government to do that.  The wealthy person can and should help people and organizations directly.

At the same time, Christians should remember that just about every time the New Testament teaches something about our obligation to our governments, including that of the Roman Empire, it includes an exhortation to pay our taxes.  I worry that our anti-tax rhetoric may sometimes violate the spirit of those teachings, which impose upon us a cross and a discipline that we must submit to, whether we like it or not.

 

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • SKPeterson

    I pay my taxes. I don’t like it and I don’t ever want to give more than I have to. And I want to see them reduced in every instance and much of the tax burden abolished.

    I also sincerely doubt Jesus would want the tax levels that the Romans placed on their subject peoples. It led to graft, vice, corruption and oppression; remember how popular tax collectors are in the NT. Jesus came to these people because they were not only sinners in and of themselves, but their professions encouraged, and were advanced by, sinful behavior.

    Roman taxes and taxation policy which fed the Roman state were not blessings for its subjects and citizens. Despite this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSELOCMmw4A, there is also this stubborn litany of historical fact http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cjv14n2-7.html.

  • SKPeterson

    I pay my taxes. I don’t like it and I don’t ever want to give more than I have to. And I want to see them reduced in every instance and much of the tax burden abolished.

    I also sincerely doubt Jesus would want the tax levels that the Romans placed on their subject peoples. It led to graft, vice, corruption and oppression; remember how popular tax collectors are in the NT. Jesus came to these people because they were not only sinners in and of themselves, but their professions encouraged, and were advanced by, sinful behavior.

    Roman taxes and taxation policy which fed the Roman state were not blessings for its subjects and citizens. Despite this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSELOCMmw4A, there is also this stubborn litany of historical fact http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cjv14n2-7.html.

  • Susan

    Re: A person who has received much FROM GOD has much that is required BY GOD. Not the federal government! The president here is putting the federal government squarely in the place of God!

    I think that is an extremely important point and one to be well heeded. I read two articles that also made good points about Obama’s use of scripture.

    1) God only requires 10% flat tithe on everyone. If Obama wants to invoke God, why should he ask for more and use different weights and measures?

    2) Obama’s brother, who lives in Kenya, exists on $12 per year. Obama only has to give him $12 a year to double his income. Perhaps, he should take “being his brother’s keeper” to heart and let charity begin at home.

  • Susan

    Re: A person who has received much FROM GOD has much that is required BY GOD. Not the federal government! The president here is putting the federal government squarely in the place of God!

    I think that is an extremely important point and one to be well heeded. I read two articles that also made good points about Obama’s use of scripture.

    1) God only requires 10% flat tithe on everyone. If Obama wants to invoke God, why should he ask for more and use different weights and measures?

    2) Obama’s brother, who lives in Kenya, exists on $12 per year. Obama only has to give him $12 a year to double his income. Perhaps, he should take “being his brother’s keeper” to heart and let charity begin at home.

  • Michael B.

    “A person who has been blessed with lots of money should indeed do good with it, including helping those who lack money.”

    Luke reports that Jesus apparently had some more extreme thoughts about those who have a lot of money: “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”. Matthew reports another scenario where Jesus talked with someone with a lot of money: “go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me”

    In my confirmation class, we had some relatively rich kids, and I remember one of them asked if Jesus actually meant what was said here. (Has God indeed said that no one rich man shall enter heaven?) My teacher’s response was something like: “No, you can still be rich and go to heaven, but you have to put Jesus first in your life, and you have to be generous to the poor. Also, Jesus will forgive you even if you do sin.”. I remember thinking: “Wow, Jesus was a jerk! Jesus could have told the rich young man that all he had to do is simply give more to the poor, but he could still keep a lot of his money.”

  • Michael B.

    “A person who has been blessed with lots of money should indeed do good with it, including helping those who lack money.”

    Luke reports that Jesus apparently had some more extreme thoughts about those who have a lot of money: “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”. Matthew reports another scenario where Jesus talked with someone with a lot of money: “go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me”

    In my confirmation class, we had some relatively rich kids, and I remember one of them asked if Jesus actually meant what was said here. (Has God indeed said that no one rich man shall enter heaven?) My teacher’s response was something like: “No, you can still be rich and go to heaven, but you have to put Jesus first in your life, and you have to be generous to the poor. Also, Jesus will forgive you even if you do sin.”. I remember thinking: “Wow, Jesus was a jerk! Jesus could have told the rich young man that all he had to do is simply give more to the poor, but he could still keep a lot of his money.”

  • SKPeterson

    Michael – Here’s the deal. If Jesus isn’t first, something else is. That is the essence of idolatry. The rich make their riches and wealth an idol, or at least that is their temptation. Similarly, the tax collectors. The scribes and Pharisees wallowed in their fastidious following of ever more esoteric readings of the Law – making God’s Law an idol in place of God Himself. The admonition holds for those who idolize the State – those who see everyone else’s lives and property to be subject to their own desires manifested by the organs of government power. So you could just as easily say “Jesus was a jerk! Jesus could have told the bureaucrat that all he had to do was simply take more money from the rich and give a little to the poor, but he could spend a lot more of other people’s money on providing more jobs for bureaucrats to go out and take more money from people and impose more regulations on them.”

  • SKPeterson

    Michael – Here’s the deal. If Jesus isn’t first, something else is. That is the essence of idolatry. The rich make their riches and wealth an idol, or at least that is their temptation. Similarly, the tax collectors. The scribes and Pharisees wallowed in their fastidious following of ever more esoteric readings of the Law – making God’s Law an idol in place of God Himself. The admonition holds for those who idolize the State – those who see everyone else’s lives and property to be subject to their own desires manifested by the organs of government power. So you could just as easily say “Jesus was a jerk! Jesus could have told the bureaucrat that all he had to do was simply take more money from the rich and give a little to the poor, but he could spend a lot more of other people’s money on providing more jobs for bureaucrats to go out and take more money from people and impose more regulations on them.”

  • http://www.caryschwarz.com saddler

    It seems like whenever we think of the rich folks, it is always some one who has more money than we do. It strikes me that anyone reading this is sitting at home in front of a computer in the comfort of a nice home or place of work. That said, Mr. Obama’s comments are beyond the pale. He is describing a system of coercive altruism that is not what the passage is talking about. His speech writers need to go back to the drawing board, I mean the Bible.

  • http://www.caryschwarz.com saddler

    It seems like whenever we think of the rich folks, it is always some one who has more money than we do. It strikes me that anyone reading this is sitting at home in front of a computer in the comfort of a nice home or place of work. That said, Mr. Obama’s comments are beyond the pale. He is describing a system of coercive altruism that is not what the passage is talking about. His speech writers need to go back to the drawing board, I mean the Bible.

  • Kirk

    Isn’t ascribing your fiscal political motivations to Christ entirely missing the point? Jesus didn’t come to earth to prescribe an economic system of government by which nations should be ruled. He came to seek and to save the last. That seems quite apart from tax rates and theories on centralized economies.

    Theroux claiming that Christ’s teachings in Luke prescribe a strictly extra-governmental giving requirement (which doesn’t take into account that a rich man voting for higher taxes to fund social services could be construed as charity) is a much a stretch as Obama claiming Jesus was advocating for higher taxes in that same verse. I think Theroux nails it in the last paragraph, but kinda misses the point with first few.

    Furthermore, ascribing a strictly economic interpretation to the parable in question further misses the point. It’s an exhortation to remain faithful in all things, not just finances.

  • Kirk

    Isn’t ascribing your fiscal political motivations to Christ entirely missing the point? Jesus didn’t come to earth to prescribe an economic system of government by which nations should be ruled. He came to seek and to save the last. That seems quite apart from tax rates and theories on centralized economies.

    Theroux claiming that Christ’s teachings in Luke prescribe a strictly extra-governmental giving requirement (which doesn’t take into account that a rich man voting for higher taxes to fund social services could be construed as charity) is a much a stretch as Obama claiming Jesus was advocating for higher taxes in that same verse. I think Theroux nails it in the last paragraph, but kinda misses the point with first few.

    Furthermore, ascribing a strictly economic interpretation to the parable in question further misses the point. It’s an exhortation to remain faithful in all things, not just finances.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Obama has been given much. He admits as much. Yet he gives only 1% of his money to charity. Romney gives 15%. All those who wish to give more certainly can. Anyway, taxes aren’t the real issue. People are fine with taxes that are going toward public goods. People are not fine with the excessive foreign wars and government dollars and regulations favoring certain businesses and individuals. Cronyism is the problem.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Obama has been given much. He admits as much. Yet he gives only 1% of his money to charity. Romney gives 15%. All those who wish to give more certainly can. Anyway, taxes aren’t the real issue. People are fine with taxes that are going toward public goods. People are not fine with the excessive foreign wars and government dollars and regulations favoring certain businesses and individuals. Cronyism is the problem.

  • Tom Hering

    The President has misapplied a verse of Scripture. Meh. Politicians on the right do it all the time.

    It does surprise me, though, that the same people who’ve complained about the secularization of government, haven’t – at the same time they’ve criticized the President for his misuse of Luke 12:48 – praised him for the following statements in his Prayer Breakfast speech (emphasis added):

    “… I begin by giving all praise and honor to God … We can all benefit from turning to our Creator, listening to Him … I’m reminded that faith and values play an enormous role in motivating us to solve some of our most urgent problems … We can’t leave our values at the door … I wake up each morning and I say a brief prayer, and I spend a little time in scripture and devotion … I’d be remiss if I stopped there; if my values were limited to personal moments of prayer or private conversations with pastors or friends. So instead, I must try – imperfectly, but I must try – to make sure those values motivate me as one leader of this great nation … I believe in God’s command to “love thy neighbor as thyself” … I am my brother’s keeper and I am my sister’s keeper … Our goal should not be to declare our policies as biblical. It is God who is infallible, not us … the biblical injunctions are not just words, they are also deeds … I think we all understand that these values cannot truly find voice in our politics and our policies unless they find a place in our hearts. The Bible teaches us to “be doers of the word and not merely hearers” … I thought about my own spiritual journey – growing up in a household that wasn’t particularly religious; going through my own period of doubt and confusion; finding Christ when I wasn’t even looking for him … I have fallen on my knees with great regularity since that moment — asking God for guidance not just in my personal life and my Christian walk, but in the life of this nation and in the values that hold us together and keep us strong. I know that He will guide us. He always has, and He always will.”

    No, wait. It doesn’t surprise me. The President is a Democrat. And it’s an election year. :-D

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/national-prayer-breakfast-president-obamas-speech-transcript/2012/02/02/gIQAx7jWkQ_story.html

  • Tom Hering

    The President has misapplied a verse of Scripture. Meh. Politicians on the right do it all the time.

    It does surprise me, though, that the same people who’ve complained about the secularization of government, haven’t – at the same time they’ve criticized the President for his misuse of Luke 12:48 – praised him for the following statements in his Prayer Breakfast speech (emphasis added):

    “… I begin by giving all praise and honor to God … We can all benefit from turning to our Creator, listening to Him … I’m reminded that faith and values play an enormous role in motivating us to solve some of our most urgent problems … We can’t leave our values at the door … I wake up each morning and I say a brief prayer, and I spend a little time in scripture and devotion … I’d be remiss if I stopped there; if my values were limited to personal moments of prayer or private conversations with pastors or friends. So instead, I must try – imperfectly, but I must try – to make sure those values motivate me as one leader of this great nation … I believe in God’s command to “love thy neighbor as thyself” … I am my brother’s keeper and I am my sister’s keeper … Our goal should not be to declare our policies as biblical. It is God who is infallible, not us … the biblical injunctions are not just words, they are also deeds … I think we all understand that these values cannot truly find voice in our politics and our policies unless they find a place in our hearts. The Bible teaches us to “be doers of the word and not merely hearers” … I thought about my own spiritual journey – growing up in a household that wasn’t particularly religious; going through my own period of doubt and confusion; finding Christ when I wasn’t even looking for him … I have fallen on my knees with great regularity since that moment — asking God for guidance not just in my personal life and my Christian walk, but in the life of this nation and in the values that hold us together and keep us strong. I know that He will guide us. He always has, and He always will.”

    No, wait. It doesn’t surprise me. The President is a Democrat. And it’s an election year. :-D

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/national-prayer-breakfast-president-obamas-speech-transcript/2012/02/02/gIQAx7jWkQ_story.html

  • Cincinnatus

    Kirk@6: Yes. I see my work here is done. I doubt Christ would have anything definitive to say about any particular taxation policy. The fact that we ask the question is a lingering hangover from Constantinian Christianity, when we had Christian princes attempting to rule Christian principalities in a Christian way (as if there were a Christian way to rule).

  • Cincinnatus

    Kirk@6: Yes. I see my work here is done. I doubt Christ would have anything definitive to say about any particular taxation policy. The fact that we ask the question is a lingering hangover from Constantinian Christianity, when we had Christian princes attempting to rule Christian principalities in a Christian way (as if there were a Christian way to rule).

  • mikeb

    It always amazes me to see how generous liberals are with other people’s money.

  • mikeb

    It always amazes me to see how generous liberals are with other people’s money.

  • Gary

    Tom, thank you for printing a portion of this speech. I don’t remember hearing ANYTHING reported about it at all, which tells me it must be bewildering to those on the right and embarrassing to those on the left. Kudos to you for bringing this to our attention.

  • Gary

    Tom, thank you for printing a portion of this speech. I don’t remember hearing ANYTHING reported about it at all, which tells me it must be bewildering to those on the right and embarrassing to those on the left. Kudos to you for bringing this to our attention.

  • http://jdueck.net Joel D.

    Do you believe in separation of church and state, or don’t you? Christians like to have it both ways. They want to say “America is a Christian nation,” but they also don’t want our government to have any part in expressing Christ’s teachings unless it can be done without anyone having to open their tight little fists.

    Like most conservatives, I used to think of the US government as some kind of foreign entity to be grappled with. But the government is essentially us. We get together as a group and decide what to allow ourselves to do, and what do with the resources we have. If you stop artificially chopping the country into “rich,” “poor,” “middle class,” and “government,” you might find statements Obama’s line of reasoning becomes less alien.

  • http://jdueck.net Joel D.

    Do you believe in separation of church and state, or don’t you? Christians like to have it both ways. They want to say “America is a Christian nation,” but they also don’t want our government to have any part in expressing Christ’s teachings unless it can be done without anyone having to open their tight little fists.

    Like most conservatives, I used to think of the US government as some kind of foreign entity to be grappled with. But the government is essentially us. We get together as a group and decide what to allow ourselves to do, and what do with the resources we have. If you stop artificially chopping the country into “rich,” “poor,” “middle class,” and “government,” you might find statements Obama’s line of reasoning becomes less alien.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    They want to say “America is a Christian nation,”

    Uh, but that just means lots of Christians live here, not that Christianity is enforced on the people.

    but they also don’t want our government to have any part in expressing Christ’s teachings

    Sounds right. That is the job of Christians not Caesar.

    “unless it can be done without anyone having to open their tight little fists.”

    Uh, whose tight little fists? It appears that those who are all for increasing taxes are the ones not giving much to charity. And they want to want to increase taxes on those who are giving to charity. Not sure how that is going to net out more dollars to create utopia.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    They want to say “America is a Christian nation,”

    Uh, but that just means lots of Christians live here, not that Christianity is enforced on the people.

    but they also don’t want our government to have any part in expressing Christ’s teachings

    Sounds right. That is the job of Christians not Caesar.

    “unless it can be done without anyone having to open their tight little fists.”

    Uh, whose tight little fists? It appears that those who are all for increasing taxes are the ones not giving much to charity. And they want to want to increase taxes on those who are giving to charity. Not sure how that is going to net out more dollars to create utopia.

  • CRB

    I recently heard a sermon in which the preacher cited a statistic that said, “on a global basis, Americans are in the 1-2% category of being “rich.”

  • CRB

    I recently heard a sermon in which the preacher cited a statistic that said, “on a global basis, Americans are in the 1-2% category of being “rich.”

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @14 Yeah that comes with being productive. Folks in the US invent tons of stuff that makes life better for everyone, and no surprise, folks want to buy stuff that makes life better. We aren’t rich from just sitting and doing nothing.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @14 Yeah that comes with being productive. Folks in the US invent tons of stuff that makes life better for everyone, and no surprise, folks want to buy stuff that makes life better. We aren’t rich from just sitting and doing nothing.

  • CRB

    Indeed, we are “rich” because the Lord has blessed us in His mercy.

  • CRB

    Indeed, we are “rich” because the Lord has blessed us in His mercy.

  • DonS

    As most have said above, Obama misapplied Scripture, as Hilary did four years ago, as Pelosi has done, etc. Christ was talking to the church — to us as individuals. He was most certainly not advocating for a particular form of government, or for enforcing charity through confiscatory tax rates. II Cor. 9:7 says that God loves a cheerful giver. He wants us to give voluntarily, because of love for our neighbors, not under threat of law on a tax return.

    When you vote to tax “the rich”, or “the smokers” or “the drinkers”, you are not fulfilling Christ’s mandate to love your neighbor. Just a heads up.

  • DonS

    As most have said above, Obama misapplied Scripture, as Hilary did four years ago, as Pelosi has done, etc. Christ was talking to the church — to us as individuals. He was most certainly not advocating for a particular form of government, or for enforcing charity through confiscatory tax rates. II Cor. 9:7 says that God loves a cheerful giver. He wants us to give voluntarily, because of love for our neighbors, not under threat of law on a tax return.

    When you vote to tax “the rich”, or “the smokers” or “the drinkers”, you are not fulfilling Christ’s mandate to love your neighbor. Just a heads up.

  • Jimmy Veith

    Thank you Tom Hering @ 8 for providing a site that contains the entire speech. I listened to it on the radio, and thought that it was very good.

    To Susan @2. There is no way that any fair minded person that actually read or listened to the speech would conclude that “The president here is putting the federal government squarely in the place of God!”. Really? Where did you get that idea?

    May I suggest that before commenting on the speech, it might be a good idea to read or listen to it first.

  • Jimmy Veith

    Thank you Tom Hering @ 8 for providing a site that contains the entire speech. I listened to it on the radio, and thought that it was very good.

    To Susan @2. There is no way that any fair minded person that actually read or listened to the speech would conclude that “The president here is putting the federal government squarely in the place of God!”. Really? Where did you get that idea?

    May I suggest that before commenting on the speech, it might be a good idea to read or listen to it first.

  • Anonymous

    Love the assumption that the fruit of your labor/investment comes from the government. :P

  • Anonymous

    Love the assumption that the fruit of your labor/investment comes from the government. :P

  • Grace

    I posted and commented on this blog “Declaring war on religion” February 2 2012 – Post 27 regarding the National Prayer Breakfast and Obama’s remarks.

    http://www.geneveith.com/2012/02/02/declaring-war-on-religion/#comments

    Obama: I Pushed Dodd-Frank And Health Care Reform Because Of Christ

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/zekejmiller/obama-i-pushed-dodd-frank-and-health-care-reform

    Regarding Obama’s remark:

    “But I also do it because I know that far too many neighbors in our country have been hurt and treated unfairly over the last few years, and I believe in God’s command to ‘love thy neighbor as thyself.

    When Obama supports abortion, he gives no care or love to the infant in the womb, it’s heartless. It’s the nearest neighbor any woman has, when carrying her child.

  • Grace

    I posted and commented on this blog “Declaring war on religion” February 2 2012 – Post 27 regarding the National Prayer Breakfast and Obama’s remarks.

    http://www.geneveith.com/2012/02/02/declaring-war-on-religion/#comments

    Obama: I Pushed Dodd-Frank And Health Care Reform Because Of Christ

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/zekejmiller/obama-i-pushed-dodd-frank-and-health-care-reform

    Regarding Obama’s remark:

    “But I also do it because I know that far too many neighbors in our country have been hurt and treated unfairly over the last few years, and I believe in God’s command to ‘love thy neighbor as thyself.

    When Obama supports abortion, he gives no care or love to the infant in the womb, it’s heartless. It’s the nearest neighbor any woman has, when carrying her child.

  • Susan

    Dear Jimmy Veith.

    Did you notice the “Re:”? It means regarding. The idea you object to is written in the article. It’s not original to me. If you want to fuss, fuss at me for agreeing with your brother.

    May I suggest that before offering snotty criticism, you look for the text being quoted or take the time to actually read the article and/or comment? Gee, doesn’t it feel good to get snotty remarks thrown right back ‘atcha?

  • Susan

    Dear Jimmy Veith.

    Did you notice the “Re:”? It means regarding. The idea you object to is written in the article. It’s not original to me. If you want to fuss, fuss at me for agreeing with your brother.

    May I suggest that before offering snotty criticism, you look for the text being quoted or take the time to actually read the article and/or comment? Gee, doesn’t it feel good to get snotty remarks thrown right back ‘atcha?

  • Jimmy Veith

    To Susan @ 21.
    I agree. You did not make the comment that “The president here is putting the federal government squarely in the place of God!” However, you clearly agreed with it when you said “I think that is an extremely important point and one to be well heeded.”

    Now, if the comment is limited to an argument that he wrongly interpreted Luke 12:48, then I think that is a fair comment.

    However, I interpreted your comment to mean that the statement: “The president here is putting the federal government squarely in the place of God!”, has broader implications and can be used to explain other policies of this administration which you may disagree with. I think that is going too far.

    If you read the entire speech, I don’t think you can come to the conclusion that the President believes the federal government can replace God in any way. That is the opposite of what he said in his speech. That is the only point I wanted to make.

    By the way, the fact that you may agree with my brother does not mean that I am less likely to make a “snooty” comment. In fact, since I am the younger “snooty” brother it might make it more likely. It is my nature. However, I suppose that is no excuse. So I apologize for being “snooty”.

  • Jimmy Veith

    To Susan @ 21.
    I agree. You did not make the comment that “The president here is putting the federal government squarely in the place of God!” However, you clearly agreed with it when you said “I think that is an extremely important point and one to be well heeded.”

    Now, if the comment is limited to an argument that he wrongly interpreted Luke 12:48, then I think that is a fair comment.

    However, I interpreted your comment to mean that the statement: “The president here is putting the federal government squarely in the place of God!”, has broader implications and can be used to explain other policies of this administration which you may disagree with. I think that is going too far.

    If you read the entire speech, I don’t think you can come to the conclusion that the President believes the federal government can replace God in any way. That is the opposite of what he said in his speech. That is the only point I wanted to make.

    By the way, the fact that you may agree with my brother does not mean that I am less likely to make a “snooty” comment. In fact, since I am the younger “snooty” brother it might make it more likely. It is my nature. However, I suppose that is no excuse. So I apologize for being “snooty”.

  • John C

    I don’t mind paying taxes SK Peterson. I would like to pay more tax if it meant all citizens had access to health care, not just in my villiage or state but across the nation. I would say much the same about other areas of nation building; public education, universities, libraries, roads, garbage collection……………
    I like the idea that my taxes contribute to the greater good.
    Governments are sometimes inefficient and occasionally they stumble, as does the free market, but those institutions that support civil society evolve and survive.

  • John C

    I don’t mind paying taxes SK Peterson. I would like to pay more tax if it meant all citizens had access to health care, not just in my villiage or state but across the nation. I would say much the same about other areas of nation building; public education, universities, libraries, roads, garbage collection……………
    I like the idea that my taxes contribute to the greater good.
    Governments are sometimes inefficient and occasionally they stumble, as does the free market, but those institutions that support civil society evolve and survive.

  • Susan

    Apology accepted, Jimmy. I must be quite a bit older than you. I wrote snotty not snooty.

    If you wish to disagree – that’s fine. I still stand in agreement with your brother. It’s idolatry. It doesn’t matter that Obama is clueless about it. Clueless is clueless. He also seems clueless to the points the keynote speaker, Eric Metaxas, made about abortion, phony religion, and using the bible as a weapon. But that’s the story of Obama. His faith wasn’t shaped in a church that taught orthodoxy, but a church that taught liberation theology and belonged to the UCC with formal written commitments to progressive items like pro-Palestine, pro-abortion, social gospel/justice, and so forth. Obama’s religious formation and his secular formation are clearly seen in his domestic and foreign policies. And that’s all I have to say about that.

  • Susan

    Apology accepted, Jimmy. I must be quite a bit older than you. I wrote snotty not snooty.

    If you wish to disagree – that’s fine. I still stand in agreement with your brother. It’s idolatry. It doesn’t matter that Obama is clueless about it. Clueless is clueless. He also seems clueless to the points the keynote speaker, Eric Metaxas, made about abortion, phony religion, and using the bible as a weapon. But that’s the story of Obama. His faith wasn’t shaped in a church that taught orthodoxy, but a church that taught liberation theology and belonged to the UCC with formal written commitments to progressive items like pro-Palestine, pro-abortion, social gospel/justice, and so forth. Obama’s religious formation and his secular formation are clearly seen in his domestic and foreign policies. And that’s all I have to say about that.

  • Cincinnatus

    Like all politicians, Obama is a sociopathic liar who will pander to the sensibilities of a desired voting bloc–in this case, progressive Christians/mainstreamers–by any means necessary. That often means (intentionally) misinterpreting and bastardizing Scripture by enslaving it to a petty ideological soapbox. I fail to see what’s so surprising here. Republicans do it, Democrats do it. God remains silent because his Word isn’t actually being spoken.

  • Cincinnatus

    Like all politicians, Obama is a sociopathic liar who will pander to the sensibilities of a desired voting bloc–in this case, progressive Christians/mainstreamers–by any means necessary. That often means (intentionally) misinterpreting and bastardizing Scripture by enslaving it to a petty ideological soapbox. I fail to see what’s so surprising here. Republicans do it, Democrats do it. God remains silent because his Word isn’t actually being spoken.

  • Michael B.

    Obama is definitely (deliberately?) misinterpreting the teaching of Jesus. The historical Jesus taught that the world was coming to an end soon, and people shouldn’t care about money or taxes (It would be like rearranging the deck furniture on the Titanic.) For Jesus, there wasn’t going to be a long term, so social programs like Medicare or anything else would be considered dumb idea.

    Liberals often distort Jesus’s teachings, by acting like Jesus would have been okay with homosexuals. To be fair, you’ll hear conservatives far more often bastardize Jesus’s teachings, by acting like it’s okay to be rich.

  • Michael B.

    Obama is definitely (deliberately?) misinterpreting the teaching of Jesus. The historical Jesus taught that the world was coming to an end soon, and people shouldn’t care about money or taxes (It would be like rearranging the deck furniture on the Titanic.) For Jesus, there wasn’t going to be a long term, so social programs like Medicare or anything else would be considered dumb idea.

    Liberals often distort Jesus’s teachings, by acting like Jesus would have been okay with homosexuals. To be fair, you’ll hear conservatives far more often bastardize Jesus’s teachings, by acting like it’s okay to be rich.

  • Grace

    Michael @ 26

    “To be fair, you’ll hear conservatives far more often bastardize Jesus’s teachings, by acting like it’s okay to be rich.

    I don’t believe it’s wrong to be rich, God gives some people great amounts of money. Some give enormous amounts to church, building hospitals, helping the poor, making it possible for those in poor countries to have orphanges, hospitals, doctors, nurses, teachers, and those who will teach the Gospel.

    When Jesus was taken from the cross, it was Joseph of Arimathaea a very rich man who, with Nicodemus took the body of Jesus, prepared him for burial. Joseph of Arimathaea was a disciple of Jesus.

    57 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple:

    58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. Matthew 27

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    38 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.

    39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.

    40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.

    41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.

    42 There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand. John 19

  • Grace

    Michael @ 26

    “To be fair, you’ll hear conservatives far more often bastardize Jesus’s teachings, by acting like it’s okay to be rich.

    I don’t believe it’s wrong to be rich, God gives some people great amounts of money. Some give enormous amounts to church, building hospitals, helping the poor, making it possible for those in poor countries to have orphanges, hospitals, doctors, nurses, teachers, and those who will teach the Gospel.

    When Jesus was taken from the cross, it was Joseph of Arimathaea a very rich man who, with Nicodemus took the body of Jesus, prepared him for burial. Joseph of Arimathaea was a disciple of Jesus.

    57 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple:

    58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. Matthew 27

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    38 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.

    39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.

    40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.

    41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.

    42 There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand. John 19

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Jimmy, I was specifically referring to President Obama’s use of that text in Luke to say that the rich should be “required” to pay more taxes. The reference is to God giving and requiring things, not the federal government. But notice how I am being fair to your side in pointing out the assumptions that both liberals and conservatives bring to the question of taxes and how Christians need to be careful in their anti-tax rhetoric lest they violate the spirit of the New Testament commands to pay taxes.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Jimmy, I was specifically referring to President Obama’s use of that text in Luke to say that the rich should be “required” to pay more taxes. The reference is to God giving and requiring things, not the federal government. But notice how I am being fair to your side in pointing out the assumptions that both liberals and conservatives bring to the question of taxes and how Christians need to be careful in their anti-tax rhetoric lest they violate the spirit of the New Testament commands to pay taxes.

  • Jimmy Veith

    Yes, I did notice that you were being fair to our side in pointing out that Christians need to be careful in their anti-tax rhetoric. Thanks.

    Do you agree with this part of his speech:

    “Now, we can earnestly seek to see these values lived out in our politics and our policies, and we can earnestly disagree on the best way to achieve these values. In the words of C.S. Lewis, “Christianity has not, and does not profess to have a detailed political program. It is meant for all men at all times, and the particular program which suited one place or time would not suit another.”

    Our goal should not be to declare our policies as biblical. It is God who is infallible, not us. Michelle reminds me of this often. (Laughter.) So instead, it is our hope that people of goodwill can pursue their values and common ground and the common good as best they know how, with respect for each other. And I have to say that sometimes we talk about respect, but we don’t act with respect towards each other during the course of these debates.”

    I don’t think that there are any verses in the bible that require that capital gains tax rate must remain at 15%, or that health insurance companies should be allowed to deny coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. I think that people of faith can have honest disagreements on issues like these.

  • Jimmy Veith

    Yes, I did notice that you were being fair to our side in pointing out that Christians need to be careful in their anti-tax rhetoric. Thanks.

    Do you agree with this part of his speech:

    “Now, we can earnestly seek to see these values lived out in our politics and our policies, and we can earnestly disagree on the best way to achieve these values. In the words of C.S. Lewis, “Christianity has not, and does not profess to have a detailed political program. It is meant for all men at all times, and the particular program which suited one place or time would not suit another.”

    Our goal should not be to declare our policies as biblical. It is God who is infallible, not us. Michelle reminds me of this often. (Laughter.) So instead, it is our hope that people of goodwill can pursue their values and common ground and the common good as best they know how, with respect for each other. And I have to say that sometimes we talk about respect, but we don’t act with respect towards each other during the course of these debates.”

    I don’t think that there are any verses in the bible that require that capital gains tax rate must remain at 15%, or that health insurance companies should be allowed to deny coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. I think that people of faith can have honest disagreements on issues like these.

  • mikeb

    John C @ 23

    I don’t mind paying taxes SK Peterson. I would like to pay more tax if it meant…

    That’s what the larger debate is about. The proper role for and the size and scope of government. No one is arguing that we shouldn’t have roads and infrastructure, a modest safety net for the poor. Those are clearly things we cannot provide for ourselves. But healthcare? Why stop there? Why not dictate everyone gets a car–a nice car, a BMW? Why not say everyone gets government provided shoes, say a sweet pair of Nike or Reebok running shoes? Why, we could just raise taxes to cover it all. How much is too much? Why not make the tax rate 100% and have the government provide for all of our needs?

    As government commits to providing for more and more needs, as it taxes to pay for them, all of our liberties–not just those protected under the First Amendment–are restricted. This is true whether you are liberal or conservative.

  • mikeb

    John C @ 23

    I don’t mind paying taxes SK Peterson. I would like to pay more tax if it meant…

    That’s what the larger debate is about. The proper role for and the size and scope of government. No one is arguing that we shouldn’t have roads and infrastructure, a modest safety net for the poor. Those are clearly things we cannot provide for ourselves. But healthcare? Why stop there? Why not dictate everyone gets a car–a nice car, a BMW? Why not say everyone gets government provided shoes, say a sweet pair of Nike or Reebok running shoes? Why, we could just raise taxes to cover it all. How much is too much? Why not make the tax rate 100% and have the government provide for all of our needs?

    As government commits to providing for more and more needs, as it taxes to pay for them, all of our liberties–not just those protected under the First Amendment–are restricted. This is true whether you are liberal or conservative.

  • Grace

    Jimmy Veith @ 29

    “I don’t think that there are any verses in the bible that require that capital gains tax rate must remain at 15%, or that health insurance companies should be allowed to deny coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. I think that people of faith can have honest disagreements on issues like these.”

    The Bible vs: capitol gains? – you Jimmy, are debating as someone who is either playing a game with another, or, you are baiting anyone who will challenge you on your comparison. Either way you LOSE.

  • Grace

    Jimmy Veith @ 29

    “I don’t think that there are any verses in the bible that require that capital gains tax rate must remain at 15%, or that health insurance companies should be allowed to deny coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. I think that people of faith can have honest disagreements on issues like these.”

    The Bible vs: capitol gains? – you Jimmy, are debating as someone who is either playing a game with another, or, you are baiting anyone who will challenge you on your comparison. Either way you LOSE.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Grace, I agree absolutely with Jimmy here – and I’m not sure what the intent of your statement is. those that try and co-opt the bible for their political program is just plain wrong. Period.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Grace, I agree absolutely with Jimmy here – and I’m not sure what the intent of your statement is. those that try and co-opt the bible for their political program is just plain wrong. Period.

  • John C

    I don’t want a BMW in every Garage, mikeb.
    I do think that in a just society, no one should be deprived of health care just because they cannot afford it. So, governments intervene in the market to raise funds and provide services and set standards. As a rule, those countries that have the the greatest reliance on private health care have the most expensive health costs. The US is a classic case.
    In fact one could argue that the great step forward for developed nations over the last 50 was not just the success of capitalism over socialism/communism but it was more the way in which liberal democracies distributed their ever increasing wealth through institutions like universal health care.

  • John C

    I don’t want a BMW in every Garage, mikeb.
    I do think that in a just society, no one should be deprived of health care just because they cannot afford it. So, governments intervene in the market to raise funds and provide services and set standards. As a rule, those countries that have the the greatest reliance on private health care have the most expensive health costs. The US is a classic case.
    In fact one could argue that the great step forward for developed nations over the last 50 was not just the success of capitalism over socialism/communism but it was more the way in which liberal democracies distributed their ever increasing wealth through institutions like universal health care.

  • Pingback: What Would Jesus Do? Tax The Rich Obama Says: What Would Muhammad Do? Tax The Poor ~ Thats What Obama HAS Done Using Taqiyya! | Political Vel Craft

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  • mikeb

    John C @ 33

    “As a rule, those countries that have the the greatest reliance on private health care have the most expensive health costs.”

    They typically get better results, too. Why do you think people with means from all over the globe come to the US? It’s because socialized medicine reduces the level of care patients receive under the auspices of promoting equality and fairness.

    I applaud the work of religious institutions who’ve set up healthcare centers. We have a very fine Catholic hospital system where I live and it was built long before the government decided it was it’s job to make sure I’m cared for.

    The government has its hands full fixing potholes; I say we should let honorable charities care for the poorest among us. Catholic hospitals are a fine example of how that can work.

  • mikeb

    John C @ 33

    “As a rule, those countries that have the the greatest reliance on private health care have the most expensive health costs.”

    They typically get better results, too. Why do you think people with means from all over the globe come to the US? It’s because socialized medicine reduces the level of care patients receive under the auspices of promoting equality and fairness.

    I applaud the work of religious institutions who’ve set up healthcare centers. We have a very fine Catholic hospital system where I live and it was built long before the government decided it was it’s job to make sure I’m cared for.

    The government has its hands full fixing potholes; I say we should let honorable charities care for the poorest among us. Catholic hospitals are a fine example of how that can work.

  • Grace

    mikeb – 34

    “The government has its hands full fixing potholes; I say we should let honorable charities care for the poorest among us. Catholic hospitals are a fine example of how that can work.”

    You are right! Presbyterian Hospitals another, people who have great funds, have supported these hospitals and staffed them with some of the finest doctors, nurses and special services.

    St. Joseph’s in Orange, Ca. is another example.

    Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles is a standing reminder of those who have given unselfishly of their money and time. The doctors who are affiliated with this hospital are outstanding. They are affiliated with UCLA and USC .
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cedars-Sinai_Medical_Center

  • Grace

    mikeb – 34

    “The government has its hands full fixing potholes; I say we should let honorable charities care for the poorest among us. Catholic hospitals are a fine example of how that can work.”

    You are right! Presbyterian Hospitals another, people who have great funds, have supported these hospitals and staffed them with some of the finest doctors, nurses and special services.

    St. Joseph’s in Orange, Ca. is another example.

    Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles is a standing reminder of those who have given unselfishly of their money and time. The doctors who are affiliated with this hospital are outstanding. They are affiliated with UCLA and USC .
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cedars-Sinai_Medical_Center

  • John C

    The argument is not about the quality of Catholic hospitals and doctors. The argument is about who gets treated,who pays and how can costs be constained.
    I would add that every advanced economy has some form of universal health care system. That is what developed economies do. Sure, you will have to pay more in taxes but isn’t it worth it to ensure sure everyone has access to health care. Taxes are the price you pay for civilization.
    One more thing mike. There is no such thing as the “free market”. You’re living in a mixed economy. The government intervenes in the market in all sorts of ways in order to produce market stability. That is not going to change no matter how many Ron Pauls are sent to Congress.

  • John C

    The argument is not about the quality of Catholic hospitals and doctors. The argument is about who gets treated,who pays and how can costs be constained.
    I would add that every advanced economy has some form of universal health care system. That is what developed economies do. Sure, you will have to pay more in taxes but isn’t it worth it to ensure sure everyone has access to health care. Taxes are the price you pay for civilization.
    One more thing mike. There is no such thing as the “free market”. You’re living in a mixed economy. The government intervenes in the market in all sorts of ways in order to produce market stability. That is not going to change no matter how many Ron Pauls are sent to Congress.

  • mikeb

    John C @36

    “The argument is about who gets treated,who pays and how can costs be constained.”

    Exactly. My argument is that 1)people get better treatment from charitable hospitals because they offer compassion, 2)when government gets involved it lacks that level of care, and 3)the best way to curtail costs is through individual accountability.

    I know of no charitable hospitals that turn people away on account of an inability to pay. Our local Sister’s of Mercy health system is a prime example. Everyone has heard of St. Jude’s. There are others.

    I do know from my father’s experience and the experience of my wife’s grandfather that Veterans Administration (government run) hospitals routinely turn patients away, deliver substandard “take a number” level of care.

    Finally, controlling my healthcare costs is my responsibility. There have been times when I’ve discussed tests, courses of treatment with my physician, and determined the level of care I was willing to pay for. Turns out I was right, cause the infection went away. Moreover, if I wasn’t paying the bill out of pocket think of how many extra tests I’d have been willing to undergo only to provide the same outcome.

    John C, I never said anything about the “free market”. We can have that debate on another day. Right now it’s taxes and healthcare. You say you want people to be treated. Me to. You say taxes are the price of civilization. I agree. The question isn’t “whether” but “who” and “how much.”

  • mikeb

    John C @36

    “The argument is about who gets treated,who pays and how can costs be constained.”

    Exactly. My argument is that 1)people get better treatment from charitable hospitals because they offer compassion, 2)when government gets involved it lacks that level of care, and 3)the best way to curtail costs is through individual accountability.

    I know of no charitable hospitals that turn people away on account of an inability to pay. Our local Sister’s of Mercy health system is a prime example. Everyone has heard of St. Jude’s. There are others.

    I do know from my father’s experience and the experience of my wife’s grandfather that Veterans Administration (government run) hospitals routinely turn patients away, deliver substandard “take a number” level of care.

    Finally, controlling my healthcare costs is my responsibility. There have been times when I’ve discussed tests, courses of treatment with my physician, and determined the level of care I was willing to pay for. Turns out I was right, cause the infection went away. Moreover, if I wasn’t paying the bill out of pocket think of how many extra tests I’d have been willing to undergo only to provide the same outcome.

    John C, I never said anything about the “free market”. We can have that debate on another day. Right now it’s taxes and healthcare. You say you want people to be treated. Me to. You say taxes are the price of civilization. I agree. The question isn’t “whether” but “who” and “how much.”

  • John C

    You may not have mentioned the free market but you did say that socialized medicine reduces the level of care. An assertion that was not supported by any evidence.
    I’m pleased St Jude does good work and and the decisions you have made regarding your health have been successful. But one hospital in your community does not make a national health care system.
    Nor can Veteran Affairs be held responsible for a system that appears to be chronically under- resourced.
    I would also add that my brother in law has just just has just undergone an operation for a rare form of liver cancer at his local public hospital in Sydney and seems to doing well and my wife is in remission after battling non hodgkin’s lymphoma at another public hospital in the same city.
    I have nothing but praise for Australia’s public health system. I think most Australians take a quiet pride in a system that seems to work and is available to all, rich and poor alike.

  • John C

    You may not have mentioned the free market but you did say that socialized medicine reduces the level of care. An assertion that was not supported by any evidence.
    I’m pleased St Jude does good work and and the decisions you have made regarding your health have been successful. But one hospital in your community does not make a national health care system.
    Nor can Veteran Affairs be held responsible for a system that appears to be chronically under- resourced.
    I would also add that my brother in law has just just has just undergone an operation for a rare form of liver cancer at his local public hospital in Sydney and seems to doing well and my wife is in remission after battling non hodgkin’s lymphoma at another public hospital in the same city.
    I have nothing but praise for Australia’s public health system. I think most Australians take a quiet pride in a system that seems to work and is available to all, rich and poor alike.

  • Michael B.

    “Why do you think people with means from all over the globe come to the US?”

    A myth. In fact, the reverse is true (google medical tourism). If you can show me any kind of reliable source indicating this, I’ll change my mind.

  • Michael B.

    “Why do you think people with means from all over the globe come to the US?”

    A myth. In fact, the reverse is true (google medical tourism). If you can show me any kind of reliable source indicating this, I’ll change my mind.

  • mikeb

    Michael B., John C.:

    Myth? Saudi King seeks treatment in U.S. Sure, it’s from Reuters. But they do get some things right.

    Myth? Canadian official has heart surgery — in the U.S. Again, it’s the Washington Post. Can we trust it?

    Some 750,000 Americans travel abroad for treatment while approximately 500,000 foreigners come here for treatment. I suspect some of those Americans are seeking treatments that haven’t received FDA approval. None of which discounts the fact that we have the best healthcare system in the world.

    Our VA medical system is socialized medicine. The examples I gave are not uncommon. And it’s a picture of what we can all expect, I fear, going forward. It’s a scary thought.

    Moreover, John C., I’ve heard similar stories by way of a friend in Brisbane so maybe some of you Aussies are satisfied but I’m still not convinced. Perhaps you are satisfied but its a level of care and compassion below what is currently available in the U.S.

  • mikeb

    Michael B., John C.:

    Myth? Saudi King seeks treatment in U.S. Sure, it’s from Reuters. But they do get some things right.

    Myth? Canadian official has heart surgery — in the U.S. Again, it’s the Washington Post. Can we trust it?

    Some 750,000 Americans travel abroad for treatment while approximately 500,000 foreigners come here for treatment. I suspect some of those Americans are seeking treatments that haven’t received FDA approval. None of which discounts the fact that we have the best healthcare system in the world.

    Our VA medical system is socialized medicine. The examples I gave are not uncommon. And it’s a picture of what we can all expect, I fear, going forward. It’s a scary thought.

    Moreover, John C., I’ve heard similar stories by way of a friend in Brisbane so maybe some of you Aussies are satisfied but I’m still not convinced. Perhaps you are satisfied but its a level of care and compassion below what is currently available in the U.S.

  • Grace

    mikeb @ 40

    “Some 750,000 Americans travel abroad for treatment while approximately 500,000 foreigners come here for treatment. I suspect some of those Americans are seeking treatments that haven’t received FDA approval. None of which discounts the fact that we have the best healthcare system in the world.”

    You’re right! – they go to Mexico, and other countries who claim they have the answer to cancer and other disease. You’re right again, “that haven’t received FDA approval” that’s the key, that all too many cannot understand.

    The U.S. has the best medical care. I have given endless proof many times on the blog and elsewhere. When people want to believe that socialized medicine is the answer, you rarely can change their minds, they want “FREE” they don’t want to hear anything else.

    This from the Washington Post, (LINK you posted) I’ve posted this material many times, but those who live north of the U.S. find it difficult to digest.

    Canadian official has heart surgery — in the U.S.

    What to make of reports that Canadian official Danny Williams opted to have his heart surgery in the U.S. instead of in his homeland?
    “Williams, premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, apparently needed surgery on a leaky heart valve, a problem discovered when doctors detected a heart murmur. According to news accounts, he chose to have the surgery done in Florida, where he could take advantage of a minimally invasive through-the-armpit procedure that promised to leave no scar on his chest and would allow for a speedier recovery than the traditional sternum-cracking open-heart approach.

    Many have viewed his choice as an indictment of Canada’s government-run health-care system and a sign that America’s health-care system remains superior.

    “Many have viewed his choice as an indictment of Canada’s government-run health-care system and a sign that America’s health-care system remains superior.

    Others say they’re puzzled by Williams’s choice, noting that the procedure he underwent is available in Canada.

    Allowing his words to speak as loudly as his actions, Williams, who is said to be recovering in Miami from his surgery (which according to this story took longer than expected), had explained his decision simply: “This was my heart, my choice and my health.”

    “I did not sign away my right to get the best possible health care for myself when I entered politics,” Williams said.

    That’s not much of an endorsement for Canada’s vaunted public health system. I hope that President Obama and Congress, on the eve of their health-care summit, are paying attention. And I hope that we in the U.S. won’t end up trashing our excellent, though imperfect, health-care system in our rush to “reform” it.

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/checkup/2010/02/canadian_premier_has_heart_sur.html

    Oh, the Canadian, face saving excuses and argument for SOCIALIZED HEALTH CARE!

  • Grace

    mikeb @ 40

    “Some 750,000 Americans travel abroad for treatment while approximately 500,000 foreigners come here for treatment. I suspect some of those Americans are seeking treatments that haven’t received FDA approval. None of which discounts the fact that we have the best healthcare system in the world.”

    You’re right! – they go to Mexico, and other countries who claim they have the answer to cancer and other disease. You’re right again, “that haven’t received FDA approval” that’s the key, that all too many cannot understand.

    The U.S. has the best medical care. I have given endless proof many times on the blog and elsewhere. When people want to believe that socialized medicine is the answer, you rarely can change their minds, they want “FREE” they don’t want to hear anything else.

    This from the Washington Post, (LINK you posted) I’ve posted this material many times, but those who live north of the U.S. find it difficult to digest.

    Canadian official has heart surgery — in the U.S.

    What to make of reports that Canadian official Danny Williams opted to have his heart surgery in the U.S. instead of in his homeland?
    “Williams, premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, apparently needed surgery on a leaky heart valve, a problem discovered when doctors detected a heart murmur. According to news accounts, he chose to have the surgery done in Florida, where he could take advantage of a minimally invasive through-the-armpit procedure that promised to leave no scar on his chest and would allow for a speedier recovery than the traditional sternum-cracking open-heart approach.

    Many have viewed his choice as an indictment of Canada’s government-run health-care system and a sign that America’s health-care system remains superior.

    “Many have viewed his choice as an indictment of Canada’s government-run health-care system and a sign that America’s health-care system remains superior.

    Others say they’re puzzled by Williams’s choice, noting that the procedure he underwent is available in Canada.

    Allowing his words to speak as loudly as his actions, Williams, who is said to be recovering in Miami from his surgery (which according to this story took longer than expected), had explained his decision simply: “This was my heart, my choice and my health.”

    “I did not sign away my right to get the best possible health care for myself when I entered politics,” Williams said.

    That’s not much of an endorsement for Canada’s vaunted public health system. I hope that President Obama and Congress, on the eve of their health-care summit, are paying attention. And I hope that we in the U.S. won’t end up trashing our excellent, though imperfect, health-care system in our rush to “reform” it.

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/checkup/2010/02/canadian_premier_has_heart_sur.html

    Oh, the Canadian, face saving excuses and argument for SOCIALIZED HEALTH CARE!

  • John C

    Our level of compassion and care is greater than your level of compassion and care.
    Gee, it’s a bold claim. I wonder if you’re right?

  • John C

    Our level of compassion and care is greater than your level of compassion and care.
    Gee, it’s a bold claim. I wonder if you’re right?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Gracie, Gracie, we’ve been through this before,
    But you yanked the article out of your great store.
    You ignore the facts, You do not see the whole picture,
    Gracie, Gracie, my, you are a great bore!

    Gracie, Gracie, why pick on us up here?
    You sure like to install for us a great fear.
    Why, I do not see, it surely doesn’t make sense,
    Gracie, Gracie, you are certainly not being a dear!

    In Response to #41.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Gracie, Gracie, we’ve been through this before,
    But you yanked the article out of your great store.
    You ignore the facts, You do not see the whole picture,
    Gracie, Gracie, my, you are a great bore!

    Gracie, Gracie, why pick on us up here?
    You sure like to install for us a great fear.
    Why, I do not see, it surely doesn’t make sense,
    Gracie, Gracie, you are certainly not being a dear!

    In Response to #41.

  • mikeb

    John C @ 42

    “Our level of compassion and care is greater…”

    Perhaps you’re right: I wasn’t being as charitable as I should have been when I said that as I know of no way to measure and back this claim up. All I know is that I’m satisfied with our healthcare system in the U.S. and it would seem that a majority of people agree with me. The issue of access to treatment has been exaggerated for political gain and poll after poll continually shows solid majorities of Americans support repeal of Obamacare and a fear that it will make matters worse. Our system has its flaws, as does the socialized systems and I continue to believe that even with those blemishes we have a better system than we will once the program is fully implemented and we suddenly find ourselves in a single payer state run system. It’s not a program designed to lift the floor but lower the ceiling of care under the guise of fairness, equality, and cost control.

  • mikeb

    John C @ 42

    “Our level of compassion and care is greater…”

    Perhaps you’re right: I wasn’t being as charitable as I should have been when I said that as I know of no way to measure and back this claim up. All I know is that I’m satisfied with our healthcare system in the U.S. and it would seem that a majority of people agree with me. The issue of access to treatment has been exaggerated for political gain and poll after poll continually shows solid majorities of Americans support repeal of Obamacare and a fear that it will make matters worse. Our system has its flaws, as does the socialized systems and I continue to believe that even with those blemishes we have a better system than we will once the program is fully implemented and we suddenly find ourselves in a single payer state run system. It’s not a program designed to lift the floor but lower the ceiling of care under the guise of fairness, equality, and cost control.

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