Why Obamacare Fails to Get God’s Vote (Part 2)

Why Obamacare Fails to Get God’s Vote (Part 2) June 7, 2012

As one commentator wisely noted, when I say that Obamacare fails to get Gods vote in Part 1 of this series, I don’t mean that God actually has to show a photo ID to cast a ballot. I do mean that the Just Judge of all men is taking notes. I concur with Franklin, the non-believer ironically, that God governs in the affairs of men.

Photo via http://college.wakeforest.edu

Since it’s only day two of my hanging out with the awesome writers at Patheos, I’ll point to my home site for those who want to know more about me for now. My latest project is here. My passion is connecting real life with real faith.

And enjoying every minute of it. Alright, I confess. Some minutes are occasionally less than enjoyable. But not for long.

My first post suggested the first of five reasons that Obamacare fails to get God’s vote. Subscribe now to the right to make sure you don’t miss any.

The first reason why Obamacare fails to get God’s vote is that God requires rulers to keep their covenant with the people. It is an argument from tautology. The Constitution is the covenant agreement between us and our leaders. If they do something unconstitutional, they have broken the agreement. Breaking agreements is frowned upon by God. Easy enough.

Here’s the second reason:

2.  God rewards those who put their trust in Him.

Where is our trust? We really can’t get more real life than with our health care. It’s easy to say we trust our Maker, but illness tends to expose our real hope for strength – for better or worse. Psalm 118:8 presents us with a distinct choice: “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” It’s not that we can’t have any confidence in other people. Certainly not. We were made to be interdependent creatures. But as the late great Charles Colson said, “Where is our hope?”

Should our trust ultimately be in – as Augustine memorably put it – the City of God or the City of Man? The Biblical answer is evident in but a few of the hundreds of possible texts:

  • “For the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.” (Prov. 3:26 ESV)
  • “In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.” (Prov. 14:26 ESV)
  • “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Ps. 18:2 NKJV)
  • “As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.” (Ps. 18:30 NKJV)
  • “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.” (Ps. 20:7 NKJV)

In our haste to find solutions to practical problems such as health care for those in need, we must be ever wary not to follow our natural fallen tendency to put our confidence in ourselves. Because that’s what government is – just us, with power derived from the consent of the governed.  Also us.

What could possibly go wrong?

Obamacare lays the groundwork for a nearly infinite expansion of governmental control – the City of Man.  As Justice Scalia sagely inquired during oral arguments, what would stop the government from requiring us even to buy broccoli? Unlike President Bush 41, I like broccoli. Have some growing nicely now in one of my many gardens. But that’s hardly the point. The question is have we given up trusting in God for our national guidance and ultimate security and instead chosen to put our confidence in His creation? People no more wiser than we ourselves? Ask those closest to you how often that trust doesn’t work out.

Government is simply concentrated power entrusted to the frailest of hands. As such, it should be the last place we put our trust.  Given our natural bent toward self-interest and greed, we will most often choose the path of least resistance rather than the path of true morality. Is that where we want to put our trust as a nation? In ourselves?

What happened to “In God We Trust”?

God rewards those who put their confidence in Him.

We don’t have to like it. But we do have to live with it. “Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” (Ps. 100:3 NKJV)

NEXT: Why Obamacare Fails to Get God’s Vote (part 3)

Do you agree that Obamacare shifts our trust significantly toward government instead of toward God?  Leave a comment below to engage the conversation.

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  • Jennifer

    Do you take your children to the emergency room when they are very ill? Do you put trust in men (women/doctors) to HELP heal them? Am I going against God’s directives when I make the choice to do so? Is my country (Canada) less moral than yours because we have Universal Health Care?

    You state: “We really can’t get more real life than with our health care… The question is have we given up trusting in God for our national guidance and ultimate security and instead chosen to put our confidence in His creation?” The very Constitution that you think should frame the decisions of your citizens gives the government the right to form a military. Are you saying that the American Constitution promotes a trust in man rather than God? The formation of your rather impressive military has not yet resulted in a broccoli law. We don’t have any vegetable laws in Canada, either, despite our healthcare system.

    I have a very strong if “still learning” faith in God. I enjoy access to Universal Healthcare and have made use of it on many occasions. I felt very close to God when my husband was critically ill with meningitis and I had a young baby with a severe ear infection that I couldn’t treat in case the medication masked early symptoms of meningitis. It was not my experience that trusting the doctors to do their job made my faith in God’s Will any less. My ultimate hope was still with God.

    I don’t believe that Obamacare shifts trust toward government instead of toward God any more than I believe hospitals, the military and public education do.

    • netprophet

      There is a difference between all citizens having “access to healthcare” and having a single-payer government-run utilitarian (the greatest good for the greatest #) approach. Obamacare violates the biblical mandate of compassion (suffering alongside another) because it turns over the the Federal government all aspects of funding healthcare. That means the government, as already shown can withhold funding when THEY deem it unworkable or unaffordable as is the case with special needs people or those whose cost (people with terminal diseases) outweigh the so-called “greater good”. As is often said, “What the government gives, the government can take away.”

    • Jennifer,

      Again good remarks. Of course, I take my kids to the ER if needed. And we all have a “still learning” faith to be sure. The question I raised was a matter of degrees. Does Obamacare nuduge us more toward a faith in God or toward a faith in government? It would be difficult to find a tipping point on that scale, especially for an entire culture. But it is there, even if passed unwittingly in the dark.

      As to the Constitution point you make, it is true that our Constitution gives us the right — and duty — to form our military. But that’s precicsely the point. We the people insisted that our leaders do it as part of our national agreement with them. We did not grant them consent to force us to purchase a service. And whatever powers we did not explicitly grant them, we told them they did not have. Those powers are reserved to the individual state to act as each sees fit. Hence, you could make the case that what Romney did in Mass. is different from what Obama did in DC. Not that I’m a fan of either, but they are different.

      And I am sorry about Canada, but although you have not required the purchase of broccoli, you have restricted the right of free speech through “hate speech” laws that trample on the God-given freedom of religion. And I do believe that public education has shifted our trust decidedly more toward government. Definitely not toward God since we are not permitted to so much as speak His name in our government schools.

      I’m very glad to hear that God answered your prayers regarding your baby — and, I hope — your own health. Thanks again!

  • Jennifer

    I believe that our “hate speech” law was ruled unconstitutional in 2009 by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. Our current government has recently voted to overturn the law. I imagine that other broccoli laws would meet the same fate. And although the public schools in Ontario – full of students of many different religious beliefs – teach children about the various different religious holidays and beliefs, our government funded separate schools are very strong in the teachings of God. I’m not sure where you get the idea that we aren’t permitted to speak His name in our schools? We have an interesting situation in Alberta where parents of non-Catholic students are protesting because their children are being forced to receive religious instruction (there are no non-catholic schools in that area). I believe that some provinces do not fund Catholic schools, so there may be some truth to your statement in some parts of Canada.

    As for the points I was making about the Constitution, I was trying to determine why – given your argument that we should not put our trust in government or decisions made by man instead of God – we put our trust in a Constitution written by men. Why do we place our trust in the Framers of the Constitution to know what is best for us and to decide what is and is not appropriate for the government to run? And although you are not forced to directly purchase the service of the military, I imagine that a huge percentage of your income taxes goes toward national defense and that paying taxes is not optional.

    Thanks again for the interesting topic of conversation. I’m eagerly awaiting your next point.

    • Good points all. Glad to hear some progress has been made on the”hate speech” laws. I know a few ministers who landed in jail because of them. Of course, we have our won similar issues. Perhaps we are talking over top of each other because we’re talking about twe different countries and systems. I know our schools in the US, not the CAndian school. Here, there is little room to permit God in.

      Thanks fo engaging. More on Monday! I posted something more about me at http://www.BillintheBlank.com today.

  • Jay Saldana

    Your arguments are very seductive as you consistently remind us of your conservative bone fidies and then go on to use arguments that assume we/I are in agreement with you. Speaking for myself, I find your arguments weakly linked. If the first post you assumed prophetic responsibilities as you assumed to speak for God’s vote. You assumed that if the Supreme court rules it must be not just right but morally right in a divine sense. You assumed that the breech in the covenant between the Colonies and the mother country England was by England when in fact the breech of the covenant was by the colonies. You talked about Politicians in the plural but spoke of one politician in particular, Obama, and seemed to assign all responsibility to him when he had the smallest legislative responsibility for its production by all accounts even his detractors. You assumed divine intervention in the forming of our country but forgot to mention that meant that God was giving his impremature to slavery. I am afraid that your first argument needs some work. There are a many assumptions, some misleading and others without bases in fact.
    Your second argument is brilliant in what it does not say. First, who can argue with that statement given our world view. Of course those who trust God will receive His rewards. So, given the implications, the Roman empires must have trusted God since in lasted for what – 600 years? You also assume that the Health care act will take over the world. Who said so? You quote Justice Scalia as a reference. Although I think that Justice Scalia is an incredibly intelligent man, his legal arguments are only accept by a very small majority of the most ultra-conservative scholars. In Justice Scalia’s case the old maxim applies, “No matter how sound the argument if the first premise is flawed the whole argument fails”.
    When you ask for “trust in God” I would reply why would Christian Conservatives spend billions of dollars to get their ideas out if all they had to do was “trust in God”?
    The question at the end of the second argument suggest that if we disagree we are not trusting God. I trust God as I know God trusts me to listen to his word and steer my car on the road. As he trusts me to pay my bills and raise my children according to His principals. I trust God as He depends on me to operate in this world reflecting His values. You can seldom prove a negative. inane question.
    As I read the “guts” of the Constitution I see man in his weakness struggling to achieve God’s rectitude in all man’s fallen-ness. It really bothers me, deeply, for you to call on our President as having broken his pledge to the country and to the people. I find that dangerous and against the rules of this website. First, it is absolutely wrong. Secondly you have demonstrated nothing but your opinion to say so. Please refrain from doing so in the future. It is not called for to make your case.

    • Jay,

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment even if we seemingly don’t agree on much, not even on what I wrote. As to whether or not we should call on rulers to take action to restore trust and remedy mistakes, I’ll remind you that Jesus do that with far more strident language than, frankly, I would ever use. It’s simple. If you make a mistake, face it and fix it. It doesn’t matter who you are.

  • jerry lynch

    Brother Bill, again it seems that the really pointed refutations, in my eyes,are not answered by you, for instance the point made by Jennifer about the Supreme Court (two conservative judges have acted scandalously). “…I was trying to determine why – given your argument that we should not put our trust in government or decisions made by man instead of God – we put our trust in a Constitution written by men. Why do we place our trust in the Framers of the Constitution to know what is best for us and to decide what is and is not appropriate for the government to run?”
    We place our trust in police officers (our family’s safety at stake) and an army(our national security at stake) and firemen (family and possessions at stake). Where’s our trust in God? Do you consider these just as much slippery slopes as well? Sorry, but this point is nonsensical.
    “As Justice Scalia sagely inquired during oral arguments, what would stop the government from requiring us even to buy broccoli?” The argument was shown prior to the hearing to be utterly ridiculous and totally misinformed, as well as a right-wing talking point, which littered his other comments. The reasons Scalia has not been officially investigated for at least two blatant ethics violations is because the Court has no ethics code; the judges are supposed to be on their honor. If a judge in any other venue, he would have already been sanctioned and possibly removed.

  • jerry lynch

    “Government is simply concentrated power entrusted to the frailest of hands. As such, it should be the last place we put our trust.” Yet an overloaded Conservative Court can not only be trusted but divinely right?

  • jerry lynch

    Argument Two of “Why Obamacare does not get God’s vote,” by Bill Blakinshaen, reviewed:

    This appears like nothing more, in the political arena, than disguised “social Darwinism,” the recent influence of the Tea Party and a favorite of Paul Ryan’s heroine, Ayn Rand. The main gist is that any socialism, even the likes of Social Security, panders to our “fallen nature” and is thus dangerous and morally reprehensible. Would not the “ministers appointed by God” care for “the least of these” in society? Wouldn’t the purported “covenant” of those ministers and us, we the people, naturally include provision for the poor and needy? If they are indeed trusted ministers of God, wouldn’t what the Church would do to assist the poor and needy (is that pandering to our fallen nature?) also be true of government?

  • Don

    Bill, do you have health insurance on yourself and your loved ones? If so, the do you trust the insurance company to make good on their promise to pay if one of your loved ones gets sick?
    Of course you trust that the insurance company will pay as promised.

    Why do you have that faith in the insurance company? Because you know they’re kind loving Christian people who wouldn’t hurt a fly? Not if your insurance company is anything like mine.

    You have faith that the insurance company operates under the rule of law- which is enforced and adjudicated by the government. So, in the end, your faith is in the government, too.

    • Thanks, Don, for the comment. Two thoughts:
      1. It is the pattern of increasing reliance upon the epitome of human power that distrubs me, not any one particluar point at which that happens.
      2. In response to your question: I am far more confident that the insurance compnay will pay than I am that the government wil pay. In fact, given my study of governments for the last several millenia and our own country’s recent spurt of bailouts and unsustainable debt, I rather doubt they will.

      Thanks again!