I was going to write a positive blog, really, I was. I went to find the story on our newspaper’s website, and gosh darn it, there was a response to it that begs for a comment. It’s too long to post here, but the article the comment can be found here. My response to Mr. Pampell is as follows:
This outrage Mr. Pampell feels has probably more to do with the pain he is experiencing as his greed beats into submission what is left of his humanity then the improper use of one of Jesus’ teachings by Pastor Idom.
If the stories and parables in the bible, especially in the new testament, are not to be used in our daily lives to better ourselves and thus bring us closer to God, then what possible reason is there for reading the bible or going to church? Apparently to some, when Jesus’ words run contrary to what they want then they either shoot the messenger or twist them to bring them in line. Pastor Idom used this story as a means of testing the validity of what we was thinking with how he should be thinking. When he was honest with himself, he concluded that his opposition was not in line with how he thinks God would expect him to behave.
The idea that God’s gifts to Mr. Pampell and his like - in the form of property - are being stolen to pay for health care shows exactly how high material possessions are placed in his obligation to his fellow man. Apparently all we need to do is pray harder for those that are not insured, and trust in our churches to come to the rescue. News flash, if “philanthropy, compassion, and consideration” were in abundant supply we would not be in this predicament. The fact that one can “walk into any emergency room in need of medical care, and you shall receive it, regardless of your ability to pay” is not a health care system. Who does Mr. Pampell think pays for this service? God?
It comes down to this. We have a system that does not provide equal health care to all. We have a health care system that will cause some people to go without, wait until it is too late, or cause financial ruin. So the question becomes do I have an obligation to them? And, if you include the Jesus element, are these not my neighbor he speaks about in the Good Samaritan parable? Its not robbing you to ask you to contribute to the same system you will access and use.
I, like Pastor Idom, believe I have an obligation to care for my fellow man. We are not talking about giving them access to power, or a bridge, or art, or a road. We are talking about health care for all – before you need it and when you need it, access that is not encumbered by fear of hurting ones family because of the cost. Whether the church will pay for it through my tithe, I pay for it out of philanthropy, or I pay for it in the form of a tax, one way or another all my fellow brothers and sisters must have the same care necessary to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.