Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Healthcare Politics & Holy Week

by Tim K. Snyder

So...I don't normally write much about politics here. It's not that I don't have some pretty strong convictions, but it's just that I so rarely find these conversations to bear fruit that I don't even bother writing about the issues. I'd love to have real actual give and take conversation over and beer or coffee -- and that's often what happens.

To point out the dynamics of these conversations two links:

This Chart Shows Compares Republican and Democratic Healthcare Bills Since 1993 // it speaks for itself.

This Poll Shows President Obama's Rating Jumped with the Passage of Healthcare Reform... // let that speak for itself too

But Healthcare is worth talking about at least because it is a theological issue. Of course the politics haven't dared go to the root issue, the theological issue. I distinctively remember a conversation with my father, a healthcare administrator (finance), in which he strongly said that the real issue in this country is not primary care for everyone. He was speaking out of his financial expertise. You see this is not really that big of a financial issue. It's actually quite simple and it's something hospitals trying to make profits deal with all the time. Primary care prevents trips to Emergency Rooms. Hospitals have to treat those will immediate, emergency problems. And I know there are some who've just entirely overlooked this reality but, as it turns out our government already pays substantial subsidies for emergency care. So, providing primary care is actually just smart all around. It will save all of us money.

But of course as I said, this is not the issue. The issue is that we don't know how to die well. We don't value the elderly...in fact we don't value eldership in any sense of the word. In modernity we became a future-centered society. All of society was built towards having a better future. And let's be honest, we made a lot of crap come out really good to that end. But what happens when you die? There's no future, then. And so we avoid death at all cost. We avoid the grave, that is obvious and that is what my dad was talking about. We do crazy things medically that we know have negligible possibilities of preventing death (Reminder: you are going to die...in case you'd forgotten). But we also deny death in every other sense of the word. We deny the very process of dying that happen everyday...of our grief, of our despair, or our weakness, of dreams never met, of jobs lost, relationships lost, divorces...

This is why it is a theological issue. We are deathly afraid of death. And so during this Holy Week, this week where we all remember the sting of death, let us not deny, but rather let us proclaim the crucified Christ. We proclaim a God who has dies with us.

A Prayer on Psalm

My God, My God why have you forsaken me?
You have sustained me all my life.
Do not forsake me now, draw near to me -- to my groaning.
Teach us not to deny death, but proclaim your very presence in it.
In the name of the Crucified Christ, the one who dies with us.


Picture: Guido Rocha (d. 2009), The Tortured Christ, Presented at the World Council of Churches, 1975

Posted via email from curatingthejourney.org


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