When Andy Borowitz satirically writes in the New Yorker that Marco Rubio has vowed to block the Twenty-First century, saying, “We cannot stop time, perhaps, but we can defund it,” it’s funny. It’s funny because that’s exactly what Republicans and their Religious Right allies are trying to do.
This week’s fun started…this week, I think (because all that time-defunding means that only the gods know where we might actually be, chronologically speaking) with Pat Robertson Monday on the 700 Club telling a viewer to stay away from the doctor’s office.
The viewer had already asked God “to be my physician” but his family was pleading with him to see a doctor to be treated. Because, you know, that’s what doctor’s do:
I am 76-years-old. Several years ago, I made a covenant with God. I asked Him to be my physician. I said, “I trust you, Lord, for all my physical needs – whether I am sick or healthy, healed or afflicted. I will never cease to praise You, and when my life is ended, I pray You will receive me into Your holy kingdom.”
But Robertson’s answer was that if you have God as your physician, you don’t need a doctor. He told the man,
“You’ve made a commitment to the Lord, stick with it, don’t let your family influence you, do what you feel like doing. Live your life, God bless you.”
Too bad Robertson isn’t willing to ante up final expenses. When he consigns somebody to death, that ought to be required.
And then newly elected Colorado State Representative Gordon “Chaps” Klingenschmitt chimed in. He said that a Fox News poll – now this is a FOX NEWS poll, mind you – shows that 58 percent of Americans want Obamacare repealed, and took the opportunity on his Pray in Jesus Name program to say people “ought to look to the Lord for our healthcare.”
I have some objections:
Again, this is a Fox News poll, and so suspect and hardly representative of what people actually want, or don’t want. Politifact looked at the issue, based on the statement by DNC spokesman Mo Elleithee on CNN’s “State of the Union” that “One thing that is much more unpopular than the Affordable Care Act is repealing the Affordable Care Act.”
According to Politifact, and based on a number of polls, that statement is “mostly true.” Meaning Fox News’ claim is false, and that Klingenschmitt is proceeding from a false premise.
(And this on a personal level) unless God is a big manufacturer of the son’s enzyme replacement he needs to continue living, I don’t see that happening. I don’t care who the god is. I know personally speaking, that my own gods would not wish me to be that stupid.
But Klingenschmitt pulled out Exodus 15:26:
If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in his sight, and give heed to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will not bring upon you any of the diseases that I brought upon the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.
You might notice that even if the verse is taken at face value, cancer was not among the diseases brought upon the Egyptians. Nor was tuberculosis. Or emphysema. Or heart disease. Or Gaucher disease. Or any number of other diseases which afflict millions throughout the world.
No, even YHWH is not promising here to replace doctors.
But he assures us,
“I personally prefer to look to almighty God as my healer and not to the government as a substitute god or substitute healer.”
Which brings me to,
There is the little fact that Klingenschmitt himself does not rely on God for his healthcare. You know how I know? He cannot possibly, as he doesn’t live according to God’s law or his statutes, which is the precondition set forth in Exodus 15:26.
1. He lies. Lying is a no-no. Says so in the Ten Commandments. Horrendous as the Religious Right claims being gay is, being gay doesn’t make the top 10.
Lying does. Right there at Number 9.
Klingenschmitt gives us Exodus 15. I give him Proverbs 6:
There are six things that the LORD strongly dislikes, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. Proverbs 6:16-19
2. He hates. Jesus said to love your enemies and turn the other cheek. Klingenschmitt doesn’t turn the other cheek. He attacks and insults and condemns. Rather than turn the other cheek to Right Wing Watch, for example, he got their YouTube account terminated “by filing copyright complaints against a handful of our videos, resulting in several thousand of our videos being taken down.” Of course, the videos were protected under Fair Use and RWW has their account back and chock full of Klingenschmitt videos.
So I will also give him Matthew 5:
And if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well (Matthew 5:40).
Klingenschmitt wants this nation to “repent of worshiping President Obama as if he is a god” but the person who ought to repent is Klingenschmitt himself.
In the grand scheme of things, his health plan is on a part with the GOP’s official stance, which is “just die already.” Because that is what we will do if we get rid of our doctors.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.