taking the words of Jesus seriously

Few things generate more controversy among Christians than political differences (though doctrinal differences are a close second!). With last nights repeal of the “Job-Killing Health Care Law Act” by a vote of 245-189, largely along political lines, I can imagine that controversy among Christians has risen strongly on both sides.

On one side there is the group that views this as a colossal failure advocating that health care reform is necessary to provide quality care to those less fortunate in our society who cannot provide for themselves. This includes folks with preexisting conditions and those who simply cannot afford to purchase health care when not provided it through work due to the ever rising costs.

Then on the other side there is the group that views this as a necessary repeal. The government should not be involved in personal decisions such as who their doctor should be. Furthermore, as you can see from the title, this side sees the bill as a job killing machine, one that can do nothing better than destroy our economy and hurt those who it claims it will help.

While this is not an exhaustive list of the positions both sides take I think you can get the idea. The two opposing sides don’t quite agree.

I’m not here to pick a side or tell you my opinion but rather am here to make a charge to all of our Representatives in Congress that simply says, “Please, stop this nonsense!”

I’m tired of this argument and am tired of threats from both sides aimed at destroying the other side. I’m frustrated with a country that is run by a group of women and men that apparently can only talk to each other through roll call votes. I’m sad that no longer can grown women and men have “adult” conversations, as we teach our children. Instead, they sit and argue back and forth, playing a he said she said game.

Regarding this health care bill, no one needed a roll call vote to know that the House of Representatives was going to repeal the health care bill and no one needs a roll call vote in the Senate to know that the Senate will not repeal the bill. Furthermore, even if the Senate does repeal the bill there it would be impossible for it to not be vetoed by President Obama.

Simply put, rather than arguing back and forth on the extremes (either our bill passes and your bill dies or vice versa), can’t both sides come to the table and work out a bill that everyone likes? Studies have shown that the majority of folks on both sides want health care reform so let’s make it happen. Let’s be grown women and men about this and learn to talk about our differences in ways that are constructive and beneficial, not harmful and degrading.

Within Congress let’s consider bills that will be passed and approved by the majority rather than bills that will simply be overturned the moment different individuals fill the halls. Let’s consider bills that will stand the test of time and that may help to improve the quality of life for all of humanity. And let’s consider these bills in a manner that is respectful and appropriate to the time, money, and skills that go into crafting and passing each one.

About The Author


Tony Campolo is Professor of Sociology at Eastern University, and was formerly on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. For 40 years, he founded and led the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, an organization that created and supported programs serving needy communities in the Third World as well as in “at risk” neighborhoods across North America. More recently, Dr. Campolo has provided leadership for the Red Letter Christians movement. He blogs regularly at his own website. Tony and his wife Peggy live near Philadelphia, and have two children and four grandchildren.

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