Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
¶ 162 V) Right to Health Care—Health is a condition of physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being. John 10:10b says, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Stewardship of health is the responsibility of each person to whom health has been entrusted.
Creating the personal, environmental, and social conditions in which health can thrive is a joint responsibility—public and private. We encourage individuals to pursue a healthy lifestyle and affirm the importance of preventive health care, health education, environmental and occupational safety, good nutrition, and secure housing in achieving health. Health care is a basic human right.
Providing the care needed to maintain health, prevent disease, and restore health after injury or illness is a responsibility each person owes others and government owes to all, a responsibility government ignores at its peril. In Ezekiel 34:4a, God points out the failures of the leadership of Israel to care for the weak: “You have not strengthened the weak, you have not healed the sick, you have not bound up the injured.” As a result all suffer.
Like police and fire protection, health care is best funded through the government’s ability to tax each person equitably and directly fund the provider entities. Countries facing a public health crisis such as HIV/AIDS must have access to generic medicines and to patented medicines.
We affirm the right of men and women to have access to comprehensive reproductive health/family planning information and services that will serve as a means to prevent unplanned pregnancies, reduce abortions, and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. The right to health care includes care for persons with brain diseases, neurological conditions, or physical disabilities, who must be afforded the same access to health care as all other persons in our communities. It is unjust to construct or perpetuate barriers to physical or mental wholeness or full participation in community.
We believe it is a governmental responsibility to provide all citizens with health care.
From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church - 2008. Copyright 2008 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission. [Emphasis added]
Now that the end of the process is near, it is important to trust, it is important to pray. It is important to face the future unafraid and know that we are not alone, thanks be to God!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Dostoevsky knew that *129 years ago*, as his loathsome Fyodor Karamazov said:
"... it is rather pleasant to feel wronged -- don't you agree? So a man may know very well that no one has offended him, and may invent an offense, lie just for the beauty of it, or exaggerate what someone said to create a situation, making a mountain out of a molehill. And although he is well aware of it himself, he nevertheless does feel offended because he enjoys doing so, derives great pleasure from it, and so he comes to feel real hostility toward the imaginary offender."
Emphasis mine. I certainly felt the hostility directed toward me last week. I hope the hostile person derived some pleasure from it. Otherwise it really was without value.
Friday, October 2, 2009
I'm sure you've seen the buttons and the bumper stickers designed to make us think: WWJD?
What would Jesus do?
But I have a variation.
Who Would Jesus Exclude?
Wayne's sermon this week was so on point to where I was in my head, it was like he read my mind, seriously! And that list of people that the newspaper forum pastor would leave out of heaven:"It would include liberals overall, homosexuals, couples living together outside of marriage, anyone who supports abortion at any point, most all people of other faiths, people who don’t interpret scripture literally, those who think we imprison too many people in our country, leaders of countries with different governance systems than the United States..."
Funny thing is, I am or have been in six of those categories! So either I'm out of luck, or that guy is wrong. I know which one I hope!
Funnier still, or maybe just odder, I don't think Jesus would exclude anyone. Really. I mean, he included tax collectors and Philistines, prostitutes and thieves. Jesus certainly accepted people of other faiths, and sympathized with the imprisoned. We know He never said anything about homosexuals at all.
At any rate, acceptance of others, not just tolerance, not just politeness, not even just cold civility are enough. Acceptance. Even love. Remember the sermon from long ago about agape love? Agape has been defined as "an intentional response to promote well-being when responding to that which has generated ill-being." That might be a bit convoluted but seems to be saying, wish well even upon those who wish us ill.
It would be nice if no one wished anyone else ill will, regardless of differences of opinion, but that is an awful lot to expect, isn't it? If we could all peacefully coexist, that would change the world. Ahem.
Change the world.
That sounds awfully good to me.
May peace prevail upon the earth.