Tulsa faith leaders are divided on the court's health care decision

An article from the Tulsa World provides some interesting insight into how local faith leaders are viewing the court's decision. It's worth perusing the whole thing, but here are some choice quotes:

"I'm thrilled," said Drew Diamond, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Tulsa.

"We spend a lot of our social services resources and energy helping people in our community who are either uninsured or underinsured medically," he said.

"Anything that helps people on the margins get access to medical care is both necessary and important. This was a major move to help people who seriously need help in this area.
The Rev. Bill Crowell, president of Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry, said: "We were very much in favor of it. We think it was necessary to help more uninsured people in the country."
Kathryn M. Lohre, president of the National Council of Churches, said that organization's members have "supported readily available health care since we were formed in 1950,"... following "the bold example of Jesus, who healed the sick."
Richard Land, spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention, called the law a "blatant violation of the personal freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution and perhaps a mortal blow to the concept of federalism."
"The federal government is forcing us to pay for things that various religions, not just Catholics and evangelical Christians, deem immoral. Our religious freedom is being attacked."
Tom Minnery, executive director of Focus on the Family's CitizenLink, said the law will "weaken us as a nation. It forces taxpayers to subsidize abortion, expands the size of government and infringes on our fundamental rights of religion and conscience." 

If you're, say, a Jewish person, and you open a small kosher restaurant, you still have to comply by the rules that comes with owning a small business. Handicap access, building codes, food safety standards, etc. etc. Even if you had some obscure religious reason to prepare food in a way that wasn't up to code, guess what? Tough luck. No one's forcing you to open a restaurant, so if you do you have to play by the same rules as everyone else.

Is this Drew Diamond, or a guy wearing Groucho glasses?
If you're, say, a Catholic business owner, and you decide you want to provide health insurance for your employees, there are certain rules that come with health care – like access to contraception and abortion (access to which, apparently some have forgotten, is a constitutional right). If you don't want to play by the same rules as everyone else, don't get into the fucking health care business. But you don't have the right to deny access to care to people who may or may not share your personal religious views.

To all these people who complain that the health care act 'subsidizes abortions and contraception', guess what? You already do that if you have any insurance policy, because abortion is protected by constitutional law and all insurance providers have to cover it. Not to mention the fact that when people have abortions without insurance, the cost of the procedure is absorbed in the system and everyone pays. Uninsured people make premiums go up!

A friend of mine, who is otherwise a nice and intelligent fellow (who happens to be a doctor), said that health insurance should be a "privilege for those who work hard", not a "right". Okay, lets go with that. But how do you decide who works hard and who doesn't? Oh wait! It's the old Republican equation:

Rich people = hard working, deserving of every penny they have
Poor people = lazy, deserving of every ounce of suffering they endure

I truly think that many conservatives sincerely equate personal wealth with personal worth. And they love to point to such-and-such poor person who is now a world-renown surgeon or powerful CEO, as if everyone who is poor could achieve those things if they just stopped being so damn lazy. Health care? That's for the people who are worth something.

Please. Access to a basic level of health care, to the extent we have the means to provide it (which we do), is a human right. It doesn't matter if you're rich or poor, lazy or hardworking, republican or democrat. All that matters is that you're a person. Sorry, robots. If that makes this country "socialist", well, then socialism fucking rocks. I like this quote from Hemant Mehta today:
If atheists are responsible for ObamaCare, though, we better get some credit for it a decade from now, when people wonder how we lived without it.
As we say here in Oklahoma, darn tootin'! I'm kidding, nobody says that.


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