Friday, September 25, 2009

We're Number 37

On September 12, thousands of angry white folks marched on Washington. This was billed as part of Glenn Beck’s 9/12 “Movement” but in light of the fibbing that went on about the number of people present, I prefer to call it the Million Moron March. Many of the nowhere-near-a-million are angry about the possibility of health insurance reform. The idea of everyone having access to health care sends these folks into a tizzy. They’re all wound up about the deficit, and spending. It sure is great to see folks getting concerned about US spending – but you have to wonder where they’ve been for most of the last decade.

The US spends approximately $12 billion each month to occupy the country of Iraq. We have about 100 military bases there – down from the 300 we had at the height of the war. . The hope is to whittle that number down to 6 huge bases, as we “withdraw” from Iraq. There are over 1.5 million pieces of equipment that must be removed, when we “withdraw.” It is estimated that the cost of the debacle in Iraq is going to be about $3 trillion when all is said and done. This war costs each US family about $100 a month. I wouldn’t attempt to speak for all of you – but I’d rather have health care, myself.

The US built the largest, most expensive, and easily the ugliest embassy in world history in Iraq. It is 10 times larger than the UN complex in Manhattan. The embassy complex has 20 buildings. It’s bigger than the Vatican. Why? No one has bothered to explain to we the people why such a thing is necessary. We’re also funding a $17 million troop barracks in Afghanistan. I’m sure that’s very comforting news to all of us who are unemployed or underemployed. Yep, we don’t have jobs, we’ve lost our health care – BUT – we’re continuing on with the “war on terror.” What that really means is that we’ve chosen to sacrifice the well being of our country and our citizens in exchange for being in a permanent, undeclared state of war.

The US may rank 37th in the world for health care, but we are number one in weapons manufacturing and sales. Isn’t it great to know that we still manufacture something in the US? Apparently the three jobs of the future in the US are going to be making weapons, being military cannon fodder, or working for private companies like Halliburton and KBR. We aren’t too selective about who we sell weapons to, so as a special added bonus those folks will undoubtedly use the weapons we sold them against us at some point, thus perpetuating the endless war.

So far, we’ve killed over 100,000 Iraqi civilians. The costs of the permanent war are staggering – the dead, the injured, (physically and/or mentally) and the money wasted – but not a peep out of the angry white folks about any of that. What gets them moving is the idea that their neighbors might be able to have affordable health insurance.

One of the groups present at the Million Moron March was the American Life League, billed as the largest grassroots Catholic pro-life education organization. If you were thinking, “surely a pro-life group would be in favor of affordable health insurance,” you’d be wrong. They had a big sign reading, “Bury Obamacare with Ted Kennedy.” Not exactly a Christian message, is it? It’s also curious, given this statement from the Resolution on Health Care Reform, from the US Catholic Bishops in 1993:
“Every person has the right to adequate health care. This right flows from the sanctity of human life and the dignity that belongs to all persons, who are made in the image of God... Our call for health care reform is rooted in the biblical call to heal the sick and to serve 'the least of these,' the priorities of justice and the principle of the common good. The existing patterns of health care in the United Sates do no meet the minimal standard of social justice and the common good.”

Operation Rescue is against health insurance reform. These people also claim to be good Christians, and pro-life – but they don’t want women and potential fetuses to have affordable health care. It sure seems mighty contradictory, doesn’t it? Instead, they’re bellowing that the health care bill (which doesn’t exist yet) will use taxpayer funds for abortions. From what I’ve read, this isn’t true – but truth isn’t of any importance at all in the “debate” about reform. In the media only one side is being represented; the side the Republicans, Teabaggers, and Evangelical Christians are on.

The group Focus on the Family is against insurance reform. Apparently good, focused families don’t get sick. Gary Bauer of the group, “American Values” is opposed to health insurance reform. It seems that affordable health insurance is not an American value. Gary was, however, a big supporter of George Bush and the war in Iraq – and bent over backwards to justify torture. Torture, it seems, is an American Value.

These are people who claim to believe that every person is made in God’s image, which would seem to indicate that they would deny God affordable health insurance. Matthew 22:36-40 quotes Jesus (in part,) “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Who would Jesus refuse to heal?

The endless war and killing isn’t even being discussed. The possibility of reforming health insurance is cause for angry displays at the grassroots level and the shocking rudeness we saw aimed at the President, on the floor of the People’s House. Our national priorities are a mess, and we are fast turning into a country impossible to recognize, much less be proud of.

"Of all forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane."
--- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you look at the bottom right hand corner of the Bury Obamacare sign, it says ALL, which stands for American Life League, with a little fetus attached to it.

© sbruce 2009 Published as an op-ed in the Conway Daily Sun on Sept. 26, 2009


Peter said...

American Life League can call itself whayever it likes, but it is NOT affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church or the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. The USCCB has actually been quite supportive of health care reform, while voicing its concerns relative to abortion in an appropriate manner.

NH-ALL said...

Good op-ed, Susan.

I find the morally bankrupt positions of the neoconservatives to be ironic. They justify invasion of foreign lands and building of massive embassies, they justify the massive murder of human beings that they say is a mere side-effect of an important war and they justify torture in the name of securing freedom in the homeland while all the while insisting that abortion must be outlawed in order that human life be protected.

Of course we know that the enormous embassy in Iraq should never have been built and that what the pro-life political movement is really itching for is the recreation of Prohibition and the denial of women their human liberty.

DissedBelief said...

Once more, perfectly said Susan, you have the ability to voice succinctly what many of us are seeing, feeling and are outraged about. NH-ALL, great response, exactly!! Morally bankrupt is precisely what the right has become, void of any and all common sense, common good and common ground. Hypocrisy abounds, double standards are the rule of the day as they blindly follow their screaming no-IQ messiahs like Beck and Limberger cheese! McLaughlin is appalling and I continue to be amazed that he teaches our nations children.