Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Healthcare reform: a theological proof

John 1:1 (NIV) says: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." There were not books in "the beginning," and since the Word was God, we can thus surmise that the Bible as we know it today is not "the Word" to which this passage refers.

Accordingly, placing a personal, fallible interpretation of a text above either the meaning of or the service to God (or, alternately, the Word) is a misprioritization, and that focus should be placed, as noted (ironically, I guess) in the aforementioned passage, in God.

If, according to Christian thought, God and Jesus are the same (or, in Mormon theology, more like Captain and Co-Pilot of the Good Ship Eternity), then the Word is not a book, but the commandments as noted in Matthew 22:37-40:

"37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”"

Thus, the first priority is to love God, and the second is to love your neighbor. Neither God nor your neighbor are books, translation, editions, or any other form of Bible (or even scripture).

It would stand to reason, then, that if the Bible--not Jesus, but the Bible--says something that does not involve loving either God or your neighbor, then you should ignore the Bible and go with whichever path best exemplifies loving both God and your neighbor. Anything else would be idolatry, which violates any number of other commandments.

There's also Matthew 25:41-46 (NRSV):
"44 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?'
45 Then he will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.'"

So through charity to your neighbor do you love God. Thus, the two commandments mentioned above are, in fact, the same (or, at least, substantially overlap). But by all means, let's fight against health care reform because, as we all know, the very first commandment was "fight for what's yours."

I honestly, seriously cannot understand how people that claim to believe in the divinity and infallibility of Christ can be conservatives without some exhausting mental gymnastics. Opposing a specific version of health care reform, maybe. Believing that the Church (whatever that may be) should provide, sure. Encouraging Christian doctors/Christian-held pharmaceutical companies to donate their services and products to those in need, yeah.

Although I've always felt that Mormonism's story of the pre-mortal life is an actual advocation for political libertarianism and that Mormonism's focus on the importance of works over the traditional Christian necessity of "grace," more "mainline" (for lack of a better term) Christianity and its focus (within certain spheres, anyway) on the importance of literalism would seem to contradict the conservative Christian's opposition to it.

I really, really don't understand.


Meg said...

Moi non plus mon ami! Nonetheless I like your exploration.

Me said...

this is probably the dumbest thing i've read all day.

and i'm in law school.