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Crossposted from Hillbilly Report.

You know, we seem to be hearing a lot of railing and gnashing of teeth from Christians in America who do not believe that the less fortunate in our country deserve to be able to buy healthcare. As a Christian, albeit not the most righteous one it constantly confounds me how they can use Christianity to argue against many things that Christ argued for. Things such as forgiveness, tolerance, love for your fellow man, protection of the least among us, and last but certainly not least reserving judgement for God with Christ at his right hand.

Yes, these Christians in America could learn a whole lot from their Canadian counterparts. Not consumed by the hatred and vitriol that seems to rule Christian churches in America, in Canada they seem to have listened to what Christ actually said and not what they in their twisted vision of the world wish he would have said.

In Canada, a Baptist minister and grandfather of actor Keifer Sutherland named Tommy Douglas was actually voted "The Greatest Canadian" in 2004. Why?? Because he led the fight to bring that country Universal Healthcare. Now, the Canadian Council of Churches, fed up with the lunacy spouted by some in America is joining the healthcare debate here in America:

Would Rush Limbaugh support Canadian-style, government-run universal health care, if he knew Jack Bauer thought it was "damn well worth fighting for'? Of if he knew that the man who brought universal health care to Canada was Bauer's (a.k.a. Kiefer Sutherland's) grandfather, Tommy Douglas, a Baptist minister who was voted "The Greatest Canadian" in 2004?
Probably not, but it's an interesting side note to the current U.S. health-care reform discussion/debate/Jerry Springer show, especially now that the Canadian Council of Churches has joined the fray.

Far different from Baptist churches here in Kentucky,
who offer their facilities for free to allow one-sided propoganda meetings, Canadian Christians seem much more in tune with what Christ really had to say:

"Medical needs are too fundamental to be responded to solely on the basis of market forces and for reasons of profit," Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton, the CCC's general secretary, wrote in a letter this week to three organizations that represent most major denominations and churches in the U.S -- the U.S. National Council of Churches, the National Evangelical Association and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

He also sought to set the record straight on the Christian way in regards to healthcare:

"Before 1966," Hamilton wrote, "Canada had a health care system that failed to provide over 30% of the population with medical insurance. This created enormous human suffering and ethical problems
for those who believed with Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:26, 'If one member suffers, all suffer together with it . . .' With varying degrees of fervour, Canadian churches publicly began to advocate for the establishment of Medicare. Canadian churches wanted health care for all."

This view is in stark contrast with some American churches who seem to content to fight against their own mandate using the misinformation provided by such hate-filled hypocrites as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity:

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: As The New York Times reported Friday, a growing number of Catholic bishops are speaking out forcefully against some details in Obama's proposals, despite the fact that conference itself "has been lobbying for decades for the federal government to provide universal health insurance, especially for the poor."
Bishop R. Walker Nickless of Sioux City, Iowa, expressed the misgivings of his fellow bishops in a recent pastoral letter: "The Church will not accept any legislation that mandates coverage, public or private, for abortion, euthanasia, or embryonic stem-cell research . . . No health care reform is better than the wrong sort of health care reform."

This despite the fact that H.R. 3200 does not call for the funding of abortion or euthanasia. They seem to have sacrificed the truth to make some kind of political point despite their role of promoting Christian values. Lying is not a Christian value.

The National Association of Evangelicals is just as bad, spouting the lie of abortion to disguise their real misgiving, government control and equality in healthcare:

The National Association of Evangelicals: The NAE is just as concerned as Catholic bishops about health-care reform's impact on abortion and end-of-life issues. "Abortion is not health care. Any health care plan which inc1udes coverage for elective abortion should be rejected," the NEA declared in its Aug. 19 statement.
But the NEA is equally concerned about government involvement: "We also call on the President and members of Congress to diligently seek to make health care accessible to all . . . to establish health care provisions that will maximize the creativity of the private sector while minimizing governmental control."

Only the National Council of Churches seems to understand what Christ really taught when applied to the healthcare argument:

The National Council of Churches: The more liberal side of the Church doesn't seem to be sweating the details at all. In fact, it's Aug. 14 letter urging members to support health-care reform doens't mention abortion, end-of-life counseling, or any other legislative details.
"Christians believe that all human beings are infinitely valued children of God, created in God's image. Adequate health care, therefore, is a matter of preserving what our gracious God has made," NCC officials wrote. "People of faith recognize that health care is not a privilege, reserved for those who can afford it, but a right that should be available to all."

So, I guess it seems that you should go to Canada if you are poor and need healthcare, but if you are Christian and seek to worship Christ without the hatred and misleading propoganda fowarded by the far-right lunatics in America Canada seems to be the place to do that to.

Originally posted to RDemocrat on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 09:56 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This Christian (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    supports universal health care.

    Unfortunately we have a system in America that is ideal towards the right-wing version of Christianity.  We have the fear and smear merchants that own most of Christian radio (Crawford Broadcasting comes to mind) that tell Christians that they're hated by all things liberal, and then you have some on the left that love to enforce that idea.  The Jerry Falwell's of the world feed and profit on the hatred on both sides of the aisle.

    So now all the JF's have to do is scream about Obama being evil because he supports abortion, and then scare the people by saying Obama wants to pull the plug on grandma.  The conservative Christians listen to it because they believe the other side hates them for being Christians.

    When you see the SEIU ad, do a shot!

    by djtyg on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 10:02:26 AM PDT

    •  Fundamentalism Is Not Dependent On What Our (3+ / 0-)

      side does or doesn't do.

      I've been in these churches regularly as a visiting musician, so I'm at least a little qualified to be honestly mistaken.

      Major themes in those faiths are persecution and victory. I always felt the left has never paid enough attention to the "victory" themes. You really can't go anywhere in that world without finding music, books, churches, regional gatherings etc. with "Victory" in their titles.

      As we see from the Miss California lawsuit, their ideology is so purely correct, and others even other Christianities are so purely antiChrist-ian, that they call merely saying something that opposes their beliefs a violation of their speech and religion rights. You can be way short of a political liberal and still be essentially an enemy to many in this crowd.

      There's no logic to it, of a type we understand. The Bible is always literally true. When Jesus criticizes fornicators, it's literally true. When Jesus commands that praying be done only in secret, he means we must all pray in public, and that is what the Bible literally commands.

      There's absolutely no way to interact with these people and movements in any rational way. And there's no point losing sleep that our responses or messages are inflaming them in any way. Our existence in power is what inflames them.

      The only reason I can see for reaching out to them with calm and rationality is to avoid putting off the moderately religious and busy or inattentive moderates who don't know what the extremists are made of.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 10:22:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Our existence in power is what inflames them. (0+ / 0-)

        Let the church say amen! They do not see themselves as radicals. They strongly believe that they have been called to do the work of God through the Word of God(the bible).

      •  Yes, we do help their side. (0+ / 0-)

        There's some that will never be convinced, but there are many that would come over if they didn't see people insulting their religion on a regular basis.

        I left the conservative movement because Bush was doing many things that weren't Christ-like.  I would've came around quicker if there weren't people who were all too quick to claim their intellectual superiority simply because of my faith.

        Next time you see someone writing something about Christianity, replace "Christian" with "Muslim" or "Atheist" and ask yourself if the guy would get an HR.

        When you see the SEIU ad, do a shot!

        by djtyg on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 10:57:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Victory = the end of the world (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sagesource, begin again each day

        They think it's like a football game.  They don't have to make a country that's viable, or sustainable.  They don't have to deal with America's growing minority population. They just have to turn America for one tiny instant into the most perfect reflection of a theocratic patriarchy.  Then God will blow the whistle, and tote up the stats, and then hand out eternal rewards to all his little servants who did the most to get the victory by whatever means.  There will never be another game.  No more politics, no more human interaction, no more dealing with the world.

        They do not have a plan for how people will live after the oil runs out or global warming hits or medical bills overwhelm everybody.

        Now of course, the wealthy fascists who fund their movement have plans, but they don't want anyone to hear about them yet.

  •  You Better Pay Attention to Your Own Christians (0+ / 0-)

    There's a growing presence of the same fundamentalism up there. I've lived along the border and gotten Canadian news enough to have seen it mentioned occasionally.

    Don't know its size or potential however. Hopefully it's not growing.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 10:07:31 AM PDT

    •  I believe fundies are in the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greengemini, smallgal

      10-15% range in Canada and are concentrated in Alberta and the west to some extent. They are also politically active and mostly, of course, identify with the Conservative Party. I do not have the sense that they are growing rapidly -- a lot of them date back to the 1930s when Bible Bill Eberhart, a radio preacher, was Premier of Alberta.

      Tommy Douglas, Canada's greatest ever progressive, was also a preacher.

      We have only just begun and none too soon.

      by global citizen on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 10:31:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  agree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sagesource, global citizen

        but I still find that weird beyond weird - that the fundies identify with the Conservatives.

        Yeah the Reform Party guy was a preacher too.....said he wouldn't live in Stornoway, the official residence of the leader of the of course he went to live in Stornoway after a couple of weeks.

        A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than a riot.

        by smallgal on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:10:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Loud. Stupid. Desperate. (0+ / 0-)

      And very much a minority as they see all hope of influencing society slip away from them. In a way that's hard to convey to an American, religion is no longer part of the conversation in Canada. In my province, BC, 35% of the people have no religious identification at all. Considering that the name is the last thing to go (five times as many people say they are United Church as ever show up there), this indicates how deep the rot goes.

      I remember a couple of years ago attending a summer institute on religious studies at the University of British Columbia. Listening to the tone of the lectures, and surveying the largely white-headed audience, it struck me that this must have been what it was like to listen to a priest of Apollo around 300 AD. Got a lot of history behind it, capable of nobility, still has believers... but it's a walking corpse.

      On s'engage, et puis, on voit. (Napoleon)

      by sagesource on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:46:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Think we could find a way to turn that on them? (0+ / 0-)

    Jack Bauer's grandpa invented socialized medicine!  You can't be against Jack Bauer and still love America!

    No thanks, been to the Moon.

    by Tm3 on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 10:52:47 AM PDT

  •  Since you mentioned it... (0+ / 0-)

    Just how should American and Canadian Christians come down on abortion, whether it appears in health care reform or not?  I'm looking for consistency here, since you're touting what good Christians should be doing.  

  •  Just because someone calls themselves Christian.. (0+ / 0-)

    does not make them one. Frankly, I don't believe it possible to be Christian and Republican. Christian Republican is an oxymoron.

    Your old role is rapidly aging. Please get out of the new one if you can't lend a hand, for the times they are a changing

    by Travis Stark on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:13:19 AM PDT

  •  You should remember... (0+ / 0-)

    ...that compared with its American counterpart, Christianity in Canada is moribund. Too many sex scandals, too many financial fiddles, too many foam at the mouth rants that never came true (over both abortion and gay marriage, both fully legal and lo! the sky hath not fallen).

    The true church attendance rate now is around 10%. Frankly, I can't think of anyone I know who goes near a church other than for a wedding and a funeral, and that's just for stage effects. The few devout are, frankly, a little pathetic. They run around trying to convert you, and they don't even get anger, just eye-rolling and giggles.

    Besides, most of them are first-generation immigrants. Their kids and grandkids will leave the church at almost the rate of those who have been longer in the country.

    It is noble when an absurd religion tries to be consistent and reasonable, but it's also fatal.

    On s'engage, et puis, on voit. (Napoleon)

    by sagesource on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:38:08 AM PDT

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