Saturday, November 07, 2009

Self-Righteous Hypocrisy

You know, I really don't believe it when people say, "Oh, I'd gladly pay extra (in taxes) if it meant no one would have to go without health coverage."

Baloney. What's stopping you NOW from walking across the street to your neighbor who doesn't have insurance and giving him $100 (or more, since you're feeling so generous) every month so he doesn't have to worry about medical bills?

Do you do that, NOW, without Uncle Sam's prodding?

Oh, you don't?? Why not? If you're so glad about paying extra for your neighbor, what are you waiting for? Nothing says that you can't do it on your own, without the government getting involved.

You see, my friends, the "I'd gladly pay extra in taxes if it meant that XXXX" line is nothing more than a hypocritical, self-righteous throwaway lie that some people like to spout because it makes them sound like they're taking the high road.

They're lying, because they can't be bothered to do it NOW, without government coercion.

And I'm calling them on it.


Mary Elizabeth Tyler said...

I like how Whimpee from the cartoon Popeye used to say,"I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."

I think many Tuesday's do not come in many of our lives. I have found when you don't have a lot of money, you can always visit someone who is sick, rake their leaves, fill their insulin, if they are near blind, go to the grocery store for them,....and so on....

I just found your blog. I post over at TeamPyro, Desiring God and Shepherd's Fellowship, and I got your blog address from Team Pyro.

I like what I see.;) Keep it going!

Mary Palshan aka Mary Elizabeth Tyler

wordsmith said...

Hi - thanks for stopping by and commenting! It's so easy to talk about helping (loving) one's neighbors but never getting around to doing it, isn't it? It's also pretty amazing how easy it is to be generous with OPM (other people's money), as long as you don't have to walk the talk and open up your own purse strings. That's why I say people who advocate higher taxes under the guise of benevolence are just talking through their hat - I've never met anyone who pays taxes over and above what is currently required.

Drop by again (soon)! I'm trying to cultivate the habit of posting more frequently ;)

unkle e said...

"They're lying"

This is a very strong statement for a christian to make!

I don't live in the US, and I realise that health care is a big issue in the US right now. But I am one of those who believe in government-sponsored health care (we have had it in Australia for years) and I don't believe I am a hypocrite, for I vote for governments that do more comprehensive social welfare and against governments which avoid it.

I don't need to pay for the family across the road because they already get it from the government, same as I do. But on the same principle of caring for the less fortunate, I sponsor an orphan child overseas and support several charities.

I do this because I see Jesus caring for the outcasts in the Bible. And I tell the truth, I try never to lie, because Jesus told me to do that too.

I would like to be your friend (I really like the look of the picture at the top of your blog), but being called a liar is not a very good start! Perhaps you'd like to reconsider what you have written? : )

wordsmith said...

Hi Unkle e, and thanks for stopping by!

Here is how I view the situation:

If someone says

1) they would do something (in this case, pay extra for other's health care), and

2) they don't do it,

then what do you call that?

Around here, we call that "lying" :)

I understand that many believe that it is government's duty to provide the "necessities" of life (an altogether too fluid term, I might add, and really should be well defined if one is interested in fruitful discussion), but I do not think that this is a position that can be supported by Scripture. If you were to make the argument that Christians, either as individuals or corporately, should play some sort of role in caring for their neighbor, then you might have Scriptural support for that (depending on what sort of "role" is being espoused).

To put things in context, the line about "hypocrite" comes from the observation that many who argue in favor of gov't health care use the specific line about being glad to pay more taxes to achieve this goal. Yet, as I pointed out, they're not currently taking the initiative to do the thing they're so keen to make obligatory. (I have never met anyone who paid so much as a penny more in taxes than they are obligated by law to pay. Well, okay - maybe a dollar more, if they round all their figures.)

I have lived (short-term) in a nanny-state, and fortunately I did not need to go to the doctor. I did have elderly relatives, though, that were dependent upon gov't health, and the wait times for even simple things was atrocious. Gov't health is not all it's cracked up to be. As is pointed out here, a report on Obamacare's (House version) indicates that:

"*After 10 years under the new regime, 23 million Americans would still be without insurance;

"*The bill cuts $570 billion from Medicare; and

"*The bill does not stop the exploding cost of health care.

"In a nutshell, Obamacare uses massive new tax hikes and massive cuts to Medicare to give health benefits to some of the currently uninsured, but does nothing to contain health costs. The Democrats spin on this devastating report cannot conceal that Obamacare fails every test of genuine "reform." It is being pushed solely for political reasons, primarily to expand the size and reach of government and with it the public sector employee unions that power so much of the Democratic Party machinery."

That, my friend, is why so many of us American do not want gov't health care. If it were a matter of reform and helping the truly needy, that would be one thing. But it isn't - it's about gov't control.

The picture you reference is one I found on the 'net somewhere (I forgot exactly where). It's a 19th century painting of the island where my grandfather was born.

I hope you'll come back and visit, even if we don't see eye-to-eye on some things :)

unkle e said...

Dear Wordsmith,

Thanks for your response.

I have no wish to debate the merits of the current healthcare proposals in the US. In Australia, universal health care has been a success and is now supported by almost all Australians, albeit with some difficulties and differences of opinion, but I am not familiar with your proposals.

My concern was with your very general accusations and the strong language you used to criticise people who think differently to you. Calling people liars and hypocrites may not be accurate (it is certainly not accurate in my case) and is contrary to the Bible's teaching that we should "always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have, but do this with gentleness and respect".

I notice that you were much more polite to me when addressing me personally, than in your blog post. So I thought I'd suggest you think of the individuals who hold beliefs you want to criticise, and remember God loves them too. By all means disagree, but in a kindly manner.

Best wishes.