Donald Trump is now President of the United States. He vowed to repeal Obamacare. Repeal will hurt millions of people both on Obamacare directly and indirectly. But there is much that we can do.
While perusing the many feeds I follow, a RawStory piece grabbed me pretty quickly. The article was about a Facebook post by Bruce Horst about Christianity and Obamacare. Interestingly, Bruce is a friend that I had not spoken to in years. We were both members of Coffee Party USA and always tried to make a difference in the body politic.
A few years ago Bruce and I went out to lunch, some pho at V Bistro. I remember him telling me about his disillusionment with evangelical Christians. So his Facebook post was not a surprise. Bruce explains why he had to make the break.
In 2010 I had been a Conservative Evangelical Christian for all of my adult life. I began to realize that others around me despised the thought of allowing people like me the benefit of affordable health insurance. For some reason, all of the Christians that I knew thought that offering health insurance to people like me would put them at some kind of a disadvantage that they were not willing to accept. Frankly, they had been lied to so they believed those ‘others’ were going to get healthcare and make their own health care inadequate.
As a Christian, I believed that I would be judged on the Final Judgment Day on how I took care of the ‘least of these’ as described in the Bible book of Matthew, chapter 25. I came to the sober realization that Christians around me had no such convictions. If they didn’t believe Jesus’ words as recorded in the Bible, why should I? Then one day I discovered I could no longer believe any of it.
He then had an admonishment for Evangelical Christians.
That was six and a half years ago. Today I’m more comfortable in my position in life than I’ve ever been. I still have a lot of Evangelical friends, but I can say with confidence that the vast majority of them are not followers of Jesus. Not the Jesus that the Bible speaks of, anyway.
I have friends who are alive today because of Obamacare. Probably all of us do. To me, this proves my Christian friends are not pro-life, but instead they've been told they are as a matter of manipulation, probably to keep them putting money in the offering plate, or voting for the 'right' candidate. One thing is clear to me, they are not really pro-life.
If my Christian friends insist that healthcare only be given to people based on their ability to pay for such care, I would have to believe that the Jesus of the Bible would say to them, “depart from me, I never knew you.” Just like He did in Matthew 25.
I called up Bruce after seeing the piece to catch up. He said since leaving his church his sanity improved. Trying to conform to an ideology that does not conform to his innate beliefs affected his health, it gave his headaches.
"I can now live a congruent lifestyle," he said.
Bruce was self-employed in 2010. As an overweight person with some medical predispositions, he could not purchase health insurance at any price in the individual market. Bruce taught Bible Study in his church twice a week and would have good things to say about Obamacare, the benevolence of the law. A senior pastor approached him and told him that maybe he would be happier elsewhere.
Bruce joined a free thinking group in Houston. He said Ray Hill, another friend of mine who is a well-known activist in Houston, Texas, gave an inspiring address that became a catalyst for his article and likely more to come.
"We must encourage people to write their personal stories," Bruce said. "Memes are great, but it is now time that we tell real stories to make a difference."
Bruce said he listened to a recent Obama speech writers podcast that pointed out that it is silly for Democrats to concentrate on Trump's evil acts. His offensive nature does not influence people.
"Talking about real people is what matters," Bruce said. "Talk about things that are hurting real people."
Progressives' demand for an unattainable purity is one of our biggest problems. We invest too many resources in idealism than on things we can accomplish today with compromises until we've built up our mass movement appropriately.
Bruce ended our conversation with this.
"I am not offended by one's beliefs but what they do," he said. "I won't judge you on what you believe but what you do."