Tag Archives: obamacare

Dear Dishonorable Republican Majority

“We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities,like the wind, take us away.”  ~Isaiah 64:6

Dear  Dishonorable Republican Majority:

It is Advent and we who happen to be Christian and honor this season as a time of hope for what is born in Bethlehem now have little choice but to see you playing the role of the puppet ruler, Herod, depicted in the Gospels as a  ruthless and traitorous sycophant of Rome.   And yes,  as well you have stepped into the role of the inn-keeper who delivers to Mary, about to deliver her holy child, and to her husband, the bad news that there is no room in the inn.  Off to the barn with you! How dare you be needy and without money to secure a place in the inn?   You, Republican Majority Congresspersons, are, however, decidedly not the Wise Men who come seeking the child to honor him. Nor are you the shepherds, poor and at risk in the fields, who receive the angelic announcement that there is a prince of peace born to counter the reptilian minions of Rome.  But yes! dear Republican Congresspersons who have just decided to transfer a gigantic amount of wealth from the needy, the meek, the poor, the sick and at risk so that your wealthy donors might benefit, you are the very same reptilian princes who prowl in predation in the Christmas story while the great Lizard King sits mad in the White House, fumbling toward nuclear war.  While you do nothing.  Well, not exactly nothing because you have just taken steps to raise deficits by a trillion dollars —something you preached against repeatedly in years past—as you destroy the flimsy medical access net provided by President Obama. Even a flimsy medical access is too much in your estimation.  You now have in sight the goal of dismantling Medicare and Social Security. Bang the drum slowly.

Well, I’m just a pastor. I and my congregation will be reading and repeating the Christmas story and celebrating the news that the blessed mother of Jesus sang about:  the powerful will be brought down, the hungry filled and the rich sent away empty. The meek are getting ready.  And you, you will fade like a leaf and your iniquities will, like the wind, take you away.  That is a warning. From the Prophet Isaiah. From the mother of Christ. From the Galilean, who was considered by people like you as smitten by poverty, too powerless to count.  Get this though, dishonorable governing class:  That Galilean is  raised from death.  May your dreams and sleep be haunted by his pronouncements of solidarity with the oppressed.

To you Christians, take hope. Christ assured us,  “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage, I have  overcome the world.”  To people of peace and good will everywhere, we stand with you in this dark night.  May your works of justice and mercy shine like stars in the firmament.

This Is A Crucifixion

Hear this, you that trample on the needy,
    and bring to ruin the poor of the land,

buying the poor for silver
    and the needy for a pair of sandals,

… The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.

That is the Prophet Amos (cf., 8:4-14).  As the poor and elderly are being abandoned by this Congress and as Senators and House members, along with a billionaire President, prepare to make a massive transfer of wealth from the middle class to the wealthiest citizens via a piece of legislation cynically referred to as a healthcare bill, know this:  The Lord will never forget your deeds.

Interestingly, there need be only two righteous  Republican Senators to stop this assault on the elderly and the poor. Where are they?  We are waiting for you to stand up and be counted for the poor and the elderly.  If you do not, then you will become the soldiers hammering the nails into the hands and feet of Jesus of Nazareth.  This is a crucifixion.

The Goats Are Lining Up

Jean Cousin, The Last Judgement
Jean Cousin, The Last Judgement

 “I was sick and you took care of me…”

That is the statement made by the Son of Man at the Great Judgment. You’ll find it in a story told by Jesus in Matthew’s gospel, chapter 25.  Those who cared for “the least of these” would be separated as sheep belonging to the flock of God. Those who refused to feed the hungry, provide a cup of water for the thirsty, refused to welcome the stranger in their midst, visit the prisoner, clothe the naked and care for the sick were to be judged as goats and denied entrance into God’s Kingdom.

Today, Friday March 24, 2017, the President and the Republican majority in the House are prepared to deny millions of Americans healthcare.  Ironically, the Ryan-Trump plan is not cruel enough for the far right Freedom Caucus and thus, it may fail. Not because it is cruel but because it is not cruel enough.

The goats are lining up.  A nation is about to render a judgment but in the process, be judged.  They exchange human nobility for shame and wear it like a badge.  They would throw Jesus and his mother to the curb.  Lord, have mercy.  Christ, have mercy.


The administration and House’s attempt to replace the ACA failed but given the President’s response that he will wait for it to “explode” should concern us all for a number of reasons. First, the President and congresspersons vow to uphold the law when they are sworn into office.  The ACA is, as they admit, the law of the land. To sabotage and undermine it so that it will fail is a violation of their solemn oaths.  It is also a naked attempt to make something fail and then to complain that it was a failure.  This is disingenuous to say the least. But above all, the effort to destroy the one plan in place to help citizens achieve medical coverage has consequences for the very lives of the citizens they represent.  Mr. Ryan himself lamented that the “good becomes the victim of the perfect,” wishing others would compromise to make the plan better.  Why, Sir, doesn’t this apply to the ACA? Why would you prefer the explosion of it to simply improving it?  Heed your own advice and for the sake of the nation you serve, get busy improving the ACA in a bipartisan way.   To quote the Roman statesman, Seneca, “I would certainly not describe as mercy what was actually the exhaustion of cruelty.” The Trump plan was manifestly cruel. Its failure is not necessarily a moment of mercy, as can be seen by the President’s tortuous logic and response.  Sick Americans and their loved ones deserve better than a promise of an explosion.