If you haven't heard of Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove then, first of all, you may not be familiar with Shane Claiborne and therefore you should get familiar with him, and secondly, you may need to pick up the book God's Economy or Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers. Here is a video from The Work of the People on "Healthcare Imagination."
Healthcare Imagination from The Work Of The People on Vimeo.
I'm a pretty big fan of people taking care of one another. That's why I'm also a fan of "Obamacare" (even if we need to improve it). I like the idea of making sure that everyone can go to the doctor, that everyone can receive professional help with things like diabetes and cancer. I even like the idea of asking people who can afford it to share the tab for people who can't, even though I don't expect everyone to like that.
It doesn't bother as much that people bash on the idea of affordable healthcare. No. What really bothers me is when people resort to false negative assumptions about the poor, ugly desrimanatory remarks, greed, and selfishness as their best defense against it. When we buy in to the distorted philosophy that poverty is a product of laziness, when we push the agenda of personal wealth at the expense of our neighbors... that's when I get truly discouraged.
When I come across remarks like, "it's not my fault you don't have health insurance" or "I shouldn't have to pay for your healthcare just cause you're too lazy to work for it yourself," I realize that we don't need a shift in policy... that's what we've already got in the Affordable Healthcare Act... what we actually need it a shift in culture. We need a shift from an economy of greed, a culture of selfishness, to an economy of compassion and a culture of generosity. It wasn't easy to change the policy (and it still needs improvement), imagine how difficult it will be to change the culture!
But Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove's comments give me hope. I actually think that the church can lead the way on this. Unfortunately, we've fallen behind in this (since it seems that so many Christians are the ones perpetuating the kind of assumptions and remarks I mentioned before), but I believe that the Church can be the agent of God's reign here and now. I believe that we, regardless of the various policy ideas, can change the environment around us simply by embodying compassion and generosity. I'm not just talking about putting band-aides on boo-boos. I'm talking about chipping, sacrificing, and seeing to it that people get what they need, regardless of what they may or may not deserve. I'm talking about the Church being something new, something different, something better. I'm talking about love.
Jesus said that Christians would be known by their love. Well, sadly, I think that our current situation begs the question, "where is the love?"