Amanda Barber

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Life, Lost Liberty, and Happiness Crammed Down My Throat

03 October 2013

Ah, politics. I’ve been laughing a great deal this week. I love the dramatic headlines: “Government shutdown: Politicians squabble as World War II veterans break down memorial gates, ‘Panda Cam’ lovers cut off” or “Now What? Government shutdown to be felt across America.” What? I didn’t feel a thing. I was busy living life, amidst the irritation of having to decide what I’m going to do in regards to this most vile of laws, the Affordable Care Act. My reasons for objecting to this law are thus:

I have never had health insurance. This is because I cannot afford it. I refuse to feel sorry for myself because of this, and it has never occurred to me to request that the government pay for my healthcare by extorting the money for said healthcare from others more fortunate than myself. This is because I was taught that if I desire something, I must pay for it myself, not demand it from someone else.

Affordable healthcare, under the constitution, is not an inalienable right. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are inalienable rights. Essentially, this disastrous piece of legislation hands happiness (or my desire) to me, bypassing the pursuit of it (or struggle for it) which the Constitution guarantees me. Does no one remember that the struggle for the things we most desire often renders the most meaning and fulfillment in life? But to add insult to injury ACA does not even offer “happiness” to me, it demands that I accept it without argument.

The Affordable Healthcare Act is dressed-up welfare. Only, much, much worse. Welfare is supposed to be temporary. (Technically.) If hard times befall me, I can temporarily sign up for Welfare until I get myself back on my feet. The Affordable Healthcare Act is permanent Welfare—permanent reliance on the government. And it’s not for a small segment of the population. Everyone must be involved in some degree or another. The whole fiscal responsibility of this law has been called into question time and time again. Do I really need to point out one more time that a government in debt to the tune of several trillion dollars can’t afford to pay for its population’s healthcare?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the Affordable Healthcare Act is the first law that requires an individual to buy a good or service on the basis of existence. I exist. Therefore, I must buy health insurance. I can avoid buying car insurance if I want to. I simply don’t buy a car. Since when did it become Constitutional to force American citizens to buy goods and services predicated on existence?

So, my question is, when a government will no longer govern itself, what is a Christian to do? At what point does a government become so perverse that a Christian can no longer comply with some of its laws? How much longer will we assist an unprincipled government to dig its hole deeper and deeper? I still haven’t found the answer to that question.

We’re losing our liberties at a rapid pace. That much is evident. Once this law sinks us into twice as much debt as we’re already faced with, the term “prosperity” will be a relic of the past. I can hear the conservatives wailing with misery already and Christians complaining about losing religious freedoms. But here’s another side to the story.

Throughout the majority of history, most civilizations have been controlled by tyrannical governments. Even now, how many countries in the world are under the thumbs of despots? Are there enough fingers on our hands to count them? Probably not. So, what happens when socialism continues its inexorable march forward in our country? What happens when American’s not only lose their liberties but hand them over in relief from the responsibilities they demand? What happens when Christians are barred from doing business in the public sphere? I hate to break it to you but life goes on. More importantly, God’s Kingdom marches on, while the Church blooms forth, from the weak and pitiful organization it’s been for the last century and a half, to a mighty army in all the splendor God intended for it. Here’s a truth to wrap your minds around: Suffering breeds strength and resolve. Ease and comfort engender flabby character and useless consumers. It’s no coincidence that Christians under fire have been better and more powerful witnesses for the Gospel of Christ than those living unchallenged.

Well, what shall I do about the Affordable Care Act? I’m not entirely sure at the moment. But I can tell you I won’t be running to the “Exchange” any time soon.

One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. Most people are a little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly can’t afford it. — Ronald Reagan