More than an entitlement, care is a calling

B1 freiss
Illustration of the good Samaritan by Alexander Hunter
(after a traditional mosaic)/ The Washington Times

During CNN’s health care debate on Feb. 7, Sen. Bernie Sanders posed this question to Sen. Ted Cruz: “Is every American entitled to health care?” It’s a probing question, but here’s an even more penetrating one: Am I my brother’s keeper?

India is predominately a Hindu country, Myanmar: Buddhist, Israel: Jewish, Saudi Arabia: Muslim, Sweden: secular, and America is a Christian nation.

In 1944 Harry Truman said, “In this great country of ours it has been proven the fundamental unity between democracy and Christianity.”

In 1933, Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt, elected four times, said that we cannot take into account the progress we’ve made as a nation without giving due credit to the role the Bible has played in the formation of our republic. In fact, when we’ve been our best and most prosperous is when we most closely adhered to its principles.

As recently as 1954, in order to graduate from Dallas public schools, one had to pass a course in the Old Testament and the New Testament.

One of the most basic of all Christian tenets — “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20) — motivates all of us who have invited Him into our lives to know that, yes, “we are our brother’s keeper” (Mark 12:31).

Even before Jesus hit the scene, Jewish stories related how the “Good Samaritan” put the injured Jew onto his donkey, took him to the inn and paid his bills despite the fact that Jews and Samaritans were anything but pals.

Galatians 6:2 posits, “When we carry one another’s burdens, we fulfill the law of Christ.”

And Jesus lauded his disciples: “You fed me when I was hungry, gave me drink when I thirsted, clothed me when I was naked and visited me when I was in prison.” Whoa, wait a minute. When did we do that? they asked.

“When you did it for the least of my brethren,” Jesus replied (Matthew 25:35-38).

It’s no coincidence that hospitals have names like St. Francis, St. Joseph and St. Jude.

Sen. Sanders’ question about health care, “Is it a right?” should be asked this way: “Do you and I, Sen. Cruz, and all those listening to the debate, have a responsibility” to provide health care to not only our fellow Americans but to all our fellow human beings?”

The answer is self-evident: Christian missionaries today are at work in Syria and around the world. James Robison’s Life Outreach International’s efforts alone reach millions.

We lament the fact that our health care system costs double that of other systems in the developed world. But one reason has been — well before Obamacare — we have taken care of the uninsured, penniless illegal immigrant who gets hit by a bus.

And while we all acknowledge most costs occur as we grow older, Judeo-Christian values allow God to decide when we die rather than the panel of experts in Washington that the Affordable Care Act established.

U.S. outcomes for breast cancer and prostate cancer surpass Britain’s National Health Service some want to emulate.

Democrats should join their fellow senators, even though they are Republicans, to allow Americans to own their own policies that they can take from job to job like they do their auto and homeowners insurance. This portability would not require a different policy at a new job.

We could still have the ability to select where and who provides our care, decide which coverage we want and don’t want, and recover the lower premiums we paid earlier while still benefiting from the safety net assured by guaranteed access to emergency rooms.

Attendees at the National Prayer Breakfast and the Trump inaugural sensed a spiritual awakening. The secular world view is discredited daily and not just by the $100,000 in damage at University of California, Berkeley by black-clad masked “protesters.”

Our nation is returning to those values that have served us so well for more than 200 years. We will survive Timothy Leary’s adventure into LSD and Hugh Hefner’s mansion filled with rabbits. Donald Trump promises to “end the war on Christianity” and repeal the Johnson Amendment, which returns to pastors the same freedom of speech the rest of us enjoy.

How many presidential candidates articulated the impact Jesus has in their lives? Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Jeb Bush, Jim Gilmore, Marco Rubio and possibly others.

I am told 10 of the 15 of Trump Cabinet nominees are enthusiastic about Jesus’ game plan for how our society can thrive. And there’s also an evangelical named Mike Pence to throw into the mix. We are on our way back, and with us a health care system that acknowledges our Christian heritage.

Make sure you invite a friend to Bible study this week.

Foster FriessGod Bless,

Let’s all of us promote Civility.
Together We’ll Get There!

Join the discussion 11 Comments

  • Clay Hamlin says:

    The Bible speaks of PERSONAL charity. There is a difference between what we do by choice to help our neighbor as individuals, which we can control, as opposed to a big government, which dictates redistribution program over which individuals have no control. Religion is based on virtues and acts of personal choice, not force, like big government programs.

    Senator Sanders is a socialist who believes that big federal government should mandate and legislate what should be provided to whom and who should pay for it. Even if well-meaning, this is not in accord with our Constitution, equality or personal liberty. And it is not in accord with personal giving in the Bible.

    What could be Constitutionally acceptable is to have each state provide for free medical clinics for the needy, how to pay for them and who qualifies. This is a role for the states, where the citizens of each state can decide. At the same time those citizens can also choose to support charities that help the disadvantaged.

  • Bob and Rita Fischer says:

    Foster, thanks for being an encourager and positive influence in our country. God bless you and Lynn, Bob and Rita Fischer

  • Jeffrey Kramer says:

    Yet another poinient article that should be shared widely Foster. I’m amazed how many times each week mainstream media misses the mark. It’s clear to all that “know” in truth that our nation and its inhabitants outshine the rest of the world combined in philanthropic and basic caring for others around the world, and at home… As an aside, I recently met someone here in Southern California that knows you and you family, having residence in your same community. I hope to have the opportunity to meet, or at least speak with you… I also thank you and your wife for the wonderful children’s book you shared, I read it with my grandson… My best to you and your family… Jeff Kramer

  • David Arday, MD says:

    The answer to the headline question is “no,” because the framers of the Constitution saw fit to not include any material or economic rights, other than the right to own property, and it is unlikely that the framers considered one’s health to be “property.” Furthermore, even if one’s health could be considered one’s property, the concept that someone else would have to forgo their economic property (money or labor) in order to maintain your right to healthcare would have been anathema to the framers.

    However, Foster Friess’ argument in support of much the same answer is somewhat convoluted and contradictory. If I “we are our brother’s keeper,” as the Bible instructs, then we should be quite willing to provide care to the penniless illegal immigrant by some means, either charitable or governmental. It is a blatant falsehood, however, to blame the high costs of the U.S. healthcare system upon such illegals, as their cost contribution is negligible. Uninsured American citizens, who make use of the “safety net assured by guaranteed access to emergency rooms,” have been a much bigger cost driver, as the costs of their uncompensated care must be shifted to private or government payers. Perhaps we should call our overseas Christian missionaries home to provide charity care to all who need it in America, rather than be so quick complain about the government stepping in to do the right thing for us.

  • Excellent article, Foster. For years I along with millions of Christians prayed “Thy will be done” with hopes that the admonishments of Washington, Adams and others would again be the Spirit of the USA. Now we have signs that there is hope again for one Nation under God!

  • Dan Clarke says:

    Thanks again Foster. Your writing points the direction to how Americans can take better care of themselves: renew the power of accountability. I date back to the times when we all took great personal care of each other. We’d take the neighbor’s kids to school and church. We could leave our doors unlocked when we left home. Dad’s fixed one another”s cars. Vendors came to the front door every day to leave bread, milk, soap and brushes… and Kirby vacuum cleaners!! Today we need to place more honest and accountable Americans in our government for sure… but also in our commerce. Unhealthy “institutions” have formed in banking, law, health services, education, unions, and others. They’ve come to develope an “us versus them” behavior that harms our people. Average Americans can’t succeed when large operators are picking their pockets. One idea for health insurance is to move to consumer-driven health plans. An alternative might be to insist that all institutions run with lean executive management and return at least 75% of consumer pay-in in the direct services they’re supposed to provide. We need only be ready for shareholders and boards of directors to turn a little bit blue. Thanks again for sharing your provocative thinking.

  • George Greene III says:

    Well said Foster. Thank you for your enthusiasm and your call to action. Thank you also for being a great encourager and a voice of reason. Blessings, George

  • "Tall" Paul Zahurance says:

    Thank you Foster for giving us direction to how we as Americans should take better care of ourselves, Biblically. You are a great encourager and a voice of wisdom and reason. I thank the Lord for the opportunity of meeting and your wife last fall here in Rice Lake.… I also thank you and your wife for the beautiful children’s book you shared, I read it with my grandchildren over and over. They love it! God Bless, Tall Paul.

  • Foster ! Sad that one leans on the words of Jesus Christ as the solo authority on thoughtfulness for others. Living on farmland, I never knew a Doctor not giving help to anyone in need—–and then requiring an immediate payment. Health costs are exceptionally high and our Government hasn’t contained such costs, but only enhanced such. They should get out of the business, as has occurred with numerous private Health Insurance Underwriters—-there is not adequate greed. Help thy neighbor. I believe it is still part of a physician’s credo. Charlie

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