For Catholics on the Left, this is a no-brainer. Of course Jesus would support health care reform, because he’s a Democrat. That’s why he helped people all the time. Oh sure, he was the Redeemer of all humanity, the Word Incarnate, and all that other jazz. But most of all – let’s not forget – most of all he liked to help people feel better. And he positively loved to laugh, in an earthy, burlap sort of way. In fact, as genuine, compassionate Catholics have known for some time, the solution to any political or social question can be found if we start with the following simple exercise.
Ready? Close your eyes. Take a deep breath…good, now take another. There. Now let your self-empowered spirit awareness gnome take you to a happy place…no, not San Francisco circa 1971…no, not the Che Guevara T-shirt outlet…okay, a green meadow is fine…now relaaaaax, and imagine you are a caring, gentle, hairy guy who justs loves to like folks. So…what would you do about health care? That’s right. You would sigh deeply, take a moment to “presence” yourself, and reform healthcare so Paul Ryan could never hurt anybody again.
So yeah, if that’s your idea of who Jesus is, and if your take on the Gospel went in and out of style at about the same time Jane Fonda did, then it’s an easy question to answer. And for you, it’s the question that can provide the answer to any question related to politics, society, the role of government, etc. What would Jesus do?
Well, it was just a matter of time before someone in a mainstream media outlet thought, hey, has anyone commenting on Obamacare done that thing where they ask what Jesus would do? I’m totally going to do that. And sure enough, someone at CNN has obliged. The author of this column, John Blake, starts out with the typical modern portrayal of Jesus:
He was a healer, a provider of universal health care, a man of compassion who treated those with preexisting medical conditions.
Yup, God sent his Son to be a super-duper friendly street magician. Whatever. As the article progresses, Mr. Blake interviews various religious scholars, who tell us that, unsurprisingly, religious people tend to fall into the same two basic groups that everyone else does when it comes to the role of government in health care: those who think government should take on the role of providing health care for everyone, and those who believe such things are better left to the local level, to churches and private charities. Amazingly, devoted followers of Jesus are found in both camps.
So that’s where it ended up. When I got to the end of the article I realized I had been duped – there is no answer to the question of what Jesus would do! Curses! This can’t be! How are we going to solve the debt crisis now? What are we going to do about Iran? Why do I have a drawer full of socks that don’t match? The bitter truth, which the article reveals in the end, is that people on both sides of any issue can use this question to bolster whatever position they take.
At the end of the day, the best answer to the question “would Jesus support health care reform?” is, “that’s a dumb question.” But that’s just what I think. Oh, and so does He.