So today marked the end of our company’s enrollment in its healthcare program. I begrudgingly took the questionnaires and filled out the paperwork, jumping through hoops and listening to all sorts of judgments of my lifestyle and diet while keeping a calm outward demeanor. Sounds like a great day! I’m going to get health insurance!
But on the inside, I feel like I was violated. All the arguments for prudence aside: I don’t want health insurance.
Similar to car insurance, I believe the system is corrupt. I have never been in a car accident, nor have I ever had a moving violation, EVER! But my state still requires that I shell out the entire value of my car each year, to a “private” company, to ensure my safety. Thanks!
Here is the rub: regardless of what someone else thinks is best for me, I should be empowered to make decisions for my life, not someone sitting a class above me. I shout the old adage: You don’t know ME! (Ok, maybe it isn’t so old…)
C. S. Lewis said it well, warning us against the seemingly benevolent leadership of our time, when he said,
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
The soda ban proposed in New York, required car insurance and now mandatory healthcare are all examples of this tyrannical class system. And we Christians, particularly of the evangelical stripe, praise these systems for their inherent goodness.
Every day we are given the choice follow God, and when we choose to disobey, God lovingly allows us the consequences of our choice. When Jesus confronts the rich man in Mark 10, he does not force him to sell all his possessions. He does not coerce him into helping the poor. Jesus definitely knows what is best for him, but in that knowledge He still loves. And therefore Jesus allows the man to walk away, and choose his own way.
If even Jesus did not use His authority to coerce people into choosing good, why do we Christians think we are following His footsteps when we impose our morality on others through law? How does banning sodas, making insurance mandatory, or prohibiting tattoos or alternative lifestyles show the love that Jesus showed the rich man in the gospels?
In short, it doesn’t. Lewis was right about the persecution people will suffer under such an ideal. With each “good” law we impose, we make outlaws of our brothers and sisters who might see things a bit differently, perhaps more clearly than we.
Anyone else frustrated about mandatory insurance, about the obvious pocket-lining that “private” companies enjoy because of these pieces of legislature? How do these ideas line up with the concepts of the early church spoken of in Acts?