Monday, September 7, 2009

Fighting the good fight

I am getting demoralized by trying to open the minds of right-wing friends on health care reform.  Just got off a several days long, polite but passionate exchange with a a friendly acquaintance who's diametrically opposed to me on the issue.  Been trying so hard to be rational, humane, reasonable, open-minded, and yet not pull punches or back down on why I think a national plan, is the better option.

But dang it I'm getting tired of this deadlock!  Today I just found out this person gets her talking points from Glen Beck.


There goes the chance for reasonable discourse.  How do you get people to even see their filter, the presuppositions that color every "fact" they see? 

It's been giving me that awful, ugly gut feeling I used to get during implacable stalemates with loved ones, the kind you absolutely can't walk away from but you know they will never ever see what you see and will label you the "enemy."  But just like those heart-rending spousal or parent-child battles, I know I'm supposed to stay and engage, not walk away.

Because if we Christians can't stay, be civil, be honest and assertive about what we believe, how can there ever be reconciliation?  The Bible has so much to say about unity among believers, and how that is the most powerful witness to a watching world.  I don't mean that all Christians should have the same political opinions (heaven forbid!), but it makes me so sad when other Christ-followers use their religion to justify why their political opinion is right.  Don't they realize I could just as easily play that game and "prove" Jesus is a left-leaning radical social reformer?  But I won't sink to that level.  It's pathetic, it tears apart the body of Christ and makes the enemy laugh.  

Not that that's exactly what this person was doing.  I know she wasn't questioning my faith, but something about all this is making me kind of queasy.  Of course, my faith has to support my political beliefs.  Duh.  If they ever conflicted, it would be the politics that has to change, in a heartbeat.  Maybe part of what's making me queasy is recognizing that temptation so strongly in myself - to say Jesus is a pro-life Green and everyone else is just wrong - and know how long and hard I've tried to see the Right's point of view about this and I just don't get it.

I want to find common ground but it's fading fast.  All I see in the anti-reform sentiment is misinformation, ungrounded fears, and a failure of compassion.  There, I said it as nicely as I could.  My original adjectives were a heck of a lot more incendiary.  But like I said, I really want to find common ground.  

Somebody on the Right please, please, PLEASE prove me wrong.

Show me that you really get what it's like to have a pre-existing condition and be denied coverage time and again.  To live with the daily fear that any time anything happens to you or your kids' health it could mean you lose everything, savings, job, home, all of it.  To be literally unable to go to the doctor when your child is sick because you know it'll just be one more black mark that makes it even more impossible to get the insurance you so desperately need.  Explain to me how in this amazingly blessed and bountiful country of ours it can possibly be "okay" that some people get state-of-the-art healthcare and others die for lack of a simple drug or diagnostic procedure.  How is that okay?  How is that "Christian?"  And then, after you've told me what a horrible socialist takeover we're heading for, please show me your better option.  Because that's what I haven't seen yet.  Show me how these profit-driven, insane CEO-bonus giving, coverage-denying, shareholder-courting, free-enterprise-pleading private enterprises are suddenly going to do an about face, out of the goodness of their own hearts (without any legal lash) to make it all better.

And they say Obama's naive.