Judas and the Left
I thought there was something very symbolic about the healthcare vote on a Sunday when the Revised Common Lectionary reading from the gospel was as follows:
Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”
You see how far back this sleight of hand goes. Judas criticizes Mary on the ground that he money should have been spent on the poor rather than on honoring our Lord. He put on the face of caring about the poor, but John, the writer, tells us that Judas really didn’t care at all about the poor, that he was a thief who stole from the common purse. Hmmmmm. I think the story kind of speaks for itself. Without going into the theological implications, there are a lot of Judases out there who pretend to care about the poor when really what they care about is protecting their ability to steal from us. That’s really what the health care bill is all about. Friends, and friends of friends will be put in charge of our healthcare and take their cut and we will get what is left over. Which won’t be much.