“We believe it is a governmental responsibility to provide all citizens with health care.”
– The law book of The United Methodist Church.
In 2010, Bishop Gregory Palmer rejoiced at the passage of ObamaCare*. Pace Nancy Pelosi, the good bishop hadn’t yet seen what was in the bill. Apparently, his fellow clergymen aren’t unified in rejoicing. The Spirit no longer moves them to the left of Jean Paul Sartre now that their theological position is freighted with real-world consequence.
It’s fortunate that the United Methodist Church Law Book doesn’t regard providing healthcare as a church responsibility. Now that they’ve found out what’s actually in ObamaCare they are hypocritical towards one of St. Paul’s pithier aphorisms (Galatians 6:7).
In fact, the UMC has now discovered exactly what sort of stink weed they helped Pelosi, Obama et al successfully sow. Therefore, they intend to make it the US taxpayer that gets “reaped.” B-Grade divine comedy follows below.
This potential loss of benefits is due to an oversight in the writing of the bill which overlooked clergy and lay employees of churches as potential recipients of special tax credits for the purchase of health insurance.
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) introduced the Church Health Plan Act of 2013 to fix this problem. The Affordable Care Act provides low and moderate income individuals and families with tax credits to cover the cost of commercial health insurance plans. The Pryor-Coons bill would extend the same tax benefits available to the general public to clergy and church employees receiving coverage from church health plans. Nationwide, more than 1 million clergy and church employees are covered by church health plans.
As a proud practicing Protestant Christian,** I always interpreted our doctrine to be in opposition to the awarding of indulgences. The Church Health Care Plan of 2013 is nothing but an indulgence if it can’t be applied equally to Mike’s Muffler Shop. We were intended to lay up our treasures in Heaven where moths do not eat it and thieves and robbers do not break through. And never, not even in the most corrupt parishes, were we supposed to be passing the costs of our own benefits to the poor and bereft.
When St. Theresa of Calcutta spoke of giving until it hurts, she didn’t mean that you gave until it hurt somebody else. That had to be somewhere in Martin Luther’s 95 Theses. It’s a shame that it didn’t make it into the Methodist Book of Law. Because apparently, at least according to the UMC, liberal activism such as ObamaCare is what the godly folk inflict upon somebody else.
* – UMC churchgoers were noticably less estatic. 26 Methodist Members of Congress voted NO vs 18 who voted YES.
** Baptist by denomination