Friday, July 24, 2009

Don't be self centered people!

This morning really early, I took Cathi and a couple of her running buddies to Salt Lake to catch the bus for the start of the Deseret News Marathon. Just as we got off the freeway heading for the Energy Solutions Arena someone mentioned Obama and the new initiative to reform Health Care.

Cathi asked, "So what's the biggest problem you have with it?". The first answer.... "The biggest thing is that I'll have to help pay for everyone else." He kept going on and Cathi asked me "So you're not going to pipe up?" I said "No, you guys are starting a Marathon in a few minutes here and I don't want to start a debate." Seriously I didn't want to make any comment that would distract them from focusing on their race, but the comments started to annoy me.

"Emperor Obama" (as the runner titled him) has demanded a decree. Why are so many people (including myself) willing to consider politicians as angels or demons. Not everything is black and white. There is grey area everywhere and very few (including the politicians themselves) completely understand every impact that many of these important decisions really will make on our country. There is so much speculation on what the outcomes really would be from a particular change.

My take on this particular issue of socialized medicine in the United States is very simple....

It's no mystery that one of the historical and most likely future systems of community living among LDS folk, is the United Order. One of the main things is that those who enter the law of Consecration do so voluntarily. But last time I attended the temple, there weren't a whole lot of people raising their hands or walking out in a huff. Don't these anti-social people realize that socialized health care is one step towards something more resembling the United Order, than what we have today? So if you're one of those people who object to living the law of Consecration, keep on complaining, you deserve to. But if you agree that living the law of Consecration is for you, then please zip it regarding "paying for everyone else".

Many people who cannot afford health care don't get the care they need. And when people who have it, don't want reform mainly because it means they'll have to step up and help those who don't, chaps my hide. Sometimes we forget that everything we have comes from the Lord, and we need to quit worrying about how we're going to keep all we have to ourselves instead of helping others.

Now I'm not saying that everyone who opposes socialized health care is stingy, or self centered. There are many reasons to oppose it, but if that is the main concern, that bugs me.


Ben said...

Being self centered is exactly why I didn't vote for Obama or McCain. Most likely Obama will pass laws that will lift the burden of mine and place it on someone else. If I were to vote for Obama it would have been more of a selfish act on my part. However I do not see much difference between Obama and George Bush. Bush increased health care benefits in the country with medicaid and CHIP. Now Obama is trying to increase health care benefits. Bush started a war. Obama has increased funding of that same war by 10% and now is expanding it into Afghanistan. George Bush created an economic stimulus package, Obama had another stimulus package. Bush bailed out the banks, Obama bailed out the auto industry. Very similar presidents in my mind. In fact very similar. Bush tortured and imprisoned people without a right to a trial, and Obama is continuing to do that. They speak with different tones but are the same in actions. Spending away our childrens future for our wants now. If that isn't selfish try telling our children that in 20-40 years as they will be the ones to pay for our benefits.
A year ago I thought Bush was the United States worst ever president. Now I think he has an equal.

elaine said...

Nice blog. I must say though, there is a huge difference between the law of consecration and the ultimate counterfeit, communism. In the United Order, we give of our own free will, out of love. Everyone is equal, but more like equally rich. In Communism, only the Government gets rich and everyone feels oppressed.

Like lust and love, they may sound similar on paper, but they are very different in outcome.

Forced, aka "taxed compassion isn't compassion at all, nor is it even unselfish.

But yeah, I agree with you on many levels. I just wrote about it in my own blog.

Gords said...

Nice! Two excellent comments in less than 24 hrs. People are reading this after all!

So in reiterating what I originally said about black and white, and agreeing with Ben, Bush didn't do everything wrong and Obama isn't doing everything right. Nobody is perfect. The original post only covered the health care reform topic. And I'm far too busy to stay on top of all the topics and how they're being handled.

As far as communism and United Order. I agree that they are definitely not the same. But I think they're more similar than what we have today. Today we have individual greed, lack of government support for the poor, etc... I like the comparison between them and Lust and Love. That's true, love and lust are not the same. But what we have today vs United Order resembles Indifference and Love. To me that is worse.

I also agree that if we lived in a communist environment, that the outcome would definitely NOT be the same as if there was a United Order where everyone voluntarily gave out of love and worked for the common good. o I agree in that too.

My feeling though is that I hear alot of talk about how we'll be burdened with paying the poor uninsured folks. My thought is that it's easy to talk since we're the ones who have health insurance. If you put yourself in the shoes of someone who was brought up in unfortunate circumstances, have health problems and don't have the means to pay for them, would you feel the same way?

How is that attitude of establishing Zion all of a sudden going to change when we have the attitude that we shouldn't have to help the poor by paying more taxes? Tax is not the same as voluntary contributions, I know. But it's the attitude that I'm concerned with.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts people!

DD said...

I don’t this is an issue of being self-centered or greedy. I think it’s a matter of good stewardship and choosing the right steward for these matters such as health care. It is also a matter of agency, of choosing how much and when and how to help the needy.

I think there’s a fundamental difference between the two systems—and that is agency. Like in the pre-existence, Satan offered a plan where all would be saved. This was rejected in favor for a plan of choice, free agency, to choose the savior or choose otherwise. The same parallel could be made to forced social programs & the united order. The government would pilfer everyone’s agency to help those they deemed needy. This is something we should choose to do without the government taking personal property from one person & redistributing it to another.

I cannot think of a government-run socialized program that has done the good they said it’d do, nor keep its funding stable. When hurricane Katrina hit, it took days/week for people to get the help they needed. Victims have been in government trailers up until just recently—well actually some are still in them, it is just that the government has sold them to the victims for literally pennies. How come the government couldn’t get these victims swift aid and adequate housing? But how come private charitable organizations run by ordinary people and celebrities could build houses in the masses for these victims? Simply put, red tape—private organizations don’t have all the red tape & bureaucracy that the government has created for itself.

On another note, a basic fundamental building block that has made America great is “Personal Property Rights”. If I create a new product I should benefit from it personally. This “right” causes innovation & advancement to skyrocket—for 1000’s of years, farmers-of-old tilled their fields in much the same manner, with simple plows. Now only 200 years later, we have colossal modern improvements & technology that’d marvel an ancient Roman and even an American Pilgrim. When a government usurps a person’s property to benefit any certain class; it is stealing from someone the ability to personally benefit from their own work. Look at the Little Red Hen story & the loaf of bread. If the Hen was “forced” to share the product of her hard work (in our case, our income) how long do you think she’d keep up being a hard-working hen? Hard-work ethic, creativity, progress and ultimately happiness will not last long in a society where a government forces societal distribution. Helping the downtrodden is best when it is done out of free-will. Personally, I don’t think that the government, the Federal government especially, is a virtuous holder and proprietor of anything that would resemble the United Order. The United Order way of life is two-sided. Just like the givers within the United Order are asked to be Christ-like in their giving, so are the recipients within the United Order. I believe recipients in the United Order are asked to be giving of whatever they can to put in their share towards the greater good of the whole (group). Government welfare recipients are not asked of anything—they indirectly learn that hard work doesn’t pay off.

The problem with government welfare programs is that they are simply a hand-out—where as the church’s welfare program is a hand-up. The church doesn’t simply give out free food nor pay for one’s mortgage. With the Church welfare recipient, a plan is made to become (more) self-sufficient & they are usually asked of how the recipient can give service back to the Church. The ultimate goal of the church is to help the welfare recipient know how to be provident or self-sufficient in their living. This important aspect of welfare is non-existent in the government run welfare system.

When it comes to the government—the more you give, the more you DON’T get.

Gords said...

Please. Small responses that are direct and to the point.

Instead of continuing to stoke this fire, I'll just let this post just fade away. Peace out.

Eric said...

I was out of town when this post was made, so I want to get in my $0.02.

Diana, don't worry, I took the time to read your comment, and I understood it and I agree with it. Many church leaders have spoken against communism. Here is one:

"Communism and all other similar isms bear no relationship whatever to the United Order. They are merely the clumsy counterfeits which Satan always devises of the Gospel plan .... The United Order leaves every man free to choose his own religion as his conscience directs. Communism destroys man's God-given free agency; the United Order glorifies it. Latter-day Saints cannot be true to their faith and lend aid, encouragement, or sympathy to any of these false philosophies ...." ("Message of the First Presidency," 112th Annual Conference, April 6, 1942.)

Here is another audio clip from Ezra Taft Benson:

With any government run program, people will take advantage of it because they know they can. In the church welfare system and under the United Order (when it is re-established), people are accountable.

Personally, I don't think that getting any closer to socialism is better than what we have today.