The American Ideal Extends to All.

Most individuals go into the health care professions from a desire to help those in need. Some will do so as it is a growing field in our society and thus a good place to make a career for themselves. But everyone I have ever met who works in health care really wants to be able to provide care for those who in need.

All do so with the knowledge that they will be taking care of people, of individuals,who are sick and injured, and that some of those sick and injured will be in the condition they are in because of choices they have made, choices the health care worker may not have made for themselves.

A hospital employee may not believe in street gangs and how they operate. But if a gang member winds up in their hospital with a gunshot wound, they work to save his life.

If a tightrope walker who falls while trying to walk to walk across the Grand Canyon comes in on a helicopter, it is health care workers who provide treatment.

Bungee jumper with road rash and broken arms? Treated and cared for.

A teen with no helmet crashes a motorcycle and suffers a head injury? Treated and cared for.

Victim of a suicide attempt? Treated and cared for.

A bank robber shot in the act by police? Treated and cared for.

A terrorist injured in the explosion he caused? Treated and cared for, even if the explosion resulted in harm to friends and family of the health care workers involved in their care!

A woman who wants to take birth control pills? No. No care for her. The pharmacist does not believe in contraception. Contraception violates his personal convictions. He may not believe in gangs, either, but he will fill a script for antibiotics for a gangster. The tenets of his faith are remarkably flexible.

A woman with complications from an abortion? No. No care for her. This hospital does not believe in abortion. She is still in need, as much so as those injured from other choices they have made, but she alone must be punished by withholding care. Again, the tenets of faith are flexible. And selectively judgmental.

A woman who wants to have an abortion? No. Someone in government, who does not know her, does not believe abortion is appropriate.

Every human life is filled with choices. Choices made based on the minutia that make up that person’s life. In the creation of our American system of medical treatment we have made a conscious choice to treat people, to perform procedures for people, to heal people, even if that person makes a decision we do not personally agree with.

When did America decide that women who make a choice we don’t agree with have to be punished with a lack of care and caring?

Why do Americans have selective tenets of faith that require one particular group be singled out, judged and found wanting?

What is it about women making choices about when to start a family that requires the heavy foot of society at large to stomp down on her?

Every day someone in America makes a choice that you, personally, may not agree with. Being allowed the choice of how to live our own life is the ultimate American belief, and is what drew many to establish our country in the first place. On this Fourth of July, it is worth remembering that American freedom of choice is for all of us, in all aspects of our lives, and even if some don’t agree with that choice, refusal to allow it runs counter to the American ideal.

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One Biblical Principle

Romans 3:23 says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That follows from the admonition of Christ recorded in Matthew 7: “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get."

We are all in this boat we call life together. There are those who justify their righteousness by comparing themselves favorably to others, and try to kick others out of the boat. They cannot see the log in their own eye, worrying about the speck in the other person's eye (the passage that follows directly in Matthew 7). They ignore that God's grace is sufficient, and that we are called simply to do justice and love kindness, and walk humbly with our God. We are called to love our neighbor as ourselves, and not try to excuse ourselves from that command by trying to cull the list of neighbors to those of whom we approve.

So in addition to American freedom of choice being tolerant of the choices of others, Christian faith requires loving and taking care of those who make choices we disapprove of.

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Beautiful, Vicki.

An inspiring post for the morning after. : )