There a few things on my mind about the healthcare debate. First, I am troubled by the “you lie” incident during the President’s speech on healthcare. I am troubled that our President was intentionally misleading us. The Democrats in Congress had already acted to remove provisions to screen out undocumented immigrants. The President’s words may have been accurate, but they were misleading. I am troubled that an elected member of Congress would demonstrate such lack of control and disrespect for others. [I am myself given to inappropriate audible expressions of “Lord help us” when I am frustrated with events in public worship.] This isn’t England where they have universal healthcare and members of Parliament are expected to shout out objections to speeches: apologies given, apologies accepted, stereotypes reinforced, Democrats gain ground, and the beat goes on.
I am troubled by what appears to be a growing animosity toward undocumented immigrants. I am a conservative because I am convinced sin is a present reality that must be resisted [the problems of society can not be solved by simply throwing money at them; I say “resisted” because I am speaking of social order and not soteriology which calls for a more comprehensive approach to sin] and because I believe we have a responsibility to preserve and pass on the core values of our heritage. Among those values is personal liberty from an intrusive government. I am alarmed at the left’s absence of concern for this fundamental American value. On the other hand, I am more alarmed at the hatred I hear coming from the right. The founders of our great nation built their political philosophy on a declaration that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Recognizing that immigration is a complex issue and that we are a society governed by laws, I must assert there is a higher law than that established by legislative bodies. That law demands that we love aliens, strangers, and even our enemies. The Word of God is clear, we have an obligation to care for the weak, the oppressed, the widowed, and orphans and the “alien that lives among” us. We must separate our attitudes about poor imigration laws and practices from our affections for the immigrant among us. We will be judged by God for how we treat them. How vile is it to segragate children whose only crime is that their parents entered this country without documentation, to cut them off from the fundamentals of education and healthcare? We will reap what we sow.
In my conservative opinion, I do not want a healthcare system where I must present documentation of legal residency before I get treatment. [I am for this reason concerned about a national digitized system of medical records. The system might save money, but if it is under government control we are losing freedom to save money.] I do not want a system that by its very nature segragates people into those with rights for health care and those without those rights, especially children. True conservatives value life and human dignity; they struggle for justice and equality in the eyes of the law. True conservatives do not scapegoat the weakest amongst us for purposes of personal security.
If we do not have a resurgence of compassionate conservativism (the only real conservativism) in the GOP I will have to withdraw from the two-party system.