On Healthcare, Human Rights, and a Humane Society

Healthcare is a basic Human Right; hence:

1. The issue of Healthcare is a Human Rights issue.

2. The denial of Healthcare to even a single person is a violation of that person’s basic Human Rights; and is inhumane in and of itself.

3. The societal system which maintains that the rights of an individual or entity to make a profit is more important than the rights of an individual to have Healthcare is an inhumane system, and is a violation of basic Human Rights in and of itself.

4. The only way that a society can be a humane and just society is to ensure that each individual has Healthcare.

5. The logistics as to how to provide Healthcare to each and every individual then are necessary details in order to maintain our humaneness as a society and as a people.

It Is Up To Us (With or Without God)

39 years ago today, my sisters and myself were involved in an automobile wreck in which our AMC Gremlin was hit by a train. The AMC Gremlin was a nice economic vehicle in those days. However; our AMC Gremlin did not stand up well against train collisions. Good enough however to allow all four occupants to live to tell the tale, even now so many years later.

Now, there are those who are privy to the circumstances of that incident who say that “someone was watching over us that day”. I say that if “someone was watching over us that day”, then the train never would have hit us in the first place.

You see, I do not believe in the providence of God.
Nor do I believe in the protection of God.
Nor do I believe in the punishment of God.

What I believe in is the existence of a universe of natural principles which is completely indifferent to the well being of anyone and everyone.

I believe in the suffering of an empty stomach.
I believe in the suffering of the person who is homeless.
I believe in the suffering of the maimed and the mutilated who suffer the effects of national wars.

I believe in the effects of suffering.

I also believe that whatever happens in terms of the natural universe simply happens.

If the train hits your car so as to kill you, then that happens.
If the tree falls on the unsuspecting child and kills the tot on the spot, then that happens.
If the baby is born with Cancer, and lives a short and miserable life of suffering and premature decay before experiencing the release of death; then that happens.

Frankly, it seems to me that if there is a god (or gods); then she, he, or they; have left us on our own.

And so we exist; and so we co-exist.

On our own.

Which means that we of humanity are responsible.

We are responsible for anything within our control.

And if we opt to sublet that responsibility to our personal conception of an interactive, all powerful deity, then we fail ourselves, and we fail humanity.

If we simply trust god to feed the hungry, then the hungry will continue to suffer.
If we simply trust god to shelter the homeless, then the homeless will continue to suffer.
If we simply trust god to care for the ill, then the sick will continue to suffer.

Anything that will be accomplished, will be accomplished through us.

Pray to your god if you must, but limit your trust to what she, he, or they may do through us.

For the fact is, that faith without works is useless.

Even the Bible says so: James 2:14-17

So whether you be a spiritual Christian, a diligent Muslim, a peaceable Hindu, or even a cynical Atheist like myself; realize this:

If we of humanity do not trust in and act upon our natural sense of kindness and compassion; then it does not matter whether your god exists or not.

Because any efforts to alleviate suffering; will be done through the efforts of humanity.

With or without “god”.

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas

The Concept of Society

Any system which fails to alleviate the suffering of people is a system in need of whatever changes are necessary to meet that end. For there is no end to be sought which allows for suffering. There is no principle to promote which allows for suffering. There is no pledge to utter which allows for suffering. There is no god to worship who allows for suffering. The primary objective of any society; whether such is a family, a city, a state, or a nation; is to alleviate suffering at all other costs.

The common good is the primary goal of any society. Any system which seeks the common good; not by mere lip service to the notion, but by effectual accomplishment to that end, is a system worthy of implementation. Any system which allows for anyone to be housed, should see to it that everyone is housed. Any system which allows for anyone to eat, should see to it that no one is hungry. Any system which offers healthcare for anyone, should see to it that there is healthcare for everyone. Any aspect of any system which hinders the effort to house, feed, and care for every single person, is an aspect of the system which should be at the very least modified and revised; and if necessary removed and replaced.

The care of every person is the primary objective of a society.
Anyone who does not grasp that concept, does not understand the concept of society.

Peace to all; prosperity for all; and joy to the world.

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas

Have We Learned Our Lesson?

I sincerely hope that President Obama has learned his lesson.

Bless his heart, I truly believe he means well.  He is just too conciliatory and unfortunately in the case of “Affordable Healthcare”, we the working stiffs are getting screwed because of his efforts to “bring all parties to the table”.

The fact is, that when the profiteering Insurance companies were allowed  to be a part of the process of “solving” an issue that they played a key role in creating, that was like allowing the coyote to be a part of installing security in the hen house.

When the Affordable Healthcare Act passed without a Single Payer option there many wise minds who immediately warned that this plan would enable the Insurance companies to exploit this legislation to their advantage, and sure enough that is exactly what has happened.

The fact that the profiteering  Health Insurance Industry  has exploited what was designed to be an “affordable” health care act in order to price gouge at a rate which defies any sense of merit or justification renders that industry untrustworthy to say the very least in what is proving to be an even worse situation than existed before 2010.

That said, I hope that we, the American people have learned our lesson.

Profiteering Health Insurance companies are not to be trusted.  If even allowed to continue to do business they should be heavily regulated, but by no means are they to be trusted.

In my judgment, it is time for a nationalized Single Payer Healthcare option funded by taxes and available to EVERYONE.  Even if we have to reinstate pre-1980 tax rates in order to fund this plan, then so be it.

It is time to stop catering to the greedy and ungrateful elite, and let’s  tax corporations and the top tax bracket at rates which in the past have proven fair and beneficial in order to provide for EVERYONE.

I sincerely believe that a nationalized Single Payer Healthcare system funded by taxes is our only viable option in order to escape further exploitation by the profiteering Healthcare Industry.

On Priorities and Commitment

We are the United States of America.

We can do anything.

 

There is a reason why we do not utilize Solar Energy as a workable solution to maintaining a clean environment while still supplying energy for our populace.

 

There is a reason why we do not provide Healthcare for every man, woman, and child within our society.

 

There is a reason why our infants die at an alarmingly higher rate than over 20 other countries.

 

It is a matter of priorities and commitment.

 

The reason why Germany is able to utilize solar energy is not because they have more sunshine than us, but rather because as a society the German people made Solar Energy a priority, and they committed themselves to make it happen; and so it did happen.  The German people furthermore did not allow monied interests to sway them from that commitment; and so the German people made Solar Energy a workable solution to maintaining a clean environment.

 

The German people did not sell out their freedom.

They bought into a workable, viable solution to provide clean energy in the way of solar energy.

 

It is a matter of priorities and commitment

 

The reason why our infants die at such an alarmingly high rate is because of our commitment to privatized industry and a profiteering medical system.

 

Our social commitment is not to providing healthcare.

Our social commitment is to maintaining a privatized, for profit healthcare system.

 

It is a matter of priorities and commitment.

 

And so in the light of our commitment to privatized industry and a profiteering medical system, some live well, and some die young.

 

Solar Energy and Universal Healthcare are issues of priorities and commitment.

 

We are the United States of America.

We can do anything.
It is a matter of priorities and commitment.

The Words of Jesus Regarding “The Judgment Day”

Interesting thing about Jesus’ version of “the judgment day”.

In Jesus’ version of “judgment day”, he does not tell those who were so poor that they need to be fed by others:

“Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”

Nor in Jesus’ version of “judgment day” does he tell those who are homeless:

“Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”

Nor in Jesus’ version of “judgement day” does he tell those who are sick and in need of someone else to provide for their healthcare:

“Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”

Nor even in Jesus’ version of “judgment day” does he tell those who are in prison:

“Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”

Interesting.

What is even more interesting is that Jesus DOES tell those who fail to feed the poor, shelter the homeless, provide healthcare for the ill, and even take care of those who are in prison:

“Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”, and then he simply sends them “away into everlasting punishment”.

Interesting.

Ah well, surely Jesus did not ACTUALLY mean what he said here… right?

I mean, surely Jesus is using figurative language here… right?

I mean come on man, surely Jesus is not SO CONCERNED about real life situations like the well being of the poor, the homeless, and the incarcerated that he would ACTUALLY make such scenarios a criteria for eternal judgment… would he?

Besides, everyone knows that people who are so poor that they cannot feed themselves or provide shelter for themselves are in that condition due to no one’s fault but their own… right?

So I am not ACTUALLY  accountable in Jesus’ eyes to ACTUALLY help those people… right?

And Healthcare is a privilege to be purchased and not an inherent human right to be provided for.. right?

And prison conditions, hey, that is not my concern.  Those people in prison gave up their rights when they committed crimes against society and humanity…right?

I mean surely Jesus is gonna take these types of factors into account on Judgment Day… right?

Besides, surely even if I do pass judgment on the poor as being lazy and therefore I do not believe in providing for their welfare; and I figure I have to work hard to pay for my house so why should anything just be given away to the homeless, and I figure that since I have to work hard to pay for my Healthcare then I therefore naturally oppose Universal Healthcare for all on principle; and I am not in the least concerned about prison conditions since those people are just getting what they deserve….

Surely I will not be accountable for such perspectives on Judgment Day.. right?

I mean, SURELY so long as I take my family to church every Sunday, and pray before every meal, and even stand and sing “God Bless America” at the same time everyone else does; then little things like turning my back on the poor, supporting denying Healthcare for all, and my opinions on prison conditions won’t be held against me by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ… right??

….. right???

MATTHEW 25:31-46 (source: biblegateway.com, bold lettering mine. Dave)

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Not to worry people.  These are JUST Jesus words as to “THE  JUDGMENT DAY”.

Not to worry   …. right?

Playing God and Real World Issues

As a general rule, I refrain from offering my opinions of issues related to women’s health. Frankly, my ignorance as to such simply embarasses me.  Even more embarrassing is to hear those of my own gender speak flippantly and with presumptive authority as to matters which quite frankly do not concern we males.  Until such time as I suffer the natural physical hardships which burden the female community, I simply do not feel qualified to opine regarding issues so involved.  However, I do feel inclined and somewhat obligated to speak out when representatives of my own gender take it upon themselves to share a patriarchal perspective which is critical and judgmental of decisions made by women related specifically to feminine issues.  More to the point, I have in mind at the moment Arkansas’ own Public Preacher/Politician/Patriarchal Commentator; Mike Huckabee.

It seems that the good Reverend has decided that when a woman chooses to abort a pregnancy she is thereby “playing God”.  Now his private opinion as to such matters is his right, but his public proclamation as to such merely exposes his ignorance and insults the intelligence of free thinkers in general.  To coin a southern colloquialism, this is a matter of “the pot calling the kettle black”.  It is in fact Mr Huckabee specifically and the religious community in general who “play God”.  Whereas I admittedly feel somewhat uncomfortable discussing feminine issues due to my ignorance of such matters, “playing God” is a practice with which I am all too familiar.  As one who was for many years a very involved practicing Christian, I know all too well the experiences of “playing God”.

People of all religious types “play God”.  Some play “Jehovah God”, some play “Allah God”, while others play “Elohim God”.  Some even enhance the experience by playing “Jesus God” and “Holy Spirit  God”. Now although I have left the Christian community, and reasoned my way to Secular Humanism, I nonetheless continue to fully support the right of Mr Huckabee and the entire religious community to “play God” as they will; yet in PRIVATE.  In a free society, people should and must have the freedom to practice religion as they so choose.  Yet whether folks play “Jehovah God”, “Beelshebub God”, “Assher God”, “Ra the Sun God God”, or “Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster God”, regardless any and all such “play God” experiences are exclusively a PRIVATE right, and simply must remain so if we are to legitimately be a free society.

Frankly speaking, there is no place for religious theories in discussions of real world consequences.  The stakes of real world issues are simply too high for intelligent beings to be burdened with the introduction of unconfirmed theories and ancient myths into the discussion.  The Mike Huckabees of the world are completely entitled to their personal practices and beliefs, yet an intelligent society simply must sift reality from fiction in order to function in accord with natural human intelligence and with respect to actual human rights.

If Mike Huckabee wishes to look to his beloved Jehovah as the source of all life, such is his prerogative.  If Mike Huckabee wishes to regard Jehovah as the reason abortion is wrong, in spite of the fact that the Bible alleges that Jehovah drowned innocent children (so much for the “all loving” nature of God) because people did not turn out the way he wanted them to (so much for the “all knowing” nature of God); and in spite of the fact that the Bible alleges that Jehovah promoted the mutilation of innocent babies who were born of a certain lineage (Hosea 13:16 for the curious); then such is his prerogative.  But an intelligent and free society simply must distinguish between fact and fairy tale when addressing real world issues.

As to those who are inclined to go the way of the Mike Huckabees of the world, I will ALWAYS defend their right to “play God” in private.  Yet, the freedom of religion NEVER gives Religionists the right “play God” in public.

As to men who are inclined to opine regarding a woman’s rights as to her personal health and choices, I recommend that we males enjoy our natural qualities such as facial hair and deep voices, and leave the female gender to deal with their own bodies and choices as they deem reasonable.

A Burden to Bear

People bearing burdens bring the best out in humanity. 

The person carrying a load who approaches a door is likely to inspire a complete stranger to rush to open the door for them.  The person who rushes to open the door is so inspired not by any expectation of gain or approval in so doing. The person who rushes to open the door is so inspired not because of common ideology with the burden bearer.  In fact, the person who is inspired to rush to open the door likely knows absolutely nothing about the person carrying the load except that the burden bearer is carrying a load.   The fact that the burden bearer is carrying a load is enough, in and of itself, to so inspire the complete stranger to rush to open the door for the person carrying the load. 

Indeed, people bearing burdens bring the best out in humanity.

Imagine how inspired people would be to rush to aid each other if we would realize that EVERYONE bears burdens.  Not all burdens are as noticeable as a load that someone is carrying in their arms.  In fact, most burdens that folks bear are more troublesome than a mere load in one’s arms.

People bearing burdens bring the best out in humanity. 

Or do they?