Saturday, April 20, 2013

Boston, Insurance, and Charity

The recent events in Boston, MA have appalled us all. Three people dead, the youngest of whom was only eight years old, and hundreds wounded. Senseless violence was planned and carried out against innocent people, and for no good reason.

 It was carried out in a ham-fisted amateurish fashion as well, the most glaring lack of thought on the part of the perpetrators was to set off their explosions less than a hundred yards from what was essentially a modern day MASH unit. We are all thankful for the immediate assistance the medical personnel that were right there provided in saving those who might have otherwise died. In addition to the top-notch field care provided Boston has a higher than average number of Tier 1 Trauma Centers (eight in Boston alone, as compared to three for the entire state of Iowa, two in Florida, and one in Illinois as reported by the American College of Surgeons), meaning the survivors at the blast site didn't have to spend very much of the Golden Hour in transit.

One of those survivors, Jeff Bauman, had a story to tell. He actually saw one of the bombers a few minutes before the explosions, and as soon as he awoke from emergency care, he let authorities know what he knew, and helped narrow the potential suspect pool. Contrary to earlier reports (we'll skip how someone living and working in a state with RomneyCare™could possibly be uninsured), Mr. Bauman does have health insurance through his employer, Costco. Costco is generously matching any funds donated by his co-workers to aid in his recovery. Also, several of his friends have set up a campaign at the crowd-sourcing site in an effort to defray any expenses insurance may not cover. One of my friends mentioned on Twitter that this was an example of a broken system, but I disagree.

I think this is a perfect example of the charity for strangers we are supposed to exhibit. I think this is a perfect example of people helping people from the goodness of their hearts. I think it is a stellar example of Christian charity, though likely some of those donating would object to the term. As Jesus states in Matthew 25:25-40, feeding, clothing, and caring for the poor is the same as doing it for Him directly. Some would say that as Christians we should make the government do these things, to which I reply, "no." Any time we say they government should do something, that means we think the government should spend money on it. Where does the government get its money? Taxes. How are taxes collected? Essentially by force, or the threat of force. Every penny of tax we pay to the government is a penny we have earned, by trading time or effort, for ourselves but are not allowed to use as we see fit. Every time we increase the number of things government does, we increase the amount of money, and therefore taxes, that it needs. Yes, we should pay taxes and are commanded to do so, but we should also not look to our worldly governments to solve all of our problems, that's God's job, whether directly or through his Church.

It is the job of God's people and his Church to care for the poor. In 1 John 3:17-18 we are told we should love in "deed and truth" and that is what people are doing. And don't think just because you don't see someone holding a press conference about how much they or their business are giving to this cause or that cause doesn't mean they aren't giving at all; they might just be reading their bibles. Matthew 6:1-4 cautions against making a scene of your giving stating if you are only doing it for recognition, that is all you will receive, but if you are giving for the sake of giving the Father will reward you.

I think that too many churches today get confused as to their role in our lives and the government's role in our lives. The government should only be there to keep the roads open and the bad guys on the other side of the ocean. Since the FBI has admitted they questioned one of the bombers in 2011 regarding possible terrorist ties and the same bomber should have been deported in 2009 following an arrest for domestic violence, they aren't doing half of their only two jobs already. Do we really want to give them more? Let the churches take back the safety net and it will become a true safety net. Churches, who are not able to print their own money or seize their member's money at the point of a gun, will be more motivated to help people get out of the net once they've fallen in. And people will be more motivated to get out because it won't be a nameless, faceless, government bureaucracy sending them checks in the mail it will be a pastor, or a deacon, or another member of the church helping them, taking a personal interest, praying with them and motivating them. All in all I am completely confused about the push to get the church into the government, when we should be pushing the government out of our personal lives and inviting the church in instead.


  1. but what about those of us who do not want the church in our lifes? not trying to be rude, just wondering your thoughts on that

    1. There are plenty of secular non-governmental organizations, and religious organizations (such as the Salvation Army) that won't beat you over the head with it. And of course there are friends and family.

      It doesn't necessarily have to be a Christian religious organization, but typing church/synagogue/mosque/neo-pagan organization would have just worn me out.

  2. haha im sure it would have. I mean i believe in a god. but i dont really believe in any religion. thats just me.