The Shelbyville News
Light of truth in healthcare
By Nathan Day Wilson
First of all, thank you for the many emailed, telephoned and in person compliments on last week’s column. And, thank you for the complaint: a good reminder of the difficulty of writing hyperbole. I appreciate them all.
It was a fun column to write.
This week’s column, I’m afraid, is every bit as important but not as much fun. In fact, this week I write with a sad and heavy heart.
Here’s why: The past couple weeks have been very difficult for the soul of all Americans. In the midst of discussing important healthcare issues that will affect your family and mine for generations, too many of our fellow citizens have decided to resort to lies and uncivil behavior.
Whether they support reform or the status quo, their misinformation and divisive tactics sadden me, embarrass me and concern me for the well-being of our country.
You may have received some of their emails. Usually without the names of authors or supporting citations, the emails claim such ludicrous lies as healthcare reform would force families to receive care ordered by a government panel instead of qualified, trained doctors and their staff.
Another popular email claims that elderly would be left to die if healthcare reform passed. This is also untrue, and sickening that anyone would even write such a lie.
Why are some people doing this? I’m not sure, and I pray they stop. My guess is they benefit from the system as it is – a system that delivers the best health care to the wealthiest and leaves 46 million fellow Americans with no health insurance at all.
My guess for why people circulate intentionally untrue emails and act in violent ways is that they want us to be afraid. I never appreciated bullies, and I still don’t.
I think it should stop. For those of us who are Christians or belong to other faith groups, it should stop. For all of us who embrace the Golden Rule, it should stop. For us who seek justice and fairness, it should stop. If for no other reason than just our common identity as Americans, it should stop!
Let’s ask for, even demand, a healthcare discussion that is factual. Let’s demand one worthy of your family and my family; a discussion that brings our communities together instead of fragmenting us further.
Proverbs 12 says that “Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.” Well, special interests, your moment is up. Now we want real healthcare discussion, not misinformation. We want the light of truth, not the heat of your fear-mongering.
Wilson is senior pastor of First Christian on West Washington St, which this week will celebrate all students, teachers, administration, staff and school board members at the 10:00 worship.