Health care and Religion.

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    Sep 04, 2009 2:58 AM GMT
    Does it seem the less religious a nation is the more that nation actually takes care of the most needy amoug them? For instance, France and the UK being far less religious than the US makes heatlh care available for all its critizens. Whereas, the U.S. (a more religious people) has many of its citizens go without adquate healthcare.
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    Sep 04, 2009 4:17 AM GMT
    I've seen a number of statistics that support your idea. Look also at the Scandinavian countries.
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    Sep 04, 2009 12:15 PM GMT

    Much of American Christian religion is infused with a sub-text that God indicates the virtue of some of his flock with material well being. Many members of these churches believe at some level that comparative material well being is a sign of God's favor. And so anything that redistributes well being (like taxes or mandated health insurance or, Heaven forbid a single payer health system) will have ends contrary to God's will.

    In my opinion this is horrifically out of touch with what I consider one of The New Testament's most important messages: "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." Matthew 25:40
  • kinetic

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    Sep 04, 2009 2:42 PM GMT
    Religion and politics have always been closely related.
    They have so many parallels, especially where some people follow without question.
    It scares me when people don't think for themselves. icon_mad.gif
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    Sep 06, 2009 4:08 AM GMT
    flieslikeabeagle said
    Much of American Christian religion is infused with a sub-text that God indicates the virtue of some of his flock with material well being. Many members of these churches believe at some level that comparative material well being is a sign of God's favor. And so anything that redistributes well being (like taxes or mandated health insurance or, Heaven forbid a single payer health system) will have ends contrary to God's will.

    In my opinion this is horrifically out of touch with what I consider one of The New Testament's most important messages: "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." Matthew 25:40


    The idea that God blesses only his people is ridculous. He blesses all. The Scripture says that he sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
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    Sep 06, 2009 4:23 AM GMT
    phemt saidDoes it seem the less religious a nation is the more that nation actually takes care of the most needy amoug them? For instance, France and the UK being far less religious than the US makes heatlh care available for all its critizens. Whereas, the U.S. (a more religious people) has many of its citizens go without adquate healthcare.


    Statistics bear out that the US is less religious now than previous generations. Worship attendance have sunk to an all time low and along with this decline has come a decline in the love of others. There was a noticeable increase in attendance the weeks following 911. In fact many denominations reported record attendance the Sunday after 911. However, statistics will show that attendance now is lower than it was previous to 911.
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    Sep 06, 2009 4:30 AM GMT
    flieslikeabeagle said
    Much of American Christian religion is infused with a sub-text that God indicates the virtue of some of his flock with material well being. Many members of these churches believe at some level that comparative material well being is a sign of God's favor. And so anything that redistributes well being (like taxes or mandated health insurance or, Heaven forbid a single payer health system) will have ends contrary to God's will.

    In my opinion this is horrifically out of touch with what I consider one of The New Testament's most important messages: "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." Matthew 25:40


    God is clear in the New Testament that a lack of love for your fellowman is a sign of one's lack of love for God. He says you can not have any love for him when your have no love for your fellow man. Of the 10 commandments 7 of them deal with love for your fellow man and the first 3 deal with love for God.
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    Sep 06, 2009 4:45 AM GMT
    flieslikeabeagle said
    Much of American Christian religion is infused with a sub-text that God indicates the virtue of some of his flock with material well being. Many members of these churches believe at some level that comparative material well being is a sign of God's favor. And so anything that redistributes well being (like taxes or mandated health insurance or, Heaven forbid a single payer health system) will have ends contrary to God's will.

    In my opinion this is horrifically out of touch with what I consider one of The New Testament's most important messages: "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." Matthew 25:40


    That reminds me that Mathew was a tax collector. icon_biggrin.gif Roman justice, healthcare, and all those other good services came to pass by a tax that was insured to be collected by the sword. Free will would dictate I listen to the verse, but not submit to the sword imposed by a few.
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    Sep 06, 2009 4:56 AM GMT
    kinetic saidReligion and politics have always been closely related.

    After 1905, France will literally go to war with anyone who threatens the separation of the Church and State (including themselves). They are a country, for one, that takes this separation to drastic measures (and for a good reason if one studies as to why).

    Phemt, I would be more specific in your claim. I do not think the countries you cited are necessarily "less" religious, it is just that religion (namely Christianity) is not ingrained into governmental systems like it is here. The countries you cited have a successful "separation of Church and State". In France, riots would ensue if their money said "In God we trust" or if the president ended his addresses to the nation with "God bless America". And actually riots, protests, and chaos usually do ensue when anyone in France brings religion into the public light.

    The "Puritan Aura" that surrounds Americans is not just some misconception by foreigners, it has grounds and is constantly perpetuated daily especially in such a highly heteronormative society like our own.
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    Sep 06, 2009 5:15 AM GMT
    Pinny said
    kinetic saidReligion and politics have always been closely related.

    After 1905, France will literally go to war with anyone who threatens the separation of the Church and State (including themselves). They are a country, for one, that takes this separation to drastic measures (and for a good reason if one studies as to why).

    Phemt, I would be more specific in your claim. I do not think the countries you cited are necessarily "less" religious, it is just that religion (namely Christianity) is not ingrained into governmental systems like it is here. The countries you cited have a successful "separation of Church and State". In France, riots would ensue if their money said "In God we trust" or if the president ended his addresses to the nation with "God bless America". And actually riots, protests, and chaos usually do ensue when anyone in France brings religion into the public light.

    The "Puritan Aura" that surrounds Americans is not just some misconception by foreigners, it has grounds and is constantly perpetuated daily especially in such a highly heteronormative society like our own.


    Ever heard of the "Church of England"? Anyways, what I was specificly refering to is how often the population actually goes to church and how important they place religion in their life. The U.S. overall is a very religious population. The majority of people identify themselves as "Christian" and say religion plays an important part in their lives. All this yet we don't take care of our poor, unhealthy, etc. (i.e., the least among us) as much as less religous western eurpopean countries. I often hear religous people talking about the sins of homosexuality. It just would be nice to hear them talk more about feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, giving shelter to the homeless - you know the things Christ actually talked about.
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    Sep 06, 2009 5:33 AM GMT
    I thought this was interesting so I had a look on http://www.thearda.com which is the association of Religion Archive Data.

    You can only compare 8 countries at a time, but this is what I came up with for Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Philippines, USA

    __________________AU_|_CA_|_DK_|_FR_|_GB_|_PH_|_US
    Belong to a religion__81%| 68% | 90% | 57% | 83% | 90% | 78%
    Attend once a month_25%| 36% | 11% | 11% | 19% | 79% | 60%

    From Wikipedia, I could find that the first five countries have universal health care, I couldn't really tell for the Philippines, but it does sound like there is some type of governmental role in providing health care, and none in the US.

    This doesn't explore enough countries to draw any conclusions, but it is kind of interesting to see how faithful the US is in comparison to a small slice of the western world. If anyone could be bothered, they could check the religious practices of a bunch of countries without universal health care and see if a pattern emerges.

    There are lies, damn lies and statistics, but these stats are a bit more current than the bible.
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    Sep 06, 2009 5:38 AM GMT
    makeumyne said__________________AU_|_CA_|_DK_|_FR_|_GB_|_PH_|_US
    Belong to a religion__81%| 68% | 90% | 57% | 83% | 90% | 78%
    Attend once a month_25%| 36% | 11% | 11% | 19% | 79% | 60%


    This data clearly shows there's no relationship between religion and health care. Could it just be Americans are assholes?
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    Sep 06, 2009 5:57 AM GMT
    phemt saidDoes it seem the less religious a nation is the more that nation actually takes care of the most needy amoug them? For instance, France and the UK being far less religious than the US makes heatlh care available for all its critizens. Whereas, the U.S. (a more religious people) has many of its citizens go without adquate healthcare.


    I don't think religion should be pushed by the government, nor does this health care issue, have anything to do with religion. However the ideals the country was founded on, were the basic teachings of the bible in how one should treat other men. Does this mean everyone follows this as they should? No because men are imperfect, however it is never seen as ok, on a whole and there are people who will always do the right thing, even risking their own lives, to make things for the better.

    It seems the more people, politicians I should say, move away from these basic teachings. The more corrupt they become, the more they make things more about themselves, instead of the people they are supposed to serve. You don't need to be "religious' to follow these basic teachings. But you know there are a lot of politicians out there, and even people, who don't want anything to do with faith, don't like any kind of speak that has namely Christian connotations, and have this whole moral relativism view, and are easy of course to fall to corruption, which in then ends up with them screwing over the people. They use god when it suits their political advances, and both sides are guilty of this, mostly the right.

    And don't forget Russia under communism was very atheist, there was no religion, those who were, were ridiculed, and I'm sure you know of all of the monstrosities that were done to many innocent men, women, and children, without a care, many of these people I might add who were needy. Nazi Germany was another country void of religion, except the religion of Nazism.

    You'll see the very same things from other countries, who's leaders don't respect those basic principles that can be found in the bible. That is what has made this country unique among the rest, are we perfect and without fault? Nope. Have we made mistakes? Yep. But there is a reason why we've always been the envy to many, this envy has also cause hate towards us, and no I'm not talking about the materialistic things that are easier for us to get, as opposed to how unrealistic it would seem attaining if some place else.

    And I know quite a few people in France, and the UK, who feel their country is going down the drain, and has been for awhile just like some do here, so not exactly a great example. The major religions in Europe/Brit, are secularism, politically correctness, and Islam.There are Europeans/Brits who feel this has made them weak. While there are Muslims who are the biggest religious population, who are turned off, by the disrespect towards faith shown to them by some Europeans/Brits.

    Some of em are a bit confused with what is going on in our country now.They also want to change the health care system, which pretty much got put in place after WWII, because it made things easier at the time, but now its starting to bear some problems, some serious problems, and people there just don't know how they are going to go about fixing it the right way, its hard. There is a reason why the death rate of cancer over there is higher than ours, and those fortunate enough to save up money, come here for treatment, and not just for cancer. Sure its free, but the quality is a bit poor. Some of my friends over there had to wait 8 weeks to see a doctor, for problems that got bigger later on because of the waiting. I was kinda shocked when I had heard about this, because nobody I know ever had to wait that long to see a doctor. Over there, you're just a number more so than you are here, and you are rushed through so that the next number has his/her turn.

    I agree with anyone that says the health care system needs to be fixed, everyone agrees with that. But so far most people just don't like what was presented to them, and want these politicians to go back actually read the damn thing, and work together to come up with something better, something that won't become a problem years later, which is what is happening in Europe/Brit, Canada, and what has happened now with Medicaid, and Medicare, which by the way should be fixed first.

    Looking at this health care bill, I can see why so many Americans are pissed off its a bunch of Washington speak, and double faced talk, and after looking over it, and seeing all the other crazy crap going on in Washington, this whole health care thing, seems more like a way of expanding government more, and not giving everyone health care, because they care. It'll be dressed up like that though because who would ever deny someone health care, what sort of animal would do this?

    If these politicians really gave a damn about people who had no health care, or were struggling with it. They'd read the bill, work together, and work on fixing Medicaid, Medicare, and breathe down the necks of these insurance companies, you know getting it right the first time. Not ram something down our throats, that will only become another big broken government mess years from today. And not disrespecting the people who they are supposed to serve, who raise legitimate questions, concerns, and anger. No one yet has even said how this would be paid for, and only one politician at one of those town hall meetings, gave the honest answer "I don't know"

    The Native Americans in this country on the reservations have the health care, this admin is trying to ram down everyone's throats, and its very poor, and if the government can't handle them, how in the hell are they going to handle the entire country, and again pay for it, when we've already spent so much.

    And the administration trying to put religion, and I believe now race into this whole health care debacle, just shows the desperation, phoniness, and silliness of our so called leaders. Which is part of why most Americans are pissed.
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    Sep 06, 2009 6:26 AM GMT
    flieslikeabeagle said
    Much of American Christian religion is infused with a sub-text that God indicates the virtue of some of his flock with material well being. Many members of these churches believe at some level that comparative material well being is a sign of God's favor. And so anything that redistributes well being (like taxes or mandated health insurance or, Heaven forbid a single payer health system) will have ends contrary to God's will.

    In my opinion this is horrifically out of touch with what I consider one of The New Testament's most important messages: "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." Matthew 25:40
    I don't buy this statement at all and find it irresponsible to make such a bold statement.

    The Hoover Institute in 2003 found that in comparison of religious vs secular individuals, religious people gave more to charity than secular (91 to 66 percent) and volunteered more (67 to 44 percent). Now recognizing that religious organizations themselves most likely are included here, still the giving and volunteering also reflects the continued support for many local, national and world wide charitable organizations responsible directly or indirectly for the welfare of other humans.

    Not specifically pointing to health care but charitable giving in general, I found the following statement applicable:

    How can we explain the dramatic charitable differences between secular and religious people? Two lines of reasoning tie the findings above to current policy debates. First, secularists may prefer government solutions to social problems over private (charity-supported) ones, and thus give and volunteer less than religious people. Second, religion may be a key ingredient in promoting social capital, which in turn encourages giving and volunteering.

    There are plenty of organizations that receive and depend on direct support of religious organizations and their members to survive and they pass along that support to the less fortunate in nutritional care (food banks, dining halls, in-home meals, etc), mental and emotional support (caring hands, Stephen Ministries, etc) and family support (adopt-a-family, etc). Health care remains an issue however I don't believe that there is a correlation between lack of that care with lack of any care by religious groups in the US. The system may be messed up but the people reach out in their care regularly, without notice and selflessly each and every day, and as a nation, whether we agree with their political views or not, I don't think we show our appreciation nearly enough.
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    Sep 06, 2009 6:36 AM GMT
    eb925guy said
    flieslikeabeagle said
    Much of American Christian religion is infused with a sub-text that God indicates the virtue of some of his flock with material well being. Many members of these churches believe at some level that comparative material well being is a sign of God's favor. And so anything that redistributes well being (like taxes or mandated health insurance or, Heaven forbid a single payer health system) will have ends contrary to God's will.

    In my opinion this is horrifically out of touch with what I consider one of The New Testament's most important messages: "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." Matthew 25:40
    I don't buy this statement at all and find it irresponsible to make such a bold statement.

    The Hoover Institute in 2003 found that in comparison of religious vs secular individuals, religious people gave more to charity than secular (91 to 66 percent) and volunteered more (67 to 44 percent). Now recognizing that religious organizations themselves most likely are included here, still the giving and volunteering also reflects the continued support for many local, national and world wide charitable organizations responsible directly or indirectly for the welfare of other humans.

    Not specifically pointing to health care but charitable giving in general, I found the following statement applicable:

    How can we explain the dramatic charitable differences between secular and religious people? Two lines of reasoning tie the findings above to current policy debates. First, secularists may prefer government solutions to social problems over private (charity-supported) ones, and thus give and volunteer less than religious people. Second, religion may be a key ingredient in promoting social capital, which in turn encourages giving and volunteering.

    There are plenty of organizations that receive and depend on direct support of religious organizations and their members to survive and they pass along that support to the less fortunate in nutritional care (food banks, dining halls, in-home meals, etc), mental and emotional support (caring hands, Stephen Ministries, etc) and family support (adopt-a-family, etc). Health care remains an issue however I don't believe that there is a correlation between lack of that care with lack of any care by religious groups in the US. The system may be messed up but the people reach out in their care regularly, without notice and selflessly each and every day, and as a nation, whether we agree with their political views or not, I don't think we show our appreciation nearly enough.


    I agree, and I do know some faith based organizations that do help people out with health care issues, even rent.
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    Sep 06, 2009 6:03 PM GMT
    Rad_d81The Native Americans in this country on the reservations have the health care, this admin is trying to ram down everyone's throats, and its very poor, and if the government can't handle them, how in the hell are they going to handle the entire country, and again pay for it, when we've already spent so much.


    False correlation. They aren't poor because they have health care. icon_rolleyes.gif They are poor because you people shoved them in the worst pieces of lands America has to offer, took the rest of the lands for white habitation and then forgot about them.

    makeumyne said

    From Wikipedia, I could find that the first five countries have universal health care, I couldn't really tell for the Philippines, but it does sound like there is some type of governmental role in providing health care, and none in the US.


    The Philippines is almost wholly Roman Catholic (it's the third largest catholic nation in the world), but it's not really on the same level as American Christianity. For one, religion does play a large role (even in government), but there are very little instances of fundamentalism. Homophobia, for example, is almost nonexistent among churches. Fundamentalism is more common among the protestants, who still remain a minority.

    Also very few filipinos actually attend church regularly. Like most Roman Catholic countries, they are Christian only on religious holidays LOL.

    Also Christian missionary groups are quite active here too. Helping the poorer people get medical aid. But yeah, there's always the condition that they hear the 'word'. Especially effective among filipinos, because of our tradition of 'utang na loob' - debt of gratitude. So anyone helped by religious missionaries on a medical matter often will convert, simply because of the feeling of indebtedness, and as such it's often used unscrupulously to gain converts by protestant groups. I do like the christian medical outreach programs here that are headed by Catholic nuns, most of them at least, really like helping sick people with no expectation of conversion (partly a substitute for not being able to have children, and partly because the roman catholic church has enough members already anyway).

    And yes, we do have a health care system. It's not universal though, but universal coverage is one of their main goals. (And it has nothing to do with religion, it's purely secular). It's deducted from paychecks automatically, and everyone who has PhilHealth coverage can simply show a card to a hospital (as most hospitals here will honor that, the few exceptions being some small clinics) AFTER treatments, so the quality of care is not affected, as the medical institutions are themselves still private. The government also takes the effort to put out public health programs and promote government provided generic brands sold much cheaper than branded drugs. It's still far from perfect though, long term treatments for example, can put you through tons of red tape.

    The cultural difference can be best illustrated in the following: when public health insurance was first proposed here, the main concern was corruption in the part of the government, not how much it would take from people's salaries. Think about that.

    http://www.philhealth.gov.ph/about_us/index.htm

    So yeah, I disagree with the OP. A more possible correlation is that countries which have big private companies/rich individuals funding political parties and/or a sharp delineation on the distribution of wealth among the population (like the US) being less likely to agree to universal health care.
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    Sep 06, 2009 6:21 PM GMT
    Hmmmmm, you would think it would be the opposite, at least for Christian nations. Jesus never asked for any money, or a co-pay, or sought out if you were in the country legally. When he healed the sick and raised the dead, he just did it.

    When did Jesus get angry? At the people who part of the religious establishment, and tried to show they were holier then all.

    I think Jesus would be sad at the people screaming at the town hall meetings who do not want everyone to have health care.

    So much for the teaching of the good Samaritan.

    GodLuke 10:25-37

    [25] On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

    [26] "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"

    [27] He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

    [28] "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."

    [29] But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

    [30] In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. [31] A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. [32] So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. [33] But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. [34] He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. [35] The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'

    [36] "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"

    [37] The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."

    Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."


    Now that is health care that we need.