Healthcare is once again in the public eye with the confirmation hearings of Amy Coney Barrett to be seated on the United States Supreme Court. In the past, she has sided with many conservatives to denounce the Affordable Care Act which protects people with preexisting conditions and allows people 26 years old and younger to stay on their parents’ insurance. We have also seen many people of faith (in our context we will focus on Christians) join conservative efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act and to abolish it. Many reasons for these actions claim that it catapults us into a socialist model of governance, or it takes away our choices. However, as insurance companies expand their pockets on the backs of people’s health and as medicine skyrockets in price, these arguments fall short and are antithetical to Christian values. In fact, Christians should be fighting for expanded universal healthcare especially for those who are poor, marginalized, and sick while advocating for a more holistic view of health.
Here are just 6 Reasons Healthcare is a Christian Issue:
- Our bodies are divine. Genesis 1: 26-31
We are created in the image of God, the imago dei. God created us: mind and flesh. Every ounce of our physical existence is intertwined with a divine fabric that was breathed into. God sees our bodies as holy and they should be treated and respected as such. How do we create a healthcare system that respects our holiness?
- We are called to love our neighbor. Deuteronomy 15: 7-11; Matthew 22: 34-46
Second only to God, we are called to love our neighbor. We are called to take care of the sick, the orphan, the widow, the stranger, our enemies, and those who are on the outskirts of society…it is written in the text. We are told to give what is needed and to not expect payment. How can our healthcare reflect this type of care?
- Humanity over profits. Leviticus 19: 1-2, 15-18; Matthew 10: 8-11
In today’s society, human health is sacrificed for profit and money. We have seen this reflected in an economy that has opened up too soon during a pandemic which is responsible for thousands of lives lost and/or infected with COVID-19. We see insurance companies’ pockets expand, gaining more and more money off of the health of people. What ways can healthcare change, so we are not profiting off the blood of our neighbors?
- Healing is a foundational belief. Matthew 9
The biblical text is full of healing narratives. Jesus healed those who needed it, whether that had faith or not. He taught his disciples how to heal and cast out illness as a foundational tool of discipleship. Meeting the physical needs of the people is foundational to the Christian faith. So, we must ask: Why are people of the Christian faith so against healthcare for all people?
- We believe in wholeness. Jeremiah 33:6
The scriptures not only speak to physical health, but to mental health, security, prosperity, respect, and societal need. Our faith teaches us about a holistic approach to our health and we must heed the calling for a better healthcare system that meets all of our needs. How can healthcare meet the holistic need of our full selves?
- Life overcomes death. Matthew 28
To live into a faith that tells us that life overcomes death, we have to lean into the ways in which we are to live our lives abundantly, as God calls us to do so, and how we are to truly live in healthy and meaningful ways. The resurrection teaches us that no matter the death dealing theologies and actions, we must fight for legislation and organizing that brings about meeting the needs of all people.
This JustList was produced by the Unbound Team.