Wednesday, September 16, 2009

ObamaCare vs. ChristCare

Quite apart from the issue of providing abortion funding either by specific inclusion or by a lack of well-defined exclusion (as has been proposed and repeatedly rejected by House Democrats), there is the larger question of whether the Catholic Church should be cheering this enormous extension of government control over the lives of Americans, funded by the coercive power of taxation. I don't think it should.

Our Church is about saving souls, first and foremost. Yes, our cooperation in that process will naturally lead us to care for the material needs of the poor and unfortunate. But it profits us nothing to provide that care through government, since that simply forces someone else to pay for it. Forcing someone else to give their money is not a virtue. Only if that care is enabled through our own direct, intentional, sacrificial giving, does it form a part of the change of heart that our Savior is asking of us.

If it's common now to refer to the president's proposals as ObamaCare, I would say that we Catholics should be focusing on ChristCare: an organized voluntary taking up of other people's healthcare burdens through the voluntary, sacrificial giving of ordinary Catholics.