Southern Religion

British ‘tough love’ for their NHS & U.S. conservatives

The British have one message for their National Health Service, and another messaged for American conservatives in general and perhaps for the Christian Right drive to stop health reform in this country.

British journalist Claire Rayner writes for the Guardian about National Health Service problems:

There has been an absolutely astounding response to the report the Patients Association released yesterday, detailing examples of neglect of elderly and vulnerable patients. While I was as ever hopeful that the people who so bravely volunteered to take part in this work would feel it had been worthwhile, the response has been staggering. I was shocked and touched reading the stories of patients’ families who have suffered and it seems the rest of the country has been as well.

She outlined a plan of correction and then turned to the awful things being said in the U.S. about the NHS and how “they don’t want a similar system of their own:”

Much as I would like to respond to their ill-informed opinions with a crisp “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn what you think,” let me instead point out that any intelligent American Republican should be able to see clearly that the anger we are expressing shows just how good the NHS normally is. And exposing the fact that we have a few rotten apples (so rare in the US, according to the self-aggrandising politicians I have heard slagging off our system) and are determined to seek them out and deal with them shows how much we care about our vulnerable, frail, and helpless elders.
I have no doubt that eventually this uproar will lead to the finding and application of the necessary remedies and ensure that future care for them will be what it should be – that is, gentle, dignity-protecting and life-extending as far as possible. If the national anger we are hearing in this country, where we love and value our NHS, doesn’t prove to you that we don’t have so-called “death panels” nothing will.

British Journalist Frances Beckett writes:

Anton Chaitkin is just the latest rightwing American commentator to claim that Barack Obama’s healthcare proposals are Nazi. The history editor of the Executive Intelligence Review called them “a revival of Hitler’s euthanasia killing programme”.
. . .
That’s how much the extreme right and the vested interests like the pharmaceutical companies hate healthcare schemes that give security to the poor. Attlee and Bevan, fortified by a large parliamentary majority and strong public support as well as their own courage and political will, pressed on regardless. It instantly transformed the lives of millions of Britons – not just the poorest, but those on moderate fixed incomes too.

Marjorie Ellis Thompson in a column calling for conservative reform of the NHS, writes:

It is sad that the scaremongers appear to be winning the war of words in the US and that they have misrepresented the NHS, using both British patients and doctors who had thought they were appearing in a documentary, not an attack-dog ad.

The British are quite clear about having been misled by American conservatives into appearing in attack ads. The London Daily Mail reports:

Furious Kate Spall and Katie Brickell claim that their views on the NHS have been misrepresented by a free market campaign group opposed to Mr Obama’s reforms in a bid to discredit the UK system.
. . .
Ms Spall, whose mother died of kidney cancer while waiting for treatment in the UK, told The Times: “It has been a bit of a nightmare.
“It was a real test of my naivety. I am a very trusting person and for me it has been a big lesson. I feel like I was duped.”

British Conservative Party leader David Cameron is also quite clear about his support of the NHS. He rebuked a party member “who went on US television to attack the NHS, dismissing his views as ‘eccentric.’ ” In an email to the members of his own party, Cameron he wrote:

One of the wonderful things about living in this country is that the moment you’re injured or fall ill – no matter who you are, where you are from, or how much money you’ve got – you know that the NHS will look after you.

Yesterday the Religion News Service summarized the Christian Right argument against health reform:

Although an estimated 45 million Americans lack health insurance, federation backers said they support the current system. “There may be problems,” said Bishop Harry Jackson, pastor of Hope Christian Church in suburban Maryland and chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition, “but it is working.”

As opposed to a system more like the British system which, as British Conservative Party leader Cameron explained, covers everyone?

August 28, 2009 Posted by | Churches, Health, Politics, Religion | , , , | Comments Off on British ‘tough love’ for their NHS & U.S. conservatives

Unholy moly! Atheist evangelism rolls


Atheist outreach is having its say via ads on 800 United Kingdom buses.

They answer Jesus Said ads which ran on London buses in June. The "Jesus Said" ads pointed to a Web site which warns that failure to accept Christ will invoke God’s wrath:

God’s wrath includes the prospect of eternal punishment — it is appointed to men to die once and then comes the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). You will rise from the dead and will face the Judge and know that you rejected His kind and merciful answer. You will be condemned to everlasting separation from God and then you spend all eternity in torment in hell. Jesus spoke about this as a lake of fire which was prepared for the devil and all his angels (demonic spirits) (Matthew 25: 41).

Comedy wrinter Adriane Sherine found that offensive and, supported by the British Humanist Association and Professor Richard Dawkins, led the Atheist Bus campaign to raise £135,000.

This iteration of the campaigin was launched on Oct. 21, and is the successor to a failed campaign which was launched and closed in midsummer after Sherine wrote a blog post, Atheists — gimme five, in resonse to the Jesus Said ads on the sides of London buses.

The atheists’ ads say (as in the picture above):

There’s probably no God.

Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.

Inspired by the British, the American Humanist Association bought ads during the Christmas season in and on 200 Washington, D.C., buses. The ads said:

Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness’ sake.

The Pennsylvania Friends of Christ responded in D.C. with ads which said:

Believe in God. Christ is Christmas for goodness’ sake.

Another group, started by a stay-at-home Catholic housewife with lobbying experience who partnered with the Catholic nonprofit Center for Family Development in Bethesda, MD., quickly raised the money to run D.C. bus ads which said:

Why believe? I created you and I love you, for goodness’ sake. – God.

We don’t know about the British, but in overview, U.S. atheists are more confused than evangelistic. The Pew Forum’s U.S. Religious Landscape survey found that 21% of U.S. atheists professed a belief in God.

Mayhap they’re mostly backsliders who, despite the bus ads, may readily be persuaded to return to church. Or if unbaptised, to begin their walk. Especially in light of the persuasive poise of U.S. Christian response.

January 6, 2009 Posted by | Religion | , , | 9 Comments