For Christian theology, the privileged space of entitlement is first and foremost problematized by the gospel itself, which contends that its truth is better perceived by those on the margins than by those at the center. This stands to reason: Those who have been dispossessed by a social system are by definition less possessed by that system's illusions about itself. (17)
This goes right to the heart of talking about things like Universal Health Care. If we are in a position of power (e.g. white, middle/upper class, educated, male, heterosexual, employed, insured...) we are - by definition - "POSSESSED" by the social system that has so-benefited us. How could we not be? Of course, if I believe the uniquely-American myth that I am a "self-made-man," who did not benefit from history, or and geographical luck in my birth, then I'm going to view those on the margins to be there, somehow, by their own making. Or, at the very least, not through my OWN making.
But it is of my own making. And yours. Because 20% of the world's richest population cannot sustainably consume 80% of the world's resources. There are consequences. Poverty, disease, illiteracy and hunger are primary consequences. Secondary consequences are state instability, crime, war and human rights violations, and - yes - terrorism.
And we have the audacity of whining about higher taxes. And if we're not whining about higher taxes - if we're just quietly complicit in the machinations of empire - we're still as much to blame.
Myers quotes theologian and protester Robert M. Brown:
Some sectors of the Church align themselves with the status quo and defend it passionately, while others align themselves with the oppressed and struggle for change. There are yet others who claim to be neutral. In fact neutrality plays into the hands of those in power because it enables them to continue, and to discredit the Christians who oppose them. (21)
We don't have the luxury of playing the neutrality card or quietly sitting on the fence. I was convicted of that over the summer. We don't get to say, "I'm not in that fight." We're all in ALL the fights. And if we don't "pick a side," we've had the choice made for us by the principalities and powers of this world.
So which side are you on? What does it tell about you? Of course, I'm not just asking about health care. This is about everything. Jesus asks, "Who do the people say that I am?" (Mark 8:27) He asks the Pharisees, "John's baptism, was it from heaven or from men?" (Mark 11:29) What does your answer reveal about you? Myers writes, "Those in power recognize no authority they have not defined, brokered, or mediated." (14)