I smiled. "Yes, I'm afraid so."
"What's it going to take to change your mind?!"
"I don't think there's anything that's going to change my mind," I answered.
"And you support Universal Health Care?" He asked. I nodded. "We don't need Universal Health Care! Anybody in the country can go into the emergency room and get treated!"
I said, "I'm not going to argue about this. I've got a migraine. You win." I didn't argue that the number one cause of personal bankruptcy in America is from uninsured medical expenses. Or that I believe medical care is a human right. Or that my entire worldview is intertwined with my faith in Jesus Christ, and in his example and teaching.
He said, "Health care isn't in the Constitution!"
"I don't care what's in the Constitution," I answered truthfully.
He said, "I do. Oh well, I'm just giving you a hard time," and that was the end of the conversation.
But really, what IS it about this whole CONSTITUTION thing? It's a lot like biblical inerrantism, isn't it? That "if we could just get back to the original text" ... "the original intentions" of the "original writers" ...
It's kind of comforting or cathartic, isn't it? To believe that we have a magic document that would solve all the world's problems if we just FOLLOWED IT VERBATIM! It gives us an answer for... well... everything! Why is there suffering in the world? Why is there poverty? Why can't I make enough money? Or protect my family? Or stop people with other beliefs from polluting my community? Well the answer is simple: we're not following the fundamental teachings of the Bible. Or of the Constitution.
I feel even more strongly about the Constitution than I do about scripture: why in the world have we (Americans) put our faith in a 200 year old document written by white, male, slave-owning, American Indian-killing revolutionaries? How have they earned our unflagging allegiance? Many were geniuses, I'll give them that. And many where perhaps better than the social norms of their day. A few of them freed their slaves - after they died (I mean, no use sacrificing convenience while you're still breathing). And most probably never killed an American Indian with their own hands... I guess that's something.
I don't care what's in the Constitution (sorry, new crop of hipster-Libertarians). I care about what's good. I care about what's kind. I care about what will most benefit the poorest and most vulnerable in our society... Yes, even if that means I have to pay higher taxes (God forbid!). I'm not debating the efficacy of government programs. I know "good enough for government" is a tired joke that's rarely funny because it's so often true. But that argument, too often, becomes a sleazy tactic to avoid compassion completely.
This is right in line with an older post about "truth and goodness." If goodness somehow conflicts, head on, with biblical teaching, then I'll choose goodness. Jesus did the same.