Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Thursday's Finale pt. 2

Resolution 4 wanted the Conference to endorse the creation of a bipartisan task force by the Oklahoma State Legislature to explore and create a plan to provide health insurance for every person in Oklahoma.


We live in a time when people cannot get basic medical care due to the costs. Insurance is available but not to all people. And some insurance doesn't really provide for the care that people truly need. There is a critical need for some type of plan so that people can get the health care then need. But the State Legislature is probably not where that should come from.

This resolution was wanting a "citizen" task force. Can we honestly believe that our party-based, political machine can produce a group of people whose sole agenda is creating a health care plan devoid of any political muckery. Or can there be a program that is amenable to private health care systems without being a government funded social medical system.

Social medicine is not going to provide the care that people need. I have heard of people's experiences in Canada, a social medical system. It is not a system that will work in American culture. It is not the get it when you want it, patient first mentality we have come to believe is our right. It is at the convenience of the system.

And I don't think that our State or Federal government needs to be involved in this decision until they can grow up and act like mature, responsible, contributing members of society.

The next resolution on the agenda dealt with ministering to immigrants and marginalized peoples. The resolution urged the church to "act and dialogue responsibly and respectfully" to set a Godly example of respect and love. It also encouraged the church to minister to immigrants and people who are marginalized, oppressed, and in need.

I want to believe that this is encouraging the Oklahoma UM's to live up to their responsibility of living lives of Christian virtues with respect to all people. But I don't think that a resolution was necessary for that. That's what sermons are for.

I believe this was a veiled attempt to keep the subject of immigration and non-documented/illegal residents before the church. Our state legislature has made it an illegal act to render certain types of assistance to non-documented/illegal residents. This action by the legislature applies to churches and other aid ministries. Some churches have gone so far as to be sanctuary locations to provide aid to these people. This is a social justice position for these churches.

It is important to provide assistance to any person in need - regardless of their status. Do we have a problem with un-documented residents in this country? Yes. Should we assist anyone who is in need? Yes. But should we face prosecution in the process of doing our Christian duty? We shouldn't have to. But with the climate as it is, it is a choice each person has to make.

We failed to pass the last resolution on the schedule. It was asking that the conference endorse the creation of the U.S. Department of Peace and Nonviolence.


I am not a complete pacifist. I believe that harming another person should be avoided. But in some situations, it my not be possible. This is an interpersonal issue - between two people. This effort to establish a Federal agency whose goal is peace and nonviolence seems to be stretching. Governments have a much more complex type of relationship. And this group could only be considered a watchdog program.

The proposal states that there is already a move to include this department. And that it will be attached to the Department of Defense's budget. So we would have a Department of Defense who is paying for the Department of Peace and Nonviolence.

I believe that our nation has chosen a more aggressive posture in world affairs recently. Since 1980 there has been major armed conflicts in Grenada, Panama, Kuwait, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Prior to 1980, the number of major conflicts was much smaller. So we seem to be much more aggressive on the world stage. And that aggressiveness is costly in terms of life and property. I wish that we could change the posture from one of aggressiveness to more peaceful.

But the world is not the same as it was 100 years ago. The aggression we have shown has been measured out in such a way to meet a problem directly. Our world is not a peaceful world. And sometimes, as much as we don't want to admit it, peace and nonviolence are not realistic solutions.

Tomorrow I'll deal with the voting process for delegates.