Is Ted Cruz a Sheep or a Goat? A Call for Christians to Get the GOP Health-Care Bill Rejected
“Oh, I don’t reject your Christ. I love your Christ. It is just that so many of you Christians are so unlike your Christ.” –Mahatma Gandhi
After weeks of secret meetings, bullying, and utter disregard for others, the Republicans barely got the votes in the Senate to start the process of repealing Obamacare (and maybe replace it? It’s not too certain as of now what that would look like). They will be voting on different bills today and all week, and all hands are needed on deck to do everything to prevent its passage.
I think what saddens me the most about this whole situation is that all fifty-two Republican senators are Christians (had to double check myself). They are varied from Protestant to Catholic to Mormon and so on (most of the Democrats are Christian as well, but with a handful who are Jewish, three unaffiliated, and one Buddhist).
You shouldn’t have to be a Martin Luther/Pope Francis/Elder Price to see that what this bill does is extremely hurtful to millions of people, especially those below the poverty line, the sick, women, children, opioid addicts, the handicapped, those riddled with cancer, and so on. Yet, all these Christian Republicans seem to not care. They would rather give the wealthy huge tax cuts than give twenty-plus-million people health-care (with all the different amendments, CBO estimates are between twenty and thirty two million so far). These Christians are essentially sentencing twenty-plus- million people (and no, I won’t stop mentioning that number) to a slow, painful, expensive death, and no one is calling them out on their faith.
Instead of calling and pleading with them (or telling them to grow a pair, as I did out of frustration to Congressman Darrell Issa a few weeks back), maybe it’s time we start calling out our supposedly Christian senators and remind them about the words their Lord and Savior (Jesus, not Ayn Rand) spoke. Maybe if we all called their offices and asked their staff to relay to them a Bible verse, it could make an impact.
Which Bible verse, you ask? While there are countless times the Bible mentions something about helping the sick or the poor, I think the best option is a parable Jesus himself said, which is located in Matthew 25:31–46. In it, in the end times, everyone will be separated into two camps: the selfless sheep and the selfish goats:
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Why are the sheep going to heaven? Because they took care of the hungry, the sick, people in prison, etc. Jesus states that anytime you take care of those who are suffering, you are also taking care of him.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
As for the goats, they didn’t tend to anyone who was suffering. Anytime they didn’t feed the hungry, tend to the sick, and so on, they didn’t do it for Jesus.
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
So: in summary: when you tend to help others are who are less fortunate, you are helping Jesus. When you don’t, you are basically ignoring Jesus in need. This is further expansion of the Golden Rule, to do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.
Now, is it sad we have to use religion as a way to get what we want? Yes! Of course! This country is a melting pot of many different religions and beliefs. Our elected leaders should represent all of us, not just people of the same faith. But remember: these are Republicans we’re talking about. They have claimed to be the party of Christianity since the 1980s, and you know they will speak about their faith in Jesus any chance they can get. I’m not saying don’t be religious, but to claim you’re the party of Christ and not care about poor people while spouting hatred of gays and abortion (the latter of which most Christians didn’t care about until the 1970s), makes for a very distorted version of Christianity (especially since Jesus talked all the time about helping the poor, and zilch about gay rights and abortion).
Look, please don’t think I’m anti-Christianity or anti-religion; I am a Christian myself. I was raised Catholic and went to church every Sunday, started performing with Christian Youth Theater when I was nine, and received my BA in Theatre from Concordia University Irvine, a Lutheran college. I am no C.S. Lewis, but I know enough about my faith to not want it taken hostage by any political party. Separation of church and state is important: it protects both the church and the state from contaminating itself and the other. This experiment is using the Republicans’ rhetoric against themselves. They are clearly not moved by facts or basic human compassion. Perhaps using their Lord and Savior (again, not Ayn Rand) could help.
And so, without further ado, here’s a script I developed:
Hello, good morning/afternoon, my name is (your name here) and I am a resident of (your city and state here). First, please tell Senator______ that he/she is loved and I am praying for him/her. Second, I know that the senator is a Christian. So if you could relay to the senator to read Matthew 25, verses 31 through 46 before they vote on the health-care bill. Twenty three million Americans and I would be very grateful. Thank you.
I am not sure if this will work. I don’t know how many people will even read this article, let alone actually try it. But now is the time for a Hail Mary pass, because so many people’s lives are at stake. I hope each and every senator who is relayed that message will have a brief moment where they must decide for themselves who they are as the Christians they claim to be: are they sheep, or are they goats?
Now call today!