As a pastor, I am blessed to have a variety of people and people types under my care. From newborn babies to adolescents to newlyweds and young parents to the recently retired and even people approaching the century mark, I consider it an honor to serve as pastor to each of them.
That's why I am troubled by some wording in President Obama's universal health care plan now pending in the U.S. House that would require "end of life" counseling for senior citizens. As reported by WorldNetDaily, former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey is warning people to "protect their parents" from this measure.
Speaking of Section 1233 of the legislation, Ms. McCaughey stated on Fred Thompson's radio broadcast,
"One of the most shocking things is page 425, where the Congress would make it absolutely mandatory that every five years people in Medicare have a required counseling session. They will tell [them] how to end their life sooner."I guess this is the next logical step in our modern culture of death. Since we have become culturally dispassionate regarding abortion – and the reality that living humans are killed largely for the sake of convenience – it is small wonder that contemporary Big Brother would also target the elderly.
Earlier this week, I received a Patriot Post e-mail titled, "The Ten Commandments According to Obama." One of the commandments read:
"Honor thy father and thy mother until they are too old and sick to care for. They will cost our public-funded health care system too much money."After reading about the language in the universal health care plan, it struck me that the Patriot Post satire was terribly pertinent.
Let's go to Scripture to learn about the value of the elderly. It is important to understand that God has a role for every believer – no matter how old he/she is. Let's examine the first chapter of the book of Titus to gain some insight into the value of our seniors.
In verses 1-2, we read:
"You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled and sound in faith, in love and in endurance" (NIV).We see here that older men are not to be eschewed or disregarded. Instead, they are to be revered and given vital roles to play within the church.
Let's read on. In verse 4, we read how older women have a crucial role to play in the church.
"Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands so that no one will malign the Word of God."We see that God has plans for senior ladies too, specifically regarding the family and ministry to younger women in the church.
Nowhere in Scripture do I read where we are to discuss hospice care with seniors so they're willing to get out of the way and let younger folks live more expediently.
At Thomas Road Baptist Church I am privileged to know a man named Charlie Harbin, who has been a part of our Pastoral Visitation Team for many years. Now in his late 80s, Charlie works part-time, but he remains energetic, wise and passionate about serving Jesus Christ and ministering to others. I wouldn't dream of asking him to consider getting out of the way so that a younger guy could do his job because the fact is a younger man couldn't hold a candle to Charlie. I hope he is able to minister for many more years.
I mention Charlie knowing that he is emblematic of millions of Americans who are vital to our churches and our society.
Age should not define us. Further, a bunch of faceless government pooh-bahs who want to classify our existence should not be permitted to outline end-of-life policies for our seniors. This is America, where we are to be free from government intrusion to live out our lives as we see fit.
Obama Continues to 'Sell' Health Care Reform - Voice of America
Obama touts healthcare plan for small businesses - Reuters
Barack Obama's oratory loses its oomph - Daily Telegraph
New Taxpayer Subsidies: The Impact of the House and Senate Health Bills - Heritage.org
Exclusive: There Has Been Real Health Reform – And ObamaCare Threatens It - Family Security Matters