Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Prayer for Our Times

Introductory Remark: There is, of course, much that can be said for and against the details of the recently passed health care legislation. My own view, for what it’s worth, is that by trying to “patch up” the current system rather than overhaul it more thoroughly, and by making key concessions to the beneficiaries of the existing system, the real gains in coverage are weighed down by inefficient bureaucratic complexities and pointless “appendixes” which can only serve as a source of infection. I remain hopeful that despite this Rube-Goldberg-like clunkiness, it will offer more benefits than costs in terms of social justice…but I don’t know. Only time will tell.

But, of course, my concerns are trivial, since the real problem—as we all know thanks to FOX News—lies with the fact that the new legislation is socialist, that socialism is by definition un-American, and that this health care legislation will therefore ruin the American way of life.

And so, for all my friends who have digested the teachings of FOX News, I offer the following prayer.

Heavenly Father,

In this time of unprecedented national crisis, when the Democrats in Congress have brought the nation to the very brink of national catastrophe—nay, Armageddon itself—by passing socialist health care reform legislation, remind me of those things about our nation for which I can still be grateful.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the fact that the Socialists who are running this country haven’t messed with our nation’s system for building and maintaining its infrastructure. Thank you that it is still entirely in the hands of for-profit private enterprise, without government regulations restricting private industries from doing what they please with the bridges over which I drive. Thank you that none of my tax dollars are being spent to maintain roads I don’t personally…Oh wait. Scratch that one. Back up. Try again.

Thank you, gracious God, that our nation’s defense isn’t controlled by big government bureaucracies (which would likely be housed in some large hexagonal or octagonal structure) or paid for with my tax dollars, since that would be Godless socialism, and therefore evil and un-American. Thank you that we have seen fit to entrust our national security to privately-run for-profit mercenary firms…Oh wait. No, no, no. I didn’t mean to call our U.S. military un-American just because it happens to be entirely run by the government and therefore qualifies as socialism under the loose definition I’ve inherited from FOX News. All socialism is evil except the military. Alright. Deep breath. Let’s try again.

Thank you, Lord, that the reach of un-American socialist ideology hasn’t infected the way in which we educate our children. Thank you that no one has had the gall to propose a “public option” in education, since that would be evil commie stuff and…Oh wait. Crud. Um…Lord, thank you that at least the post-secondary education system remains outside the intrusive reach of state-run…Oh, crap. I teach at a state university. Forgot about that.

Okay, try again. Thank you, Heavenly Father, that at the very least our domestic safety is preserved by private security firms rather than some shamefully socialist public police force paid for through tax dollars, since we all know the government cannot be trusted with something as important as…Oh wait. No, no, no. Police are our friends. Love the police. Technically socialist, yes, but police are an exception like the military. Okay. Good. Try again.

Thank you, Lord of Life, that we’ve seen fit to ensure that fire safety in this country is overseen by unregulated, privately-run, for-profit fire protection businesses that charge clients a fee and only respond to fire emergencies affecting their paying clients. After all, public fire departments paid for through taxes would amount to socialism and therefore would destroy the American way of life. Thank you that our Founding Fathers, people like Ben Franklin, had the wisdom to set up safeguards against such…Oh wait. Dang.

Thank you, God, that the financial industry remains blessedly unregulated by the government, since innovation and greatness is achieved not through regulating American entrepreneurs but by giving them full freedom to pursue wealth in a competitive marketplace. Unregulated free enterprise, without the meddling of heavy-handed government bureaucracies, has made and continues to make the financial industry an ongoing engine of economic prosperity. Nothing can go wrong so long as the government stays out of…Oh, crud.

Never mind.


  1. I love it! :-)

    Like you, I think this bill isn't the perfect solution, but hope it plays out as mostly beneficial. It probably goes too far in some areas and not far enough in others, but I think I'd rather see it used as a useful starting point than leave the healthcare system unchanged for another decade or so.

    I may just have to utter your prayer. :-)

  2. Love it, love it, love it! I have some friends and family who need to hear this prayer :)

  3. This is very patronizing.