Thursday, August 20, 2009

Health care and the Mark of Cain

A blogger who criticized Obama quoting Cain about being my brother's keeper,. because Cain was being sarcastic, misses the fundamental point, for a debating point.The story of Cain slaying Abel is in the very first book of the Bile, Genesis, which even St. Augustine read as allegory.

The fact is, that other than eating the forbidden fruit, the story of Cain and Abel is the story of the first crime: murder.

Cain's question may have been defiant: "Am I my brother's keeper?" but it was the first step in scripture towards what many regard as the universal law of morality: To treat other as we would be treated as ourselves, which is in turn corollary of a deeper command: to love our neighbor as ourselves.

In the New Testament, Mathews telling of the "parable" of the Last Judgment is a lecture on what loving your neighbor really means. We demonstrate our love by what we do to the neediest of our fellow human beings. Among other things: "I was sick and you visited me."

The inanity of some fundamentalists who insist that world is only 6,000 years old, and the excesses of religious authoritarians have turned many off to the message of the scriptures, but I can not understand how the self-styled Christians on the Right can so blithely ignore the commandment of love upon which "all the law and prophets" depend. Or as Rabbi Hillel said a generation earlier than Christ: All the rest is commentary.

To those who so mindlessly echo the right wing attack themes, and so easily turn their backs on the stricken among us, and who so openly flaunt their Christianity: be afraid not of Obama, but of the judgment of your God. Be very afraid.

No comments: