Mar 23rd, 2010
I like the sound of those words liberation theology. I like that you can sense freedom through words, in this words from a person of God. Just the sound of those words inspires me. Even better the true meaning of them: if you believe and follow the words of Jesus, you will do right by all people. In other words if you’re a good Christian you will not abide oppression and inequality from one person to another.
I’m not aiming to preach here. I’m aiming to remind you that we, humans, are capable of much good.
Sunday we saw that we could come together for the greater good of all Americans and bring good, hopefully someday even affordable health care to all. We want to extend a hand so that young people, those with pre-existing conditions, those of us who haven’t stockpiled thousands or even millions to afford ever more expensive health care might have the same care our politicians have. We aren’t a society that believes “I got mine, now you get yours.” We showed we believe we all benefit if we’re healthy. If we’re able to worry less about a doctor visit busting the monthly budget – yeah, $100 per is a lot — never mind the thousands a surgery might cost.
I don’t feel as good about it as I would have if I’d gotten the option of joining a government plan that likely would have been less expensive and more comprehensive than the high deductible plan I have now. I’m envious of my German friends’ public/private plans that pay for everything, even dental, at a reasonable price. But I’m hopeful the Democrats will polish the offerings as they go along. I have no hope for the Republicans whose obstructionist ways seem without end.
How does liberation theology tie in with health care reform? And why am I talking about it now? Today’s the 30th anniversary of the assassination of Oscar Romero, the archbishop of San Salvador, by a paid government assassin. He was gunned down during Mass, the day after he’d pleaded with El Salvador’s police-cum-thugs to listen to the small, quiet voice in their hearts — the one that compels us to love one another. Those guys preferred to listen to the rightist government that paid them to kill a man of God. Romeo spoke out against the government that had sent death squads to kill the poor who had the audacity to fight for fairness against the government that had been rewarding only the wealthy for years.
Romero’s legacy was mixed in that his death started a 12-year civil war in which thousands died or were displaced. But when that ended El Salvador saw a 70 percent reduction in armed forces, economic growth programs to alleviate poverty and monitored elections. It’s still not a wealthy place, but El Salvadorans born today can expect to live just about as long as Americans, which is a huge step up from Romero’s time. He lost his life for seeking equality and dignity for all, not just those who can pay for it.