This past week two of the most oft-used names among the talking heads of cable news shows were Congressman Barney FrankÂ and Jesus Christ.Â Iâ€™m sure this is the first time Barney and Jesus have been mentioned on the same television show:Â Barney Frank for fighting back against his constituents who are angryÂ about the prospect ofÂ government-run healthcare, and Jesus Christ because suddenly leftists want to use Jesusâ€™ name toÂ justify laws they think are moral obligations.
On Wednesday and Thursday Congressman Frank was featured on every show from Sean Hannity to Rachel Maddow and everyone in between.Â Of course he was vilified by those on the right and was made a conquering hero by those on the left for finally standing up to those “racist, Nazi, anti-American” people who are so bold as to ask questions about the cost of health-care.Â Keith Olbermann (when discussing Frank) went so far as to say on his “Worst Person in the World” segment Wednesday night, that if you compare Obama to socialist regimes of the past, then that makes you a supporter of Nazism and Hitler â€“ oh yeah, and an anti-Semite.Â Iâ€™m not sure how to follow that logic.
Jesus was also all the talk on Ed Schultz, Bill Oâ€™Reilly, and Greta Van Susternâ€™s shows â€“ among others.Â Why?Â Well, Wednesday President Obama did a conference call with 140,000 mostly left-leaning clergy (I was not invited).Â He reportedly was making a case that health care is a moral right that government must provide.Â He even jumped on the terminology of Rick Warren (made famous with his 40 Days of Purpose) by calling for â€œ40 Days of Health Reform.â€ This conference call had many in the cable news media asking: What would Jesus do with health care reform?
Barney Frank and Jesus shared even more than just one-hour news-show time slots this week, though.Â They shared competing views on the role of government.Â WhenÂ Congressman Frank was told at his town hall meeting that the government was bankrupting the country and will finish the job with health care reform, he had an interesting response.Â He claimed that we would have no financial problems in the world if we wouldnâ€™t haveÂ sent our militaryÂ into Iraq in 2003.Â His suggestion (and what I believe most on the left would agree with) is that if we would stop spending government money on defending our country with this war on terror,Â we could buy everyone their own doctor.Â He is basically arguing that government should stop focusing on defending us from frightening enemies and instead start dishing out free enemas.
Now what would Jesus say?Â Well, as a Christian I believe that all of Scripture is the word of God.Â God reveals Himself through Scripture.Â Jesus didnâ€™t talk a lot about government, but there are a few key passages elsewhere in the New Testament about government.Â 1 Timothy 2:1-2 tells us that what we should want from â€œkings and all those in authorityâ€ is security â€œthat we may live peaceful and quiet lives.â€Â Romans 13:1-7 says the reason we pay taxes and respect authority is because the job of government is to â€œbear the swordâ€ and protect us from wrongdoers.Â In other words, while Jesus and the New Testament never once mention that the governmentâ€™s job is to provide health care, the New Testament specifically declares that the job of our government is to protect us from terror.
When it comes down to the role of government, do we really want to start asking: What would Barney do?