On the Christian fascists who want the world to end in fire and their seamless alignment with a system that serves profit and consumes people
Concur in many respects, especially about anger as an appropriate response and about the essentially "corrupt" nature of that/they about which/whom anger is appropriate, and also about what anger SHOULD be -- although there's a lot of anger about that isn't all or even any of those things.
There's one thing I would observe about those who design and perpetuate systems such as healthcare as described. It's not clear to me that they think that people are INTRINSICALLY worth more or less, or nothing at all, as simply that they can be EXPLOITED for more or less, or nothing at all. And if this is true, then the "original sin" of society is accepting that exploitation of people is okay and even to be celebrated, even at the level of organization of systems for something as basic as healthcare. It's objectification taken to an extreme.
Seems to me that this kind of objectification is something the Johnsons and the Jesuses of the world might disagree about ...
Excellent as usual. This essay addresses something pretty specific that gives language to a broader topic that I think about quite a bit, which is what it means to "deserve" some outcome or thing. I shy away from using that word. The implication that some other person can make a determination for what is deserved by someone else is, frankly, fucking bananas. It weirds me out as a concept.
Also, it felt odd to find myself delighted when reading such a serious piece, but there they were. The Snorks.
I live in UK and am amazed that so many people here want to move over from a free healthcare system to what you've got. I guess it's the same mentality that voted for Brexit. Stupid people having strong opinions on things they clearly don't understand.
This is a truly excellent essay! I know how lucky I am to have a pension and halfway decent health insurance, and I want every person in the country--heck, every person in the world!--to have both. And the tragic suffering in the Middle East right now has a lot to do with Christian Zionists and their push for war. They don’t even care that Christians are being killed and churches bombed, much less Jews and Muslims. We are all the wrong sort of people to them.
Thanks for this, I usually shy away from "Our political opponents are inhuman monsters" because there are so many examples in history where this has led to really, really bad things, but OTOH they sure aren't making it easy to think of them in any other way.
I needed an outpatient surgery last month to remove what ended up being a benign mass, and just the hospital visit and 2 hours in an operating room was projected to cost $25,600 before insurance was applied. That doesn't even include the separate charges for the actual doctor who performed the surgery and another for the anesthesiologist.
"Lucky" I guess that I actually reached my individual deductible for the year due to all the other testing and visits required to arrive at the recommendation for surgery, and that I "only" need to pay 10% of what the max out of pocket fee my plan allows for this kind of outpatient procedure. After having already paid more than $10,000 a year for our portion of the employee health plan premiums, I will still end up paying another $1500 once the dust settles for this ONE service, in which I was only at the hospital for about 5 hours.
I find myself vacillating between anger and despair. And holding out some small hope that maybe once my senior citizen pet passes over the rainbow bridge, we will just take a huge chance and leave this country entirely. I'm not sure how much more pounding my head against this system I can take, while watching the ouroboros of late stage capitalism keep ratcheting its jaws ever deeper over every aspect of our lives. And as you have pointed out, at least 30% of our population and one of the major political parties actively wishes it to be so, and accelerated if possible.
Thank you for this. As a multiply disabled person, I appreciate how eloquently you have described how - and why - ableism is so virulent and insidious in our culture. And also why, even as our cultural understanding and intolerance of systemic oppression is crawling slowly in the direction of increased visibility and equity, ableism is rarely considered as urgent or important to address as most other forms of oppression. We (disabled people) are the most readily disposable because cultural bias claims that we are unlikely to be "productive" (fuel for the capitalist engine). We are also the most likely to need access to healthcare, but because of a perception that we don't do anything to deserve it, what little assistance some of us manage to get is considered a charitable handout for which we owe a debt of gratitude that we are expected to express as unconditional compliance, grace even as we are robbed of our dignity and agency, and resignation with the increased likelihood of a relatively short life of poverty followed by an early death. You have explained so clearly how the status quo cultural attitude towards disability (which includes the implicit assumption that we have brought this on ourselves) sets our status as undeserving, requiring that we keep quiet and be grateful for any small scraps we are thrown.
As a feminist and an abortion rights activist I am often accused of being "angry" or "hateful" by the christofascists that I shout down every weekend as they attempt to interfere with patients at the local Planned Parenthood. And yeah, they're right about the anger, anyway. Hate is too important an emotion to be wasted on them. What they are is beneath contempt, for all the reasons you so eloquently describe here.
I've been doing this for most of my adult life. I was angry in 1985 when I first stood against these protesters and I'm angry now.
I'm not a Christian anymore, and in fact I wouldn't mind if religion were wiped from the face of the earth. Its principal purpose is to control people's thinking and usurp their resources, and the proportion of good it does is far less than the harm it causes.
Your book arrived Friday. I'm just getting into it this afternoon. You, Jeff Tiedrich, Lee Judge, Beau of the Fifth Column, and Trae Crowder have become my safety points in an increasingly frightening world. Thank you for that.
"Pastor" has an O.
I can only express my condolences that you are American. American medical stories are just...routinely horrifying, like American shooting stories. We've had to numb ourselves to them.
It's funny that saying somebody looks like a youth pastor has now become an insult, or at least I assumed you meant it as such, after the hundreds of "creepy youth pastor" stories. I'm starting to think that the new competition between Catholic and Protestant is how many sexual misconduct stories about youth each denomination can generate. After yesterday's story about Spain, I think the Catholics are well ahead.
Woof. You often manage to write what I have been thinking. Thank you.
I’m blown away by the section on Christian Nationalism. So helpfully framed. All the flowery religious language stripped away so the core is revealed. Can’t thank you enough.
So well put. Just exactly the kind of thing I was thinking about when I wrote about our collapsing health care system, which seems more like a wealth redistribution system (away from ordinary folks and into the hands of corporate health care).
Perfectly expressed and terrifyingly true