As a young man I was a socialist, believing that government programs were the answer to most of society's problems. It took a personal conversion to Jesus, and, as noted elsewhere, some serious soul searching before I was able to rethink my ideological loyalties. Other, wiser souls were able to help me to see that socialism is inevitably atheistic. I came to see for myself that it also seemed bound up with legalized and tax-funded abortion, and with a host of other moral depravities.
Before long, I had adopted as my own the quote so favored by Dorothy Day,
He who at 20 is not a socialist has no heart.I began to appreciate the Church's consistent stand against atheistic socialism. I cheered to see Pope John-Paul's role in the dismantling of the Soviet regime. I understood now that it was the Church and individual Christians, not the government, who could address the maladies of society. Through the centuries, the followers of Jesus have been the ones to build hospitals for the sick, orphanages for the abandoned, who have fed the hungry, clothed the naked, and treated the ill and the dying.
He who at 30 is a socialist has no head.
But lately the consistent message from U.S. Catholic bishops is that we do well to expect health care from our government, only it just needs to be monitored so as not to violate Christian values. Bishop William F. Murphy, for example, is quoted as saying, "Genuine health care reform that protects the life and dignity of all is a moral imperative and a vital national obligation". This is no isolated quote, but seems to be the consensus among all the clergy.
After all the hard work and sacrifices that have been offered by Christians for the relief and healing of the sick, after building and staffing all those hospitals in Christian charity, after all the religious orders founded upon the apostolate of healing, now we should turn the reins over to government? And - - this government?????
I truly don't understand.