Friday, August 07, 2009

Disunity is Unhealthy: The Health Care Reform Debate

So I've been hearing for a while now about how the American health care system needs to be reformed. Sadly, as seems to so often be the case these days, problem-solving is being displaced by partisan posturing and town hall meeting shout fests. It is questionable at this point whether health care reform will be achieved this time around. I'm reminded of comments made by the Universal House of Justice, "we know that the working of the material world is merely a reflection of spiritual conditions and until the spiritual conditions can be changed there can be no lasting change for the better in material affairs" (Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 123).

When I think about the current condition of health care in America and the increasing acrimony of the debate about reforming it, it seems an apt reflection of the spiritual condition of our society. Disease does not discriminate between Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals, red states or blue states. We need a healthy health care system, but we will not attain it unless we are willing to set aside the political prejudice that promotes division and paralyzes reform efforts. Unity is the remedy for health care in America.

"When Bahá'u'lláh proclaimed His Message to the world in the nineteenth century He made it abundantly clear that the first step essential for the peace and progress of mankind was its unification. As He says, "The well-being of mankind, its peace and security are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established." (The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 203) To this day, however, you will find most people take the opposite point of view: they look upon unity as an ultimate almost unattainable goal and concentrate first on remedying all the other ills of mankind. If they did but know it, these other ills are but various symptoms and side effects of the basic disease -- disunity" (The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 125).