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).


  1. Anonymous10:23 AM

    Disunity is when the President tells his critics to get out of the way and keep quiet. That's no way have a debate about healthcare.

  2. Anonymous7:25 PM

    Let's try to raise up hope for this opportunity to reform health care and make it affordable for all Americans. We may not get it perfect the first time; we may not have universal unity on the topic. Let's take the subset of perfection and unity that we can achieve this year, making coverage as good as we can, for as many people as we can, for now. But let's not dispare over imperfections in better health care when we can work and rejoice over taking some significant steps in that direction. Your recent notes on the Faith in Public Life group draws worthy attention to a group now enthusiastically promoting care for our neighbors thru healthcare reform. We can all add our voices to a monumental - tho still flawed -step that can get done this year.

  3. Again, another symptom. Someone recently asked if children in the US had a right to health care...and this for me brought up a whole thing about rights and responsibilities....children in this country would be a lot healthier if the food industry had responsible standards, if the construction industry had responsible standards, if if if...if parents loved them enough to say Yes and No appropriately, moderatly. If kids were taught moderation not excess. Kids have lots of rights, and there is more health care access in this country just at CVS and the public library than in the majority of places in the world. The question is always posed as a black/white yes/no clear answer issue, when again, the cause and effects and justice and rights and responsibilities all have a part to play in the formation of an answer which may not look anything like the question.

    Is it Just? Does it serve without decrimination? Does everyone have access to a healthy life style? Does everyone choose a healthy lifestyle? Is everyone eductated suffciently to be able to distinguish between the two? Lets get real! We have a lot of work to do, and a program revamping the health care system does not address issues of respect, dignity, education, access to healthy life choices.