Lately, I've been thinking about the words from the Lord's Prayer.
Most of us were taught this beautiful old prayer as children. We say it when we are thankful and in times of sorrow.
These days, the last few words of this prayer jump out at me, more than ever before, so I say them in the morning and before I fall asleep at night. What are these words? "Deliver us from evil." Evil that weaves its way throughout our society. Evil that threatens us from beyond our borders.
Now when I feel helpless and hopeless, I turn to the age-old prayer I learned as a child and hope God especially hears those last four words.
Destroyer in chief
I grew up in Communist Czechoslovakia in the midst of a cold war, indoctrinated about the prospect of imperialist western powers obliterating us with nuclear weapons. At school, every child was equipped with a gas mask, taught to hide under tables and cover our heads with newspaper. Frequently, I woke up from a nightmare, screaming and crying.
Who could have predicted that some 60 years later, I would wake up every morning drenched in sweat, again fearful of a nuclear war. My anxiety ratchets with each new, hateful, inflammatory tweet by Donald Trump!
"Making America great again"? How about making America the laughingstock of the world — sabotaging U.S. diplomacy and foreign policy, isolating us as our allies no longer have a basis for mutual trust.
When do our Republican politicians finally say, “That’s enough”? When do they finally realize that if they don’t start putting the safety of our country and survival of our democracy first, they’ll have neither a job nor a party?
Wake up, America ... this is not normal!
Health care and resentment
Comparing health care systems of industrial countries around the world, a few things stand out: The U.S. is twice as expensive; our lifespan is less than others, and indicators like infant mortality rank near the bottom of the chart.
What hasn’t been measured is a “resentment” factor. Since other countries have national health insurance and/or cover all citizens, they don’t seem to resent others who have health care. In the U.S. we have millions just over the threshold for Medicaid eligibility, or not quite old enough for Medicare, or who pay a penalty for not buying insurance. These people often resent those who are eligible for health care and live in fear for themselves and their families. Elected officials spend countless hours deciding who should be eligible and who shouldn’t; that generates fear and resentment, too. Wouldn’t it be nice to have one plan for everyone, rather than gold, silver, bronze and eligibility barriers?
Rather than generating resentment about who is worthy of support, or, will I get what I have coming to me, there should be just one pool of insured — everyone — universal coverage, without resentment. We are capable of doing this.