This was the question several colleagues and I were chewing on along with some Mr. Gatti's pizza yesterday at lunch. Most everyone believed it to be a responsibility; that individuals should work to pay for it themselves, not depending on someone else to take care of them. I chose another word for "right" and used "ought" instead. I believe everyone ought to have it, as people who cannot provide for themselves and even those who don't ought to be taken care of.
My thoughts returned to this topic this morning on my daily walk and I thought of how, in God's kingdom dream for the world, He wants us to love one another; to take care of our neighbor, in the way the Samaritan gave ambulatory and additional assistance to the man he encountered.
God did not limit kingdom love to just the Jews, nor to those who had jobs. As Jesus would teach and demonstrate, one of the most practical ways of loving neighbor is to help her when she is sick; to provide aid when he is suffering from disease.
It is hard for me to imagine God not wanting humans to pool together
their monies and resources to provide for everyone's health needs.This was certainly done by and within the early church as the impact of Jesus' words was still fresh. I think the benefits of the Kingdom of God, however, are not limited to the church. God has always been concerned for the entire world and holds his prophets, priests and followers accountable for what they have done and not done for others.
So, am I a Socialist? No, I am a Communalist (just made this one up), one who believes that God wants everyone on our planet to see that we are all connected as those made in the image of God and that we are all the "neighbor" Jesus kept talking about in his travels.
How all this takes place is out of my expertise, but I'll try to come back with a post about pros and cons of plans that are out there.
What do you think?
I wanted to amend this post with a link I found to Relational Tithe, a movement of people to care for one another's needs.