So, submit now!
PIE IN THE SKY
There are too many excellent quotes to take from this piece. I'll give you a few, but you really should go and read the whole thing. Mr. Steyn is brilliant and entertaining at the same time.
The other day, six Anglican archbishops called for the church to bless the unions of same-sex couples. The Anglican Church of Canada is about to have a big vote on the issue, and depending which way they swing it will either deepen the schism within the worldwide Anglican Communion or further isolate the Episcopal Church of the United States.And on health issues,
But never mind all that. What struck me was the rationale the archbishops came up with. This gay thing, they sighed. We've been yakking about it for years. Let's just get on with it, and then we can get back to the important stuff. "We are deeply concerned that ongoing study," they fretted, "will only continue to draw us away from issues which are gradually destroying God's creation — child poverty, racism, global warming, economic injustice, concern for our aboriginal brothers and sisters, and the growing disparity between the rich and the poor."
That's it? Anglicans need to fast-track a liturgy for gay couples so they can free up time to deal with the real issues like global warming? Half that catalogue of horrors seems to be different ways of saying the same thing ("child poverty … economic injustice … growing disparity") in order to give a bit of pro forma padding to the totally cool cause du jour of global warming. Which is so cool that, if an Anglican archbishop shows up at a climate-change conference, he'll be lucky to get in the room and if he does he'll be stuck at the table with the wonky leg next to the toilet, barely able to see the Most Reverend Almer Gortry up on stage doing his power-point presentation and warning that rising sea levels will send tidal waves crashing through every gay wedding reception in Provincetown by Saturday afternoon.
The argument for this is that the state has an interest in a healthy workforce: If you're poor and you get lung cancer, you'll be filling up hospital rooms at public expense. If that's true, then the state arguably has a greater interest in you continuing to smoke and dying young: the ever aging population of the western world will be the biggest single burden on state resources in the coming decades.There is more. Go and read.
But in the broader picture it might be truer still to say that the individual, unlike the state, therefore has an interest in stopping and reversing the government annexation of health care — because that argument can be used to justify almost any restraint on freedom — and, in the end, you may not get the government health care anyway.
Under Britain's National Health Service, smokers in Manchester have been denied treatment for heart disease, and the obese in Suffolk are refused hip and knee replacement. Patricia Hewitt, the Health Secretary, says that it's appropriate to decline treatment on the basis of "lifestyle choices." Today, it's smokers and the obese. But, if a gay guy has condom-less sex with multiple partners, why should his "lifestyle choices" get a pass? Health-care costs can be used to justify anything.
And, if becoming a charge of the state is the issue, then Governor Schwarzenegger is a complete squish on California's real health crisis. His state's emergency rooms have been reduced to Quebec-level waiting times because of the strains of providing free health care to the legions of the undocumented Americans. One third of the patients in Los Angeles County hospitals are illegal immigrants, and they've overwhelmed the system: dozens of emergency rooms in the state have closed this decade after degenerating into an unfunded de facto Mexican health-care network. If you're a legal resident of the State of California, your health system is worse than it was a decade ago and will be worse still in a decade's time. Fortunately, by then your action-hero governor will have cured "all these terrible illnesses" and there will be no need for California's last seven hospitals.