Suffer the Little Children or Let the Children Suffer? (The Rev. Anne Howard)
Remember the phrase “compassionate conservative?â€ If you can’t remember, that’s OK, because that oxymoron has died several deaths already, in the sands of Iraq, the floodwaters of Katrina, and the classrooms of schools Left Behind.
And there’s one more death on the way: our compassionate conservative President is threatening to veto S-CHIP, the proven and popular State Children’s Health Insurance Program that has won wide and deep bi-partisan support in both the House and Senate.
In the witty lead of this weekend’s Christian Science Monitor: “President Bush heads into only the fourth veto of his presidency with most of America’s health establishment and nearly two-thirds of the Congress arrayed against him.â€
Mercy. Maybe this compassionate conservative hasn’t heard about the families of four who make less than $41,000 a year and can’t afford health insurance.
Maybe he hasn’t heard that it covers 10 million uninsured children.
Maybe he doesn’t know that these children have no health insurance.
Maybe he doesn’t know that the $35 billion needed for these children is a tiny fraction of the cost of the war.
Maybe he hasn’t read his Bible: “Suffer the little children to come to me, for such is the kingdom of heaven.â€
Or maybe it is as a small-town Minnesota newspaper said: “After a six-year free-wheeling spending spree on the military, homeland security and bridges to nowhere, President Bush says he’s finally putting his foot down– squarely on the backs of the nation’s kids.â€
The Rev. Anne Howard is the executive director of The Beatitudes Society.