These least of my brethren*

Heart-wrenching story this morning from the New York Times on the number of deaths among people with disabilities in state care. It seems that some fault resides with a lack of basic knowledge about what constitutes good care, particularly around those who have problems with eating, and the rest of the fault is simple neglect. It would be interesting to know if the death rate is different between institutions versus at-home care, though you would expect symptom severity to be systematically worse with those given over to state care.

From one of the mothers:

“I believe that God put these people here for a purpose, because if we didn’t have them to look after, we would lose our humanity,” she said. “How would we know compassion? It says in the Bible, do ye so unto the least of my brothers. I think that’s what it’s all about.”

From the Douay-Rheims translation: And the king answering, shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.

That’s a pretty complicated sentence. I think Jesus probably meant to say “Everybody should be out for themselves all the time, if there is a choice between a $2 million wedding ring for a 72-day marriage and giving $2 million to those in need, you know what the right answer is, people who have less power than you can be readily stepped on, and screw social welfare if you, yourself, are not in need.” I’m glad I live in a Christian country so that all this would exemplified for me.

6 thoughts on “These least of my brethren*

  1. This is very sad, indeed. However, I’m always puzzled when Democrats invoke God or Christianity. Don’t Democrats criticize Republicans who invoke God or Christianity? Are most Democrats Agnostic?

    It’s even more puzzling to use Kim Khardasian (I assume that’s who you are talking about, and forgive me if I misspelled her name, since I don’t really give a rip about her), as an example of a Christian. Sure, she participated in a Christian ceremony recently (a wedding). But marriage and wedding, like many Christian events or concepts, have been perverted to secular concepts today (Christmas anyone?).

    The government even allocates benefits and burdens based on marriage. That’s the big problem. Marriage is a Christian institution and the government should have never interfered with it. Now it’s all screwed up.

    However, I’m not sure what Kim Khardasian’s stupidity has to do with disabled persons receiving inadequate state care.

      • No, you were projecting. My point is that an ethic of care, as this woman suggests, does not seem to be one that is prevailing in contemporary society, which fixates on celebrities, their overconsumption and waste, and despite its strong pro-Christian narrative. I’m thinking there is plenty of blame for that to go around, but if you want, sure, Jesse, it’s all the godless Democrat’s fault. Whatevs.

      • I don’t see where I “blamed” anyone. Just not sure that talking about Kim K’s wedding and 72 day marriage, and talking about how many people in the world don’t act true Christians is relevant.

        It’s certainly tragic, and very sad.

  2. Most Democrats, like most residents of the U.S. (approximately half of whom are Democrats), are Christians.

    Trying to uphold the separation of church and state is not the same thing as criticizing people for invoking God or Christianity. Most mainstream Democrats talk about God at least sometimes when they are campaigning, for example.

    Anyway, great post, Lisa.

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