Reformation: A Primer

Many many years ago (about 500, come to think of it) Europe saw the beginning of what became known as the Protestant Reformation. Though millions of pages have been written on the topic, I shall attempt the death-defying feat of summarizing it extremely briefly, as follows: A variety of people who considered themselves Christians as well as Roman Catholics examined Catholic teachings on a variety of topics and determined that the church had left its first love: Christ. These people (including such malcontents as Martin Luther and John Calvin) made their voices known through protest, calling for reform of the Roman Catholic church in an effort to make it good and right and just and proper once again.

One finds that the reformers desired to replace the teachings which they believed to be erroneous with teachings which were in concord with the early church of the New Testament period. That is, they wanted to re-form, or form again, to achieve what had been in place previously. Now, as it turned out, the Roman Catholic church, suffering from an affinity for its own monopoly of ecclesiastical teaching, did not want to be reformed. Things got worse before they got better.

Now, fast forward to the present day where we hear variously of Health Care Reform and Health Insurance Reform coupled with things like Social Reform. Now, as I understand it, I’m entirely in favor of Health Care Reform. Using what we’ve learned above, let’s lay it out. Health Care Reform would mean we go back to Health Care without the government being a primary provider (before the system went wrong). Now, let’s take on Health Insurance Reform. This must mean that we would permit people to purchase health insurance coverage wherever and from whomever they please, without government interference. Social Reform? I think you can figure from the context what that must mean.

Are we not regularly told that we cannot afford to do nothing and that we must implement health something reform now?

Let’s do it, then. After all, reform is an inherently conservative approach to solving problems. Reform recognizes that entropy is a daily destroyer of working systems and must be overcome through a concerted effort on the part of those people who are affected by and concerned about the results of doing nothing. This conservative thinks reform has much to commend it.

Calling the the synthesis of the health care bills currently treading water in Congress “reform” is like calling the chap in Scotland who authorized the release of a mass murderer to his welcoming fan base a brilliant public servant.