When did children turn into a political game in the minds and hearts of Washington insiders? I was furious tonight when a Senator from South Dakota referred to The Children’s Health Insurance Program as a bargaining chip in budget negations. Ironically the program is referred to as CHIP. It was created in 1997 and has had bipartisan support, until recently. Instead of funding the program in September, the Republican leadership decided to put the lives of children at risk. Both excuses and promises to pass the funding have been many. According to the Senator, adding it to a short term budget fix would be giving away their bargaining power.
What I want to know is when the Republican party determined that the health needs of children meant so little to them? So little that a long funded program could be used as a political capital? When did they decide that the health of children could be a bargaining chip? This is supposed to be the party of “Family values.” It claims to be the pro-life party. What can be more pro-life than to make sure sick children have their health needs met.
What I see is a political party that has lost its way and its conscience. Throughout the scripture God warns against those who manipulate the poor, the widow, the alien and children.
“Woe to those who make unjust laws,
to those who issue oppressive decrees,
to deprive the poor of their rights
and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people,
making widows their prey
and robbing the fatherless.” Isaiah 10:1-3
And again a similar word comes to Zechariah, “The word of the Lord came to Zechariah, saying: Thus says the Lord of hosts: Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another; do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.” Zechariah 7:8-10
The scripture tells us that how we treat the poor, sick, and children in need is of vital importance to God. I wish the people in Washington would read the Bibles they put their hands on when they are sworn in. They may be surprised at just how much love God has for the people they have been discarding as unimportant, including the children they’ve been playing political games with.