It’s often said that we can’t legislate morality.  This is the argument that typically surfaces when Christians try to influence policy on issues like marriage, sexual mores, abortion, alcohol or drug use.

It’s both ironic and reassuring that the current healthcare reform effort is really couched in a moral argument.  The argument goes that it isn’t fair that some people have access to healthcare and others don’t.  It isn’t fair that one person has insurance while another lacks it.  Fair, just, equitable, all of these terms are part of the debate.

And so, we can ask ‘what is fair?’  Fair is a term that suggests an objective truth, an objective standard which we all should attempt to follow.  Fair is like ‘ought.’  We ‘ought’ to have equal access for all.  We ‘ought’ to provide healthcare for the indigent.  One group ‘ought’ to pay more taxes than another.

So, from what source do ‘fair’ or ‘ought’ emanate?  Are they born in the ‘social contract?’  Are they conceived in our evolutionary biology, as expressions of what some suggest is our collective altruism, for the ‘good of the species?’

As a Christian, I believe they have their origin in mankind’s innate understanding of God’s law; or what some call ‘natural law.’  It means that there is an objective standard of truth in the universe, and thus an objective standard of what is fair or unfair, just or unjust.

I believe most Christian physicians would agree, we think it would be just for everyone to have access to healthcare.  We may not agree on how to reach that goal, and thus debate exists on government versus private options, etc.

But the secret joy to me is that, even in a time when my freedom, my career, my income, may be impacted, God’s law is eating at the hearts of many with the word ‘fair.’

Many debates could, if we used them properly, emanate from the word ‘fair.’

God give us wisdom to pursue fairness, justice and love; and to do what he says we ‘ought,’  in every area of our national, and personal lives.

And God bless you wildly today and keep you from every danger and sorrow!

Edwin

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