Does Jesus Support Universal Healthcare?

Would Jesus have supported universal healthcare? According to J. P. Moreland, Jesus would not have favored such a thing:

“Two central features of Jesus’ ethical views imply that Jesus urged compassionate care for the poor but not by the state. In short, he would never have supported universal healthcare.”

Moreland’s argument is based on a certain view of the separation of church and state. It’s a short little piece and worth your time to read the whole thing.

9 Responses to Does Jesus Support Universal Healthcare?

  1. Luke Britt August 15, 2007 at 9:21 am #

    What do you think about this?

    Eutopically (if that’s a word), the Church would provide free healthcare to all who are sick and needy. So in a sense that would be micro-universal healthcare.

    The main this is that we should take care of the sick and needy.

  2. dennyrburk August 15, 2007 at 9:53 am #


    If we grant J. P. Moreland’s view of separation, then we would probably have to say that Jesus never would have opposed Universal Healthcare either.


  3. Paul August 15, 2007 at 9:53 am #

    The problem is, how many people do we see saying, “I wouldn’t take care of THEM (insert some group here)!”?

    On top of that, look at all of the people who don’t give to charity at all (including one of my buddies who is the most republican person of all time). Look at all of the people who steal money and then are praised anyway (see Denny’s non-damning remarks on Ken Lay). The list goes on and on. We as a country aren’t in any position to depend on charity to combat ridiculously high drug prices. We as a country aren’t in any position to depend on the ridiculously high price of medical care. Instead, when medical debt is the single biggest cause of bankruptcies, what does the ruling party do? Enact legislation which makes it far harder to declare bankruptcy.

    J.P. Moreland is probably right. However, just because it’s not what Jesus would have done doesn’t make it the wrong thing to do.

  4. rafe August 15, 2007 at 11:18 am #

    Denny, you took the words out of my mouth. Both sides like to, presumptively, paint Jesus as some kind of political activist. He is not.

  5. scott August 15, 2007 at 2:19 pm #

    from JP’s post:
    “The state exists to guard negative rights, not provide positive ones. … A positive right is a right to be provided with some good.”

    according these definitions, I would expect JP to also suggest that Jesus would not approve of govt. funded public schools, social security, or welfare. wow.

    why can’t part of a christian’s duty toward the poor include voting for provision of basic needs by the govt?

  6. dennyrburk August 15, 2007 at 2:23 pm #


    On Moreland’s terms, it would seem that Christian duty would not require it, but neither would it preclude it.


  7. Kris August 15, 2007 at 7:09 pm #

    “‘Would Jesus have’ supported universal healthcare?”

    “In short, he(Jesus) ‘would never have’ supported universal healthcare.”

    “If we grant J. P. Moreland’s view of separation, then we would probably have to say that Jesus ‘never would have’ opposed Universal Healthcare either.”

    You know, there is something that just doesn’t seem right when we are talking about Jesus in the past tense.

    We do know He is alive, right?

  8. Luke Britt August 16, 2007 at 9:17 am #

    Kris, good word.


    So the Christian perspective is indifference?

  9. BrianW August 16, 2007 at 11:13 am #

    Amen, Kris!

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