In my post, President Obama says the “A” word: Alzheimer’s, I provided some Alzheimer’s statistics that focus on those who are predicted to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other dementia in the years to come. I also talked about caregiver statistics.
One statistic that really resonates with me is the following: a new caregiver is set into action every 33 seconds because someone will develop Alzheimer’s every 33 seconds. In actuality, the stats are far greater than that. Caregivers are “created” every second of the day because there are countless diseases requiring the assistance of someone just like you and me – an unpaid caregiver for a loved one. I use the distinction of “unpaid” so as not to be confused with those who work as caregivers in the health care industry.
The following statement is attributed to former First Lady of the United States, Rosalynn Carter:
There are only four kinds of people in the world – those who have been caregivers,
those who are currently caregivers,
those who will be caregivers, and
those who will need caregivers.
I really don’t think there’s any way around it. How about you? Have you dodged the caregiver or being-cared-for bullet yet?
It’s happening again. Churches are being encouraged to get involved in politics by using their worship space as the venue in which worshipers can sign petitions that speak out for, or against, certain governmental policies.
In April 2012, prior to November’s General Election, the Roman Catholic Church in Washington State, and other statewide mainline Christian denominations, held petition signings during their worship services in an attempt to shoot down Referendum 74 which was drafted to acknowledge marriage equality between men and women who chose to marry someone of their own gender. Politics invaded that worship space, thus blurring or obliterating the line that separates spiritual church practices from government policy.
Earlier this week, a local Seattle area church capped off their worship service by offering Letters to the President for church members to sign supporting restrictions regarding gun control. Today, President Obama announced the formation of a commission on gun control and encouraged the American people to help change the current gun laws in an effort to reign in gun violence, and to focus on improving access to mental health services. You’ll hear no argument from me on that effort – I might sign any worthwhile and well-thought out petition that is not being promoted by any religious leader and not being made available in any church organization’s worship space. In today’s statement, however, the President asked for the help of mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers, Pastors, and the like, to be a part of this effort because he can not do it by himself. It is my hope, however, that these efforts will not be cloaked in the trappings of religious beliefs or precepts. Standing at the pulpit trying to persuade church attendees to support more rigorous gun control measures – or to not support such measures – is an abuse of the pulpit.
Surely there are other non-pastoral men and women who can provide the same well-thought out petition signing opportunities centered around gun control and mental health issues in more public and civic settings.
Retail locations, libraries, city and county government offices, and – dare I say it – school campuses – come to mind as more appropriate locations for such efforts. Those close to me know that I am a well-read, spiritually sensitive, and globally aware human being. I’m outspoken and painstakingly fair in what I believe and in what I support, but on this issue I can not back down: anything politically motivated must be separate from all that is housed within the walls of ones worship space. You don’t have to believe as I do, that’s your right. I am simply, yet passionately, proposing that any efforts such as were introduced today, not be cloaked in the vestments of religion.
During this highly contentious and rude political season, it’s really difficult to discern fact from fiction. Oftentimes we get caught up in the rhetoric spoken by Talking Heads and dismiss what we’re hearing based on which Talking Head is doing the talking.
For the most part, I’ve trusted what the AARP has put out regarding issues and candidates over the years so I felt fairly confident in posting this article.
If you want clarification about the following myths, please take the time to read the above link.
Myth 1: The new law cuts Medicare drastically, so I won’t be able to get quality health care;
Myth 2: I’ve heard that Medicare Advantage plans will be cut or taken away;
Myth 3: I’ll have to wait longer to see my doctor – or I won’t be able to see my doctor at all;
Myth 4: If I have Medicare, I will need to get more or different insurance;
Myth 5: The new law “raids Medicare of $716 billion”;
Myth 6: The law is going to bankrupt America;
Myth 7: The new law will drive up premiums astronomically;
Myth 8: If I can’t afford to buy health insurance, I’ll be taxed – or worse;
Myth 9: I’m a small-business owner and I’ll pay big fines if I don’t provide health insurance to my employees;
Myth 10: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) basically turns our health care system into universal health care. So now some government bureaucrat will decide how and when I get treated;
Myth 11: If my state doesn’t set up an insurance exchange, I can’t get health coverage.