It's a Struggle between Those of Us with Empathy and Those of Us without Empathy

A search on the evolutionary origins of empathy took me to a Psychology Today article on the subject and we can say with some confidence that victory in the struggle over health care in America will go to those of us with empathy.

How many such struggles have Americans with empathy won? The abolition of slavery. The consumer protection and child welfare laws during the short progressive period in the early 1900s. Social security and related benefits during the 1930s depression. The civil rights struggle during the 1960s.

In one of those, the early 1900s progressive period, populist Republicans briefly controlled that Party. In another, the 1960s civil rights struggle, moderate Republicans provided the votes to defeat southern Democrat opponents.

The ongoing struggle over universal health care is ours to win and today's Republicans to lose. America will in time join the community of nations.

(Yeah, who doesn't occasionally get pissed and briefly feel less empathy?)

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This whole situation may be less a matter of LACK of empathy than SELECTIVE empathy.  Certainly, I would expect that quality to exist between church members, the "US" group, and this is frequently evinced with outreach efforts by a congregation toward needy individuals of their membership.  The problem, of course, is THEM: those either outside their ranks or with a stance or belief system contrary to their own ... like us.

When such an attitude appears, I would point out to them that their own holy book talks about inclusivity:

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.
-- Matthew 25:35-36

I would also remind them that there are organizations such as the Foundation Beyond Belief, which do such outreach REGARDLESS of who needs it and without the sub rosa need or intention to proselytize.  There is also the fact that secular charities as a rule are a lot more efficient in terms of what they accomplish with the monies designated for such project than those operating with the direct imprimatur of the church.

"Shaming," you say?  Perhaps ... but it's their book which talks about treating with "the least of these, my brethren" as equivalent to treating with their putative savior, and I wonder how often that gets forgotten by them.

Loren, I don't remember who, decades ago, told me xians need xianity more than any others.

Who but xians need frequent reminders of an eternal reward for compliance and frequent reminders of an eternal punishment for non-compliance?

Well put, Loren.

Loren, I don't say "shaming" because a sociologist once told me what a Wikipedia article under 'Shame society' says this way:

The distinction between shame and guilt as methods of social control has long been recognized. The terms were popularized by Ruth Benedict in The Chrysanthemum and the Sword, who described American culture as a "guilt culture" and Japanese culture as a "shame culture".[1][2]


I liked what you had to say and I agree with Loren on selective empathy. I do hope some day, very soon, universal health care will not be a individual right but the right thing to do for peoplekind.




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