A few days ago, I read an article from INET by Lynn Parramore titled America, Land of the Dying, showing how our country has the worst health record of all rich countries. Its policies are killing more people than they are helping. As usual, poor, black and uneducated get the worst service, ‘justified’ by the standard free-market pitch. Here’s a telling paragraph from Parramore’s piece: “Piles of studies have called attention to the fact that in the country ranking number one in healthcare spending per capita, people are living shorter lives, feeling more depressed, and are more likely to skip treatment due to cost than in many developed nations. In a performance ranking of 11 high-income countries compiled by the Commonwealth Fund in 2021, the American healthcare system came in dead last, with the worst outcomes of any of the nations studied.”
Our physical and mental sicknesses can be healed if and when governments provide the scientific means to do so. Knowledge about epidemics and pandemics has continued to improve over time, from sorcery, sacrifices and natural medicine to the Renaissance era of modern science, and continues to the present. But we all know (or should know) that governmental policies are largely controlled by politics at local, state and national levels. And they in turn are controlled by money interests and selfishness. Change for the better (in this case, public well-being) requires practical, reachable goals. (I might say practical is ‘what works for you’, but that meme has been co-opted by self-interested businesses, in their guise as benefactors.)
I’m hyper-idealistic, but pessimism tempers that coming from disappoinment. My son is my go-to adviser. He’s very pragmatic. Aristotle’s dictum – ‘Nothing in Excess’ – is his motto. Yet both of us have strong religious beliefs, passed along from Swedish, English and German ancestors since 1800. They’re based on the theological teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg. From that perspective, I think that the Lord God is ultimately the source of all Good, all Truth, and all human Blessings.
In his work called The Lord, no. 65, Swedenborg has a summary of the True Religion he was chosen to give to the world, in his role as ‘servant of the Lord’. There are 6 Principles:
“The new tenets found in this short book are in general the following: 1. God is one in person and essence, and that God is the Lord. 2. The Holy Scripture throughout has Him alone as its subject. 3. The Lord came into the world to conquer the hells and glorify His humanity. And He accomplished both by undergoing temptations or trials, and did so completely by the last of these, which was His suffering of the cross. By this He became our Redeemer and Savior, and in consequence of it, the merit and righteousness are His alone. 4. His fulfilling all things of the Law means that He fulfilled all things of the Word. 5. By His suffering of the cross He did not take away sins, but bore them as a prophet, which is to say that He suffered it so as to represent in His person the church and how it had abused the Word. 6. An imputation of merit is without reality unless one takes it to mean a forgiveness of sins following repentance. These tenets are contained in the present short work. Still more new ones will be found in the works to follow, works entitled The Sacred Scripture, The Doctrine of Life, Faith, and Divine Love and Wisdom.”
Like so many other believers, I trust that the Divine Healer pictured here offers Every Human (not just Christians) the healing and happiness that we’re willing to accept. Sadly, some choose to reject that offer. So, with the believers, I concur, ‘He got the Whole World in His Hands’, here sung by Odetta.