Her response to his response

In regards to Mr. Shamlin’s response to my criticism of his letter regarding health care in America, it was my intent to point out his recurring propensity to state his opinions as facts, his frequent claims to know what the founding fathers thought and intended, and his predilection for citing Biblical commands that support his own agenda while ignoring those that oppose it.

Like most conservatives, Mr. Shamlin wants to use select Biblical teachings to influence American laws and policies that they favor, but don’t want to use Christ’s teachings in their entirety. The point of my letter was that for every Bible verse used to support his desire to deny assistance to the poor, sick, and needy there are dozens of others that can be cited as proof we should be helping others.

As to the Founding Fathers themselves, they were a group of imperfect men who, after much arguing and distention created a basic framework for the formation of our nation. The basis of that document was that “all men are created equal,” a phrase unanimously agreed upon by the group. I often think of the gross hypocrisy of this statement written by a group of men of which the majority were slaveowners, meaning that they did not believe or practice what they wrote.

People like Mr. Shamlin who constantly complain about Marxism, socialism, public assistance, and universal healthcare usually rail about anybody else getting help for which they don’t equally pay. But anyone in this country who uses Medicare or Tricare or collects Social Security IS benefitting from a socialist program, as are people who drive on public roads, send their kids to public schools, are protected by fire and police, and receive dozens of other services and benefits. We all pay for public services, whether we benefit from them or not. Mr. Shamlin and conservatives like him do not want to accept the fact that America is indeed a socialist democracy.

In my opinion, “Progressive” is one of those labels created by those who want to label others in a way they believe to be derogatory. However, I would certainly prefer to be thought of as “Progressive” rather than selfish and regressive to the point that I wanted to deny the kind of assistance to others that I expected and received for myself.

Patsy Sheppard

Tar Heel