Job has in recent months been re-reading his Old Testament. Lately this has been the historical books of Kings & Chronicles. Job has been struck time and again by the influence and persistence of idolatry found in these books. Any superficial reading will discover a variation of the following pattern being repeated time and time again: idolatry, warning, social decline/military defeat, repentance, removal of some idols, renewal, backsliding and back to idolatry. Often even after a time of national repentance and turning to the Lord, we are told that the idols on the high places remained. It seems that an extra degree of ruthless dedication was required to totally deal with the idolatry issue, and even then its influence would easily creep back as soon as a reforming king was followed by a wicked and godless successor.
The enlightened twenty first century man sneers and scoffs at such primitive idolatries. Not for him is the degrading spectacle of worshipping at some daft shrine. Modern man is articulate, thoughtful, sophisticated and complex. He would never be found indulging in submission to such an illogical and dehumanising world view. Or would he??
Not ten miles from Job’s home town there is a memorial on top of a mountain. The memorial is comprised of a large, central stone with 3 equally large, surrounding stones. Now Job is reasonably certain that no religious ceremonies are performed at the site and no acts of worship offered [although it is never prudent to be too confident in such matters]. In fact the site in question is a memorial to Aneurin Bevan. Mr Bevan has been described as one of the most outstanding British political figures of the 20th century. He was in fact a chief architect and founder of the UK National Health Service, a champion of the left, a first class orator in the midst of fierce political controversy. In 2004, he topped an online poll as the greatest of a hundred Welsh Heroes, beating other national figures such as Owain Glyndwr into second place and pop icon Tom Jones into third.
His citation in the poll by Culturenet Cymru pertinently states ‘As the Minister of Health, Bevan was responsible for one of the most profound acts of modern social reform. By establishing the National Health Service and expanding the system of National Insurance created by David Lloyd George, he personally shaped the creation of the modern welfare state.’ Essentially, if one was to tour the local towns and valleys of S Wales, or indeed anywhere else in the UK where the British Labour Party has traditionally held a large majority, opinion of Mr Bevan and his achievements are unequivocal. He is considered a genius, a brilliant man, a true Socialist who changed the course of British history. He is an example to be followed. A man whose political views should be emulated today….. etc ad nauseum.
Now then, let us consider the reality. Horror stories abound in the modern NHS system. Here are a few minor tales from Job’s own experience:
Two years ago, Job’s wife was pregnant with their darling little boy. As is customary during pregnancy Mrs Twenteewun1to3 was invited for a scan. The appt was set for 2pm on a nondescript midweek afternoon. When Job and his good lady wife attended the clinic it was apparent that most of the pregnant ladies in the town also had a 2pm appointment that day. All expectant mothers were to report to the clinic with a full bladder as this apparently assists the scan process. The afternoon clinic duly began at around 2:20pm after the reception staff had dragged their weary bodies back from their lunch break and then had a nice cup of tea. Already twenty minutes behind schedule, and with bladders defying Archimedes principle, it was but the start of an uncomfortable afternoon for these expectant mothers. There was no question of trying to recover the lost twenty minutes and any questioning of the reception staff about waiting times was met with obstructive hostility. What should have been a joyous occasion turned into a two hour trial of endurance.
Fast forward to June 2009 and Job’s eldest child, who is 13, collapses in school. The paramedics are called and deliver first rate care to their patient who is transported to the local A&E hospital. This is where the fun starts folks. A six hour waiting time is expected, not of course that any member of staff has provided this information. Oh no, it is simply beamed luminous orange from some deeply impersonal neon sign. The indignity and inhumanity of the mode of communication serves as a pertinent reminder of where power and authority resides – and it is not with the patients. A young boy, perhaps aged 11 or 12 enters the unit in a wheel chair. He has fractured his arm playing rugby and will most likely need an operation. There are however no beds for him to be accommodated in, no porters to wheel him to a ward, no doctors to make an ultimate decision on an operation and of course the painkillers he has been administered barely address his overwhelming pain. He is left to sit crying inconsolably with pain, whilst his mother is learning the harsh lesson that she has no power or means of delivering a speedy outcome for her beloved son. It is a disgraceful incident met with a callous and brutal official disinterest in the plight of a young boy.
Meanwhile, Job’s daughter who is now cold and extremely hungry no longer wishes to wait to see an over rushed doctor who will undoubtedly merely send her to see her GP. In sheer frustration Job takes her home.
August 2009, Job’s mother and daughter take a holiday inTenerife. It ends in disaster – Job’s Mum slips on a slippy patch of water and breaks her leg. The hospital inTenerife is wonderfully efficient. Job’s Mum is booked in, assessed, X-rayed, plastered, made a fuss of and given painkillers in under an hour. The only problem of course is that Job’s Mum has to return to the land of the NHS – the so called envy of the world. The day after her return Job takes his Mum to the local ‘Accident & Emergency’ Dept in order that she may be registered and receive an appointment at the fracture clinic. She takes with her the X Rays that clearly show the fracture. A 4 hour wait can be expected – just to get a piece of card saying ‘come back on Sept 1st at 10am’. Great !!!! Meanwhile a young lad enters the unit, probably about 8 or 9 years of age. He has fallen off his bike and smacked his head on the tarmac. He is assessed by a nurse and told to wait his turn. He waits and waits and waits and waits. He suddenly turns a deathly shade of white, his eyes glaze over and he is violently sick. No medical staff comfort him. His Mum passes him a paper tissue and another lady passes him some ‘wet wipes’ – it is the best that can be done for him.
Meanwhile Job’s Mum is called in. A nurse notices that Job’s Mum has all her medical bills from Tenerife and jovially states ‘It is a good job that you can come home to a free health service then!!!’. Hmmmmmmmm – Job needed holding back if the truth is known.
These are of course minor incidents really. Tales are told of waiting lines, administrative delays, billions of wasted pounds and denied services. Such horror stories are everywhere. British people from Land’s End to John O’Groats regularly wait up to 9 months for an MRI scan. The average Accident & Emergency waiting time is 6 hours — just to be seen. Stretchers pile up in hospital hallways. People wait years to get replacement hips or knee operations.
As mentioned above Aneurin Bevan, the socialist who created the NHS was voted as the greatest Welsh Hero. Is it not ironic that these very people who suffer at the hands of such a dehumanised NHS are the very people who voted for this slave master as the Greatest Welsh Hero. This is what Socialism will do to you. It won’t just make you a prisoner of the system. It won’t just destroy the respect due to an individual. It won’t even just provide you with a third world system of care and nauseatingly tax you for the privilege of being treated like a slab of meat. It will weaken you to the point where you look upon those who enslave you as your heroes. This is modern day idolatry folks, where faith in mankind and his system of self governance supersedes faith in God and His governance. Instead of ‘going up to Jerusalem to worship God’ modern man prefers to ‘go up to the high places to worship a god of his own making’ via the political philosophies of equality of failure and misery.
Perhaps the modern idolatry of Socialism and its entire evil works is just as bizarre and fruitless an activity as bowing to a piece of wood and stone was in Israel 3,000 years ago.