My parents love the musical Jesus Christ: Superstar. I hate it, for many reasons. I could start with its denial of Jesus’ divinity, the hippie-like apostles complete with fawning feminine companions, the apparent sleeping arrangements of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, etc. But, for all that, there are brief flashes of interesting bits.
One, in particular, came to mind tonight. Judas has gone to the High Priest to negotiate handing over Jesus. He starts out not quite sure he’ll do this. The High Priest offers a bribe, which Judas angrily refuses with, “I don’t want your blood money!” He persists, and Judas answers again, “I don’t need your blood money!”
Seeing an opening, the High Priest finds Judas’ pressure point: “Think of the things you could do with this money, think of the things you could do for the poor… It isn’t blood money, it’s (the High Priest gropes for a “nicer” word and another member of the council hisses, “A fee!”)… it’s a fee, nothing more.”
And Judas takes it.
It’s just the betrayal of innocent blood, right? I mean, when you could do something for lots of poor people, what’s one innocent man?
(Now, I have issues with this interpretation. Although Judas protested at a woman’s use of expensive perfume to annoint Jesus’ feet, insisting that the money would be better spent on the poor, some commentators think that that was because Judas held the charitable purse, and so would have been able to help himself to the money if it had been given to him. Also, commentators point out that, as a zealot, Judas was seeking the military liberation of Israel. There is some speculation that Judas was trying to force Jesus’ hand by turning him over, expecting that he would then finally manifest himself as the all-powerful Messiah and kick the hated pagan Romans out.)
Still, purely as drama and commentary on human behavior, it’s interesting.
Tomorrow morning, the health care bill goes to vote in the Senate. Early on the morning of Christmas Eve, after debates and preliminary votes scheduled over weekends and into the wee hours of the morning. After closed-door discussions and amendments. And blood money.
So much for transparency, no more government as usual, etc. Same stories, different day.
Playing Judas is Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, with whom Lindy is none-too-pleased. Apparently, she’s not the only one in Nebraska who’s upset over his shift. You see, Nelson insisted that he’s a pro-life Democrat. I’ve always had my doubts about that label; it often seems the “pro-life” Democrats are trotted out as cover for the increasingly radical pro-abortion positions of the Democratic Party. Yes, maybe they can do some good.
And maybe they’re just window dressing until the Democrats get enough power to pass whatever pro-abortion legislation they want and can dump them. In which case, the pro-life Democrats were accomplices in the evil.
Anyways, Senator Nelson had held out against the health care bill, insisting that pro-life language prohibiting taxpayer money from paying for abortions and ensuring conscience protection for pro-life medical professionals be included. Then, suddenly, he announced he’s voting for the bill, since, after all-day negotiations, he had won language in the bill that will allow states to opt out of covering abortions. All this, after Nelson had repeatedly insisted that he would help filibuster the bill if his pro-life amendment wasn’t included, which would’ve prohibited taxpayer money from paying for abortions anywhere.
Why the shift ? Did he really get what he wanted? Yes and no. There are still no real pro-life protections in the bill; pro-life people’s tax dollars will pay for abortions in many states, even if abortion coverage is rejected in your state.
Senator Nelson, however, did manage to get Nebraska a sweetheart deal whereby Nebraska will not have to foot as much as other states for health care. There are rumors that he was threatened with the loss of an Air Force Base, also, which is always a dramatic economic blow to an area.
Nelson joins the previous sell-out, Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. Apparently, consciences are up for sale in the Senate; too bad the rest of the states’ senators didn’t play coy and get taxpayer hand-outs for their constituents, too, huh? Landrieu accepted a promise of $300 million for her state, claiming that it was for helping those still recovering from Hurricane Katrina by helping the state cover Medicaid costs.
Initial reports said the bribe… ahem… *fee, nothing more*… was $100 million. Landrieu was quick to correct her record: “It’s not $100 million, it’s $300 million, and I’m proud of it and will keep fighting for it,” she told reporters, when asked.
Unlike Nelson, Landrieu is pro-abortion, but had voted against taxpayer funding for abortion previously. This time, however, dissent was not going to be allowed, and we’re all going to pay for it, since that $300 million isn’t just going to appear out of thin air. Through federal taxes or devaluation of the dollar from printing too much money, we’ll all get to pay for Sen. Landrieu’s Christmas present.
Rep. Bart Stupak in the House of Representatives actually held onto his morals, forcing the inclusion of pro-life language in the House version of the bill. After Nelson caved, you’ll have to forgive me if I have my doubts if Stupak and the other pro-life Democrats in the House will maintain their position, or if more fat checks written on our bank accounts are being prepared for their states as we speak.
So, Nelson and Landrieu smile, reassure their constituents that they’ll “get theirs”, and rest comfortably in the knowledge that the Democratic Party won’t be disowning them for a vote against the health care bill.
It’s only innocent blood. A few doctors forced out of business for refusing to do abortions. A 30% increase in abortions over the more than one million done each year (from Planned Parenthood’s estimate on how many more women would get abortions if they could afford them or if they were covered by insurance). Wait, that’s 300,000 more dead children and wounded mothers a year…
But, hey, that’s nothing against the voting poor, who will only remember their Medicaid got funded, right?
“It isn’t blood money, it’s… a *fee*, nothing more…”
Keep telling yourselves that. It’s a catchy tune.