My prayer for Rick Santorum

I am unabashedly glad that Rick Santorum is out of the race for the Republican nomination, although I will miss the easy potshots. Amidst the general hilarity, however, there is a serious side that has not been in the spotlight, and that is that Santorum’s daughter Bella is quite ill.

Bella Santorum is three years old, and she shouldn’t be: she has Trisomy 18, a genetic defect wherein there are three copies of chromosome 18 instead of the usual two, causing abnormalities of the brain and heart.  Most infants, if they make it to birth at all, die soon after.

Rick Santorum has mentioned his daughter rarely, and mostly in support of his anti-abortion stance.  He walks the talk, and even though he misses the point that it was a very brave choice on his and his wife’s part, I respect him for that.  No parent should have to go through what Rick and Karen Santorum have been though with Bella, and my heart goes out to them.

Nevertheless, as Santorum kneels in prayer by his precious daughter’s bed, I have a prayer for him.  I pray that at some point, as he asks to know God’s will for him and his family, that God lets him understand, in a flash, that Bella’s medical care is very, very expensive, and that very, very few people in this nation could afford it like he can.

May God also grant him the insight that without the entire nation lending a hand, no one can afford it.  His kind (“severely” conservative) often rebut the argument for universal healthcare by saying that it’s not the government’s job.  It’s the church’s or family’s, they say.  May God help him understand the impossibility of what he dreams is the case.

Using that argument, the odious Rick Warren recently tweeted The Church has helped the poor far more than any govt, & for 2000 yrs longer! In 2011 our 1 church fed 70,000 unemployed.  I’m not even going to dissect that; Karoli and Slacktivist have done a much better job, and they are people of deeper faith than I.

I want Rick Santorum stricken to his knees like Paul on the road to Damascus, and to rise up with new knowledge.  Like Paul, I expect that Santorum would remain obdurate about every other aspect of his political view, but if the scales could be struck from his eyes about health care in this nation, I imagine it would be a good thing.  And like Paul, I expect he would be just as ferocious in fighting for universal health care as he was in opposing it.

(Irrelevant sidenote: I was just re-reading 2 Timothy and was struck by how whiny Paul was: everybody had abandoned him and returned to their rational Græco-Roman mindset; poor baby, nobody wanted to accompany him into an existence of restricted, hair-shirted faith and celibacy–wonder why?)

So, Rick Santorum, bless you and your daughter, and may you emerge from this trial with a new understanding of what it means to be sick and dying in the greatest nation on earth—and your role in that.

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