Monday, September 28, 2009


Tonight (September 28), well-known Central Ohio Biblical American Dr. Patrick Johnston will debate James Castle, president of the Ohio Hospital Association on what a press release calls, the "helpfulness or harmfulness" of proposals pending in Congress related to national health care legislation. The debate will be held at 7:00 PM at St John's Church, 59 E Mound Street, Columbus

This is their second debate The first was held on September 3 at the Hillard branch of the Franklin County Public Library. I was unable to attend that debate, but will cover tonight's event, and report here later.

The debates are sponsored by the Community Leaders Forum, , The Columbus Free Press, Simply Living, the Humanist Community of Central Ohio, the Society for Humanistic Judaism the OSU Students for Freethought..and believe it or not, Coach Dave Daubenmire's Pass the Salt Ministries. It is free and open to the public.

The Hilliard debate received virtually no coverage outside of an Other Paper hit piece on Daubenmire, Meet your local demagogue, which must have made the reporter feel oh-so clever, but missed the mark by a mile.

Regarding the debate, we learn:

Pass the Salt ministry was among the groups supporting the anti-public health care position during the debate (without Daubenmire)., accorting ([sic] to event organizer Earl Wordlow [sic]. Voicing the cons was Patrick Johnston, an uninsured Zanesville family practitioner, Christian radio host, an active anti-LGBT and Operation Save America activist, and one-time Libertarian candidate for state representative in Ohio’s 94th District.

Wearing a Ten Commandments pin on his lapel, Johnston countered his opponent’s Power Point presentation on the whats, wheres, and whys of proposed health care bills with an impassioned speech about the road to perdition, down which government health care must necessarily lead.

Johnston and his supporters’ primary concerns with health care reform , as he laid them out, were taxpayer-subsidized reproductive care, specifically abortion, health care “rationing,” health care for illegal immigrants and, naturally, the ever-present threat of Communist infiltration.

“Even if it could be proven that universal health care could save lives, it should be rejected…better to be a cigarette smoker in an SUV than die a slave to a government system,” said Dr. Johnston. “A little candy for a little Communism? No thanks.”

While audience members, like the gray-haired man wearing a “NObama” T-shirt answered Johnston’s rhetoric with “Amen” and spattered applause, other members grew visibly agitated, some issuing groans and speaking out of turn to question the relevance of his position.

I received an email from Johnston over the weekend, which included this quote about the health care--which I prefer to call the health coverage-- debate:

If you break this ethical question down to its lowest common denominator, it comes down to a Garden of Eden question. Who determines right and wrong? Who determines the limits of government? If it is up to a democratic consensus, how can we condemn slavery where it is democratically popular? How can we condemn the execution of gays or the clitorectomies of little girls in Arab lands, where such things occur with a democratic consensus? If it is up to the whims of the leaders, how can we condemn dictatorships who suppress minorities and persecute political dissidents? The question of whether the government should fund universal healthcare, as in all ethical questions, ultimately comes down to a question of morality. What is the basis of right and wrong? I believe that the God who created us has given us a standard that transcends time, national boundaries, and even our opinions. The Holy Bible contains His word to us, and in it He places a limit to the power of the state. The state has no right to take your money and give to a cause that you would not give willingly if you had the free choice. ‘Thou shalt not steal’ applies to princes as well as paupers.

Judging from the above quote, the Other Paper Paper piece, and previous statements from Johnston on gay marriage, it looks like he'll argue tonight that "the greater good" is not necessarily the "greater good" in his moral construction and and under "God's law." Better to die with God than be saved through tax-payer funded medical.

An email to Coach Daubenmire asking about PTS co-sponsorship of the debate wasn't answered. I talked to Earl Wurdlow, organizer of the debates , and he seemed unaware of Johnston's extreme views on abortion (including posting pictures and plate numbers of women using women's clinic services), queers, and Islam and his elationship with Operation Save America, which I have written about elsewhere in Theoconia. Go to the sidebar on the right for links to those pieces.

Selected Patrick Johnston's web sites (there are more)
Stop Killing Columbus
Right Remedy

For those who can't attend tonight's debate here is a video of Dr Johnsto speaking and selling his children at the April 6, 2009 Campapign for Liberty Tea Party in Zanesville.

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