ThinkProgress filed this report from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
The most distasteful moment in Monday’s Republican presidential debate was when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked whether a 30 year old who gets in a catastrophic accident should be allowed to die if he doesn’t have health insurance and the Tea Party audience cheered in approval, shouting “yes!”
Yesterday, ThinkProgress discussed the matter with a number of students at Liberty University, a conservative Christian college founded by Jerry Falwell in Lynchburg, Virginia. The students were unanimous in their disapproval, calling it “un-Christian” to simply allow a person to die because they were uninsured. Unlike the cheering Tea Party audience, Liberty students we spoke with said the “Christian thing to do” would be to provide care to those in need, regardless of their personal situation.
The disturbing incident in Monday’s debate was actually the second time in as many weeks that Republican debate attendees have applauded death. During the California debate last week, the audience cheered the fact that 234 people have been executed under Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) watch in Texas.
Though the Republican Party that used to say it represented “compassionate conservatism,” their base has taken an ugly turn of late. For many Christian conservatives, the idea of cheering anybody’s death may finally be a bridge too far.
Transcript following the jump:
KEYES: In the debate on Monday, there was the question of whether or not a 30 year old who doesn’t have health insurance and gets in a major accident, we ought to just let him die or we ought to provide care for him. What do you think would be the Christian thing to do?
STUDENT 1: Definitely to give him care, no matter what your age is.
KEYES: What do you think the Christian thing to do there is?
STUDENT 2: If he didn’t have health insurance?
STUDENT 2: I would say take care of him.
KEYES: Do you think it’s un-Christian to be letting uninsured people die? What would you do?
STUDENT 3: Why would someone let anyone die just because they can’t pay for something? That’s the thing I don’t understand. Me and my family, we’re financially impaired right now, we’re in a shelter. We have insurance and all that, but at the same time for those who don’t have insurance, what’s the point of killing someone, taking a life, just because they can’t pay for something? It’s like going to a hospital, charging millions of dollars to have an operation to save someone’s life, they can’t pay for it, okay so we’ve got to kill them? We can’t save a life because they can’t pay for it? That doesn’t make any sense to me, I don’t understand.
KEYES: Do you think that’s a Christian thing to let an uninsured person die?
STUDENT 4: Absolutely not. I don’t see how that’s Christian in any way. I mean “Christian.” I think everyone has the right to life, including I don’t agree with capital punishment, I think that those people also have a right to life.
KEYES: What do you think the Christian thing to do there would be?
STUDENT 5: I believe provide care for him. I believe we should provide some care for him.
KEYES: What do you think, do you think that it would be Christian to let uninsured people die?
STUDENT 6: I don’t think it is. I think that they should work towards making sure that people no matter what should live.
STUDENT 3: I bet if Jesus came back right now, all them politicians, all them doctors who had to do something like that would probably give their life to Christ because they felt so bad about themselves. Because they knew that they took a life just because someone couldn’t pay for it.