Saturday, August 15, 2009

JOIN A HEALTH REFORM DIALOG WORTHY OF OUR FAITH

This is an opportunity for people of faith to work with the truth and shape the discussion

Because I'm convinced quality, accessible, affordable health care for all American citizens is needed, possible, and morally right--and something Christians and the church should be advocating for--I'm working with a coalition of 25 faith-based organizations and denominations that is encouraging people of faith to do what they can to make health care reform a reality. Will you join with me?

You can start by joining in a nationwide call-in with faith leaders and President Barack Obama on Wednesday, August 19.

The initiative, called 40 Days for Health Reform also invites you to learn the facts about the legislation that is being worked with and proposed, read and consider signing a pledge/petition to ask Congress to make sure everyone is included in health reform, have fruitful, civil conversations within faith circles, and be part of vigils for health reform around the country.

Much of the debate to this point has centered around myths, distortions and outright lies about proposed health reform legislation. The media focus has been on misinformed people shouting down Congressional leaders, calling them Nazis, and burning them in effigy. I believe Christians should not only not be a part of those scenarios, but that we should make a contribution to the dialogue that is fact-based, truth-seeking, civil, and that moves all to find common ground to ensure that quality, accessible, affordable health care is available to ALL American citizens. That's why I encourage you to be part of this initiative.

Here's a link to the new story about this that ran on Indianapolis CBS affiliate WISH-TV 8 on Friday evening.

Here's a link to the national ad I participated in for this initiative.

Here's a reality check link to get the facts about the health care reform legislation.

And here's the online text of Dave Barros' news story on WISH-TV 8 on Friday, August 14:

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - An Indianapolis pastor is working with more than two dozen faith groups, putting them in the middle of the health care debate. He and the others say reform is needed and they want more people to get involved.

Forty Days For Health Reform is a national campaign designed to show that health care is a moral issue not a political one.
John Hay Jr., a longtime Indianapolis pastor and advocate for the poor, is promoting the campaign. which includes a call-in with President Obama August 19.
"People can call in and ask their questions and share their ideas about health care reform with our president," said Hay.
Curt Smith is the president of the Indiana Family Institute, an Indianapolis faith-based group that promotes policy. He believes faith-based groups are an important part of the health care debate.
"But they kind of begin with an assumption that I'd like to challenge and that is, while health care is an important part of our moral commitment in this country, government should carry out that moral commitment," said Smith.
Hay Jr. said his program is not looking for government to take over anything.
Glenn Tebbe is the executive director of the Indiana Catholic Conference . The church, he says, believes health care is a fundamental right.
"Government is involved in our health care already in so many ways because the problem is so large and so immense," said Tebbe. "We see this as an opportunity to try and make some positive changes to a system that needs correction."
One area where there is agreement is on abortion. All three men said it should not be a part of health care reform, saying it should be left at status quo for now.
For more information on the national call-in with President Obama next Wednesday, visit faithforhealth.org .

Here are some links with resources I find helpful in seeking the truth and speaking the truth as I encourage people to find the common ground needed to make health care quality, accessible, and affordable for ALL American citizens: