Members of Jewish, Muslim and Christian denominations gathered yesterday for a "Religious Leaders Health Care Summit" on Capitol Hill hosted by the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, The National Coalition on Health Care and Families USA.This meeting helps to illustrate a point that I often make when I'm organizing. We all will have our differences on certain issues, but that shouldn't prevent us from coming together to promote commonsense ideas that we all agree upon. In the case of health care reform, these faith based groups are illustrating how the faithful don't have to get involved only when there is a "traditional religious right" talking point issue being discussed. Instead, we can all come together to make sure that all Americans have their basic needs, such as access to affordable health care, met.
A main plank for the meeting is a statement, signed by 47 religious leaders from around the country, pressing the moral urgency for health-care reform.
"Rising unemployment, underemployment and a decline in employment benefits have deprived many more of health care," the statement reads. "The health of our neighbors and the wholeness of the nation now require that all segments of our society join in finding a solution to this national challenge."
I would like to see more attention given to these types of action. As I've traveled throughout Virginia working on campaigns and causes, it's become extremely apparent to me that the vast majority of very religious folks devote most of their time to giving back to the community. It is in that vain that they also support legislation that would help people improve their lives. Nonetheless, the mainstream media still likes to focus on old battle lines instead of focusing on how groups are coming together on things such as health care reform. Hopefully there will be a more honest reporting of the situation soon, but I'm not holding my breath.