Christian Leader’s Respond to President’s Health Care Address
September 10, 2009
Christian Leader's Respond to President's Health Care Address
Faith Perspective on Abortion, Full Coverage and the Morality of Health Care Reform
President and CEO
"President Barack Obama made the commitments that a broad coalition in the faith community had asked for - reform as a moral issue, affordable coverage for all, and no federal funding of abortion. Now it is the job of the faith community and every concerned American to make sure the final bill reflects all these moral principles. We will now be calling on our members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, many of them members of our congregations, to support these moral commitments and to make sure, as they "iron out the details,” that each one is firmly upheld.”- Full statement available here.
Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson
Reformed Church in America
"Our health care crisis is, above all, a moral failure. Reform should be neither a partisan cause nor a political contest, but a necessity of service to the common good of our society. I trust that our politicians now can act as the leaders they were elected to be.”
Dr. Galen Carey
Director of Government Affairs
National Association of Evangelicals
"The National Association of Evangelicals welcomes President Obama's renewed call for bipartisan cooperation on health care reform. We support the goals of extending coverage, controlling costs, and preventing federal funding of abortion. As the debate moves forward we call on all Members of Congress to negotiate in good faith and with the civility, humility and respect which this important issue demands.”
Rev. Noel Castellanos
Christian Community Development Association
"President Obama's appeal to Congress and to the American people to stay the course and reform our current health care system is a clear call for us to look beyond our own interests and to assure that 50 million of our brothers and sisters in this country without basic health coverage receive this basic human right in the richest nation in the world."
Reverend Dr. Barbara Willams-Skinner
Member, National African American Clergy Network
President, Skinner Leadership Institute
As Chairman of the Board of the Christian Community Development Association and a member of the National African American Clergy Network I wholeheartedly welcomed President Barack Obama's clear and bold pronouncement of the moral foundation for comprehensive and affordable health care for all Americans. His affirmation that American must become a nation that cares about the health and wellbeing of all of her citizens was encouraging indeed.
Beyond the issue of universal, affordable coverage and health care as a basic moral issue was another critical issue addressed in the President's message. As a pro-life Democrat, I was especially gratified to hear President Obama state unequivocally that abortions would not be included as part of health care reform legislation.
I pray that congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle would come together behind the President's vision for comprehensive health care reform legislation that is worthy of our great nation.
Diana Butler Bass
Commentator and Scholar in American Religion
President Obama made the moral case for health care reform by appealing to the best aspects of American character, reminding us of our history, and by making people accountable for their actions. He called us to neighborliness and generosity. He drew a life-affirming picture of a caring community, asking everyone to do his or her part, outlining the responsibilities of deep democracy. And if that's not progress--and progressive--I don't know what is. - Full statement available here.
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
"The Hispanic National Association of Evangelicals believes our nation needs Health Care Reform that reconciles affordability and accessibility with the protection of life, conscience, personal and religious liberties. We encourage all members of Congress to debate with integrity, humility and respect. Health Care reform is a matter of Social Justice driven by a moral imperative that is undeniable."
Author and Speaker
"Three things struck me about President Obama's speech on health care reform. First, I was struck by the speech's emphasis on morality. Caring for our poor neighbors - and even more so when they are sick - is indeed a moral concern. Second, I was impressed by the way the speech addressed economic concerns. Like a lot of people, I'm concerned about costs and deficits - and I thought the President wisely pointed out that the rising costs of doing nothing are unacceptably high. The fact that we pay significantly more for health care than other wealthy nations - and are not more healthy, but less - tells me we have a lot to learn from other countries, both in treating disease efficiently and in pre-empting it with healthier living. Finally, I was impressed by the mature and responsible character reflected in both the speech's content and delivery. Even when he was called a liar by a member of Congress from whom we would expect more adult, civil, and professional behavior, the President modeled the grace and restraint that signal maturity of character. And similarly, the speech rightly emphasized that health care is a matter of national character. It takes maturity to integrate diverse concerns that are both long-term and short-term, personal and corporate, economic and moral. It takes maturity to integrate our traditional values of individual self-reliance and of commitment to our neighbors. Our nation hasn't displayed a lot of that maturity of character in my lifetime, and now, both in what we do and how we do it, is our opportunity to learn and grow.”
Sojourners' mission is to articulate the biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world. Visit www.sojo.net, and www.GodsPolitics.com.
Jim Wallis is the founder and president of Sojourners, the largest network of progressive Christians in the United States focused on the biblical call to social justice. Wallis is also author of the New York Times bestseller God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It. His latest New York Times bestseller is The Great Awakening:
Wallis is a leading figure at the crossroads of religion and politics in America today serving as a public theologian, internationally renowned speaker and preacher, and faith-based activist.