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Our Heritage and Values Should Guide Health Care Debate

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I received an email from the MethodistChurch recently that reprinted a speech by the Rev. Jim Rigby, pastor of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church. It is a profound and insightful essay on human rights and Christian values that we all should read. Here are some quotes from that speech:

"I can't believe I am standing today in a Christian church defending the proposition that we should lessen the suffering of those who cannot afford health care in an economic system that often treats the poor as prey for the rich" I cannot believe there are Christians around this nation who are shouting that message down and waving guns in the air because they don't want to hear it" But I learned a long time ago that churches are strange places: Charity is fine, but speaking of justice is heresy in many churches"."

"Too often today in the United States, if you talk about helping the poor, they call you Christian. But if you actually try to do something to help the poor, they call you a Socialist""

"It's amazing to hear Christians who talk about the right to life as though it ends at birth. They believe every egg has a right to hatch, but as soon as you're born, it's dog eat dog. We may disagree on when life begins, but if the right to life means anything, it means that every person, who has finished the gestation period, has a right to life. And if there is a right to life, there must be a right to the necessities of life, such as health care""

"I believe the American dream was not about property rights, but human rights. Supporting universal health care does not make you socialist or even a liberal, it makes you a human being. And it makes you an ambassador for the American dream which, in the mind of Thomas Paine, was a dream for every human being, not just Americans""

"Whatever we win through reform is just the first step toward a day when every human being truly has a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"" - Rev. Jim Rigby

Those of us with sensibilities have to persevere through the shouting and insults. We must continue the dialogue and work together to find the best possible solution for America that doesn't betray our American heritage or our Christian faith.

Those who are deliberately spreading lies or shouting down reasoned debate, for whatever reason, are betraying democracy and the country they claim to love.

It is said that a budget is a moral document. If we take a long hard look at our federal budget from a moral perspective we could find plenty of money to answer the question of health care reform. Unfortunately, money and greed are one of the main reasons health care reform has failed in the past and it will likely kill any real reform this time as well.

Money and greed will give us some watered down version of reform that doesn't really resolve the main issues of skyrocketing costs and a system that makes health care decisions based upon optimal profits as opposed to optimal health.

There are many examples of health care systems large and small, foreign and domestic, that put the patient first yet still provide those who deserve it with a fair profit. We have the opportunity to take a "best practices" approach here and develop a uniquely American answer to what is a national and moral dilemma the outcome of which will say volumes about who we really are as a nation. Let's hope that reason prevails.

 

A graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo with an MBA in 1980, John went into the banking business from 1981-1991. John went into the gymnastics business with his wife, with whom he has two children, in 1992 and grew it enough by (more...)
 

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But remember, The "Religious Right" is NEITHER!!... by Bia Winter on Monday, Sep 21, 2009 at 9:09:47 AM