Thinking of health care as a moral issue

James Evans, pastor of Auburn First Baptist Church, writing in the Columbus, Ga., Ledger-Enquirer:

…there has appeared a strong push for health care reform from the faith community. Several Christian groups have stepped forward to aggressively lobby members of Congress to enact health care legislation this year.

The coalition that has come together around this issue is quite diverse. It includes Jim Wallis’ Sojourner’s community, an evangelical group; Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good; Faith in Public Life, a think tank based in Washington; and the People Improving Communities National Network, an alliance of over 1,000 congregations.

This is no small thing. There is much in the health care debate to cause concern among people of faith. From government-run health care to the fear of government-subsidized abortions, there are several hot-button issues that have the potential to divide people of faith over this matter.

The single notion that seems to be holding the coalition together is the consensus belief that health care is a moral issue. For instance, consider this statement from a brochure produced by the coalition, titled “Guide to Health Care Reform Debate”:

“The Bible does not outline specific public policies around the provision of health care, but it does make clear that protecting the health of each human being is a profoundly important personal and communal responsibility for people of faith. Physical healing was a part of the salvation Jesus brought. Healing represents a sign of the breaking of God’s reign into the present reality.”

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