Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Faith Community Speaks Out For Health Care Reform

James Kille, Rev Dr. Jo Hudson, Rev Colleen Darraugh, Dr Winfred Parnell, and Rev Gerald Britt spoke out on health care reform

North Texas religious leaders have joined the battle for health care reform and other progressive causes. The Dallas Area Christian Progressive Alliance organized a panel presentation at Cathedral of Hope Church in Dallas on September 13. It was titled, “Who Would Jesus Insure? A Discussion and Reflection on Health Care as a Shared Value.”

Dr Winfred Parnell gave a medical doctor’s perspective on the need for reform and the complicated process underway in Congress. He said that reason and discussion should take over from the bellicose anti-reform tactics that are “characterized by fear, anger, and rudeness.” In support of President Obama’s proposed “public plan,” he said, “The idea that health care has to be a private commodity is ridiculous on its face!”

The audience was able to interact with each of the four main speakers.

James Kille, a lay activist with the Progressive Alliance, served as emcee. He said, “We need to do some healing in our churches that fear to talk about politics.” The panelists did not shy away from formerly fearsome words that have become necessary for accurate meaning today such as “working class,” and “classism.”

The group of 35 participated in a liturgy of commitment to health care reform for ourselves and, especially, for our neighbors. The words of Santa Teresa de Avila, formed into song, concluded the program.

A number of North Texas ministers and theologians have joined in Workers Rights Board and Jobs with Justice activities. Their commitment to workers’ justice issues was acknowledged during their attendance at the Dallas AFL-CIO Labor Day breakfast.

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