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Spiritual Guidance:

Affordable health care is issue of faith

August 15, 2008|By SARAH HALVERSON

At 9 a.m. today, Progressive Christians Uniting is sponsoring a forum — “Being the Good Samaritan: Finding Your Voice in the Health Care Discussion” — at St. Mark Presbyterian Church, 2200 San Joaquin Hills Road, Newport Beach.

Most religions believe that central to faith is the concept of loving our neighbor as ourselves. Jesus’ ministry centered on healing like giving sight to the blind, curing the sick, freeing the possessed and helping the lame to walk with heads held high.

His healing ministry was available to all. It was not contingent upon who had a health insurance card with the most expensive coverage. When the Good Samaritan saved the nearly dead man on the road, he did not ask which insurance company he had, how high his deductible was or whether he was a citizen of Judea or Samaria.

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Most of us can probably agree our health-care system is not optimal. Health insurance is often inaccessible and exorbitantly expensive. It is not easy for the employer or employee to obtain health insurance, which debilitates an individual’s capability of getting quality health care when needed.

Sadly, it seems our nation’s health is not getting well soon. As people of faith, this should infuriate us.

We should not tolerate a system that does not love our neighbor, or ourselves, for that matter. Jesus saw healing as something available for all people regardless of economic status, race, nationality, gender or social position.

I believe it is a human right to have access to health care that is not only quality but also affordable.

This is a faith issue. It is a moral issue. It’s a state and national issue. We have a responsibility to enter into this conversation.

Libby Sholes from the California Council of Churches will speak about current issues in Sacramento at 9 a.m. today and how the faith community can claim its voice and make an impact.


SARAH HALVERSON is the senior pastor at Fairview Community Church in Costa Mesa.

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