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Make this election a rebuke to filthy politics

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“[C]haracter assassination … appeals to race hatred … not an effective life raft for desperate opportunists looking to save themselves by degrading this country”
clipped from www.talkingpointsmemo.com
I hope the result of the election can be a rebuke, a closing of the book on McCainism and the moral filth it has come to represent.
McCain’s campaign has devolved into something altogether different … what with its increasingly open appeals to racial conflict and aggressive invocations of blood hatred of Arabs and Muslims. As The New Republic phrases it, McCain’s “subtle incitements of racial warfare and underhanded implications of foreign nativity.” Over the months we’ve become desensitized to the moral depravity of McCain’s campaign
But as John Judis notes, a closer look at the language and imargery [sic] McCain’s ‘socialism’ pitch reveals it’s actually “about whites paying their taxes so that lazy, indolent, unemployed blacks can live off them.”
We’ll always have a national dark side. But some signal needs to be sent, at least for a while, that this sort of filth, his character assassination and appeals to race hatred is not an effective life raft for desperate opportunists looking to save themselves by degrading this country. A McCain defeat would go some way to accomplishing that.
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Written by Monte

November 1, 2008 at 7:43 pm

Posted in Politics, Social change

Cornel West: the fundamental question of politics

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Cornel West, in an interview about the state of the presidential campaign, offers a breathtaking vista of the purpose of it all:

clipped from www.democracynow.org
CORNEL WEST: I think that we’re beginning to move to some of the serious subject matters, but we’ve still got a long way to go, though, Amy. You know and I know that the fundamental question is always, what is the quality of service to everyday people, what the depth of love and sacrifice to empowering everyday people.

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For students of the life of Jesus, would not this question be consistent with his day-to-day passion? Yet have we ever heard it said? How far removed is Christianity from its Christ, when people of faith agitate for exclusion or condemnation or national supremacy!

Click on the link for the rest of the interview.


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Written by Monte

June 28, 2007 at 5:18 pm

Posted in Politics, Poverty, Religion

Death by profit

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Long after midnight, some years ago, I found my son in the fetal position on the floor outside our bedroom door, in intense pain.  We rushed him to the hospital.  Pancreatitis, it was.  He received good treatment.  And in some days, he mostly recovered.

The Hurting
Image by Marquette La via Flickr

That night came to mind just now as I read these paragraphs from Sojourners:

Two weeks ago, Sam* died suddenly. He was only 21 years old, strong and healthy, preparing for a life ministering to youth. Cause of death: acute pancreatitis and previously undiagnosed diabetes. Reason for death: no access to health care to treat the incredible pain in his stomach – until it was too late. The bottom line: While angry protesters disrupt town hall meetings and national organizations spread fear-based lies, lives are lost.

The current health-care system leaves you and me just as vulnerable to lack of care as Sam was. Health-care reform is just as much an issue of justice, of preserving and celebrating life, as it is an issue of caring for the vulnerable. […]

[T]he current system “renders the best health care to the wealthiest, depletes the savings of solidly middle-class Americans, and leaves 46 million with no health-care coverage at all.” […]

[A]t Sam’s funeral there were no angry shouts or accusations. There was only shock and grief among the 400 friends and family members who attended.

Had I been born in a different situation, that death would have happened at my house; that shock and grief at my church. I would still know it today.

How long will we tolerate the fact that profits are more important than lives in America?  How did we become so hard-hearted as to turn our backs on the victims of such perversion?  What kind of monsters have we become?

sig1_100w

* Name changed to protect the privacy of his family.


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Resources for fact-checking health reform claims

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Nine websites for untangling fact from fiction

So you heard someone say something was a part of  health insurance reform, and you’re wondering if it’s true. Where do you turn? Here are some honest efforts to bring facts to the table and set rumors and speculations aside.  The list is quoted from a post of Nate Van Duzer.

Start with this regularly-updated site from the Kaiser Family Foundation that compares the different reform proposals on the table.

Factcheck.org is a trusted source of nonpartisan myth-busting and truth-telling. For the latest information about whether new advertisements, speeches, or e-mails tell the truth, visit this site.

A summary of factcheck.org’s research into several arguments surrounding health-care reform, published July 14, 2009.

“A Primer on the Details of Health Care Reform” from The New York Times, published August 9, 2009.

“10 Health Care Reform Myths” from CBS News, published August 6, 2009.

“Fact or Fiction? The Truth About Four Health Care Fears” from ABC News, published August 13, 2009.

8 Myths about Health Care Reform from the AARP Magazine, published July/August 2009.

A good source of current news, background information, and analysis all in one place.

Interviews and analysis of five capitalist democracies and how they each do health care.

Nate Van Duzer is the policy intern at Sojourners.

To learn more about health-care reform, click here to visit Sojourners’ Health-Care Resources Web page.

Truth is ever the friend of justice. Go get it.

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18,000 dead: The moral issues of health care

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It’s not just politics.

Jim Wallis at Sojourners describes three moral issues that live at the center of the health care debate.  Here’s an excerpt.  Read the entire article by clicking here:

The Truth

For decades now, the physical health and well-being of our country has been a proxy battle for partisan politics.

President Truman with

When Truman tried to pass a national health insurance plan, the American Medical Association spent $200 million (in today’s dollars) and was accused of violating ethics rules by having doctors lobby their patients to oppose the legislation. In the 1970’s when Nixon tried to pass a national health insurance plan, strikingly similar to what many democrats are proposing today, the plan was defeated by liberal democrats and unions who thought that they would be able to pass something themselves after the mid-term elections and claim political credit for the plan. In the 1990’s the “Harry and Louise” ads misrepresented the Clinton health care plan but was successful enough PR to shut down that movement for reform. […]

What we need is an honest and fair debate with good information, not sabotage of reform with half-truths and misinformation.* […]

Full Access

About 46 million people in our country today are uninsured and many more find themselves without adequate coverage …  Many of them are working families who live in fear of getting sick or injured. …  An estimated 18,000 people a year die unnecessarily, many from low-income families, because they lack basic health insurance. … Seeing your child sick is a horrible feeling; seeing your child sick and not having the resources to do something about it is a societal sin.

Cost

… An estimated 60 percent of bankruptcies this year will be due to medical bills. Seventy-five percent of those declaring bankruptcy as a result of medical bills have health insurance. … In the end, some are paying too much for care and others are making too much from these present arrangements. […]

… special interests groups … will be promoting their own self-interests during this process. The faith community has the opportunity to step in and speak for the interests of the common good and those who would not otherwise have a voice. I am sure that every one of the 18,000 preventable deaths that will happen this year from a lack of basic health insurance breaks the heart of God. And, it should break ours too […]

Amen to that.  People in this country are dying on our watch.   The life preservers have been kept under lock and key by special interests for a hundred years.  Profits are saved; human beings are sacrificed.

That’s a moral issue.


*As a resource for congregations, small groups, and individuals, Sojourners has worked with its partners to publish a health care tool kit [click here to download] to help frame and guide this necessary debate. This guide gives an overview of the biblical foundations of this issue and frequently asked questions about it.

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