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A Christian Creed on Health-Care Reform from Sojourners

Nathan Bierma

I've been looking for a meaningful but concise overview of a biblical perspective on health care reform, and this petition from Sojourners is the best I've found. I signed it and encourage other Christians to do so. And I encourage all readers to comment about whether this statement articulates your Christian convictions as they relate to this crucial issue facing our society.

Also, I haven't gone all the way through it yet, but Sojourners' discussion guide(pdf) looks very helpful.

Here is the preamble and the text of Sojourners' statement:
In the face of negative ads, partisan rhetoric, and a news cycle filled with fear and half-truths about health-care reform, Christians must affirm that we believe in: quality, affordable access to life-giving services for all people.

Sign “A Christian Creed on Health-Care Reform” and a copy of it will be sent to your members of Congress. In addition, after you sign you will be given a link to Sojourners’ free discussion guide about health-care reform, to help guide discussions in your congregation or small group.

As one of God's children, I believe that protecting the health of each human being is a profoundly important personal and communal responsibility for people of faith.

I believe God created each person in the divine image to be spiritually and physically healthy. I feel the pain of sickness and disease in our broken world (Genesis 1:27, Romans 8:22).

I believe life and healing are core tenets of the Christian life. Christ's ministry included physical healing, and we are called to participate in God's new creation as instruments of healing and redemption (Matthew 4:23, Luke 9:1-6; Mark 7:32-35, Acts 10:38). Our nation should strive to ensure all people have access to life-giving treatments and care.

I believe, as taught by the Hebrew prophets and Jesus, that the measure of a society is seen in how it treats the most vulnerable. The current discussion about health-care reform is important for the United States to move toward a more just system of providing care to all people (Isaiah 1:16-17, Jeremiah 7:5-7, Matthew 25:31-45).

I believe that all people have a moral obligation to tell the truth. To serve the common good of our entire nation, all parties debating reform should tell the truth and refrain from distorting facts or using fear-based messaging (Leviticus 19:11; Ephesians 4:14-15, 25; Proverbs 6:16-19).

I believe that Christians should seek to bring health and well-being (shalom) to the society into which God has placed us, for a healthy society benefits all members (Jeremiah 29:7).

I believe in a time when all will live long and healthy lives, from infancy to old age (Isaiah 65:20), and "mourning and crying and pain will be no more" (Revelation 21:4). My heart breaks for my brothers and sisters who watch their loved ones suffer, or who suffer themselves, because they cannot afford a trip to the doctor. I stand with them in their suffering.

I believe health-care reform must rest on a foundation of values that affirm each and every life as a sacred gift from the Creator (Genesis 2:7).

Amen. Signed by: [Your name] [Your address]

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