Fear works. The opposition knows it. And they are using it to their advantage. Just a few short weeks ago our fear was the cost of doing nothing – in terms of both human suffering and economic peril. We were moving along a path toward health care reform legislation that wasn’t perfect but would improve health care for all of us. Sure, there were some hurdles to be overcome, but an overwhelming majority of the American public was still on board. The powerful and wealthy industry stakeholders who have the most to lose in terms of profits and control have responded to that level of support by promoting lies, distortions and disruptions (http://mediamatters.org/) to elicit fear about what is really in the proposed legislation. Let us be clear — our greatest fear must remain over the cost of doing nothing, and now of those who seek to destroy legitimate civil discourse and the democratic process.
Facts work – for some. Thankfully, the folks who know the legislation inside and out are producing the fact sheets to help us understand the proposals. They are making available to us the truth and the intent behind the provisions that are being twisted for diabolical purposes. But we must remember that facts don’t matter to many of those who are easily swayed by fear-mongering tactics. Very simply, we can’t argue our way out of this with the facts. But… for those who WILL listen, we can use the facts to develop a better understanding of the proposals, to answer our legitimate questions and to bolster our efforts in pushing our elected leaders to do the right thing. Go to PolitiFact.com (http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/) to help with sorting out the truth! Read Talk-Show Falsehoods (http://www.umc-gbcs.org/site/apps/nlnet/content.aspx?c=frLJK2PKLqF&b=5353171&ct=7269317&tr=y&auid=5143407) and how one clergy leader responds to the distortions.
Faith works — when we try! For people of faith who care about this issue, we need to understand that our voices are needed more than ever to create a health care future that includes everyone and works well for all of us. The members of Congress on Wednesday’s conference call (August 5) told us quite frankly that the voices of faith are not being heard over the fray of the powerful and wealthy self-interests and their high paid lobbyists. The voices of moral persuasion and compassion are NOT what our elected leaders are hearing. We can change that… one by one until millions of us pick up our phones and pens, raise our voices in town hall meetings, and hold our candles high in vigils to demand comprehensive health care reform this year.
There are more of us than “them,” but that won’t be obvious until everyone one of us makes a commitment to take at least one action (or more!) EVERY week until health care reform is passed — and urge others in our communities of faith to join us! Cultural transformation is up to us! And we are at our best when that is at the heart of our work.
Make phone calls TODAY to your Senators and Representative using our (Faithful Reform in Health Care) toll free number: 1-888-797-8717. Urge them to ignore the lies and to make their decisions based on the truth. View talking points and print a flier (http://www.faithfulreform.org/storage/frhc/documents/LightShine/call%20in%20days.pdf) to invite others to make calls, too. Put this number on your speed-dial and use it often!
Send hand-written letters to the home offices of your Senators and Representatives while they are home on their August recess. Better yet, set up a table at a gathering of your faith community this weekend and ask others to join you in writing letters! Find the addresses (http://www.votesmart.org/) of the district offices. View a sample letter.
Plan a Let Our Light Shine (http://www.faithfulreform.org/storage/frhc/documents/LightShine/tool%20kit.pdf) event with others in your community during August.
Sign “A Faith-Inspired Vision for Health Care“ (http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5415/t/5044/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=302) if you have not already done so, and urge others in your faith community join you. It will be delivered to all members of Congress soon after they return to Washington in September.
Let Our Light Shine and Let Our Voices Be Heard! www.faithfulreform.org