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FRC’s Careless Attacks

May 28, 2009, 11:22 pm | Posted by Dan Nejfelt

The health care campaign launched last week by local pastors from across the country along with Faith in Public Life, Faithful America, PICO, Sojourners, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Gamaliel brought together grassroots and national religious groups to call on Members of Congress to make quality health care truly affordable for every American family. The nonpartisan effort, which includes radio ads and events in congregations, has drawn attention to the moral urgency of our nation’s health care crisis and the faith community’s commitment to reform that makes care affordable for all families.

Unfortunately, in their Washington Update this evening, the Family Research Council mischaracterized and distorted this effort to baselessly claim that it is advancing “an anti-faith, anti-family anti-freedom agenda.” (Scroll down)

FRC asserts that the effort is a “ploy” “in concert with the Obama administration to garner support for government-controlled health care.” In fact, the radio ads as well as the leaders and organizations involved in the campaign lifted up values and broad principles for health care reform, all focused on making quality health care choices affordable for all families. Moreover, the ads have run in states and districts represented by both Democrats and Republicans. Leaders in both parties need to hear the faith community’s concerns and work toward reform that addresses them.

FRC also claims that the effort is part of a “new strategy to use the veneer of religion to cover a socialist agenda that will federalize another 17% of our nation’s economy.” Not only does the campaign urge leaders of both parties to pass reform that simply puts quality health care within reach for all families, but the clergy participating in the campaign hail from progressive, moderate and conservative congregations alike. Their commitment to health care reform is rooted in firsthand experience with the unmet needs of families in their own congregations and communities, as well their faith commitment to caring for the well being of all people.

We have confidence that these faith leaders and the families they serve will be heard by the decision-makers who hold the power to reform our system, and that misleading claims and speculation will fall on deaf ears. But charges that quality, affordable health care for all Americans is “an anti-faith, anti-family anti-freedom agenda” require correction. As FRC ironically stated in their attack, “we must be careful to separate the rhetoric from reality.”

UPDATE: Faithful America is raising money to continue airing these health care ads in key states. You can chip in here.

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