Today marks the first anniversary of the Affordable Care Act’s passage and millions of Americans are already experiencing the new protections the law provides.
Two of those protections are the removal of lifetime limits on coverage expenses and the ban on insurance companies discriminating based on pre-existing conditions. This video, highlighting the plight of a family whose daughter suffers from a serious form of epilepsy, drives home why these protections are literally life-saving:
Often times supporters of the health care law get too caught up talking about policy and politics, while opponents deploy ideology and scary buzzwords. Stories like these help remind us of the real moral impact the law is having.
Of course, top line numbers often hide significant diversity within the Catholic population, and that’s the case here. As you might expect, Catholics’ opinions on this issue vary widely depending on frequency of mass attendance, with weekly attenders holding more conservative views than less frequent attendees.
However, Catholic culture warriors who might be inclined to highlight these divides to reinforce their good Catholic/bad Catholic worldview should take a pause. As a new report out today by the Public Religion Research Institute shows, asking a slightly more detailed question reveals a more complex landscape of opinion.
When given the choice between three options (legal recognition of same-sex marriage, civil unions, or no legal recognition at all), support for some form of legal recognition jumps to over 70%. What’s more,
even among Catholics who attend services weekly or more, only about one-third (31%) say there should be no legal recognition for a gay couple’s relationship, a view held by just 13% of those who attend once or twice per month and 16% of those who attend less often.
Moreover, the poll suggests there is still significant confusion over what expanding marriage rights to same-sex couples would mean.
If marriage for gay couples is explicitly defined as a civil marriage, Catholic support for allowing gay couples to marry increases 28 points to more than 7-in-10 (71%)
Given the confusion, it’s probably not entirely fair to make grand pronouncements about Catholic’s views one way or the other yet, but it’s worth noting that opinion does seem to generally be moving in a more accepting direction.
As we’vewrittenaboutrecently, the budget is a moral issue for the faith community. Today, the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) joins the growing chorus of religious leaders calling on Congress to not make budget cuts that harm poor and vulnerable people. NAE’s executive board passed the ‘Lowering the Debt, Raising the Poor‘ Resolution, which states:
We reiterate our insistence that deficit reduction not lead to an abandonment of our commitments to the poor. We embrace the Church’s call to care for the poor. The government also shares in this responsibility. Basic decency requires that we assist those who lack the bare essentials for survival. Prudence dictates that we help the poor reach their full potential as productive, tax-paying citizens. Addressing extreme poverty abroad demonstrates the nation’s values and builds a more stable, prosperous and secure world for everyone.
Specifically, the NAE highlights the widespread myth that foreign aid to the world’s poor is a cause of our budget deficit:
Contrary to popular belief, total international assistance programs represent only 1.7 percent of the federal budget; poverty-focused aid is only 0.6 percent. We have not amassed our national debt by spending too much on the world’s poor.
Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons contributed to this post.
Faithful America put together a collection of Glenn Beck clips that really drives home his animosity towards people of faith who take their traditions’ calls for social justice and the common good seriously.
Visit their website to check out the video and sign the petition to ask advertisers and radio stations to drop Fox.
While Wisconsin governor Scott Walker made headlines nationwide this month by denying teachers and nurses the right to negotiate for fair benefits and working conditions, other political opportunists in state capitols across the country were busy launching similar attacks on workers’ rights. In Ohio, the Republican-led state senate passed a proposal to strip public employees such as police officers, firefighters and teachers of their collective bargaining rights.
On top of that, Gov. John Kasich released his budget proposal yesterday, announcing billions of dollars of cuts in critical education and health care programs while selling off state infrastructure to special interests.
In response, Faithful America is mobilizing its members in Ohio to speak out on this budget’s moral deficit and demand that Governor Kasich re-examine his economic priorities.
As people of faith and Ohioans, we feel compelled to speak out about your recent budget proposal and the impact it will have on our state.
A budget that makes drastic cuts to Ohio families, schools and health programs right when people are struggling the most might help the bookkeepers’ bottom line, but it opens a massive moral deficit we just can’t afford.
We urge you to rethink your budget proposal and work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to find a, fairer solution for all Ohio’s citizens.