WASHINGTON (ABP) — On the eve of a bipartisan summit on health-care reform in the nation's capital, thousands of people of faith signed a letter urging the White House and Congress to "complete the task at hand on behalf of the millions who are left out and left behind in our current health-care system."
Twenty-six national faith leaders including Roy Medley, general secretary of American Baptist Churches USA, and T. DeWitt Smith, president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, were lead signatories in the open letter, which also appeared as a full-page ad in The Hill newspaper and online at TheHill.com.
The faith leaders joined 58 national religious organizations, more than 80 regional and state faith organizations and some 4,000 individuals, including about 500 Baptists, endorsing the call for reform to make quality health care affordable for all Americans.
Citing an oft-quoted line from Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail" that " justice too long delayed is justice denied," the religious leaders also quoted King's lesser-known admonition that "of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane."
"Let us not delay health care justice any longer," the religious leaders urged policy makers. "This is your moment for political courage, vision, leadership and faith. We urge you to take heart and move meaningful health care reform forward."
Bob Allen is senior writer for Associated Baptist Press.