Sunday, August 16, 2009

Health Care Reform Debate and Love

Above: Video of Dr. Melissa Harris-Lacewell, Professor of Politics and African American Studies at Princeton University, talking (about 1 minute) about loving each other in the depths of our disagreements about health care reform.

The UUA has a new campaign, called Standing on the Side of Love. According the the UUA's website, Standing on the Side of Love "(SSL, pronounced 'Sizzle') is a public advocacy campaign, sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association ... promoting respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every person. We believe that no one should be dehumanized through acts of exclusion, oppression, or violence because of their identities." You can read more at this link.

The way I think about SSL is very simplified, but helpful -- at least to me! To me, SSL can be for UUs what WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) is for some Christians. That is, UUs can ask ourselves, when making important decisions or thinking about our actions, "What should I do in this moment to stand on the side of love?"

When I think about health care, I think Standing on the Side of Love means ensuring that all Americans have access to health care. I want health care for my partner, and my daughter, and my father, and for everyone that I love. Why shouldn't all humans, with their inherent worth and dignity, be entitled to health care?

Now, that says nothing of how to arrange for it. And I realize it's not a simple matter. But the other thing I believe about SSL is this: I must treat with love and respect and dignity those who disagree with me. There is no room for hate and disrespect on either side of the debate when thinking in terms of SSL.

My prayer is that we will find a way to ensure that all Americans have health care, and that we will have an intelligent debate. I pray that we will love each other through the debate.

"We need not think alike to love alike." ~ Francis David, founder of the Unitarian Church of Transylvania

The new President of the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Rev. Peter Morales, has issued a statement on the health care reform debate. You can read it at this link. You can watch a video (if you have Flash Player) of Rev. Morales by clicking on this link.

If you would like to take action through the SSL Campaign toward having an open debate on health care reform, please click here. Open debate, where all feel safe to speak, is the cornerstone of democracy. I encourage you to Stand on the Side of Love.

No comments: