Friday, January 1, 2010

Writing for a New World

Today, EasyYolk kicks off 2010 with a postcard-writing campaign to pressure, challenge and exhort our political leaders to enact legislation that reflects the God-ordained justice and compassion of the new world inaugurated in Jesus. We hope and pray for a network of progressive Christians who will commit to writing creatively and consistently as we focus each month on different issues that greatly affect our world.

For January '10, we will urge our lawmakers to enact health care reform that greatly decreases the number of Americans uninsured (currently at 46 million and rising) and that greatly decreases the costs of health care premiums and co-pays that burden Americans who are fortunate to be covered with basic health care. In addition, we condemn the 'death panels' that already exist within private insurance companies who consistently deny coverage due to 'pre-existing conditions' or other bureaucratic roadblocks (ie, anything that cuts into the profit margins of these health care companies). The health insurance industry has spent well over $400 million fighting any sort of reform except the 'individual mandate' which, of course, is in both House and Senate bills currently.

As select members of the House and Senate go into 'conference' to craft a compromise bill that will be voted on by Congress in February, EasyYolk is compelled that the legislation must have at least a public option in order to compete with private insurance companies who have run amok in profits in the midst of dehumanizing and profiteering practices. An even better road to real reform would be a single-payer plan that would drastically draw down the cost of health care. Fact: seniors love their Medicare. Why not expand it so that all Americans who do not get insurance from employers can qualify for this outstanding [albeit imperfect] program. It's what Canada and Great Britain have in place right now--everyone's covered! And remember, this 'democratic socialism' exists in a society more economically mobile (opportunity for more!)than the laissez-faire market health care society of the US. In the US, more than 45,000 people die each year because they lack basic health care coverage. Let's change this devastating trend!

Here are a few thoughts as we write for a better world:

1. We are actively breaking the counterfeit stereotype of the apolitical Jesus. Reading the Gospels in their historical context reveals that Jesus was so political that the special interest groups killed him for it.
2. Our writing is an act of compassion. Walter Brueggemann writes that the compassion of Jesus was a "radical form of criticism" against the systems, forces, and ideologies that cause pain and disillusionment. The compassion of Jesus was not simply a personal emotional reaction to pain and injustice, but instead a "daring public criticism, acting against numbness."
3. Let’s use facts and statistics that are supported by legitimate studies. We reject what Stephen Colbert calls "truthiness," a "truth" that a person claims to know intuitively "from the gut" without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts. We will refuse to use the tactics of our political-spiritual opponents (whether leaders or media pundits like them).
4. Let’s urge our leaders to embody moral courage in regards to their vote and subsequent communication on this vital issue.
5. Let’s tell them that we are counting on their stance and vote on this issue and when it is time to vote for their re-election, we will heavily consider their position on this issue. We are a movement of young people who vote for justice, not for profit margins or our own comfort, convenience, or status.
6. Let’s be creative. Don’t hold back! Each of us should be liberated to put our own unique touch on it!
7. Take a picture of both sides of your card and send it to us…we’ll post them on the EasyYolk site.

Obama's address:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Click here to find the addresses of your Congresswoman and Senators

*For more on the political dynamics of the health care crisis in the US, check out this post.

--Theological Autopilot

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