Historically, all the great social movements that have been successful have had the faith community at the heart of it.
Right now fear is controlling this debate, and we have to start talking about truth-telling and what is the moral core? We can't lose the moral core, which is people. Our friends, our neighbors, our loved ones are hurting. The broken system has to be fixed. And the faith community is not going to settle for anything less than full accessible health care coverage for all of God's children
The Rev. Jim Wallis, Sojourners
Tonight on "The Ed Show", Ed Schultz talked with the Rev. Jim Wallis about the President's unprecedented conference call to thousands of religious leaders asking for their input on the government's role in health care. Rev. Wallis, president of Sojourners, Christians for Justice and Peace, talked passionately about the role the church must play in this all-important debate. (Their website was down soon after the Ed Show. I got on once and then didn't hang onto the link so I've been trying again for over an hour and can't get on.)
What struck me about this entire event--these thousands of religious leaders conferring with the president about how best to use their community to do good works--is how little we've heard from these people, as opposed to those leaders on the Religious Right who use their names and their clout to fight any attempt to reign in insurance company profits and use taxpayer funds to give aid to the many millions of Americans who suffer because of non-existent or inadequate health, or worse--because the Insurers have had the freedom to play God with their lives.
How is it that we've rewarded those hateful charlatans with fame and fortune while effectively shunning those who actually minister to real people with real problems? Maybe now that change is in the air, now that unprecedented numbers of our citizens need an unprecedented amount of help, we'll look to the real churches for real help.
But from the sublime to the ridiculous:
Later Ed talked to former Republican congressman Ernest Istook, now with the Heritage Foundation and tried to get him to describe the Republican plan for Health Care. The upshot, after many uncomfortable moments, is that either there isn't a plan or Istook has taken an oath of silence. Whichever, the spokesman wasn't talking.
Later still, Ed talked to Dr. Howard Dean--good stuff, and I might have opted to concentrate on that part here, but Ed saved the best for last. His "discussion" with Jonathan "Liberals are driving themselves over the cliff" Alter looked a whole lot like a barroom brawl. Now THAT was fun! Watch Dean first, and then the Alter altercation:
That was one heck of an hour. Ed Schultz, my new hero of the week.
(Cross-posted at Talking Points Memo here)