July 4th, Patriotism and Health Care

~ Rev. Linda Hanna Walling, Faithful Reform in Health Care

Oh how we love our red, white and blue bunting, balloons, T-shirts and lapel pins to show our patriotism.  And there’s nothing like a good fireworks display synchronized to a rousing rendition of Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” to give rise to a few goose bumps!

But perhaps a more authentic expression of our respect for democracy would be that of reclaiming the ideals upon which our nation was founded. Dare we forget our forebears’ declaration that in the sacred act of creation we are granted with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? And dare we forget that they constituted a government to promote the common good and secure the blessings of liberty?  Indeed, the ideals, the freedoms — and the responsibilities — crafted by those leaders are not to be taken lightly.

In the midst of the pomp and picnics of this holiday, just maybe one of our greatest acts of patriotism should be that of actively participating in the democratic process.  Just maybe we should show our affection for democracy by pushing our elected officials toward working for the common good.

We have the right to exercise our freedom of speech by speaking out for a health care future that includes everyone and works well for all of us.  Let’s exercise that right! And we have the responsibility to contribute toward the cultural transformation that is needed to make compassionate, comprehensive and sustainable health care reform a reality.  Let’s accept that responsibility!

Let’s lift our voices, empowered with the passion of our earliest leaders when they penned the final words of their declaration:  “… with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

May this be your most patriotic July 4th ever!

Sign “A Faith-Inspired Vision of Health Care.” If you’ve already signed it, ask five friends to sign it with you!

Call your Senators and Representative to urge them to pass health care reform this year that includes everyone and works well for all of us.  Use the toll-free number 1-888-797-8717 provided by the United Church of Christ.  More information & talking points

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