Rev. J. Bennett Guess, Director of Communications, United Church of Chris

This month, Disruptive Women welcomes The Rev. J. Bennett Guess as our Man of the Month. Rev. Guess is a special choice for this honor, because he’s not specifically a member of the health care community. But as Director of Communications for the United Church of Christ, he is taking on health care reform as a moral issue with a push for action called 100,000 for Health Care.

On June 26, 2009, the Twenty-Seventh UCC General Synod passed a resolution calling for advocacy in support for Health Care For All. Some people may be wondering why this issue was so important to the UCC that a resolution was called for. Let me show you an excerpt from the Pastoral Letter to UCC members, to explain:

[The] familiar story of the Good Samaritan in Luke’s Gospel makes a clear case for universal access to health care. Jesus reminds us of what it means to love our neighbor; it means we stop and assist in a caring manner that nurtures the neighbor back to health and wholeness. Persons in need are not to be passed by, nor are they to be left abandoned and ignored by the side of the road. (Read the entire Pastoral Letter here.)

Our faith teaches us that health care is a both a human need and a human right. Offering comfort to the broken, sick and injured was foundational to Jesus’ ministry and is central to our serving the least among us. That’s why we are adament that our nation deserves a health care system that is inclusive, accessible, affordable and accountable. To us, health care is not a liberal or conservative issue… it’s a moral issue.

Just consider:

  • Over 47 million people (one in six) and over 9 million children are without health coverage and 25 million more are under-insured.
  • Every year, 18,000 people in the United States die from a lack of health insurance—that’s two people every hour.
  • More than 60 percent of all bankruptcies are linked to medical expenses. About 1.5 million families lose their homes to foreclosure every year due to unaffordable medical costs.

As members of the United Church of Christ—and as members of the human race—we think this is unacceptable. And we’re doing something about it.

Our campaign is called 100,000 for Health Care. Our hope is to send 100,000 email messages to Congress and also deliver this huge book of 100,000 names to the Democratic and Republican leadership in Congress. Together, speaking as people of faith, we know we have the power to change the conversation and envision a society where each person is afforded health, wholeness and human dignity.

Of course, you don’t have to be a UCC member or a member of the Christian faith (or any faith, for that matter) in order to help. If you agree that health care is a basic human right, then please sign our petition and spread the word. We’re counting on the force of 100,000 signatures as something that our leaders can’t ignore. Let’s be disruptive together!

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