Immigration, Health Care, and Born Again
One of my favorite quotes is from Alexis de Tocqueville, America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great. I believe that we are called to make America great, by making America good, by imagining what it would be like to be born again, as the most vulnerable in this world and in this country.
In religious circles there’s an overused phrase called being “born again.” I believe that it’s time to reclaim it. I believe it’s time to ask ourselves, what would it would be like if I were born in Syria, or born in Honduras, or born into poverty in this country? What would it be like to be living in this country, as a Muslim? As an undocumented person? As a transgendered person? As a poor child of color, who’s family cannot afford health insurance or must choose between housing and education and health insurance?
Over 65 million people are living displaced on this planet we call home; men, women and children fleeing from war, persecution, and poverty. What if we were born into such unimaginable realities?
Here in this country, the world’s wealthiest nation, prior to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act 47 million people were uninsured. With ACA, 20 million additional people were covered. What if we could not afford health insurance because of the circumstances we were born into?
I am grateful to our denomination for taking an early stand in joining the ecumenical movement to safeguard the lives of immigrants and refugees. I am certain in the weeks and months to come our denomination will take a stand for affordable healthcare as well.
I am also grateful to the cities of Oakland, Berkeley, and San Leandro for declaring themselves sanctuary cities; and to this congregation for entering a time of discernment about our call to advocate for those most vulnerable.
Join us this Thursday, at 7 pm at the Justice and Witness meeting to learn more about where we are in the process with the sanctuary movement.
Finally, here are a few articles about the UCC’s efforts to safeguard immigrants and refugees.