Moral Values and the 2012 Election
This election year provides one of the starkest contrasts in governing philosophies in modern times. Today’s GOP has shed it’s moderate wing and, like in 1964 when Barry Goldwater ran against LBJ, is running a campaign that is far to the right politically. This has implications for people of faith who across theological lines share concerns about issues ranging from poverty to the environment to war and peace.
Just recently the U.S. House voted again to overturn President Obama’s health care reform — the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare and recently upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. Thirty million Americans will receive coverage under this plan — millions already have — and while GOP opponents call Obamacare socialism, the reality is that it is a largely private — not government run — plan molded after Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts reforms when he was that state’s governor. President Obama’s efforts to reform health care were backed by large numbers of religious organizations, including the National Council of Church and a number of Roman Catholic bodies.
The reform of our broken health care system has long been a goal of religious leaders in the United States and one shared by both Democrats and Republicans. Richard Nixon proposed a universal-style coverage plan. George H.W. Bush worked to reform the health care system. Mitt Romney paved the way as a governor. President Obama’s plan won’t cover every American, only a single payer system would come close to that goal, but it significantly closes the gap and address one of the great moral issues of our time.
On the environment, the National Council of Churches have been joined by the National Association for Evangelicals and the U.S. Conference of Roman Catholic Bishops in calling for action to reverse human caused climate change. Many in today’s GOP still question the reality that human activity is a major factor behind climate change and the “global weriding” that has caused extreme weather across the planet. President Obama has pushed for important legislation in this area — legislation that doesn’t go far enough, frankly, but
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