We gathered in moral dissent over the plan in Congress to kill the Affordable Care Act and replace it with nothing, leaving vulnerable people without health insurance and access to care. Rev. Barber urged those of us who are called to proclaim and embody God’s Word to “put on our clerical robes, take up our holy books, and speak truth in the public square.” He stated:
Altogether, 29 clergy and people of faith were arrested that day. My group of 11 was escorted out of the Russell Senate Office Building by the Capitol Police who were courteous and respectful to all the protestors. We were turned over to the DC Metropolitan Police and placed in a police van for transport to the processing facility. Each of us posted collateral of $50 and was released within several hours. As we got out, members of our group who had elected not to participate in civil disobedience met us outside the police station with water and sandwiches. It was an exhausting day, but exhilarating for all of us. We were filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit and the joy of fellowship.
“The language of left versus right is far too puny to describe the moral stakes of this death bill. The proposed deconstruction of Medicaid may be the largest transfer of wealth away from the poor since the labor of enslaved Africans was stolen with federal protection. Claiming to be “pro-life” while actively working to take health care from 22 million working poor people is hypocrisy and sin. To do this knowing that people will die is a form of political violence and political murder. It is hypocrisy, and it is sin.”
Congress continues its effort to strip access to health insurance and care from the most vulnerable among us. Because of this, clergy and moral leaders plan to continue this moral resistance each Tuesday for the foreseeable future. You can find out more about this resistance movement at:
Red letter Christians www.redletterchristians.org/
Repairers of the Breach www.breachrepairers.org/
Faith in Public Life www.faithinpubliclife.org/
The Rev. Bart Cochran is the pastor of Southwick Congregational Church, UCC, Southwick, MA revbartcochran.com