While the U.S. bishops are congratulating themselves for being a potent force in the health care reform debate (see: Health care victory give bishops confidence ), tThe On Faith blog at the Washington Post posed this question to its bloggers :
Q: U.S. Catholic bishops are defending their direct involvement in congressional deliberations over health-care reform, saying that church leaders have a duty to raise moral concerns on any issue, including abortion rights and health care for the poor. Do you agree? What role should religious leaders have -- or not have -- in government policymaking?
Here are the answers:
Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite: Bad Samaritans 
There's a big difference between witnessing to your faith in the public square and lobbying behind the scenes to cut a deal. The care of those who are sick and injured is the paramount moral obligation, even for those of different customs and beliefs. Good Samaritans don't judge the poor. They help them.
Posted on November 17, 2009 11:24 AM
Susan Jacoby: The Catholic Church's religious blackmail of secular government 
Of course the Roman Catholic Church, like every other institution, has a right to uphold and fight for its moral beliefs in the public life of this nation. What the church is doing, however, is attempting to hold Americans who do not agree with its views hostage.
Posted on November 17, 2009 9:52 AM
Richard Mouw: The need for moral clarity 
I don't know how I would write a distinctively "Christian" health care bill, but I do know that Christians have important things to say about the general patterns of health care.
Posted on November 17, 2009 9:34 AM
David Wolpe Danger of demagoguery 
If you wish to be a political pundit, by all means do so. But to cloak political judgments in the mitre - or the cassock, collar or the tallit - is a grave disservice to both policy and religion. The fact that I know more about the Jewish tradition than my congregants hardly means I know more about the consequences of policy.
Posted on November 17, 2009 9:26 AM