Well, interfaith advocacy is afoot again, and this time it is helping to get most of Massachusetts’ 550,000 uninsured citizens something they haven’t been able to get- affordable health care insurance throughout the state. In an article in the Forward, by Jennifer Siegel, reports that the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, which includes left-leaning synagogues in the Boston area, has backed an effort by the state legislature to offer a state health care plan that is affordable to even the poorest citizens.
It shows a lot, in this rigid political climate, that liberal synagogues and right-leaning churches can come together in the spirit of helping those in need, especially with health-care costs spiraling out of control. Putting aside differences for the moment and working through an interfaith organization to mobilize congregants and supporters alike speaks to the basic human need to help one another.
The example of gathering enough signatures to get the health care initiative on the ballot, in the event the legislature did not go far enough with the needed reforms to the Massachusetts health care plan, is a feat in itself. With 40,000 of the 110,000 signatures alone needed for the initiative to be put on the ballot coming from the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, this accomplishment is a testament to those who doubt, at least in the right circumstances, those of faith can enter and affect the public sphere in good ways.
NJDC continues to support the expression of religious values in a fashion that is consistent with our constitutional separation of church and state. The endeavor by the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization demonstrates the positive public policy that can come about when religious values informs policy, rather than policy that has the government meddling in religion.
It is heartwarming that an interfaith organization can be non-partisan [Click here to see an example of partisanship within non-partisan religious organizations] while working to give expression to deeply held religious values.