Pastors Selling Health Reform

Let There Be Universal Coverage
Pastors sell health reform to the faithful.

What, I wondered, is a Christian minister doing on CNN pitching the president’s health-care plan? Last week the Rev. Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners, a Christian social-justice outfit, made a seven-minute appearance on Lou Dobbs’s show. Facing off against Tony Perkins of the conservative Family Research Council, Wallis made a disclaimer. Health care for everyone is a fundamental moral issue, he said, but “the community of faith should never be involved in the weeds.” And then he dove, headlong, into the weeds. If you didn’t know Wallis was a cleric, you would have thought two veteran partisans were debating a hotly contested culture-war issue. Perkins accused the Obama administration of presenting a “one-size-fits-all health-care program.” Wallis responded on message: “This proposal is about people having choice.” Though he sought the moral high ground, Wallis was not able—this time, at least—to claim it.