On April 2, 2009, leaders from a number of leftwing faith-based networks and national chaplaincy organizations convened in Washington, DC to receive a policy briefing from Senator Edward Kennedy’s Chief Advisor on Health Reform. Moreover, they brainstormed about “how religious groups could align to support comprehensive health care reform in a prophetic way.” Out of that meeting, the We Believe Together – Health Care for All (WBT) movement was born. Its purpose was to advocate on behalf of a system of government-run, taxpayer-funded, socialized medicine. According to WBT, “the moral message offered by every American faith tradition” includes “affordable, accessible, inclusive and accountable health care coverage for all.”
During the two months after WBT’s formation, nearly 40 national religious organizations signed on as sponsors of the coalition. These included: the American Association of Pastoral Counselors; the American Muslim Health Professionals; the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education; the Association of Professional Chaplains; B’nai B’rith International; the Buddhist Peace Fellowship; Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good; Catholics United; the Center for Community Change; the Center for Immigrant Healthcare Justice; the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church; the Disciples Justice Action Network; the Episcopal Church of America; the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Faithful Reform in Healthcare; the Gamaliel Foundation; the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church; the HealthCare Chaplaincy; the Hindu Temple Society of North America; the Home Mission Board of the National Baptist Convention; Interfaith Worker Justice; the Islamic Medical Association of North America; the Islamic Society of North America; the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation; the National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd; the National Association of Jewish Chaplains; the National Council of Jewish Women; NETWORK – A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby; the Network of Spiritual Progressives; the PICO National Network; the Presbyterian Church (USA); Presbyterian Senior Services; the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice; the RESULTS Faith in Action Project; the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference; School of the Americas Watch; Sojourners Magazine; the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Michael Lerner‘s Tikkun Magazine; the Union for Reform Judaism; the United Church of Christ; the Vesper Society; and Women of Reform Judaism.
WBT adopted, as its statement of principles, a document titled “A Faith-Inspired Vision of Health Care,” which was circulated among the religious left in the form of a petition, a copy of which ultimately would be delivered to every member of Congress. This document included the following elements, which essentially amount to principles of socialist redistributionism expressed in the language of Christian charity:
To promote its agenda on a mass scale, WBT organized a June 24, 2009 Interfaith Service of Witness and Prayer for Health Care Reform to be held in Washington DC, with smaller, echo events to be held in various locations across the United States. The featured speakers at the DC event included: