Pass the petitions, brethren

In case you haven't heard, there's a group working hard to make sure everyone in Michigan — saints and sinners alike — never has to worry about getting medical treatment if the need arises. The group is called the Healthcare for Michigan Ballot Committee, and its members are busy gathering signatures to get a measure on the November ballot that seeks to make the state Legislature and our governor come up with a plan that guarantees healthcare for all. They'll also have to bring spiraling costs under control. Exactly how it's all done is up to the politicos to figure out, but that's why they get the big bucks.

The first step is getting the measure on the ballot so that We the People can vote for it. That means collecting some 370,000 valid signatures by the end of June. About 100,000 names have been collected so far, and the goal, ideally, would be to have 450,000 or so to provide a safe cushion.

To help organizers get there, more than 200 churches began circulating petitions last Sunday — which is why we're beseeching the Goddess of Good Deeds to bless their sweet souls.

"It is our moral duty to stand up for those who have the least so they are protected, and that's what Healthcare for Michigan is all about: Protecting healthcare access for our working families and families at risk," Sister Cheryl Liske of Gamaliel, a national foundation that supports church-based community organizing, said in an e-mail that miraculously found its way to our in-box.

The churches will be gathering signatures through May. To learn more about the healthcare ballot issue, see

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