We commend heartily the leadership of the United Church of Christ, 14 St. Louis churches, and the Deaconess Foundation in raising the money to abolish $12.9 million in medical debt for 11,108 St. Louis families in 78 Zip codes — and for the messages they sent in announcing their philanthropy.

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Living through times with the makings of being historic is fascinating because you get to savor how disorganized and unpredictable lived reality is even when the overarching storyline about this moment, once it becomes history, will be pretty clear. We believe that in 2016 the American peopl…