The Common Good

Sojourners Supporters and Partners Challenge Congress on Budget Cuts

1100228-politico-adThanks to Sojourners supporters and our partners, there is a full page ad in Politico today asking Congress, "What Would Jesus Cut?" The ad is signed by nearly 30 national Christian leaders and challenges our legislators to remember that a budget is a moral document. (See the ad here.) More than 10,000 Sojourners activists have sent emails to members of Congress also asking, "What would Jesus cut?", and 1,000 activists have sent members bracelets that read, "WWJC?"

The ad comes just a few weeks after the House passed a budget that disproportionately cut programs that protect the poor and help lift them out of their poverty. The House budget includes significant cuts to programs such as Head Start, Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and critical international aid programs.

The advertisement calls for Congress to defend:

  • International aid that directly and literally saves lives from pandemic diseases
  • Critical child health and family nutrition programs -- at home and abroad
  • Proven work and income supports that lift families out of poverty
  • Support for education, especially in low-income communities

The following statements were also issued by three of the ad's signers:

Cutting programs that help those who need them most is morally wrong. Reducing the federal deficit is critical for our nation's long term health but it should not be done at the expense of the most vulnerable. When Jesus talked about how God will judge nations, he said that God will focus on what we did or did not do for the neediest among us.

-Rev. David Beckmann, President of Bread for the World and World Food Prize laureate

As evangelical Christians, we stand committed to a biblical solution in respect to America's fiscal crisis. A biblical framework reconciles deficit reduction with the preservation of spending for compassionate empowerment domestically and abroad. As we cut spending in so many areas, which we should, let us not cut funding for Matthew 25 and Luke 4 (the poor and vulnerable). For at the end of the day, our nation's greatest asset lies embedded in our commitment to 'the least of these.'

-Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the country's largest Hispanic Evangelical organization

People of faith will be profoundly disappointed if the debate on the budget splits along partisan or ideological lines. For us, the matter of how the people's money is spent is not a question of Tea Party slogans or liberal polemics. Our faith requires us to preach Jesus' love for the poor, and to declare our conviction that the budget must not take away support from Americans who live in poverty -- millions of whom are working families with children seeking a way out of their desperate situation with help only the government can provide.

-Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches, which represents 45 million people and 100,000 congregations in the U.S.

Tim King is communications manager and special assistant to the CEO at Sojourners. Follow Tim on Twitter @TMKing.

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