The Common Good


Politico Press Items
President Obama will follow up his Friday morning meeting about the fiscal cliff with an afternoon session with leaders from civic groups, following up on meetings he had earlier in the week with leaders of business and liberal-leaning groups.
The checks are replacing all the balances in our public life, but the common good is not for sale. There’s a spending binge going on right before our eyes, and not only is it bad for you and me, it’s killing democracy and it’s eroding the ancient and crucially important ideal of the common good.
READING THE TEA LEAVES: Evangelical leaders announced an “Evangelical Statement of Principles for Immigration Reform” in a press conference this morning to push Congress to address comprehensive immigration reform and a path to legal status and/or citizenship for immigrant families. The news is the addition of the social conservative organization Focus on the Family to the roster of Evangelical groups. Now led by Jim Daly, Focus on the Family has never before taken a position on immigration and its support for this broadening coalition of evangelicals for immigration reform is a high-water mark for its efforts to coalesce moderate and more socially conservative evangelical support. Also at today’s press conference was Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission President Richard Land, National Association of Evangelicals President Leith Anderson and Jim Wallis, president and CEO of Sojourners.
“What would it mean for us to be a neighbor to everybody in the supply chain used to make the clothes we wear, the computers we type on, and the cars that we drive? Our call to love is not defined by geographical proximity,” said Lisa Sharon Harper, director of mobilizing for the Christian group Sojourners. “We are all responsible for being good neighbors. It doesn’t matter if we have a good excuse… the people in the Congo are made in the image of God.”
Charities and religious groups won’t be able to fill the chasm if food stamps are underfunded, said Jim Wallis, a noted author and theologian who runs the social justice organization Sojourners. Only 6 percent of nutritional assistance comes from charities, so a similar-sized reduction in government funding would offset their efforts, he said. “Churches are overstretched because their folks are struggling,” Wallis said. “Neither party has made poverty or poor people a priority.”
President Obama and senior members of his staff met with eight religious leaders at the White House on Wednesday to discuss protecting programs for the poor and vulnerable in deficit reduction and debt ceiling negotiations.
More than 4,000 pastors are pressuring President Obama and Congress to preserve programs that help the poor as they negotiate on the deficit.
The digital edition of Politico containing Sojourners' ad asking Congress "What Would Jesus Cut?" The ad is on page five.