The Common Good

Sojourners Corrects Error in The American Enterprise Institute’s Attack on the Circle of Protection

Source: Sojourners
Date: August 3, 2011



August 3, 2011


Carrie Adams at / 202-745-4654

Or Evan Trowbridge at / 202-745-4625

Sojourners Corrects Error in The American Enterprise Institute's Attack on the Circle of Protection

WASHINGTON - Following a full-page newspaper ad paid for by the American Enterprise Institute attacking the Circle of Protection, Sojourners is correcting an error in the ad that unfortunately misconstrued the Circle of Protection's mission.

The ad, which was sponsored by AEI's "Values and Capitalism” project, reads:

"How do we make helping the poor a priority as the budget debate continues? A blanket exception in budget cutting for poverty programs is not the way.”

That accusation is a factual error. To be clear, the Circle of Protection has not and will not advocate a blanket exception for all poverty programs under any and all cuts. Finding savings through ensuring that programs are effective, reducing waste, or avoiding duplication is welcome, but cuts that simply reduce needed services are not.

The AEI ad was fashioned after a longer letter addressed to the president and Congressional leadership and signed by almost 90 Christians. After clearing up the confusion around the goals of the Circle of Protection, much common ground exists between its signers and those who joined the Circle of Protection. Both their letter and the Circle of Protection affirm Christian concern for the poor, the role of private charity, the role of government social safety nets, concern for long term deficits, and the importance of economic growth and good jobs in alleviating poverty.

To the nearly 90 individual signatories of this letter of concern, we believe have more in common than what divides us. We welcome you to join the 60 heads of communion and national Christian leaders, 5,000 pastors, and more than 35,000 Christians who share your concern for the poor in forming a Circle of Protection during the budget debates.

Sojourners' Communications Director Tim King responded to the statement in a post on Sojourners' website:


Sojourners' mission is to articulate the biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world. Visit, and