As the federal debt ceiling standoff threatens to cause an economic catastrophe for our nation, more than 4,000 pastors across the country are opposing proposed immoral budget cuts that harm the most vulnerable people in their congregations and communities.
An open letter to Congress and the president ran today as a full page ad in Politico. (You can view the ad and full list of signers here.) We were amazed by the huge response this letter generated. We hoped to find 1,000 pastors willing to speak out with us, and in just 2 weeks more than 4,000 clergy joined our campaign.
Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado did a great job summing up what this debate is at its heart. She said, "As a member of the clergy and a mother of 2 children with strong minds and bodies -- minds and bodies which benefited for 3 years from WIC -- I stand with all Christians in America who believe the cries of the poor and the cries of the children are not only the very voice of Christ, but are indeed the sound of our future waiting for a response. How shall we answer?"
Rev. Rich Nathan, senior pastor of Vineyard Church of Columbus in Columbus, Ohio said, "The recession has cost hundreds of our church members jobs and homes. But I am concerned about something that has even more devastating consequences for our nation: the adoption of a philosophy that says 'I got mine! You're on your own!' Jesus had a infinitely wiser philosophy for building a flourishing society: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' This is as meaningful in today's budget debates as it was two thousand years ago in ancient Israel."
More politicians need to hear about the real world effects of their decisions in the halls of power here in Washington, D.C.