Budget

Sharon Watkins 6-29-2017

Rev. Sharon Watkins at the Circle of Protection news conference.

Further, this proposed budget seems to be based on an assumption that poor people and children should fund our national defense. The National Council of Churches and the Circle of Protection do not agree. The biblical prophets teach us that our security depends on upholding justice for people in poverty. Common wisdom in our own time tells us, “a hungry man is an angry man.” 

Lawrence Reddick 6-29-2017

Senior Bishop Lawrence Reddick III at the Circle of Protection news conference.

We come as women and men of faith. Though separated by physical distances, cultural differences, and faith traditions, many of us united in prayer and fasting in May, directed toward God’s intervention in the politics of the United States, especially as it relates to the poor and vulnerable. We pray for wisdom for our governmental leaders, but we are committed to continued advocacy for those most in need of society’s safety nets.

When we say the most vulnerable or the “least of these” we are not talking about numbers on a page. We are talking about the elderly — grandmothers and grandfathers, deacons, trustees, and ushers, children’s ministry workers, community leaders, and those who have worked for decades to provide for themselves and their families. We are talking about children and youth who were born with purpose and possibilities, who have their whole lives ahead of them, future pastors, and lay leaders, lawyers, teachers, journalists, and members of Congress — those who will determine the future our nation. We’re talking about those who have disabilities and those who work hard every day – sometimes two and three jobs to make ends meet and provide for their families but get paid low wages that do not cover the high cost of living in most cities and towns in our nation.

Jim Wallis 6-20-2017

A copy of President Trump's Fiscal Year 2018 budget is on display on Capitol Hill, May 23. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

 

We will be making this joint statement under the banner of the Circle of Protection, a broad coalition of leaders from all the families of U.S. Christianity that was founded in 2011 in service of the biblical mandate to protect poor and vulnerable people. While individual members of the Circle have raised their voices in opposition to harmful budget cuts and legislation that the Trump administration and Congress have proposed — notably many of us came together for a powerful prayerful event outside the Capitol Building in late March for just such a purpose —this will be the first time that the entire Circle is making such a joint statement.

Jim Wallis 6-01-2017

Image via Geoff Livingston/Flickr

Social and economic inequities are not just personal attitudes — they are the result of structural problems prevalent in many sectors of society and government. In the face of this reality, the federal government can be a force for good, attempting to correct its own past complicity and working to prevent future discriminatory behavior by businesses, schools, contractors, local police departments, and more. But this administration’s disregard for civil rights in the federal agencies it administers leads to an inescapable conclusion.

Liz Theoharis 4-07-2017

Poverty is not inevitable. It is a systemic sin, and all Christians have a responsibility to partner with the poor to end poverty once and for all. “The poor you will always have with you” is actually one of the strongest biblical mandates to end poverty. Matthew 26:11 quotes Deuteronomy 15, one of the most liberating Sabbath prescriptions in the Bible, and an instruction on how to follow God’s commandments to end poverty, forgive debts, and release slaves.

Jim Wallis 3-30-2017

Jim Wallis speaks at U.S. Capitol vigil on March 29. Photo by JP Keenan / Sojourners

We celebrated the failure of a cruel bill. We celebrated our powerful unity across other theological and political differences and our clear opposition to cutting the poor out of the critical budget decisions which now lie ahead. Yes, we celebrated. But we remain vigilant.

3-30-2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Michael Mershon, Director of Advocacy and Communications

Phone: 202-745-4654

Email: mmershon@sojo.net 

March 29, 2017

Today, a diverse group of Christian leaders held a press conference and prayer vigil on Capitol Hill to protest proposed legislation that would disproportionally harm poor and vulnerable people. The leaders are members of the Circle of Protection, a broad coalition from all the families of U.S. Christianity who have come together around the biblical mandate to protect poor people

We are awakening now to at least some of the consequences of devoting our dollars toward death. As we contemplate the toll that endless war is taking on education, the environment, housing, and healthcare, may our hearts expand in empathy — not only to our immediate neighbors, but to our neighbors around the world. None of us can afford to lose any more.

Where our treasure is, there our heart will be also. Let us invest our treasure in building one another up — here, and around the world — that we may mend our hearts and resurrect our humanity.

Stephen Seufert 10-05-2016

Image via /Shutterstock.com

A common misconception is that to be a pro-life Catholic, one simply has to be anti-abortion and anti-contraception. For years this “pro-life” definition has largely been unchallenged. That is, until recently.

A poll conducted in 2014 by the Public Religion Research Institute found a majority U.S. Catholics favor greater government involvement on economic issues via minimum wage increases, infrastructure investments, and universal healthcare. Furthermore, U.S. Catholics believe that to promote economic growth, the government should raise taxes. These aren’t just pro-growth policies, they’re pro-life policies.

6-08-2016

                                                                                    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Michael Mershon, Director of Advocacy and Communications

Phone: 202-745-4654

Email: mmershon@sojo.net

Stephen Seufert 5-23-2016

If House Speaker Paul Ryan truly wants to promote a “compassionate conservative” agenda that counters the divisive rhetoric of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, Ryan should follow the example of one man: Pope Francis.

1-13-2016

                                                                               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                              &nbs

12-18-2015

A coalition of diverse Christian leaders working together to help hungry and poor people in the U.S. praised congressional negotiators for including key anti-poverty provisions in this week's spending and tax agreements.

The Circle of Protection had called on Congress to make previous improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit permanent. They declared the passage of a bill making that happen a "major victory" for low-income working families.

10-27-2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                             &

9-11-2015

The vituperative attacks on the War on Poverty sound a little gleeful or mean-spirited or nutty—sometimes all three. A quick review of recent press coverage would lead almost anyone to think that Head Start, Legal Services, community health centers, food stamps, ESEA Title I support for education, the Job Corps, and a host of other programs had no connection to the War on Poverty but materialized sui generis to provide vital services to the poor.

3-18-2015
The Republican-led House Budget Committee’s fiscal 2016 budget proposal is full of immoral choices that will have devastating effects on the most vulnerable Americans.
1-27-2015
At Gov. Bobby Jindal's controversial prayer rally at LSU Saturday, state Sen. Jonathan Perry, R-Kaplan, asked God to send more born-again Christians to help the Louisiana Legislature deal with the state's budget.
3-10-2014
Eric Stoner is an editor at Waging Nonviolence and an adjunct professor at St. Peter's College. His articles have appeared in The Guardian, Mother Jones, The Nation, Sojourners and In These Times.
3-06-2014
Lisa Sharon Harper challenged her audience in Emerson Suites to imagine a world where children don’t have to worry about school shootings or where their next meal will come from; where everyone goes to the doctor regularly for check-ups and people don’t lock their doors. Then she said to imagine that every person in that world is African-American.

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