From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
[ENS] Five mainline protestant leaders call Bush's 2006 budget
"Matthew Davies" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Wed, 9 Mar 2005 10:24:40 -0500
Tuesday, March 8, 2005
Five mainline protestant leaders call Bush's 2006 budget 'unjust'
by John Johnson
[ENS, Washington, D.C.] -- Leaders of five mainline Protestant
representing more than 20 million followers in the United States today
called President Bush's 2006 federal budget "unjust."
Speaking together at a press conference in Washington, D.C., leaders of
Episcopal Church USA, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America,
Church (USA), United Church of Christ, and United Methodist Church
Luke's Gospel story of a poor man named Lazarus lying at the gate of a
man who ignores the poor man's needs. When the two men die, Lazarus goes
heaven, and the rich man to hell.
"In telling this story, Jesus makes clear that perpetrating economic
injustice is among the gravest of sins," the leaders said in a joint
statement [http://www.episcopalchurch.org/3577_59750_ENG_HTM.htm ].
"Like many Americans, we read our daily newspaper through the lens of
and when we see injustice, it is our duty to say so," they added. "The
Federal Budget that President Bush has sent to Capitol Hill is unjust.
has much for the rich man and little for Lazarus."
The statement was signed by: the Most Rev. Frank Griswold, Presiding
of the Episcopal Church, USA, the Rt. Rev. Mark Hanson, Presiding Bishop
the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, the Rev. Dr. Clifton
Kirkpatrick, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church
(USA), United Church of Christ General Minister and President John H.
Thomas, and James Winkler, General Secretary of the General Board of
and Society of the United Methodist Church.
In separate statements, the church leaders pointed out areas of
concern. Griswold said that three questions should be asked about the
budget: "Is the budget compassionate? Does the budget strive to serve
human family, both at home and around the world? Does the budget serve
Kirkpatrick quoted the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church
by saying it "calls on Congressional Representatives to insist on a
government that follows ethical values of justice for the poor, welfare
children, hospitality to the stranger, and assistance to the
Hanson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America pointed out that
faith-based ministry "is not new" for Christian charities. He added:
President's proposed cuts are to the very programs, especially the net
billion cut to Medicaid, that support many Lutheran social ministry
organizations and the services they provide. If these cuts are
significant number of these providers may become vulnerable since they
operate on very small margins. The real damage, however, is done to the
people who desperately need the services provided by LSA."
Thomas of the United Church of Christ said, "There is no more important
moral value in this country than supporting families, especially those
are poor. The President's budget is anything but good news for the
Representing the United Methodist Church General Board of Church and
Society, Winkler added, "How are we as a nation -- the richest nation in
world -- caring for our children? The United Methodist Council of
reminds us, "The technical resources are available to protect children
the most common diseases, to provide them with the necessities of food,
shelter, clothing, and health care. What is lacking are the vision and
The leaders concluded their joint statement saying: "We urge the members
our churches, of other churches and other faiths, and all whose
compels them to do justice to join us in opposing this budget. And we
them to work with us on economic policies infused with the spirit of the
who began his public ministry almost 2,000 years ago by proclaiming that
had anointed him "to bring good news to the poor."
--John Johnson is domestic policy analyst in the Episcopal Church's
of Government Relations.
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