The leaders of the Presbyterian Church, United Methodist Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Episcopal Church and United Church of Christ had previously issued a joint statement on March 8, 2005, in which they beseeched....
"If passed in its current form, it would include whopping new (tax) cuts that would benefit, almost exclusively, those with household incomes of more than $200,000 per year....These cuts would be alarming in any circumstances, but in the context of the 2006 budget, they are especially troubling. For even as it reduces aid to those in poverty, this budget showers presents on the rich....If passed in its current form, it would take Jesus' teaching on economic justice and stand it on its head....
We urge the members of our churches, of other churches and other faiths, and all whose conscience compels them to do justice to join us in opposing this budget." You can find the entire text of this joint document here at Ecumenical Statement on Bush's 2006 Federal Budget.
And the Washington Post reports that today, "U.S. Capitol Police arrested 115 religious activists who were protesting a House Republican budget plan's cuts in social programs when they refused to clear the entrance to a congressional office building Wednesday....
Outside in the frigid cold for several hours, more than 200 demonstrators sang religious and holiday songs, prayed aloud and chanted, 'Stop the cuts.'...The prayer vigil was one of dozens taking place around the country....
'These are political choices being made that are hurting low-income people,' said Jim Wallis, the event's organizer and founder of the Christian ministry group Sojourners. Wallis called the House budget plan, which would produce $50 billion in savings over five years, 'the real Christmas scandal,' a reference to a campaign by some conservative Christian groups against the greeting 'Happy holidays' instead of 'Merry Christmas.' "
The protest today, and earlier efforts to call attention to the plight of the poor, included Christians from numerous churches and denominations.
Notably absent from the national religious conversation of concern for the poor, hungry, homeless and the 45 million Americans with no health insurance were Christian lobbyist and Karl Rove-buddy Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson......and all of their followers.
Commented the Rev Richard Cizik, vice-president of the National Association of Evangelicals to the Washington Post, " 'Frankly, I don't hear a lot of conversation among evangelicals about budget cuts in anti-poverty programs."
-- Five Christian Denominations Make Joint Statement Slamming Bush 2006 Budget
-- Jim Wallis, Author of bestseller "God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It"