Christian leaders criticize deficit proposals
July 26th, 2011
10:35 AM ET
3 years ago

Christian leaders criticize deficit proposals

(CNN) - An organization of progressively-aligned Christian leaders launched new radio ads Tuesday attacking the proposals currently being considered on Capitol Hill to cut the deficit and raise the debt ceiling. Their main criticism centers on the proposals’ neglect of necessary Biblical priorities to care for the poor, according to the group.

Sojourners, a progressive Christian coalition led by Rev. Jim Wallis, placed ads narrated by local pastors on Christian and country radio stations in several localities home to congressional leaders. The group's representatives said the ads are non-partisan and emphasized they are trying to encourage lawmakers to understand the importance of helping those less fortunate.

The ads are airing in House Speaker John Boehner's Ohio congressional district, statewide in Kentucky, home of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and in Nevada, home of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The size of the buy has not yet been disclosed.

The minute-long spot attacking Boehner's plan says the book of Proverbs "teaches that where there is not leadership a nation falls and the poor are shunned while the rich have many friends."

"Sadly Congress has failed to heed these Biblical warnings, and our own Rep. Boehner is risking the health of our economy if America defaults on its debts," the ad says.

Members of Sojourners previously held a hunger strike to oppose budget cuts. They also met with President Obama during the debt stalemate. According to the group, approximately 30,000 people have signed their "Circle of Protection" pledge to fight cuts they say would most affect the poor.

"Please join this growing chorus of faithful Americans by telling our elected officials our nation's budget is a moral document and they are responsible not just to the few at the top, but to all of us," the Kentucky ad says.

The Nevada spot adds "in budget debates the rich have many political friends and lobbyists. The poor and needy don't."

"We have leaders, including some from Nevada who are threatening to wreck our economy by forcing America to default on our debts, all to protect tax cuts for the rich and powerful," the Nevada commercial adds.

CNN’s Gabriella Schwarz and Jessica Yellin contributed to this story.


Filed under: Ads • Debt • Deficit • Harry Reid • John Boehner • Mitch McConnell
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. sonny chapman

    "When you fed the hungry, welcomed the stranger, clothed the naked, you did this for me(Jesus Christ) Matthew 25,35. How does a Conservative who also claims to be a follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ reconcile the two opposite views ? Or , how do Anti-Abortion proponents allow their hatred of THAT sin become a beam in their eye, blinding them to all other sins, including poverty of real economic opportunity, in this , this richest Nation on Earth ?

    July 26, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  2. mike

    Christian dems? Don't think so.

    July 26, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Uh oh. That ad sounds pretty scary. Are we about to see a "War of The Word" between Christian liberals and conservatives?

    July 26, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  4. A SURPLUS = REVENUES - EXPENSES

    Kudos to these people. Support them.

    For far too long Democrats have let the wicked hipocrits of the GOP grab the religious label while they repeatedly act in an un-Christ-like manner.

    Most true Christians do not back the selfish, lying, manipulative ways of the Republican party.

    Simply ask them to square their religion with their actions and their lies are laid bare

    July 26, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  5. Four and The Door

    This is pretty much pathetic and a waste of energy. First of all, $250,000 a year does not make a person wealthy or rich in 2011. Maybe twice that people start having a reasonable disposable income, but there are many more people between $250k and $500k/ year than there are above $500k/ year. In any event, they already pay more taxes than lower income brackets. Much more. Does the bible give a rate, too? Like 2 times or 20 times or 200 times more? How do you know when you have satisfied the bible with tax rates?

    July 26, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  6. desertpunkin

    the US constitution holds that church & state are separated. These moronic organizations have no LEGAL say in any gov't issues. Every "religious" organization should be taxed as a business which is what these charletens are. Debt issue SOLVED!

    July 26, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  7. Bob in Pa.

    Idiots, biblical lessons to care for the needy are based on a personal and church level. Not by forcefully taking other peoples money or borrowing it in their name. Its time to stop spending what they don't and will never have. The theory they use on the debt and borrowing money is the same that they wrongly applied to the Social Security funds. Social Security should no longer be included in the general fund. We need a president with the guts to stand up to these people and say enough is enough. The gravy train has ended, there is no more money and hard cjhoices need to be made.

    July 26, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  8. Name

    What do they hope to accomplish? It is all of congress that I a the problem, not just democrats orrepublicans. We need to start the government over and keep big business and lobbyists out of Washington.

    July 26, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  9. Randy, San Francisco

    As the good book says, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven."

    July 26, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  10. Rick McDaniel

    You can't borrow money to care for the needy. You have to fund it from revenues.

    If Obama wasn't giving away hundreds of billions to foreign countries, many of whom are NOT friendly to the US, we wouldn't be so broke!

    One wonders, if we did away with the child care credit for families..........just that one thing.........and made people pay the actual cost of caring for children, how much tax revenue would that generate? A whole lot. If we made people pay the actual cost of educating their children, with an enrollment tax, how much better would our schools be? If we did away with the child tax credit for having children, how much revenue would that generate?

    Is anyone remotely aware, how much we are subsidizing the having of children?????? If you can't support them, you shouldn't be having them. Bottom line.

    Religion has become the scourge of modern man, as religion is not logical.

    July 26, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  11. Inmyopinion

    Hypocrites! When it's convenient than it's okay to mix Religion with Government. Talk about manipulating people, which is the common practice of Progressive practices for their own agenda, personal financial gain.

    July 26, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    Oh, oh. Christian Democrats leading the way to political redemption ... is going to make GOPers blood boil in no time fast. So much for the right-wing theory that Dems are the devil's spawn incarnates, set to damage the morality of the righteous, morally superior upper-class citizenry filled with God's favored *we got ours, screw you* echelons of *real* America.

    July 26, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  13. Andymac

    So if the christian churches are so worried, why don't they actually start paying some kind of taxes like there other organizations invoved. They should have NO say, and complaining does not solve anything anyway.

    July 26, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  14. John Thompson

    The Republicans have moved so far to the right and have behaved totally irresonsibly. I am embarrassed(sp) for them.

    July 26, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  15. Wes B.

    Although I think these pledges are stupid...I'm glad to see Democrat Christians stepping up.

    As a Christian Democrat myself, I hate to see Republicans pretend like they're the only Christians in DC.

    July 26, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  16. SharplyRight

    The church is supposed to take care of the poor and needy....not the government. I think any politician who would use the Bible to promote their own partisan political strategy has obviously not spent enough time reading what it has to say.

    July 26, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  17. B

    How can you expect the Republicans to honor anything in the Bible when their Allegiance is ONLY to money and power.

    Most of them that proclaim to be Christians are liars and bigots in their hearts, I know, their in my family..

    They do not really have any empathy for people at all, it gets in the way of the Bottom Line.

    July 26, 2011 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  18. ConservaFASCISTS/Dutch, Bad Newz, VA

    Republicans have got to be the most hypocritucal Christians walking this earth. Their policy positions and ideology do not align with Christs' teachings. They do not look out for the poor as Christ said to do. They do not look out for the least of us. They look out for the interest solely of the wealthy.

    July 26, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  19. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Notice the differences? Christian Republicans want to control our private lives and ignore other problems. Christian Democrats want people to act more Christ-like in defending those who cannot defend themselves. Which group is acting more Christ-like? I will give you a hint – it ain't any group that has members that regularly appear on Rupert Murdoch/Roger Ailes controlled media outlets.

    July 26, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. willard

    I am not agreed with presdient obama but I'm blevied amercian like play game vote for presdient obama 2008 also I heard that he was too bad 5 time but I think obama best get out of his presdient 2012. Thank you

    July 26, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  21. Snacklefish

    Finally! I've been saying all along: the Tea Party cherry-picks what tennets of the Bible to support. How about they take the whole Book, not just what makes good soundbites!

    Shared suffering, shared pain, and when prosperous shared rewards. That's the way this country was, and should be again.

    July 26, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  22. Mark

    There is no such thing as a "Christian Democrat"

    July 26, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  23. CK

    i support senator Harry Reid plans. the poor will prevail. thnk

    July 26, 2011 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  24. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    If religious people feel a need to "care for the needy," that's their business. But it's not their prerogative to demand my money, in the form of taxes, to finance their do-gooding.

    The only thing wrong with most of America's "needy" is that they're irresponsible, indolent, or improvident, none of which should be rewarded with government freebies paid for by working Americans.

    July 26, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  25. mark

    When will the president get real? You could take 100% of the wealthy american income and not balance the budget. Spending, goverment waste, and policical corruption must be curbed.

    July 26, 2011 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
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