October 1, 2013
Faith Leaders Stand Together In Calling on
Congress to Fund the U.S. Government
September 27, 2013
As leaders of faith communities and organizations comprising millions of people from all walks of life across our nation, we are deeply concerned by the completely avoidable budget and financial crises we are fast approaching as a nation.
Though Congress must pass the federal budget, it belongs to every American. This common fund formed of our combined tax revenues is designed to support the shared infrastructure, well-being, and long-term ethical values of our society. As people of faith we find it morally irresponsible to blockade the process by which we provide for our nation’s shared needs in a bid to force any individual legislative priority.
It would likewise be reckless to propel the United States into financial default by refusing to raise the debt ceiling for spending that Congress has already approved. Shuttering the federal government or defaulting on the nation’s financial commitments is likely to reverse our fragile economic recovery, punish the middle class, and deeply harm our most vulnerable neighbors.
Our democracy rests on principles of reason, compromise, and a commitment to the common good. To hold our governance processes and financial credibility hostage to narrow priorities is not only dangerous to the nation’s near-term financial well-being, it threatens the very foundations of our democratic process and our capacity to live united in community.
We ask that lawmakers address their concerns through the proper legislative channels. It ill serves our nation and people to stand in the way of funding federal operations or raising the debt ceiling in an effort to block implementation of health care legislation that Congress duly enacted. We ask that congressional leadership of both parties stand strong in opposing efforts to allow the will of the few to threaten the common good.
We commit to keeping you in prayer, asking that God continue to give you wisdom as you faithfully serve our nation during this time when the country most needs your principled leadership.
Sincerely,Ruth Messinger President American Jewish World Service Rev. David Beckmann President Bread for the World Dr. Lester A. Myers President Center of Concern Dr. Sharon Watkins General Minister and President Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Rev. John L. McCullough President and CEO Church World Service Dr. Jack Sullivan President Disciples Justice Action Network The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori Presiding Bishop and Primate The Episcopal Church The Rev. Mark S. Hanson Presiding Bishop Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Rev. Linda Hanna Walling Executive Director Faithful Reform in Health Care Sr. Margaret Magee, OSF President Franciscan Action Network Diane Randall Executive Secretary Friends Committee on National Legislation Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy President Interfaith Alliance Dr. Sayyid Syeed National Director Islamic Society of North America Rabbi Steve Gutow President Jewish Council for Public Affairs Sr. Janet Mock, CSJ Executive Director Leadership Conference of Women Religious Fr. Tim Mulroy, SSC U S. Regional Director Missionary Society of St. Columban Salam Al-Marayati President Muslim Public Affairs Council Sr. Gayle Lwanga Crumbley, RGS National Coordinator National Advocacy Center of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd Jack Payden-Travers Director National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund Peg Birk Transitional General Secretary National Council of Churches Nancy Kaufman Chief Executive Officer National Council of Jewish Women Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS Executive Director NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby Sr. Patricia Chappell Executive Director Pax Christi USA Rev. Gradye Parsons Stated Clerk of the General Assembly Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Rev. Kip B. Banks Interim General Secretary Progressive National Baptist Convention Rabbi David Saperstein Director Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism Sr. Patricia McDermott, RSM President of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Rev. Jim Wallis President Sojourners Rev. Peter Morales President Unitarian Universalist Association Rev. Dr. William F. Schulz President Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Rev. Geoffrey Black, General Minister and President and Rev. M. Linda Jaramillo Executive Minister, Justice and Witness Ministries United Church of Christ Bishop Peter D. Weaver Executive Secretary, The Council of Bishops The United Methodist Church Shan Cretin General Secretary American Friends Service Committee Ecumenical Advocacy Days is a movement of the ecumenical Christian community, and its recognized partners and allies, grounded in biblical witness and our shared traditions of justice, peace and the integrity of creation. Through a high-impact national gathering weekend, EAD’s goal is to strengthen the Christian voice and to mobilize for advocacy on specific U.S. domestic and international policy issues.