The Common Good

Religious Leaders to Government: We Must Get Our Fiscal House In Order

Date: April 30, 2013

Both Republicans and Democrats have a religion problem, and it has nothing to do with same-sex marriage, abortion, or religious liberty. Rather, their serious stumbling blocks are budgets, deficits, and debt-ceiling deadlines.

That’s right, in a city deeply divided between the political right and left, there is a growing consensus from religious leaders that we must get our fiscal house in order and protect low-income people at the same time. Together, many of us are saying that there is a fundamental religious principle missing in most of our political infighting: the protection of the ones about whom our Scriptures say God is so concerned and who are the subject of the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew.

Indeed, the phrase “a budget is a moral document” originated in the faith community and is often invoked in discussions about our nation’s finances. Those most in jeopardy during Washington’s debates and decisions are precisely the people the Bible clearly instructs us to protect and care for—the poorest and most vulnerable. In comparison to the power players of the political system, they have virtually no one lobbying on their behalf in these hugely important discussions about how public resources will be allocated