The Death of Compassionate Conservatism
Sojomail - November 7, 2005
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The death of compassionate conservatismby Jim Wallis
These plans for deep cuts to social supports, paid for by tax cuts for the wealthiest, are contrary to the national priorities we need to protect our most vulnerable citizens. We need strong moral leadership in Congress, especially during this time of war, record deficits, rising poverty and hunger, and natural disasters. Cutting food stamps and health care that meet the basic needs of poor families is an outrage. Cutting social services to pay for further tax cuts for the rich is a moral travesty that violates biblical priorities. The House leadership seems to be saying they literally want to take food from the mouths of children to make rich people richer. If this ideology and politics of rich over poor prevails and our leaders fail to govern from a set of moral values, then the religious community must conclude that compassionate conservatism is dead.
As this battle for the budget unfolds, I am calling on members of Congress, some of whom make much out of their faith, to start Bible studies before they cast votes to cut services that will further harm the weakest in our nation. They should focus on the gospel imperative - what Jesus tells us about our obligations to the "least of these." Some of them have heard the slogan "What would Jesus do?" Now they should ask, "What would Jesus cut?" Budgets are moral documents, and they reflect our national priorities and values. In the name of social conscience, fiscal responsibility, equal opportunity, protecting our communities, and the very idea of a common good, the upcoming budget votes will be closely watched by people of faith.
I urge you to read the alert that follows, pick up your phone, and call your member of Congress. Tell him or her to show political will in standing up for the least of these, as Jesus reminds us.
Call your representative now, toll-free:
(800) 426-8073 (Thank you, American Friends Service Committee).
The House of Representatives will vote on this immoral budget proposal as early as Thursday of this week, and a one-minute call from you and others could mean the difference between a "yea" or a "nay" vote from your representative. Dialing the number above will get you to the Capitol switchboard. When you reach an operator, ask for your representative by name, and when connected, say something like:
"As a person of faith from [your state], I urge [your representative] to vote "no" on this immoral budget bill that cuts $54 billion in vital services to vulnerable people, including Medicaid, foster care, food stamps, and child support. These cuts will hurt survivors of Katrina and countless working families. Along with proposed tax cuts for the super-wealthy, these are the wrong priorities at the wrong time."
With your help, we can jam the phone lines for justice in Washington! Spreading the word about this outrage is critical to the success of our campaign.
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