Press Release from the National Council of Churches
Washington, D.C., April 26, 2005—As Congress prepares to vote on the fiscal year 2006 budget this week, a coalition of religious and community groups is asking for a budget “that is more reflective of the moral values of our nation” than the budget resolutions passed by the House and Senate.
Let Justice Roll: Faith and Community Voices Against Poverty is asking people of faith nationwide to stop what they are doing at 2 p.m. EST on Wednesday, April 27, to pray for a budget that does more to support children, the poor, families, the elderly, veterans and persons with disabilities.
At the same time, a group from the coalition will gather outside the Senate Hart Building for prayer before going to the office of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and the offices of other key Senators to pray for a more just budget. The group will first go to Senator Frist’s office because he has the power to stop the budget from being passed.
The coalition hopes that by calling this “Justice Wednesday” they will highlight the definition of “justice” outlined in biblical texts, particularly the words that inspired the name of the group, which were spoken by the prophet Amos to the people because of their misplaced focus and because they taxed the poor unjustly, “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream (Amos 5:24).”
According to Rev. Dr. Bob Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches USA, the proposed budget “is a slap in the face to anyone who believes in justice.”
“There is no moral justification for cutting spending on services that benefit the poor, children, families, the elderly, people with disabilities, and impoverished communities while extending tax cuts and adding new ones for the wealthy,” Edgar said. “There may be political and economic justifications but definitely not moral ones.”
This is not the first attempt by the “Let Justice Roll” coalition to urge Congress to pass a federal budget that reflects the moral values of the nation. The group released a “Vision of Hope & Justice for the FY 2006 Budget” in March and sent a letter signed by more than 40 local, state and national organizations to the House and Senate leadership earlier this month expressing its opposition to the budget resolution (see list of signatories below).
“Most troubling to us is how cuts in services for those in desperate need are being used as a solution to cut the deficit while wealthy populations receive additional tax cuts. This is immoral and reflects a fundamental imbalance in addressing our nation’s debt,” said the letter. “We call on you to support policies that reflect the moral values of our country more than the economic comfort of the few.”
The “Let Justice Roll: Faith and Community Voices Against Poverty” campaign is sponsored by the National Council of Churches USA and the Center for Community Change, as well as a host of national, state and local religious, faith-based, and community organizations (see full list below).
Related Post: Let Justice Roll Campaign Will Keep Rolling On