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Religious Leaders Press for a ‘Faithful’ Budget to U.S. Congress

by Jerry L. Van Marter
from Presbyterian News Service

More than three dozen religious leaders today (March 22) unveiled a “faithful budget” that they say will address the nation’s needs and priorities rather than partisan political considerations.

According to a press release from the “Faithful Budget Campaign,” its priorities for a faithful budget are a set of comprehensive and compassionate budget principles that will protect the common good, value each individual and help lift the burden on the poor.

The “Faithful Budget lays out ideas for restoring economic opportunity, ensuring adequate resources for the country’s fiscal needs, fostering true security, reducing poverty and hardship, taking responsibility for future generations, caring for the environment, improving access to health care and recognizing the robust role of government in combating poverty,” the group said in unveiling its proposal at a Washington press conference.

“Drafted by Jews, Christians, Muslims and other faith leaders, the ‘Faithful Budget’ embraces our role as a united nation to take care of the most vulnerable among us, while making balanced investments in our future,” said Parsons in a prepared statement read by Nelson after Parsons’ flight was delayed.

“By following our sacred imperative to ‘love our neighbor as ourselves,’” Nelson said, “we not only can pass a budget that makes sense, but pass a budget that begins to create a more just society and a healthier world.”

Endorsed by 37 religious denominations and organizations, the proposal is a call to Congress and the President to enact a budget that “enhances the well-being of all Americans and to make a good faith increase in funding for the impoverished and the vulnerable here and abroad in fiscal year 2013,” the group’s press release states.

“For too long, our nation’s political leaders have fallen into a trap of starting with an arbitrary top-line budget number and then working within its parameters to fund the programs on which we all rely. Rather than follow Washington’s example, the Faithful Budget focuses on our national needs and priorities,” said Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby.

“We hope our Faithful Budget model can serve as a model that Congress and the Obama Administration can use to help build a more perfect union,” she added.

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