Thirteen Christian leaders have signed onto a letter speaking out against President Donald Trump’s budget proposal and other administration policies that they say will add to the nation’s poverty and hunger issues.
The Circle of Protection, a coalition comprised of leaders from various Christian organizations, published an open letter Tuesday calling out “administration actions that affect people in poverty.”
“As leaders from all the families of U.S. Christianity, representing church bodies and networks serving more than 100 million Americans, we are concerned about administration action to cut safety net programs that help low-income people,” the letter reads. “The gospel of God’s love for all people moves us to speak together on this issue.”
The coalition is comprised of mostly left-leaning Christian leaders, including Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, Sojourners founder Jim Wallis, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton and Barbara Williams Skinner of the National African American Clergy Network.
Other signatories to the letter include the National Association of Evangelicals President Walter Kim, Gabriel Salguero of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, Jim Winkler of the National Council of Churches and Bread for the World President David Beckmann.
“We can do better. Jesus taught that the peoples of the world will be judged by what we do for the hungry, the stranger, the sick and the prisoner,” the letter explains, citing Matthew 25.
Among many things, the letter takes issue with an executive order signed by Trump in April 2018 that instructs government departments to look for ways to impose tougher rules and work requirements for eligibility in means-tested public assistance programs.
The agencies were instructed to gauge whether programs are helping individuals and families avoid long-term dependence.
The leaders argue that while they support the goal of helping Americans toward financial independence, they fear some of the administration’s policy changes and proposed cuts to low-income programs are “likely to add to the hunger, poverty and economic insecurity which are already far too widespread in our country.”
Nearly 40 million people are living in poverty in the U.S., according to Poverty USA.
SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith
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