A notable coalition of Christian leaders is urging the federal government to avoid allowing "hungry and poor people" to fall through the cracks as spending cuts, scheduled to start Friday, could force the reconsideration of funds for certain welfare programs.
A letter sent by the Circle of Protection, a coalition formed two years ago, to President Barack Obama, Majority Leader Harry Reid, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi calls for lawmakers to "frame the budget debate in terms of moral choices that are understandable to the American people." It also urges the politicians to "reduce hunger and poverty by expanding opportunity and justice."
The letter is signed by 65 prominent Christian leaders from church ministry, higher education, and aid/relief backgrounds, including:
Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals
Stephan Bauman, president and CEO of World Relief
Richard Stearns, president of World Vision United States
Samuel Rodriguez, president of the NHCLC Hispanic Evangelical Association
Luis Cortes Jr., president of Esperanza
Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition
Ron Sider, president of Evangelicals for Social Action
Jim Wallis, president and CEO of Sojourners
Heather Larson, director of compassion & justice ministries, Willow Creek Community Church
Jay Barnes, president of Bethel University
Craig Williford, president of Trinity International University
Editor's note: CT editorial vice president David Neff is among the letter's signatories.