Religious leaders speak out against GOP budget

Washington, USA - The new GOP budget proposed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan has drawn religious attention.

A number of religious leaders have denounced the GOP budget, claiming that it favors the rich and is “immoral” and “irresponsible,” according to a recent article in the Washington Post’s On Faith blog.

The leaders come from various religious groups, including the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, National Council of Churches’ Poverty Initiative and the Jewish Council of Public Affairs.

“As a constituent of Congressman Ryan and a Catholic priest, I’m disappointed by his cruel budget plan and outraged that he defends it on moral grounds,” Father Thomas Kelly, Catholic priest from Elkhorn, Wyo., said in a statement. “Ryan is Catholic, and he knows that justice for the poor and economic fairness are core elements of our church’s social teaching. It’s shameful that he disregarded these principles in his budget.”

Susan Brooks Thistlewaite, guest writer of the article in On Faith and former president of Chicago Theological Seminary, said the new budget crosses “values held by Jesus of Nazareth.”

“Jesus announces his ministry as ‘Good News for the Poor’ (Luke 4:18),” Thistlewaite said in the On Faith post. “House Republicans have released their budget and one thing is clear: This budget is ‘good news for the rich’ and bad news for the poor and middle class.”

Other religion blogs are reporting outcries from religious leaders, including CNN’s Belief blog.

Bishops from the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church called on Congress to “come together across partisan lines to shape a budget that defends human dignity and basic economic security for all Americans,” according to a recent article on the CNN blog.

“If the moral measure of a just society is found in how we treat the most vulnerable, the budget proposal passed by the House of Representatives, which the Senate will vote on this week, fails the basic tests of justice, compassion and a commitment to the common good,” the bishops wrote in a letter to Congress.