Update: Several religious leaders, including General Secretary of the Board of Church & Society, Jim Winkler, were arrested today for praying and protesting the budget proposals in the Capital rotunda.
As a Bread for the World member, I was asked to participate in emailing Senators Durbin and Kirk as we continue to seek to follow God in the way of Jesus by protecting the most vulnerable among us in our country’s budget crisis.
I’ve already sent this privately, now I believe it is time to take this public. This is my open letter to Senator Mark Kirk:
Dear Senator Kirk,
I write to urge you to vote to raise the debt ceiling.
As you know, not raising our country’s debt ceiling puts the full faith and credit of the United States at risk. Failure to raise the debt ceiling will have devastating consequences for our country’s economy and the world economy. The ones most affected by such consequences will be those least able to bear them: the millions of hungry and poor families in the U.S. and around the globe.
As a father of two children under 6, I know how important it is to be able to feed our family. As a Christian, I know God calls us to use our power and influence on behalf of the most vulnerable. Nearly 1 in 4 children in the U.S. lives in a household that sometimes runs out of food. Globally, more than one billion people are hungry, including 11 million at risk of famine in the Horn of Africa (where tens of thousands have already died).
We must do all we can to protect the hungry and poor from further hardship!
Please, Senator, put partisanship aside and vote to raise the debt ceiling!
Congress must show that they are serious about meeting our country’s financial obligations and approving a sustainable, fair, and long-term budget plan that protects the most vulnerable among us. Defaulting on our debt would make a dire situation worse, we must avoid default.
Rev. Dave Buerstetta
The General Board of Church & Society of the Untied Methodist Church tells of UM responses to this budget crisis, including joining the Circle of Protection. They also have videos of daily prayer vigils on Facebook.
It’s not too late to add your voice!
You are urged to tell your members of Congress that it is crucial to protect vital programs that benefit hungry and poor people. Call (800) 826-3688 to reach the Capitol switchboard and ask to be connected to your representative’s and senators’ offices.
“As people of faith, we have an obligation to help these families be heard by our leaders and to insist that programs serving the most vulnerable in our nation and around the world are protected,” said David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “They need to hear from you today.”
I hope and pray you will consider raising your voice today.