Evangelical public policy statement

Discussion in 'Politics' started by HuckFinn, Jan 27, 2005.

  1. HuckFinn

    HuckFinn Senior Member

    Likes Received:
    While I expect that heated debate over abortion and gay "marriage" will continue for years to come, I think there is potentially a lot of common ground between morally/theologically conservative Christians and political progressives:

    January 17, 2005

    The Honorable George W. Bush
    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20500

    Dear Mr. President:

    We write as evangelical leaders to urge a strengthened, expanded emphasis on overcoming hunger and poverty both here and abroad in the next four years. Precisely the commitment to moral values (including the sanctity of human life) that shapes all our political activity compels us to insist that as a nation we must do more to end starvation and hunger and strengthen the capacity of poor people to create wealth and care for their families.

    We are grateful for your faith-based initiative and the way this approach is strengthening the ability of faith-based organizations to bring their unique gifts and passion to the task of overcoming social brokenness and poverty. We are also grateful for the way your administration has expanded the American contribution to economic development and the battle against AIDS in Africa and other developing countries through the Millennium Challenge Account and the AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Initiative. Thank you also for your moral leadership in the fight against human trafficking, your commitment to rebuild the U.S. refugee program, and your sustained efforts to end decades of war in Sudan.

    Tragically, however, both at home and abroad, the number of people in poverty remains unacceptably high.

    In 2000, virtually every nation on the planet approved the Millennium Development Goals that included a commitment to halve global poverty by 2015. But adequate funds to meet these goals are not being given, and the U.S. ranks absolutely last (as a percentage of GNP) among all developed nations in its governmental assistance to overcome global poverty. Our nation has fallen far short of the increases in health and development assistance that you proposed. The richest nation in history can and must grasp the opportunity to lead.

    Poverty in our own nation has increased in the last several years and millions more working poor lack health insurance.

    We agree with you that there is a poverty of the soul and a poverty of the wallet and that government should not try to solve the first. We pledge to you to strengthen the armies of compassion in order to do more through our faith-based organizations to overcome the poverty of the soul.

    But our faith-based social service agencies cannot by themselves solve the problem of poverty of the wallet. As you have often said, government can and should help solve this problem. Tragically, millions of Americans today work full time and still fall below the poverty level. The moral values that shape our lives tell us this is wrong. We believe our rich nation should agree that everyone who works full time responsibly will be able to earn enough to rise above the poverty level and enjoy health insurance.

    We know there will be powerful pressures, from some places, as you and the Congress work to reduce deficit spending, to cut even effective programs for poor people. We pray that you will not allow this to happen. We pray that God will give you the strength to act like the righteous king in Ps. 72:12-13 and “deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help, take pity on the weak and the needy, and save the needy from death.”

    We call on you, Mr. President, to declare, in your Inaugural or State of the Union address, that it is the policy of your administration to make the necessary improvements in the next four years so that all Americans who work full time responsibly will be able to escape poverty and enjoy health insurance.

    This policy would strengthen the family, discourage divorce, reduce out-of-wedlock births and strengthen moral values in our nation. If the Bible teaches us anything clearly on this issue, it is, as the recent declaration of the National Association of Evangelicals said, that “God measures societies by how they treat the people at the bottom.”

    A dramatic reduction in poverty, both here and abroad, would honor our Lord who called us to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. It would also be a wonderful legacy for you to leave with the American people and indeed the world. Such an outcome is clearly within the reach of the richest nation in history. The moral values you share with us demand no less.

    We request the opportunity to meet with you and your administration to discuss ways that we can help you strengthen your administration’s efforts to overcome hunger and poverty.


    Robert Andringa, President, Council For Christian Colleges and Universities
    Paul Armes, President, Wayland Baptist University
    Todd Bassett, National Commander, The Salvation Army
    David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World
    Esdras Betancourt, Director of Hispanic Ministries, Church of God
    David Black, President, Eastern University
    Peter Borgdorff, Executive Director, CRWRC
    William Brown, President, Cedarville University
    George Brushaber, President, Bethel College & Seminary
    Gaylen Byker, President, Calvin College
    Jerry Cain, President, Judson College
    Galen Carey, Director, Advocacy and Policy, World Relief
    R.Judson Carlberg, President, Gordon College
    Joel Carpenter, Provost, Calvin College
    John Castellani, President, Teen Challenge International USA
    Daniel Chamberlain, President, Houghton College
    Richard Chamiec-Case, Director, N. American Assoc. of Christians In Social Work
    Richard Cizik, V.P. of Governmental Affairs, National Association of Evangelicals
    Dennis Clements, Chairman, Reaching Indians Ministries International
    John Derry, President, Hope International University
    Dave Donaldson, President, We Care America
    Larry Donnithorne, President, Colorado Christian University
    G. Dowden, President, Huntington College
    James Edwards, President, Anderson University
    Bill Emery, Chairman, Virginia Round Table
    Bernard Evans, President, Elim Fellowship
    E.Lebron Fairbanks, President, Mount Vernon Nazarene University
    Frederick Finks, President, Ashland Theological Seminary
    Paul Fleischmann, President, National Network of Youth Ministries
    Stan Gaede, President, Westmont College
    Wayne Gordon, Chairman, Christian Community Dev. Assoc.
    William Hamel, President, Evangelical Free Church of America
    Doug Hodo, President, Houston Baptist University
    Dennis Hollinger, President, Evangelical School of Theology
    William Hossier, President, Missionary Church Inc
    Clyde Hughes, Genera! l Overse er, International Pentecostal Church of Christ
    William Ipema, Vice President, Leadership Foundations of America
    Bruce Jackson, Director, Christian Community Health Fellowship
    Bryce Jessup, President, Jessup University
    Glen Kehrein, Executive Director, Circle Urban Ministries
    J.Nelson Kraybill, President, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary
    Steven Livesay, President, Bryan College
    Larry Lloyd, President, Crichton College
    Joel MacCollam, Chief Executive World Emergency Relief
    Ronald Manahan, President, Grace College & Theological Seminary
    Jim Mannoia, President, Greenville College
    Josh McDowell, Author/Speaker, Josh McDowell Ministry
    David Moberg, Publisher, W Publishing
    Chuck Moore, President, Northern Seminary
    Bruce Murphy, President, Northwestern College
    George W. Murray, President, Columbia International University
    David Neff, Editor, Christianity Today Magazine
    Larry Nikkel, President, Tabor College
    Michael Nyenhuis, President, MAP International
    Glenn R. Palmberg, President, Evangelical Covenant Church
    John E. Phelan, Jr, President, North Park Theological Seminary
    William Robinson, President, Whitworth College
    Andrew Ryskamp, Executive Director, Christian Reformed World Relief Committee
    Scott Sabin, Executive Director, Floresta USA
    Donald Sharp, Pastor, Faith Tabernacle Baptist Church of Chicago
    Amy Sherman, Director, Faith In Communities
    Ronald Sider, President, Evangelicals for Social Action
    Michael Sigman, Bishop, Evangelical Congregational Church
    Barry St. Clair, President, Reach Out Youth Solutions
    Richard E. Stearns, President, World Vision
    Loren Swartzendruber, President, Eastern Mennonite University
    Pat Taylor, President, Southwest Baptist University
    Steve Timmermans, President, Trinity Christian College
    Joseph Tkach, President/General Pastor, Worldwide Church of God
    Thomas Trask, General Superintendent, Assemblies of God
    Bill Vermillion, General Superin! tendent, Evangelical Churches of N. America
    Jon Wallace, President, Azusa Pacific University
    Jim Wallis, Convenor, Call To Renewal
    Craig Williford, President, Denver Seminary
    James Wolff, Pastor, Lawndale Christian Reformed Church
    Tim Ziemer, Executive Director, World Relief
    Jason McGaughey
    Rev. Delvin A. Roper, Retired United Methodist Pastor
    Chad Allen, Editor, Baker Books
    Virginia Mulhern
    Carl Jordan, Retired teacher
    Lois Jordan, Retired teacher
    Ursula Kaplowitz
    Matt Rindge, Writer
    James R. Monroe, Pastor
    Jonathan Ferguson, Ministry Coordinator
    Victoria Fitoon, Counselor
    Dr. CG White, Pastor
    Roger Eberly, Pastor
    John Stonecypher, Pastor
    Dale A. Painter
    Kathryn A. Painter
    Paul Faber, Dean
    Jacinta Faber, member, St. Andrews Episcopal
    Mary Anne Poe, Director of Social Work
    Laurie Gruenbeck
    Joe Carson, President, Affil. of Christian Engineers
    Matt Campbell
    Wendy Campbell
    Linda Messamore
    Phil Landers, Rev.
    Deborah McFatter, Evangelical Lutheran Church
    Larry McFatter, Evangelical Lutheran Church
    Deborah Abello, Director I, Migrant Education Region 23
    Jo Kadlecek, Writer
    Jennifer Fair
    Nathan D. Wilson, Rev.
    Becky Horst, Director of CALL
    Rev. Gene Beerens, Vice Chair, Reentry Roundtable of Kent
    Becky Johnson, Pastor
    Leroy & Kari Huizenga
    James Huff, professor
    Todd M. Muller, After School Director
    Rodney Steward-Wilcox, Rev.
    Michael Finely, author
    Daphne Krabill Hollinger, agricultural intern
    Marc Averill
    D! avid Lyn n Smith, M.D.
    Erma Mae Perkins
    Susan Gilbert Zencka, Rev., PCUSA
    Wendy Tobias
    Jill Shook, Pasadena/Altadena Congregations
    Stan Franco, Deacon
    David Wetzell, Bethel Student
    Brian Heller
    Heidi Muller, Youth worker
    Walter Shurden, professor
    Allison Caylor, Karl Road Baptist Church
    Claude Good, Coordinator, Franconia Mennonite Conf
    Thomas Litteer, Rev.
    Kristin Stults
    Elliot Hui
    Walt Miller, Pastor-retired
    Paul Hanneman, Program Director, Urban Ministry Center
    Katherine L. Vandegrift
    Robert Henderson, Pastor, Presbyterian
    Jim Henderlite, Deacon
    Ted Lucas, M.D.
    Freda B. Schlaman
    Patrick Cicero
    Helena Cicero
    Faithe Zercher, Director Adult Services
    Boyd Holliday, Pastor, Methodist
    George Patterson II
    Joseph F. Gamarano Jr.
    A. C. Cuppy, Rev.
    Luisa Hansel, Rev.
    Patrick Cabello Hansel, Rev.
    Willis Sutter, Past-President, IL Mennonite Conference
    Laura A. Starrett, M.D.
    Richard P. Starrett, M.D.
    Ken Burkholder
    Stephen Valder, M.D.
    Odette Valder, M.D.
    Anniegrace Bassage
    Lance W. Jobe, M.D.
    Scott Meier
    Christine M. Corneille
    Kyle Small, Covenant Church
    Richard Lamb
    Mary Fox
    Cecil Prescod
    Denise Ribera Luxton, Riverside Church
    Edith Johnson
    Jim Johnson
    Maxwell Carroll
    Mike Wallens, Chaplain
    Jim Bender, Deputy Director
    Walter Shurden, Professor
    Fredric E. Spalding, Pastor
    Niles R. Sharif, Lawyer
    Kenneth Hunn, Rev.
    James Moore, Baptist General Conference Minnesota
    Curt Dodson, Rev.
    Lynn I Thrush, Pastor
    Judy Harmon, Lay Church Leader
    Robert Harmon, Dr.
    Greg Jackson, M.D.
    Scot F Martin
    Peter A. Dearstyne
    Michel Hostetter, Rep Eastern Mennonite Missions - Chile
    Paul Burks, Rev., United Methodist M! inister- retired
    Steve Sharp, Upper School Director, The Kings Academy
    Phil Olson, Pastor, Presbyterian
    Sarita Dinnocente
    James E Wolff, Lawndale Christian Reformed Church
    G Peter Schrek, Prof. of Pastoral Care&Counseling, EBTS
    Audrey Benjamin
    Andrew Benjamin
    Donald L Sharp, Pastor, Faith Tabernacle Baptist Church of Chicago
    Kevin Waters, Lay Pastor, Pleasant Plain, OH
    Brian Vosburg
    William Calhoun
    George Alcser, Professor Mary Grove College
    Mike Etheridge
    Janette Plunkett, Consultant
    Pat Francis-Lyon

    See also http://www.nae.net/images/civic_responsibility2.pdf.

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