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  1. Standard member wittywonka
    Chocolate Expert
    01 Mar '11 04:00 / 1 edit
    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/02/28/new-budget-campaign-asks-what-would-jesus-cut/

    A coalition of progressive Christian leaders has taken out a full-page ad that asks “What would Jesus cut?” in Monday’s edition of Politico, the opening salvo in what the leaders say will be a broader campaign to prevent cuts for the poor and international aid programs amid the budget battle raging in Washington.

    “They’re talking about cutting bed nets for malaria and leaving every piece of military spending untouched,” said the Rev. Jim Wallis, who leads the Christian group Sojourners, referring to Republican spending proposals for the rest of this year.

    “Are we saying that every piece of military equipment is more important than bed nets, children’s health and nutrition for low-income families?” said Wallis, whose group paid for Monday’s ad. “If so they should be ashamed of themselves.”

    The ad and the broader campaign are aimed mostly at a spending measure passed by the Republican-led House of Representatives that cuts $61 billion from current spending levels, including cuts to Head Start, the Women Infants and Children (WIC) program and international aid programs.

    Senate Democrats consider those cuts draconian and won't pass them.

    The faith leaders behind the "What would Jesus cut" campaign are also lobbying the Obama administration to forego proposed cuts to programs like college grants and heating assistance to low-income Americans in the 2012 federal budget.

    House and Senate negotiators are trying to find consensus on a temporary spending measure to avert a government shutdown. Republican House Speaker John Boehner is pushing a short-term spending plan that would cut $4 billion.

    Monday’s “What would Jesus cut?” ad is signed by dozens of Christian leaders, including evangelicals like David Beckman, president of the charity Bread for the World, and author Brian McLaren.

    "Cutting programs that help those who need them most is morally wrong," Beckmann said in a statement. "Reducing the federal deficit is critical for our nation's long term health but it should not be done at the expense of the most vulnerable. When Jesus talked about how God will judge nations, he said that God will focus on what we did or did not do for the neediest among us."

    Sojourners recently ordered 1,000 “What would Jesus cut?” bracelets for its supporters to send to their representatives in Congress, then ordered 2,000 more when the initial batch ran out. The group says its backers have sent 10,000 "What would Jesus cut?" emails to Capitol Hill.

    Wallis said that he and other Christian leaders are meeting in Washington this week to strategize on ways to prevent lawmakers from cutting programs it supports. They are urging cuts in defense spending instead.

    “The most corrupt government spending is military spending,” Wallis said. “Its cost overruns, outdated weapons systems, welfare checks to military contractors.”

    “This is a biblical choice of swords into plowshares directly and the House Republicans want to beat our ploughshares into more swords," he said. "These priorities that they’re offering are not just wrong or unfair, they’re unbiblical.”


    _______________

    Do these religious leaders have a valid point? I'm inclined to think so, at least to a degree.
  2. 01 Mar '11 05:13
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    [i]http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/02/28/new-budget-campaign-asks-what-would-jesus-cut/

    A coalition of progressive Christian leaders has taken out a full-page ad that asks “What would Jesus cut?” in Monday’s edition of Politico, the opening salvo in what the leaders say will be a broader campaign to prevent cuts for the poor and international aid pr ...[text shortened]... igious leaders have a valid point? I'm inclined to think so, at least to a degree.
    When Jesus talked about how God will judge nations, he said that God will focus on what we did or did not do for the neediest among us."


    Obviously Mr Beckman is unaware how much Foreign aid The U.S. dishes out annually.
  3. Standard member wittywonka
    Chocolate Expert
    01 Mar '11 05:57
    Originally posted by utherpendragon
    Obviously Mr Beckman is unaware how much Foreign aid The U.S. dishes out annually.
    You seem to overlook the story of the Widow's mite.
  4. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    01 Mar '11 06:33 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by utherpendragon
    Obviously Mr Beckman is unaware how much Foreign aid The U.S. dishes out annually.
    Someone should tell him that, although developing nations have broadly agreed on a target of 0.7% of GNP to be spent on official development assistance, the U.S. [in 2006] only managed 0.17%. Greece dished out 0.12%. Italy and Portugal 0.20% and 0.21% respectively. Sweden distributed 1.03% of its GNP in official development assistance. The 0.7% target is also surpassed by Denmark, Netherlands, Norway and Luxembourg. [all according to some data available at wiki]. The U.K. managed only 0.53% in 2006 but the current Prime Minister, speaking in Egypt the other day, apparently said he reaffirmed his determination to stick to 0.7% so maybe that means that the previous Labour government managed to reach the target before they got turfed out of office last year.
  5. 01 Mar '11 12:36
    This is stupid. Religious leaders shouldn't be worried about policy decisions. Not gay marriage or government budget cuts or anything else the government does. God doesn't judge nations, he judges people.
  6. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    01 Mar '11 12:40
    Originally posted by dryhump
    This is stupid. Religious leaders shouldn't be worried about policy decisions. Not gay marriage or government budget cuts or anything else the government does. God doesn't judge nations, he judges people.
    Hoorah, I was wary about throwing a couple of dollars in the Salvation Army kitty, but the minute one of their Majors or Colonels started making comments about gummint should be doing this, gummint should be doing that while wearing his Sallies hat that was the end of it.
  7. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    01 Mar '11 13:19
    Originally posted by dryhump
    This is stupid. Religious leaders shouldn't be worried about policy decisions. Not gay marriage or government budget cuts or anything else the government does. God doesn't judge nations, he judges people.
    How the hell do you know what God does and does not judge?
  8. 01 Mar '11 13:32
    Originally posted by dryhump
    This is stupid. Religious leaders shouldn't be worried about policy decisions. Not gay marriage or government budget cuts or anything else the government does. God doesn't judge nations, he judges people.
    Surely they have as much right to be worried about policy decisions as everyone else?
  9. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    01 Mar '11 14:13
    Originally posted by FMF
    Someone should tell him that, although developing nations have broadly agreed on a target of 0.7% of GNP to be spent on official development assistance, the U.S. [in 2006] only managed 0.17%. Greece dished out 0.12%. Italy and Portugal 0.20% and 0.21% respectively. Sweden distributed 1.03% of its GNP in official development assistance. The 0.7% target is also su ...[text shortened]... us Labour government managed to reach the target before they got turfed out of office last year.
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0105/p09s01-coop.html

    Another thing one notices is that the foreign-aid data only reflect "official" (i.e., government) aid. The data are sketchy, but by all accounts Americans are far more generous in terms of charitable contributions than the citizens of any other country.

    A 1991 study found Britain to have the second-largest percentage of private charitable giving. But in 2003, charitable giving amounted to £8.6 billion, or 0.8 percent of GDP, in Britain, according to the Charities Aid Foundation, compared with $241 billion, or 2.2 percent of GDP, in the US, according to the American Association of Fundraising Counsel.

    But even this estimate of charitable giving by Americans is low because it counts only cash contributions and omits volunteer work.

    In the area of international aid, the official data also exclude private transfers, such as remittances by foreign workers in the US. According to the Inter-American Development Bank, remittances to Latin America alone amounted to $38 billion in 2003 - more than all official assistance combined. And $31 billion of that came from the US. In some countries, foreign remittances came to more than 10 percent of GDP, thus having a significant impact on economic growth and poverty alleviation.

    Carol Adelman, a former US Agency for International Development official, attempted to calculate a total of all private foreign aid in 2000 in a 2003 Foreign Affairs magazine article. She found that private foreign aid greatly exceeded that provided by the US government. Official aid came to $22.6 billion that year, but private aid came to $35.1 billion, including $18 billion in remittances, $6.6 billion from private voluntary organizations, $3.4 billion in aid from churches, $3 billion from foundations, $2.8 from corporations, and $1.3 billion from universities.

    But even this understates the extent to which Americans help developing countries, because it excludes private investment and trade. According to the Institute of International Finance, in 2003, Americans invested $124 billion in emerging market economies, three-fourths in direct investment such as plant and equipment, and the rest in stocks and bonds.


    As in most other areas, the US does more privately, as compared to Europeans, who would rather do more through government. I'm not making a judgment on the sagacity of that approach. Surely the relative merits of that concept have been and will be debated on this forum until the cows come home; but the fact remains.

    The government given foreign aid as a % of GDP is, at best, a partial-picture statistic.
  10. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    01 Mar '11 14:26
    Originally posted by sh76
    The government given foreign aid as a % of GDP is, at best, a partial-picture statistic.
    Official overseas aid and charitable aid are different. Official overseas aid is part and parcel of international relationships, bilateral and multilateral partnerships, common cause, donor driven agendas and other strategic interests. I am pretty sure that the people in the OP were lamenting over cuts to this kind of aid. So my post was with regard to that. The government given foreign aid as a % of GDP pertains to government given foreign aid. It doesn't pretend to be a statistic about charitable aid. It's not a partial picture in the context of this OP. It's merely a picture of a different thing.
  11. 01 Mar '11 16:24
    Originally posted by shavixmir
    How the hell do you know what God does and does not judge?
    A nation (just like a corporation) doesn't have a soul.
  12. 01 Mar '11 16:29
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Surely they have as much right to be worried about policy decisions as everyone else?
    Of course they can worry about whatever they wish. I was pointing out that they should be putting their efforts toward conversion of the masses.
  13. 01 Mar '11 16:30
    Originally posted by dryhump
    A nation (just like a corporation) doesn't have a soul.
    All the same, God could be sitting there judging this or that nation to be pretty crappy, as nations go. Just like God could judge the Golden State Warriors. Nobody can rule out that possibility. Some people do see God as being a judgmental sort.
  14. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    01 Mar '11 16:36
    Originally posted by dryhump
    A nation (just like a corporation) doesn't have a soul.
    What's a soul?
  15. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    01 Mar '11 18:04 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/02/28/new-budget-campaign-asks-what-would-jesus-cut/

    A coalition of progressive Christian leaders has taken out a full-page ad that asks “What would Jesus cut?” in Monday’s edition of Politico, the opening salvo in what the leaders say will be a broader campaign to prevent cuts for the poor and international aid pr igious leaders have a valid point? I'm inclined to think so, at least to a degree.
    Yes, they have a valid point. Defending the poor and the downtrodden is the only thing that religious people should concern themselves about. If we had more progressive religious leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., then maybe Christianity wouldn't be the almost complete waste of time that it is.