It's great to see David Beckmann convince Mark Bittman to join the fast against attempts to cut federal programs
that help the poor and the hungry. Bittman's dismissal of the religious element
of the effort by Bread for the World and others--"I doubt God will intervene
here"--betrays his unfamiliarity with Christian thought. (I'm tempted to send him
one of my ELCA "God's work, our hands" fridge magnets.) But thanks to Bittman's
involvement, now even the Nation is
giving the progressive evangelical effort positive coverage.
The U.S defense budget, always outsized, has become even more bloated in recent years. In the past eight years military spending has nearly doubled, with much of the increase devoted to financing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. A year ago Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University and Linda Bilmes of Harvard predicted that the Iraq war could cost the U.S. $3 trillion.
By a 216-214 vote, the House of Representatives has passed a controversial budget-cutting bill opposed vigorously as “immoral” by mainline and ecumenical church leaders late in 2005. The bill, which President Bush said he would sign, trims federal budget programs by nearly $40 billion over the next five years. The February 1 vote by the House included no Democrats in favor.
In a direct action by church progressives who have repeatedly decried the federal spending cuts affecting the poor, more than 100 activists were arrested for blocking an entrance to a congressional office building during a frigid, pre-Christmas confrontation.
Shortly before Capitol Hill got down to brass tacks on President Bush’s $2.57 trillion budget for 2006, the spending proposal came under blistering criticism in separate critiques by mainline Protestant leaders and the head of Catholic Charities USA.
Christian groups say president is not following through on promise
Feb 24, 2004
Shrunken AIDS funding in President Bush’s 2005 budget proposal has dampened the spirits of Christian groups and aid organizations, whose spokespersons said he is not following through on his promise to combat the disease globally.
Many Democrats in Congress and plenty of other Americans find it hard to stomach President Bush’s $87 billion request for military and reconstruction projects in Iraq and Afghanistan. About $20 billion of that total is slated for rebuilding Iraq’s infrastructure—its highways, schools, houses, hospitals, electricity system, water supply and communications.