Pundits have been praising Rep. Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who chairs the House budget committee, for the courage displayed in his 2012 budget proposal. But their definition of "courage" must be different from mine.
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.
If we can put a man on the moon and then, 40 years later, persist in spending far more on spacecraft than on passenger trains, we ought to be able to distribute an income-tax receipt that says so.
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.