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4,000 Pastors Respond: Private Charity Isn’t Enough

July 13, 2011, 12:58 pm | Posted by Nick Sementelli

We noted last month that Jim Wallis was calling on 1,000 pastors to join him in debunking the faulty argument that private charity alone is enough to address the real needs in our community — the standard response from conservatives who want to eviscerate funding for public support programs for the poor and vulnerable.

The response has been overwhelming. In just three weeks, more than 4,000 faith leaders across the country have responded to his call, signing a letter that makes a Biblical and experience-based argument for preserving crucial programs that protect struggling families. These pastors see firsthand the recession’s devastating impact on the people in their pews and communities who are struggling to stay in their homes, find jobs and feed their families. These clergy work everyday to help meet the needs of these men, women and children. They are intimately familiar with both the power and limitations of private charity, which makes their bold letter even more powerful.

We joined with Sojourners to elevate the voices of these pastors and turn their open letter into a full-page ad in Politico today.

When the experts on charity agree that it’s not sufficient to meet the need, lawmakers should stop trying to argue the opposite.

3 Responses to “4,000 Pastors Respond: Private Charity Isn’t Enough”

  1. John A Fair says:

    Great spiritual leaders have stated that poverty is one of the greatest acts of violence against humanity. It is the responsibility of the religious to speak this prophetic voice whenever necessary to call society (aka governments) to task and assume the responsibility for caring for its people. One of the ways the religious do this through acting out the prophetic vision where such active proclamation is a witness and call to governments to pick up the ball and enter the game of life .. of caring for its people. To assume that charities to be society’s messiahs is to deny the true role of government.

  2. What you do speaks so loudly that when you speak, they plug their ears.

    Then, for some reason, they start going, ‘Lalalalalalalala – I can’t HE-EAR you!’

    Don’t I know it…

  3. Doris Moyer says:

    Many Seniors who have worked and paid into SS and Medicare all their working lives depend on that to help them when they retire, to take that away from them would mean they have nothing to live on and would then have to go to charities for help. Our leaders need to listen to the people and pray for guidence when making decisions for the American people…