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Evangelical Leaders Respond to GOP Attacks on International Assistance

October 21, 2011, 11:12 am | Posted by Nick Sementelli

Casey wasn’t the only one who took offense at the GOP candidates dismissal of international assistance in the debate this week. Responding to these anti-aid sentiments, several national evangelical leaders released a statement yesterday chiding the candidates for their comments and defending the importance of these programs:

As pro-life evangelical Christian leaders committed to caring for our poorest neighbors around the world, we are called to protect them from cuts to programs that make a difference between life and death. The call for cutting “foreign aid” by several presidential candidates at last night’s debate undermines our nation’s moral commitment to humanitarian investment and is not in keeping with our values.

International development programs, which represent less than 1 percent of our federal budget, are practical and compassionate investments in global health. Minimal resources go a long way by providing malaria nets that save children’s lives in Africa, AIDS medication to tens of thousands who would otherwise die, and clean water to people in the poorest regions on Earth. Treating this critical aid as unaffordable is factually inaccurate. Viewing it as expendable is morally wrong. We call on all candidates for political office, especially the presidency, to protect life by preserving these crucial programs. The most vulnerable must be protected from irresponsible cuts, not imperiled in the name of political expediency.

The letter is signed by Ron Sider, President of Evangelicals for Social Action; Rev. Joel Hunter, Senior Pastor of Northland, a Church Distributed; Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition; Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, Co-Chair of the National African American Clergy Network; David Gushee, Board Chair and Co-Founder of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good; and Richard Cizik, President of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good.

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