Why the Federal Budget Matters

Posted on April 12, 2011 by Advocacy Ministries of the ELCA

Click on the links below to view two short YouTube videos from policy directors in the ELCA Advocacy Ministry.

Jennifer De Leon, Advocacy Director for Lutheran Advocacy in Illinois, on YouTube

Andrew Genszler, ELCA Advocacy Director, on YouTube

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8 Responses to 'Why the Federal Budget Matters'

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  1. Gerald Edgar said,

    on April 20th, 2011 at 8:38 am

    The central question as our nation faces an unprecedented financial crisis, FAR greater than any in our history, is will we have the will to drastically cut spending or become as a third world nation begging for handouts from the World Bank? Do you advocate we borrow more from the aethistic government of China? Standard & Poors announced they will downgrade our financial status – yes, the United States of America! At least the ELCA & Augsburg Fortress know that when expenses continually exceed income, cuts are made (and have been made). Painful yes BUT fiscally responsible so that financial ruin does not occur & future generations are not encumbered. Or do you advocate the ELCA borrows monies at an increasing rate to the point that interest devours much of the income as is true for our country?
    Wake up fellow Lutherans – we are at a financial abyss as a nation. History, even very recent, is a stern teacher of what happens when a nation, like a household, continually spends borrowed money. Bottom line, America has become addicted to spending, entitlement and fiscal irresponsibility. The ELCA should be shouting to the President & Congress – “do as we did when our expenses became greater than our income; we made cuts!”

  2. Alan Burton said,

    on April 20th, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Where is the ELCA on budget cuts in the military and the growing Wars by the current administration? A Trillion dollar budget on more War is the norm. Where is the “Peace Movement” in the ELCA? How have Wars like the ones we started in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan & Yemen financed?


  3. on April 20th, 2011 at 8:51 am

    The American people are apparently waking up to the fact that we will need to make sacrifices to keep our country afloat–and it is about time! However; I do not believe the ELCA needs to be involved in all of the lobbying and posturing of the government. Millions of dollars have been spent by our church for these purposes. Is this what we are all about??? I thought we were to save souls? Of course we need to feed the hungry and heal the sick–but do we need be involved in issues that are so controversial such as Israel?


  4. on April 20th, 2011 at 10:26 am

    When faith erodes, it’s replaced with coercion. When I have faith in the judgments of my children, I feel no need to intervene, just to observe and pray. Similarly, when organizations loose faith in the cooperation and benevolence of it’s organization, they turn to the largess of the government to intervene, they can do something faith based organizations can not, they can coerce.

    Faith in the Government is evidence of the lack of faith in God and his people, this is why totalitarian states rebuke the Church, because the church and God, give people choices.

    Peculiar it seems, and clearly in contrast to the actions of the ELCA, I actually believe that God is active on this planet, that he actually conquered the devil on Calvary, and that he actually provides for his children. If I did not think so I’d be very interested in what the Government does in servicing its people; thanks to Jesus Christ and the victory we celebrate this coming Sunday, I remain convinced that God cares and he matters; I need not seek “justice from Rome” as you suggest I should.

  5. Jodi Slattery said,

    on April 20th, 2011 at 11:39 am

    “This church understands goverment as a means through which God can work to preserve creation and build a more peaceful and just social order in a sinful world.” (From “Called to Be a Public Church”)

    I believe that it is my responsibility, part of my baptismal affirmation as a Christian, to not only volunteer and help out at home, but to reach out even further to change systemic policies that can make an even bigger difference for vulnerable people. It is indeed God’s work, but through our hands (and voices) that such change is possible.

    Is government perfect? Absolutely not and let’s be honest, it never will be. But a government, whether big or small, is needed in civil society.

    Furthermore the federal budget and its distribution of wealth is also far from perfect. Funding for programs should be made as effective as possible. Yes, we do need to be fiscally responsible and make difficult cuts, but let’s advocate for not further burdening people who have suffered and sacrificed for far too long.

    That’s why I feel called to do my part and advocate with and on behalf of not just my local neighbors, but my global sisters and brothers as well. This does mean feeding the hungry and healing the sick as well as protecting human dignity and striving for justice and peace in all the earth.

    We all have our gifts and those should be celebrated whether those gifts call you to be an evangelist, a volunteer, an advocate — we are all children of God. It is my hope that we continue to challenge these difficult issues and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us as we move forward in these conversations.


  6. on April 20th, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Advocation on behalf of the poor is quite the Christian thing to do, seeking the government to intervene on our behalf through its ability to coercively tax others, is not.

    The challenge not discussed is which is the more efficient means by which to achieve a positive outcome. I would challenge any government institution to become as efficient as the average church. Your congregation and mine manages it’s financial affairs with great scrutiny and high regard for the gifts God provides. We closely manage benevolences with an eye toward outcomes, physical and spiritual, the latter often being the root of most problems.

    There is a blessing in the charity of giving and grace of receiving, when funds are coercively achieved and doled out as entitlements, we loose both charity or grace, along with removing God from the picture.

    It may be convenient to let both God and the church off the hook in matters of seeing to the needs of the poor, perhaps because we don’t truly think that either God or the church are to be taken that seriously; hence we need a “relief valve” through the government. How far is it from this position to take pity upon God for his inability to deliver and following delude ourselves that we do not need Him at all.

  7. JB said,

    on April 22nd, 2011 at 6:45 am

    Thomas you set up stark contrasts that have no relationship to serious theology or the Great Commandment to love. If I believe that government can do good–say, in the 1960’s when the feds get involved in enforcing civil rights, etc–how does that lesson my faith in God? Not one whit. We are citizens of Rome, and have the obligations of our faith there; we also are aware that our ultimate salvation is in our faith. There is no conflict there–it only exists in the minds of those who have been sold the atheistic Ayn Rand philosophy that you advocate on your blog.

  8. JB said,

    on April 22nd, 2011 at 6:50 am

    Daniel Nichols writes:

    “At every point the thought of Ayn Rand contradicts the teachings of Christ. Where Christ counsels humility, Rand counsels pride. Christ lived a life of selflessness and sacrifice. Rand lived a life consistent with her principles, indulging her desires and lusts, betraying anyone who got in her way. Christ said it was the poor, the meek, the lowly who were blessed. To Rand, they were to be despised.

    Indeed, most philosophical errors consist of emphasizing one good at the expense of others. Randian philosophy is unique in its utter wrongheadedness, its embrace of primal evil, of selfishness. It is truly the ethics of Antichrist.”