A collection of faith groups will today hold protest actions across the country calling on Congress to pass a budget that invests in programs to help low-income Americans instead of giving tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations. The coalition will hold 21 events in 13 states, according to a release from Faith in Public Life, encouraging Congress “to protect families and seniors, reject austerity, and remind them we have enough for all in this country.”
As part of the event, leaders will deliver loaves of bread and fish to Congress, a play on the Biblical story in which Jesus fed 5,000 hungry people with bread and fish. That took “a miracle,” the groups said in a release, but “it doesn’t take a miracle for Congress to pass a moral budget.”
“In Jesus’ time, it took a miracle to feed all the hungry. But today in America, we have enough resources to feed everyone, house everyone, and educate everyone if our leaders have the political will to put the common good before tax breaks for big corporations and the super wealthy,” Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Director of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness, said in a release from Faith in Public Life. “Congress needs political courage, not miracles, to pass a just and moral budget that makes the wealthy pay their fair share and protects struggling families from further hardship.”
One of the events will take place outside the district office of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the author of the House Republican budget that would grant tax cuts to the wealthy while finding two-thirds of its budget cuts from programs that help the poor. Faith leaders criticized that budget as “immoral and counter to our values” when it was released last week, and faith groups like the Nuns on the Bus campaign have targeted Ryan and other Republicans for their insistence on similar budget cuts in the past.
The coalition includes interfaith, Christian, and Jewish groups, including the PICO National Network, Interfaith Workers Justice, and NETWORK, the Catholic social justice lobby that organized the Nuns on the Bus campaign.