Religious Leaders Arrested for Protesting Budget Cuts

Earlier today, a small group of clergy was arrested in the Capitol Rotunda for refusing to cease a prayer vigil as the House began debate over a bill to raise the debt ceiling and cut social programs. †Over the past few days, religious leaders have begun to speak out harshly against the proposed cuts to social safety net programs. †Their goal is to remind lawmakers that religious values are not just relevant in debates about social issues, and that decisions about the budget have deep moral implications.

“Congress is paralyzed by toxic partisan politics while people suffer,” said the Rev. Michael Livingston, a former president of the National Council of the Churches of Christ (USA), in a statement. “Our elected officials are protecting corporations and wealthy individuals while shredding the safety net for millions of the most vulnerable people in our nation and abroad. Our faith won’t allow us to passively watch this travesty unfold….Today, we ‘offer our bodies as a living sacrifice’ to say to congress ‘Raise revenue, protect the vulnerable and those living in poverty.’”

Earlier this week, Christian leaders organized through the progressive evangelical group Sojourners aired a series of ads on Christian and country radio stations in John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid’s home states, chastising the leaders for placing America’s most vulnerable citizens in danger. †Sojourners also launched a full-page ad in this morning’s Politico, reminding lawmakers that “God is watching” the budget debate.

The leaders responded with indignation to the idea that religious organizations could pick up slack for the proposed budget cuts. †”Iíve heard some say, for example, that all of these cuts can be compensated as the religious community picks up the weight and needs,” said the Rev. Dr. Welton Gaddy of the Interfaith Alliance. “That is sheer fantasy. We are already carrying a huge burden of helping people who need help and itís time for government to step up.”

These calls to remember the Christian obligation to promote economic justice are a refreshing change of pace from the usual interaction between Christian theology and U.S. politics. †And it’s quite inspiring to see Christian denominations who would ordinarily have nothing to do with each other standing up and demanding an “equitable resolution to the debt ceiling debate.”

Related Stories:

Progressive Christians Attack Congress for Neglecting the Needy

Constituents Swarm on Congressman’s Office to Discuss the Debt Ceiling (VIDEO)

Daily Debt: Does Boehner Have the Votes?

Photo from Playadura via flickr.


Scott Habowski
Scott H6 years ago

Refreshing and uplifting to see those who purport to be the moral leaders of this country actually standing up for what is right!

Treesa Math
tia Math6 years ago

differentiate between religion and spirituality and u get ur life right.....

Derp Herpington
.6 years ago

I hate religion. Religion is crap.


At least on this issue these protesters had their minds in the right place.

It is basic math:

1% of American's are rich

99% of American's are NOT rich

An economy is NEVER based on the purchases of a tiny handful of people, and the 1% rich are very tiny indeed.

If 99% of Americans do not have any disposable income, or no income at all the economy WILL FAIL because people who do not have any money to spend will not be able to spend any money.

This is not hard for anyone with a functioning brain to understand.

1% is LESS THAN 99%


Carole H.
Carole H6 years ago

good to see there are some real Christians left not just those who profess to be for their own selfish ends - well done.

NativeSon K.
John Hampton6 years ago

@Gabriela - those are 2 completely different camps of Christians you are talking about - these were Real Christians, not Economic Christians!

NativeSon K.
John Hampton6 years ago

@Christopher - you really shouldn't speak about that which you have no clue, brother! I have been in dire straits when I was younger, back in the 70s and 80s, and had no clue about how to stay employed and stay clean from drugs. Even then, there were ALWAYS, in EVERY city I visited when hitch-hiking, who would provide a place where I could lay my head and get a shower and something to eat. And they NEVER, not ONE TIME EVER "required" me to bend the knee! Of course they will talk to you about how God loves us all and doesn't want ANY of us to suffer; that's called "doing their duty to God and Jesus by letting us know they are here IF we ever decide to return to the fold or start to believe for the first time. Yes - there are greedy evangelicals out there; they are on the TV where you see them prominently. But "out in the trenches", where the REAL Christians are, they act nothing at all like someone trying to get attention or money. You have a twisted view my man, and I can only hope that you seek a Real Christian out someday to remove your prejudice towards them all. You can't keep lumping everyone into the same box - there's never been a box I have fit into, yet. Maybe when I'm dead, but not until.

Sharon H.
Sharon H6 years ago

Steve R...
You must be one miserable person to find negativity in everything. There hasn't been one topic here that I can remember that you were positive about. Oh were ALWAYS positive about doing away with human rights and not taxing the rich or corporations... Sorry, my mistake!

Sound Mind
Ronald E6 years ago

Big difference between living by the teachings of Christ and calling yourself a Christian while you carry out your crimes. Guess who the hypocrites are in DC.

SeattleAnn S.
Ann S6 years ago

Bravo Christian leaders for humanity! I'm glad they are paying attention to the attempts to defraud the American working class as these particular Republicans especially are trying to steal from the poor and average to give to the filthy rich.

Marina J.
Marina Joslin6 years ago

Very pleased to see that these religious leaders are finally in accord with their Christian mission, advocating for the underprivileged. Hopefully our representatives would listen to them, though the hypocrisy of our Congress leaders has no limits. They swear over the bible and proclaim to be faithful Christians, but are far from behaving accordingly.