In a letter to Congressional leaders, over 100 Christian leaders, including Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, express their opposition to disproportionate cuts to America’s foreign assistance programs:
Dear Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Schumer, Speaker Ryan, and Minority Leader Pelosi,
As Christian leaders, it’s an honor to represent dedicated and faithful citizens living in every congressional district in this country. We’re writing to share our support for the International Affairs Budget that every day brings hope to poor, hungry, vulnerable and displaced men, women and children around the world.
America is blessed with fertile land, abundant natural resources, a strong economy, and faithful citizens who value religious freedom. But beyond our borders, many countries experience unparalleled suffering and loss of life due to extreme poverty, disease, natural disasters, and conflict. Today, there are 65 million displaced people, the most since World War II, and 795 million people still go to bed hungry every night.
Matthew 25 tells us when we serve the least of these, we are serving the Lord. As people of faith, we cannot turn our back on those in desperate need. We are grateful for America’s global development and diplomacy programs that have been instrumental in saving lives, safeguarding religious liberties, and keeping America safe and secure. Both Republican and Democratic administrations have strong legacies of supporting humanitarian and development programs that enable countless people to pull themselves out of poverty and live life with dignity. It is through these diplomatic and development tools that we’ve seen countries and communities build peaceful, productive societies that do not turn to violence or terrorism.
At a time when we’re especially security conscious, the International Affairs Budget is crucial to demonstrating our values to the world, building friendships with other nations, and lowering security risks around the world.
With just 1 percent of our nation’s budget, the International Affairs Budget has helped alleviate the suffering of millions; drastically cutting the number of people living in extreme poverty in half, stopping the spread of infectious diseases like HIV/AIDs and Ebola, and nearly eliminating polio. Additionally, it promotes freedom and human rights, protecting religious freedom for millions around the world.
As followers of Christ, it is our moral responsibility to urge you to support and protect the International Affairs Budget, and avoid disproportionate cuts to these vital programs that ensure that our country continues to be the “shining city upon a hill.”
Thank you for your consideration.