How Will the Next President Care for the Poor?
Today’s Daily Bread devotional considers the call to “give to God what is God’s” by striving to live out the ethics of God’s kingdom in our daily lives. As I noted in that post, that’s can sometimes be easier said than done. When it comes to our political lives, for instance, it can be difficult to discern at times what candidates to vote for or what policies to support, and faithful Christians can certainly disagree on these matters.
At the same time, Jesus consistently advocates for the most vulnerable among us, which does provide an important framework and set of convictions from which to make these kinds of decisions. Along these lines, I’ve been impressed by the statement that more than 65 leaders from numerous Christian traditions in the United States have signed that urges the government to enact policies that cares for “the least of these” (Matt. 25:45). Called the “Circle of Protection,” it advocates 8 key principles:
1. The nation needs to substantially reduce future deficits, but not at the expense of hungry and poor people.
2. Funding focused on reducing poverty should not be cut. It should be made as effective as possible, but not cut.
3. We urge our leaders to protect and improve poverty-focused development and humanitarian assistance to promote a better, safer world.
4. National leaders must review and consider tax revenues, military spending, and entitlements in the search for ways to share sacrifice and cut deficits.
5. A fundamental task is to create jobs and spur economic growth. Decent jobs at decent wages are the best path out of poverty, and restoring growth is a powerful way to reduce deficits.
6. The budget debate has a central moral dimension. Christians are asking how we protect “the least of these.” “What would Jesus cut?” “How do we share sacrifice?”
7. As believers, we turn to God with prayer and fasting, to ask for guidance as our nation makes decisions about our priorities as a people.
8. God continues to shower our nation and the world with blessings. As Christians, we are rooted in the love of God in Jesus Christ. Our task is to share these blessings with love and justice and with a special priority for those who are poor.
Two weeks ago, these leaders invited each of the presidential candidates to describe how their proposed policies would promote the values and convictions embodied by the “circle of protection.” You can watch the videos below as you seek to discern how best to live out the ethics kingdom of God as an engaged and voting citizen.
Notes: 1) If you are receiving this post by email, you may need to click here to watch the video.
2) YouTube videos are often accompanied by ads that have little to do with the values of these videos or this website. If you want to avoid the ads, you can watch the videos in a slightly smaller format directly at the Circle of Protection website.