Washington, DC – On Thursday, September 23, National Religious Leaders, along with Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), gathered for a moment of prayer and reflection, calling for a holy, just and moral recovery as the Congress debates the reconciliation bill. They prayed that Congress would be able to seize this unique opportunity to put our values into action by advancing racial equity, climate action, affordable health care and an economy that works for all.
The group of religious leaders then delivered a petition signed by nearly 7,000 people of faith to Representative Doggett. The petition lists a number of political demands and reads: “We come together to support policies that recognize the dignity in each of us and invest in every community and family so that we can all thrive. As our country recovers from the devastating effects of the COVID pandemic and the resulting economic downturn, we urge you to pass legislation that meets the daunting challenges we face, creating a just and equitable economy that honors dignity. of all and reckoned with long-standing racial and gender injustice, the pandemic has escalated. This moment requires a generational investment in our families and communities. “
Cosponsoring organizations include: Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, Center for American Progress, Church World Service, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Interfaith Power and Light, Faith in Public Life Action, Faithful America, Franciscan Action Network, Friends Committee on National Legislation, National Advocacy Center of the Good Shepherd Sisters, the National Council of Churches, the National Council of Jewish Women, the Catholic Social Justice NETWORK Lobby, Pax Christi USA, the Presbyterian Church in the United States, the Sisters of the Mercy of the Americas and the Union for Reform Judaism.
For photos of the event, Click here.
For the video of the event, Click here.
For the complete petition and the list of signatories, Click here.
Representative James E. Clyburn (D-SC):
Our faith calls us “to do for the least of them,” and the Build Back Better Act provides us with a unique opportunity to put this scripture into action. If we are to move closer to the promise of “freedom and justice for all” then we must enact this historic legislation which dramatically increases access to quality and affordable health care, creates millions of well-paying jobs, opens up educational opportunities through expansions. in pre-kindergarten and free community college, and take urgent action to ensure that we are good stewards of the planet and that we provide cleaner air, safer water and a liveable climate.
Representative Lloyd Alton Doggett (D-TX):
I believe that being on the side of righteousness that reflects our faith must be on the side of righteousness for those who have been left behind and left behind in our society. For this nation to be right, we must be concerned about those who have few lobbyists in this city, but whose needs are great.
Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT):
I am proud to be part of the living Catholic tradition, a tradition that steadfastly promotes the common good, expresses a cohesive moral framework for life, and emphasizes the need to provide a collective safety net for our most vulnerable communities. These traditions have guided my fight since 2003 for an expanded and improved child tax credit, to lift millions out of poverty and provide a lifeline for working families. After just the first three checks, we saw how transformational this policy is and what those monthly checks have meant for families across the country. This life changing policy cannot end after one year. In order to better rebuild, we need to make it permanent. Ending child poverty is possible, and we can do it with an expanded and permanently improved child tax credit.
Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block, Washington Director, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action:
Today my prayer for our leaders is that they find themselves to embrace their vulnerability, to align themselves with those who live in a permanent state of vulnerability – who know that a knock on the door can mean deportation and family separation. May they seize the real transformative opportunity this moment presents and do what is necessary. And what is right.
Sister Emily TeKolste, SP, Popular Mobilization Coordinator, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice:
For decades we have slashed and cut the budget. These times force us to increase our incomes to create programs that serve us all: Blacks, Whites, Latinxes, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Native Americans. We have a common destiny, and when one of us suffers, we all suffer. We can do it. There is plenty to go around.
Rev. Neal Christie, Executive Minister of Connected Engagement, United Methodist Church Baltimore-Washington Conference:
The expanded child tax credit will reduce child poverty by 45 percent for Hispanic children, more than 50 percent for black children, and more than 60 percent for Native American children. These investments in racial equity make health care, elder care, and child care more accessible and affordable; lift 5.5 million children of God out of chronic poverty; investing in women of color, who make up the bulk of our healthcare workforce; keep the faith with our formidable historically black colleges and universities and tribal colleges; and promote the beloved community through increased access to clean energy and transportation, especially for people of color disproportionately affected by our climate emergency.
Khizer Husain, Past President, American Muslim Health Professionals:
We are full of hope and prayer as we stand at the doorstep of a unique opportunity to come together and build a just society that works for everyone. Let’s focus on this Rahma [mercy]. Rahma is also the word for uterus. The merciful vessel of life. If we want to rebuild better, if we want to honor this merciful vessel of life, if we want to advance birth equity throughout this United States, then now is our time.
Reverend Susan Hendershot, President, Interfaith Power and Light:
As people of faith and conscience, we share a call to care for the Earth and our neighbors. Climate change affects both. From historic forest fires and extreme heat waves to increasingly severe hurricanes, climate change is devastating our health, our communities and our environment. We call on Congress to show its moral courage through large and bold investments that protect Creation, address the harms of climate change and pollution caused by fossil fuel extraction and related industries, and fulfill our obligation moral to leave a prosperous world for present and future generations. .
Min. Heather Taylor, Acting Executive Director, Bread for the World:
We know that Jesus came, just like us, to bring good news to the poor and to make arrangements to feed the hungry. But what you may not know is that since the expansion of monthly child tax credits in July, child hunger has fallen by almost 24%. I don’t know about you, my friends, but in my opinion, this is good news! The child tax credit has significant potential to reduce child hunger and poverty and advance racial equity.
Reverend Jennifer Butler, CEO, Faith in Public Life Action:
Paid holidays, living wages, expanding health care, action on climate change and, I pray, citizenship for our immigrant neighbors are so close now, for people who travel too far and work too hard for too little. We can do this if we demand that everyone start paying their fair share. When excluded people are treated with dignity by our elected leaders, we become a more moral nation.
For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at g r o. s s e r r o r n a c i r e m a @ l e n a n a h s