Tag Archives: Faith in Public Life

CIVIL RIGHTS: PCUSA endorses sign-on letter opposing Mississippi discrimination

Earlier this week, Pax Christi USA endorsed and signed onto the following letter, circulated by Faith in Public Life.

As evangelicals, mainline Protestants and Catholics we are alarmed by the pending Mississippi bill that would allow virtually anyone, including businesses, to discriminate against customers in the name of religious liberty. We call on Mississippi and all states to abandon legislation that threatens democracy, civil rights and religious freedom itself.

These misguided efforts eerily echo Jim Crow laws that robbed African Americans of their basic human dignity.  Businesses once barred not only blacks, but Jews and Asians from buying homes in certain neighborhoods or eating in restaurants even after Supreme Court rulings overturned segregation laws.

We must not allow faith to be used in the service of discrimination.

When we seek to codify legislation that discriminates against any class of people—no matter our diverse theological beliefs about marriage—we tarnish the treasure of religious freedom and the highest ideals of our democracy. Most of all, we are complicit in violating the Golden Rule that unites us as Christians—to love God and our neighbor as we love ourselves.

LABOR JUSTICE: Ask Congress to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour

From Interfaith Worker Justice and Faith in Public Life

Pax Christi USA has signed onto this letter asking Congress to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. In addition, PCUSA supports raising the tipped wage to at least 70% of the minimum wage.

Click here to read the letter and sign on today.

FEDERAL BUDGET: Catholic leaders tell Rep. Ryan to stop distorting Church teaching to justify budget

by Casey Schoeneberger, Faith in Public Life

Nearly 60 prominent theologians, priests, nuns and national Catholic social justice leaders released a statement today refuting Rep. Paul Ryan’s claim that his GOP budget proposal reflects Catholic teaching on care for the poor, which he made in an interview earlier this week with the Christian Broadcasting Network. The group of Catholic leaders — including a former high-ranking U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops official, a priest in Rep. Ryan’s district and the leadership team of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas — called on Ryan to “reconsider his radical budget proposal and refrain from distorting Church teaching.”

“If Rep. Ryan thinks a budget that takes food and healthcare away from millions of vulnerable people upholds Catholic values, then he also probably believes Jesus was a Tea Partier who lectured the poor to stop being so lazy and work harder,” said John Gehring, Catholic Outreach Coordinator at Faith in Public Life. “This budget turns centuries of Catholic social teaching on its head. These Catholic leaders and many Catholics in the pews are tired of faith being misused to bless an immoral agenda.”

The leaders wrote: “Simply put, this budget is morally indefensible and betrays Catholic principles of solidarity, just taxation and a commitment to the common good. A budget that turns its back on the hungry, the elderly and the sick while giving more tax breaks to the wealthiest few can’t be justified in Christian terms.”

(Sr. Patricia Chappell, SNDdeN, Executive Director of Pax Christi USA, signed onto this statement.)

Click here to read the entire article.

ECONOMIC JUSTICE: War on the working poor

By John Gehring, via the blog, Bold Faith Type

Conservatives are often quick to accuse progressives of engaging in “class warfare” for supposedly promoting policies that “redistribute wealth.” The charge, of course, is rich with hypocrisy. Economic inequality has reached the worst level since the Great Depression. The 400 richest Americans now have more wealth than half of all Americans combined. The number of people relying on food stamps is at a record high. If there’s class warfare, it’s the working poor and the middle class who are the casualties of an increasingly radical conservative economic agenda.

In Nevada, the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce is pushing to repeal the state’s minimum wage. Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican, has proposed a bill that would effectively cut the minimum wage in states where it was higher than the federal threshold by allowing employers to count health benefits toward wages. A flurry of state legislatures are weighing cuts to the Earned Income Tax Credit, which primarily benefits the working poor…