A Pastor's Plea to The President: Protect the Poor in Budget Debate

July 7, 2011

The Honorable Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

First, let me thank you for the remarks made at last week's press conference where you pressed Congressional Republicans to abandon their support for the continuation of unnecessary tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans , along with oil companies and other special interests.

This evening I write to ask that during these critical budget negotiations that you do everything in your considerable power to protect programs -- such as Medicare, food stamps, and homeless prevention programs -- that support the most vulnerable of our fellow citizens.

As the faith community has said now for many years, budgets are moral documents. They reflect not just spending priorities but our highest ideals as a nation. Already in recent decades too much ground has been given away by Republicans and Democrats alike as economic policies have been enacted that have led to increased poverty and reduced services. All of this leads to suffering and falls hardest on children experiencing homelessness and the elderly who go hungry.

Any compromise with Congress that further injures those Jesus called that "least of these" would be a moral travesty. Your leadership since first taking office has been critical in this area and helped millions from falling into poverty. Now the stakes are higher, however.

As always, you are in my prayers. You face incredible challenges but we are counting on you to fight harder than ever before during your presidency to defend those that often go unheard and unseen. This is part of the mandate of those who claim the title Christian.

I stand ready to help you in whatever small ways you and your staff might find appropriate.

Your brother in Christ,

The Rev. Chuck Currie
P.O. Box 18023
Portland, Oregon 97218