Budget is a moral document, Bush warned - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
January 27, 2005

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Budget is a moral document, Bush warned

-27/01/05

As US President George W. Bush prepares to present his 2006 spending plans to Congress, the presiding Bishop of the Episcopal church in the US has warned that the budget is a 'moral document'.

The Bush administration is reportedly seeking an extra 80 billion dollars for its budget, most of which will help cover the costs of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other military activities.

Meanwhile other reports suggests he is seeking savings from Medicaid and other benefit programs with in the 2.5 trillion dollar total spend.

"The federal budget is ... a moral document," said Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold to an audience at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., reports the Episcopal News Service (ENS).

Anticipating President Bush's 2006 budget, scheduled to be presented to Congress on February 7th, Griswold told the gathering that "rhetoric is one thing, but the budget is concrete and reveals the truth of our commitments," particularly with regard to the moral imperative of health care access in the United States.

"Compassion is not an abstraction," explained Griswold, who was invited to the Center for American Progress to participate in a panel discussion on national priorities cantered on health care and the federal budget.

"Jesus tells us, 'be compassionate just as the heavenly Father is compassionate ... It is clear to me as we read Scripture that God's concern is for the orphan, the widow, the poor, and the marginalized."

Christian protestors watching the recent inauguration of the US President said they felt powerless in the face of what one called ìa tax-cutting, planet wrecking, poverty creating and bomb spendingî agenda from the richest nation on earth.

Joining Griswold were Center for American Progress president John Podesta; Dr. Ann Neale, a senior research scholar at Georgetown University; and Dr. Laurie Zoloth, professor of medical ethics and the humanities at Northwestern University.

"The conversation leads to common cause and can lead us to action for the common good," Griswold said, commenting on the importance of having a values conversation cantered on the issue of health care.

"My travels around the Anglican Communion have shown me how important it is to extend our concerns about health care worldwide. In some parts of the world malaria kills regularly more people than the recent tsunamis. Our federal budget can be an instrument of compassion both at home and abroad."

"There are today vast inequities in the delivery and accessibility of health care both in the United States and around the world," said Maureen Shea, director of the Episcopal Church's Office of Government Relations.

"President Bush will present to Congress a budget for the next fiscal year very soon.†As the budget process is carried out, we will look at it through the moral lens of health care, looking to see if there are adequate funds to help insure those of low-income, the working poor and their children, to help fight AIDS both at home and abroad, to protect against malaria, and to do the research necessary to understand why one racial or ethnic group, or one gender suffers more than another from particular diseases.

"Failure to adequately fund these programs will not reflect our national commitment to justice," Shea commented.

"We will do our part" as churches and other non-profit institutions, Griswold added, but "we can't do it alone."

Find books now:

Budget is a moral document, Bush warned

-27/01/05

As US President George W. Bush prepares to present his 2006 spending plans to Congress, the presiding Bishop of the Episcopal church in the US has warned that the budget is a 'moral document'.

The Bush administration is reportedly seeking an extra 80 billion dollars for its budget, most of which will help cover the costs of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other military activities.

Meanwhile other reports suggests he is seeking savings from Medicaid and other benefit programs with in the 2.5 trillion dollar total spend.

"The federal budget is ... a moral document," said Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold to an audience at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., reports the Episcopal News Service (ENS).

Anticipating President Bush's 2006 budget, scheduled to be presented to Congress on February 7th, Griswold told the gathering that "rhetoric is one thing, but the budget is concrete and reveals the truth of our commitments," particularly with regard to the moral imperative of health care access in the United States.

"Compassion is not an abstraction," explained Griswold, who was invited to the Center for American Progress to participate in a panel discussion on national priorities cantered on health care and the federal budget.

"Jesus tells us, 'be compassionate just as the heavenly Father is compassionate ... It is clear to me as we read Scripture that God's concern is for the orphan, the widow, the poor, and the marginalized."

Christian protestors watching the recent inauguration of the US President said they felt powerless in the face of what one called ìa tax-cutting, planet wrecking, poverty creating and bomb spendingî agenda from the richest nation on earth.

Joining Griswold were Center for American Progress president John Podesta; Dr. Ann Neale, a senior research scholar at Georgetown University; and Dr. Laurie Zoloth, professor of medical ethics and the humanities at Northwestern University.

"The conversation leads to common cause and can lead us to action for the common good," Griswold said, commenting on the importance of having a values conversation cantered on the issue of health care.

"My travels around the Anglican Communion have shown me how important it is to extend our concerns about health care worldwide. In some parts of the world malaria kills regularly more people than the recent tsunamis. Our federal budget can be an instrument of compassion both at home and abroad."

"There are today vast inequities in the delivery and accessibility of health care both in the United States and around the world," said Maureen Shea, director of the Episcopal Church's Office of Government Relations.

"President Bush will present to Congress a budget for the next fiscal year very soon.†As the budget process is carried out, we will look at it through the moral lens of health care, looking to see if there are adequate funds to help insure those of low-income, the working poor and their children, to help fight AIDS both at home and abroad, to protect against malaria, and to do the research necessary to understand why one racial or ethnic group, or one gender suffers more than another from particular diseases.

"Failure to adequately fund these programs will not reflect our national commitment to justice," Shea commented.

"We will do our part" as churches and other non-profit institutions, Griswold added, but "we can't do it alone."

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.