A religious advocacy group known as Sojourners has been working what media levers it can to call for a resolution to the debt ceiling issue in a way that does not increase poverty. Family Research Center is countering a Sojourners campaign in areas represented by the top two Republicans in Congress with a different message.
FRC says it is using multiple stations in the district represented by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and in the state of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) urging them to hold firm on cuts to the deficit, claiming that the debt hurts everybody, especially the poor that Sojourners is trying to protect.
The ad running in Kentucky includes the following script: “There’s a group of well-meaning but misguided ministers who believe that the government is responsible for meeting the needs of the poor, calling proposed budget cuts immoral. But Jesus didn’t instruct the government of his day to take the rich young ruler’s property and redistribute it to the poor. He asked the ruler to sell his possessions and help the poor. Charity is an individual choice, not a government mandate.”
Sojourners has had radio ads running in the same two jurisdictions, and also in Nevada where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is from. It asked legislators to think of the budget as a “moral document, and in the Nevada version a representative of the group states, “The book of Proverbs teaches that where there is no leadership, a nation falls, and the poor are shunned while the rich have many friends. Sadly, Congress has failed to heed these biblical warnings.”
RBR-TVBR observation: We would note that these are organizations with ties to religion, not strictly religious organizations. A church may wish to ask its congregation to pass the plate and join the debate, but as we understand it, that would put it on the fast-track to losing its tax-exempt status. But there are plenty of other groups out there ready and willing to put any and all viewpoints on the airwaves.