Skip to comments.ELCA Washington Office Staff Responds to 2010 Federal Budget Blueprint
Posted on 03/02/2009 10:55:11 AM PST by lightman
ELCA NEWS SERVICE March 2, 2009
ELCA Washington Office Staff Responds to 2010 Federal Budget Blueprint 09-054-JB
CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Senior staff of the Washington Office of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) noted that U.S. President Barack Obama's 2010 federal budget outline affirms many ELCA domestic and international priorities. Staff also expressed concern about other items in the proposal.
The Obama administration unveiled first details of its $3.6 trillion budget request Feb. 26. More information is expected when the budget request is released in April.
Lutheran priorities and Christian values such as domestic and international anti-poverty work, care for the earth, peacemaking, development and human rights are reflected in the budget outline, said Andrew Genszler, director, ELCA Washington Office. A unit of ELCA Church in Society, the Washington Office staff manages the church's advocacy efforts at the federal level.
Genszler said the budget outline has many positives, including projecting the budget out 10 years instead of five. He also noted attempts at "transparency and honesty," such as including the full cost of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"We look forward to working with the administration on priorities important to the ELCA, and to our nation and the world," Genszler said.
On domestic issues the budget blueprint shows a commitment to key domestic priorities, notably health care and education, said Robert Francis, director for domestic policy issues. The increase in funding for domestic programs overall signals a concern for the needs of people with low incomes and others who are financially vulnerable during the current economic distress, he said.
The budget blueprint makes health care a top priority by creating a $634 billion reserve fund for health care system reform, and it adds $1 billion to capitalize the National Housing Trust Fund, part of an effort to provide affordable housing and prevent homelessness, Francis said. He commended the Obama administration for including increased funding for several key nutrition programs -- such as child nutrition programs and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. But Francis expressed concern the proposed investments "will not accommodate the anticipated increased demand for these services" or the administration's goal of ending child hunger by 2015.
Kim Stietz, director for international policy issues, noted that the administration's blueprint requests $51.7 billion for the International Affairs Account for 2010. Compared to anticipated expenditures for 2009, the request is an increase of $4.5 billion.
Steitz applauded the president's stated commitment in the budget outline to double U.S. foreign assistance, but said the request "is not large enough to realistically achieve that goal by the end of Obama's first term as candidate Obama committed to during the campaign."
The Obama Administration and the Congress must ensure that poverty-focused programs in the international affairs account receive significant increases through the ongoing budget and appropriations process, Stietz said. These programs include the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the Malaria Initiative, debt relief, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, development and humanitarian programs, and peacekeeping operations, she said.
On environmental matters, the budget outline places much-needed resources into development of clean, renewable energy technologies that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the threat of global warming, said Mary Minette, director for environmental education and advocacy. Including revenues from projected cap and trade legislation to address climate change signals that "swift action" on the issue is a priority for the president, Minette said.
"We applaud President Obama and his administration for taking these first and long overdue steps," she said. Minette urged the administration to work with Congress to meet the needs of people living in poverty in the United States and around the world through climate change legislation.
---- Information about the ELCA and its advocacy work is at http://www.ELCA.org/advocacy on the ELCA Web site.
For information contact: John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.elca.org/news ELCA News Blog: http://www.elca.org/news/blog
And so the ELCA devolves into the Democratic Party at prayer.
Keep a Good Lent!
The ELCA is being paid for their left wing anti-American services.
Having been raised a Missouri Synod Lutheran and having attended an ELCA church I would have nothing to do with the gay loving, uber liberal ELCA again. It doesn’t suprise me they find the Obama budget just wonderful
I note that the ELCA Washington Office asks for more spending, but offers no insight on how to pay for it.
What a joke they support socialism and the gay agenda, they have no standing with GOD.
In and of itself, that is enough to tell you that the 'budget' should be killed.
ELCA is devoted to human rights? What about the money in the budget that will go to abortion? Why is the ELCA getting involved with politics?
My advise: Close the Washington office, sell all the furnishings and give the money to the poor. One less burden on God’s people.
No no no. You don’t understand. They are liberals. WE have to front the money for this, not them. THEY need those things to continue doing the greater good.
Yes, but praying to whom? Gia?
I emailed Washington, DC, office of the ELCA, and I reminded them about the 10th Amendment. I said that the Constitution doesn’t mention healthcare, so that federal spending is unconstitutional. One of their employees sent a response and said that spending is important, to help needy people. I asked which article, of the U.S. Constitution, mentions healthcare, but I didn’t receive a response.
The ELCA isn’t my grandmas Lutheran church. We left it a few years ago and joined the LCMS. It felt like coming home. Mark Hanson and the leadership of the ELCA are a bunch of leftist hippies and their numbers will continue to dwindle.
Country goes commie and the church goes gay in the same year. This is no country for old men.
I invite y’all to compare the homepages of the ELCA (my former church body) and the Orthodox Church in America (my current one);
Notice the BIG differences?
Secular left-wing institutions within the Church, disguised as being involved in the ministries of compassion, peace and social justice, which are actively involved in liberal agenda items aimed at promoting, funding and undercutting my Chuch’s teachings.
Folks are starting to wake up with political discussion and refusal to fund particular Church projects, post card drives against FOCA, et al.
Many Catholic Bishops and Cardinals have stood up and very vocally opposed the left wing agenda. This has been one positive development in the last few years. Before this many in the Church hierarchy were kind of out to lunch.
“And so the ELCA devolves into the Democratic Party at prayer.”
With all due respect, Father, it is as distressing to see various denominations identify themselves as firmly with the political Far Right. Distorting Christianity into competing political ideologies destroys both its message and its spiritual power. Proof of that is all around us.
In the words of 17th century Anglican Priest/Poet George Herbert:
Welcome dear feast of Lent: who loves not thee,
He loves not Temperance, or Authority,
But is compos'd of passion.
The Scriptures bid us fast; the Church says, now:
Give to thy Mother, what thou wouldst allow
To ev'ry Corporation.
Yes, the First Commandment has been broken by both the left and the right....which is one of the reasons for my new tagline. Our ture help is NOT from either political party.
OK What the HECK does a supposedf Chrisitan organization have to say about this? A church should never ever be used as a political tool, and the ELCA is.
But as we have seen, to often it becomes one party uses the Church for it's own reasons, and gives little in return. 8 years of all GOP control brought very little to the concerns of those conservative Christian voters who helped vote them in.
But at the same time, we as Christians can't just chuck our faith at the door of the voting booth. Many Catholics have done that (for decades), and now the Pope and some bishops are finally saying “ENOUGH!”
I am a Christian first, then a Conservative, and lastly a Republican. But the Christian trumps all else.
There are also many good people in the ELCA (even in the hyper-liberal synod that I left to go home to Orthodoxy) who try to be faithful Christians under trying circumstances.
After the ELCA’s churchwide assembly this summer, the ELCA is likely to shatter into a thousand pieces, and many of the ELCA’s faithful Christians will be displaced. Our (OCA) Metropolitan Jonah says for us Orthodox to welcome people who are displaced from the “dissolving of large sections of American Christianity”.
Yes, Archie, please visit an English language Orthodox parish for Divine Liturgy, and see what we are all about.