I mentioned last week in our chapel service at World Vision’s U.S. headquarters about a recent Christianity Today article I read that I can’t seem to get off my mind.
In the article, a recent survey (pdf) by the Pew Research Center showed that American evangelicals were more in favor of cutting federal spending to “aid the world’s poor” than any other area. Second and third to cutting foreign aid were “government assistance for the unemployed” and “environmental protection.”
As World Vision urges Congress right now to reconsider its possible budget cut that will greatly affect foreign disaster assistance by more than two-thirds, I wonder how Christians in Jesus’ day would poll in a survey of this same sort.
From Polling Evangelicals: Cut Aid to World’s Poor, Unemployed on Christianity Today:
The top choices among evangelicals for the chopping block are economic assistance to needy people around the world (56 percent), government assistance for the unemployed (40 percent), and environmental protection (38 percent).
In each of these categories, evangelicals were more supportive of decreasing spending than are other Americans. In fact, evangelicals were more supportive of funding cuts in every area except military defense, terrorism defense, aid to veterans, and energy.
Cutting foreign aid and support for the unemployed while favoring increases in defense and police are not priorities of all evangelicals.
Robert Zachritz, government relations director for World Vision in the U.S., said in a statement that U.S. programs help save lives worldwide.He said 8 million children die each year — lives that could be saved with low-cost aid programs to provide malaria bed nets or child immunizations.
“World Vision recognizes the need to make tough decisions addressing the present fiscal crisis, including budget cuts, but these should not fall disproportionately on the poorest of the poor,” Zachritz said. “Congress is considering an overall budget reduction of 8.8 percent from the FY2011 presidential request, with cuts disproportionately made to the most cost-effective humanitarian programs saving children’s lives.”
Join World Vision’s fight to preserve funding for humanitarian programs that save lives. Contact your members of Congress today.