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Press Release: After Paul Ryan Addressed Far Right “Values Voters,” Faith Leaders, Including the Leader of “Nuns on the Bus,” Offered Contrasting Vision for a Compassionate, Balanced Budget

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 14, 2012 

CONTACTS:
Stephanie Niedringhaus, NETWORK, 202-347-9797, ext. 224, sniedringhaus@networklobby.org
Connie Larkman, United Church of Christ, 216-736-2196, larkmanc@ucc.org
Adam Muhlendorf, 202-265-3000, adam@rabinowitz-dorf.com

**Click here for audio of the call**


Today, faith leaders came together to offer a vision for the nation’s priorities that stands in stark contrast to the budget put forth by vice presidential candidate and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) as he addressed the extremist Values Voters Summit this morning. Rep. Ryan has claimed the budget he has proposed, which ends the guarantee of Medicare, slashes Medicaid and guts services for low-income Americans, is a reflection of the values he learned from his Catholic faith. Sister Simone Campbell of NETWORK, a Catholic social justice lobby, is part of a broad range of religious leaders who has called on Congress to pass a “Faithful Budget,” which offers a balanced approach to priorities that does not unduly burden those who are struggling most in our society.

Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, executive director, NETWORK, leader of “Nuns on the Bus”: “Rep. Paul Ryan claims his budget reflects the principles of our shared Catholic faith but the Ryan budget fails a basic moral test by harming families living in poverty. What we need is reasonable revenue for amazingly responsible programs that we saw on our bus trip through nine states and 2700 miles, programs that help the 100 percent. In our nation, we value greatly that we all invest in our society, that we meet Jesus’ command to take care of the least, and that we also believe strongly in fairness that those who have benefitted the most from our society should contribute the most in reinvesting back into our society. Paul Ryan doesn’t understand that all decisions need to be made with the common good in mind.”

Sandy Sorenson, director, Washington office, United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries: “Members of the United Church of Christ, just like members of many faith traditions, are also values voters.  Our faith calls us to value the common good and to place the poor and most marginalized in our communities at the forefront of our concern.  It reminds us that nations are judged by how they treat their poorest and most vulnerable people.  The federal budget is a reflection of our national values and priorities.  The proposed FY 2013 budget passed by the House of Representatives with the leadership of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan contains drastic cuts to vital social service programs in a time of continuing economic challenge.  It places the burden of budget cuts on those who can least afford it.  It is not faithful or fair.”

Alan van Capelle, chief executive officer of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice: “The prophet Micah teaches us to ‘only do justly, and love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God,’ precepts Paul Ryan arrogantly disregards with his budget proposal. Rather than following Micah’s advice, the Romney/Ryan plan seeks to enrich the wealthy at the expense of the nation’s most vulnerable and puts forth policies that abandon those who cannot care for themselves. Our shared religious values teach us that that our life on this earth is fleeting and we should spend our brief time healing the world. Paul Ryan would be wise to heed Micah’s words.”

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