The Census released its data showing the persistence of poverty in our country last week, and now faith leaders have released exclusive videos from President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney stating their own positions on poverty.
Though we come from many different faith backgrounds, we can all unite around our fight for economic justice. The Circle of Protection, the group who released the videos, exemplifies this unity in the microcosm of Christianity. They wrote to the candidates: “Though we may disagree on other issues, we are united in our belief that God is especially concerned with the plight of poor and vulnerable people.” This is happening not just in Christian denominations, but across the faith community. Americans of faith are putting aside their differences and embracing their spiritual duty to protect the poor.
With this unified voice, leaders are calling on the presidential candidates to directly address the issue of poverty. With 15% of the country living below the poverty line, this is simply a problem the campaigns can no longer ignore. The Circle of Protection called on the two presidential candidates to create a video outlining what they will do to provide help and opportunity for hungry and poor people. These are their video responses.
The faith community is also calling on you:
- Put poverty into the national conversation. Tweet the presidential debate moderators (@NewsHour, @MarthaRaddatz, @crowleyCNN, @BobSchieffer) to include a question about poverty in the debates: “Ask cands how they'll start reducing #childpoverty in 1st #100days? In 2011 1 in 5 kids lived in poverty #TalkPoverty”
- Make poverty a key issue when you go to the polls. Watch the videos. Know where your future leaders stand on issues of key importance to you. Keep these videos in mind in the voting box.
Frequently our religions divide us, separating the power of our voices and directing hateful speech at each other. Right now, however, is one time where we can all raise our voices together. How loud will yours be?
Photo courtesy of Carina Lee.