Jim Wallis, the man who gave us Sojourners magazine, was the first I ever heard talk about budgets being “moral documents”. Since the present Congress and President can’t seem to grasp the concept, here’s a template to consider.
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
So moral budget priorities might look like this:
1) Programs that feed the hungry.
2) Clean the water for Flint, Michigan and fully fund the EPA to clean our water.
3) Give refugees a place to live.
4) Create a program to make sure people have appropriate clothing. Maybe pay textile workers a good wage or keep prices low so people can afford them.
5) Give everyone healthcare.
6) Reform prisons so that they actually reform people, model mercy and teach restorative justice.
Matthew 5:3-10 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven? Full parity for mental health coverage.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted? Try not to create more widows and widowers.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth? Support peacemakers. Maybe create a department of conflict resolution or… easier still, fully fund the State Department.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled? Support legal reform, teach civics, support legal aid for all?..
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy? Already done in all the other things…
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God? Teach children how to not be racist, sexist, homophobic or anything else
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God? Support the UN and maybe The Hague
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven? Release political prisoners or those imprisoned but innocent. Stop punishing the Press for telling the truth.
Does this look like your budget? No? Build one like it. Note that I didn’t mention a political party. I don’t have to. This is what a moral budget might look like, regardless of who builds it. Just try to do that, and I’ll vote for you.
Resisting with peace,