Faith leaders representing various black denominations across the country gathered in late May for three days of prayer and fasting for spiritual intervention in the nation’s political machinations.
The group, which specifically agreed to periods focused fasting and prayer on the 21st day of each month through the end of 2018, also committed to advocating for the poor and marginalized in communities, churches and government.
“During [our initial] fasting days [that began in May], as we expected, President Trump presented his proposed budget to Congress,” said Lawrence Reddick, presiding bishop of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church’s 8th District in Dallas, in a statement issued on behalf of the clergies.
“This president flourishes many of his intentions and policies with a plethora of superlatives (“the best,” “the most wonderful,” “the greatest,” etc.), while he proceeds with proposals inconsistent with his rhetoric of concern and care, and pushes for legislative actions that bring few practical remedies for persons who live daily in need of governmental assistance, whether for health insurance, housing or food subsistence,” he said.
Reddick said that Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) appropriately summarized problems with Trump’s proposed budget.
“At its core, this budget is a cruel betrayal of the middle class and threatens our ability to ensure basic public safety, public health, and public education,” he wrote in the statement. “This budget makes clear the values of this administration, as it prioritizes those at the top, while leaving working families and the middle class high and dry.”
The bishop said that Trump’s spending plan for the nation reduces taxes for the wealthiest Americans while eliminating Social Security for disabled Americans and tax credits for families with children.
“It gives corporations tax breaks while eliminating resources for students trying to pay for college,” Reddick said. “It spends billions of dollars on a wall that won’t work, while cutting access to health care and initiatives to cure cancer. And, add the fact that the world’s richest country — which gives less than 2 percent of its annual budget for foreign aid — is proposing to drastically cut its poverty assistance in the world. There still are people — working people — who must decide every month between food or medicine.”
The faith leaders also ask congregations to use monies that might be spent eating out as a benevolent donation their church or agencies that work to eradicate poverty and hunger.