Scripture on the Budget: What the Bible Says About National Priorities

by Eric Sapp

Back in 2006, the budget debate followed immediately on the heels of Congressional consideration of the Marriage Amendment. As a result, there was a desire by a number of Democratic leaders for a reference guide that would more easily allow Democrats to authentically speak out against the extreme and selective use of scripture by the Republicans and their allies on the Right. The first "Guide to Scripture and the Budget" that included scriptural references and simple talking points to help equip Christian Democrats in their response to Republican budget arguments was distributed shortly before the 2006 budget debate.

My underlying assumption in writing and continuing to
update this document is that Democrats should not cede the prophetic language of scripture and its ability to inspire and frame issues in a moral context to the other side. Many traditional Democratic positions are rooted in the teachings of scripture, and it is time Democrats stopped losing on the Bible.

The Bible is neither Democrat nor Republican. But the language of scripture calls people to turn their attention away from selfish desire and personal gain and to focus instead on serving God and their neighbors. Furthermore, it is a language that speaks with moral clarity and purpose. Therefore it speaks with authority to the policy debates currently underway in our country. In short, it is a language Democrats cannot afford to ignore.

One aspect of the Democratic response to the upcoming Republican budget attacks must be a willingness by "faithful Democrats" to discuss budget and tax policies from a moral perspective and to challenge Republicans to apply the same moral codes to kitchen table issues that they so eagerly embrace on bedroom issues...because we all know that as soon as we start talking about budget and taxes, the Republicans will put away their Bibles and turn to Darwinian social and economic theories to support their policy positions.

Over the next week at, we are going to publish each section of the updated Primer on Scripture and the Budget for 2009, which is organized by theme. Our hope is that you will use this resource, share it with friends, and discuss it in the comment section...and that together we can make a positive contribution to the upcoming budget debates that will shape our country's priorities and demonstrate where its heart truly lies.

The sections and future posts are titled:

The Responsibility of the Nation and Its Government to "the Least of These"
The Policy Implications of Praying, "Thy Kingdom Come..."
On Corruption and the Exploitation of Workers
The Sin of Helping the Rich at the Expense of the Poor
The Blessedness of the Poor and Our Christian Responsibility to Them
Wealth, Materialism, and the Bible's View of an "Ownership Society"
Countering the Right's Pharisaical Approach to Moral Legalism
Concluding Thoughts: Applying Scripture in a Pluralistic Society

Tags: Bible, budget, christianity, Congress, faith, Justice, moral document, Morality, obama, policy, Politics, prophets, religion, Scripture, Values (all tags)


1 Comment

Re: Scripture on the Budget

Thanks but no thanks on this one.  What we need instead is to explain why we should be adopting certain policies or principles based on their merits alone, and not because they coincide with instructions of any religious books.  If the religious books said "thou shalt steal" would we then start advocating theft?  What religions say should not determine at all what our secular government should be doing.  We have religious freedom.  We are not a theocracy.


by Brian63 2009-02-25 10:48AM | 0 recs


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