Written by Daniel Hazard
The Rev. Geoffrey A. Black
General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ
Mr. W. Mark Clark
Associate General Minister of the United Church of Christ
The Rev. Dr. J. Bennett Guess
Executive Minister of the United Church of Christ's Local Church Ministries
The Rev. M. Linda Jaramillo
Executive minister of the United Church of Christ's Justice and Witness Ministries
The Rev. James Moos
Executive Minister of the United Church of Christ's Wider Church Ministries
Our Christian faith speaks directly to public morality and the ways a nation should bring justice and compassion into its civic life. Pointedly, our current fiscal debates, at their heart, are nothing less than a struggle for the soul of the nation and its moral conscience. When budget lines and tax dollars are valued over the lives of women, children, the elderly, and the disabled, it is time that we take a deep look at who we claim to be as a nation.
The failure of the Congressional Super Committee is just one symptom of two growing problems: the inability of our elected officials to put aside their ideological differences and serve the people they are meant to represent; and, perhaps more importantly, the tragic shift in our nation away from the basic understanding that we are all called to care for our neighbors.
In the words of General Synod 25, a just and good society balances individualism with the needs of the community. Our nation, as well as the people we have elected to represent us, have moved too far in the direction of promoting individual self-interest at the expense of community responsibility. The result has been a disregard for the common good.
As the Officers of the United Church of Christ, we are increasingly troubled by the brokenness we see in this world. It is our sincere hope and prayer that in the days and months following the Super Committee’s failure to reach a deficit reduction agreement, our leaders will find the moral strength to work for the common good.