The purpose of an elected official in a democracy is to represent the voice of his or her constituents. Today, Catholics from Representative John Boehner’s district in Ohio have let their voices be heard loud and clear, urging him as he works to solve the nation’s debt crisis to “seek a compromise that reflects the Catholic values of solidarity with the most vulnerable.”
One day after the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops voiced their opposition to Boehner’s debt plan, more than 70 Catholic leaders from Boehner’s district issued a statement imploring Boehner to follow his Catholic faith rather than pressure from Tea Party politicians when searching for a solution to the budget crisis. Among the signers were several people affiliated with Xavier University, Boehner’s alma mater.
“We stand with our Catholic bishops, Christian clergy and other religious leaders who have endorsed the Circle of Protection–a pledge to defend the most vulnerable as our elected leaders make fiscal choices that will impact millions of families,” the letter read. “Speaker Boehner, we urge you to honor the values of the Catholic Church you love and show the courage to do what is right as you face extraordinary political pressure.”
Full text of the statement can be found here.
This is not the first criticism Boehner has received from Catholics regarding his failure to act in accordance with moral teachings of Catholicism. In May, as Boehner prepared to deliver the commencement address at Catholic University, professors from Catholic University and other Catholic colleges around the nation criticized Boehner’s voting record on issues regarding the poor, claiming that his actions were not congruent with Catholic social teaching.
Some further updates regarding faith and the budget crisis:
This afternoon, eleven peaceful protestors were arrested inside the Capitol as they participated in an interfaith sit-in. The group was frustrated by the lack of response from Congress to their urging to not balance the budget at the expense of the poor and vulnerable.
And, Sojourners has introduced a new series of spiritually and politically challenging radio advertisements aimed at key congressional districts in Kentucky, Nevada, and Ohio to encourage people of faith to defend the poor. More than 150,000 emails from supporters have been sent to Congress regarding the budget talks.