Why Some Evangelical Leaders Oppose Trump's Foreign Aid Cuts

Why Some Evangelical Leaders Oppose Trump's Foreign Aid Cuts


More Than 100 Evangelical and Catholic leaders from across the country are urging the U.S. Congress to oppose President Trump's proposal to make cuts in the International Affairs Budget.

They sent a letter to the congressional leadership today saying they want the budget protected because as followers of Christ, they have a moral responsibility to ensure that America continues to be the "shining city upon a hill" that every day  "brings hope to poor, hungry, vulnerable and displaced men, women and children around the world."  

The president's FY18 budget would cut 31%  from the State Department and USAID budgets over the previous year.

Many Americans argue the cuts are long overdue because many of the countries that receive U.S. taxpayer dollars actually oppose our interests around the world—especially in votes at the United Nations. 

Some also oppose funds going to countries that violate human rights like Pakistan, where Christians are persecuted with archaic blasphemy laws and other acts of oppression.

So, what is our responsibility as Christians? Foreign aid is actually only about 1% of the entire U.S. budget. Should we walk away from helping other nations? If so, will anyone likely step in to fill the void?

Watch my interview with The National Association of Evangelicals Galen Carey to hear his answers. 

And read the letter to find out who signed it:

Here's the full text of the Faith leader's letter to the U.S. Congressional Leadership:

March 16, 2017

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Senate Majority Leader The Capitol S-230 Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Paul Ryan
Speaker of the House of Representatives The Capitol H-232
Washington, DC 20515    The Honorable Chuck Schumer
Senate Minority Leader The Capitol S-221 Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi House Minority Leader
The Capitol H-204 Washington, DC 20515

Dear Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Schumer, Speaker Ryan, and Minority Leader Pelosi,

As Christian leaders, it's an honor to represent dedicated and faithful citizens living in every congressional district in this country. We're writing to share our support for the International Affairs Budget that every day brings hope to poor, hungry, vulnerable and displaced men, women and children around the world.

America is blessed with fertile land, abundant natural resources, a strong economy, and faithful citizens who value religious freedom. But beyond our borders, many countries experience unparalleled suffering and loss of life due to extreme poverty, disease, natural disasters, and conflict. Today, there are 65 million displaced people, the most since World War II, and 795 million people still go to bed hungry every night.

Matthew 25 tells us when we serve the least of these, we are serving the Lord. As people of faith, we cannot turn our back on those in desperate need. We are grateful for America's global development and diplomacy programs that have been instrumental in saving lives, safeguarding religious liberties, and keeping America safe and secure. Both Republican and Democratic administrations have strong legacies of supporting humanitarian and development programs that enable countless people to pull themselves out of poverty and live life with dignity. It is through 

these diplomatic and development tools that we've seen countries and communities build peaceful, productive societies that do not turn to violence or terrorism.

At a time when we're especially security conscious, the International Affairs Budget is crucial to demonstrating our values to the world, building friendships with other nations, and lowering security risks around the world.

With just 1 percent of our nation's budget, the International Affairs Budget has helped alleviate the suffering of millions; drastically cutting the number of people living in extreme poverty in half, stopping the spread of infectious diseases like HIV/AIDs and Ebola, and nearly eliminating polio. Additionally, it promotes freedom and human rights, protecting religious freedom for millions around the world.

As followers of Christ, it is our moral responsibility to urge you to support and protect the International Affairs Budget, and avoid disproportionate cuts to these vital programs that ensure that our country continues to be the "shining city upon a hill."

Thank you for your consideration.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan Archbishop of New York

Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, President
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

Leith Anderson, President
National Association of Evangelicals

Rich Stearns, President World Vision USA

Bishop Gregory J. Mansour, Chairman of the Board Catholic Relief Services

Michael W. Smith Singer/Songwriter

Dr. George O. Wood, General Superintendent Assemblies of God

Dr. Ronnie Floyd, Immediate Past President Southern Baptist Convention

Amy Grant Singer/Songwriter

Shirley V. Hoogstra, J.D., President
Council for Christian Colleges & Universities

Tom Lin, President & CEO InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Third Day
Christian Rock Band

Jonathan Reckford, CEO Habitat for Humanity

Mark Labberton, President Fuller Theological Seminary

Jo Anne Lyon, General Superintendent Emerita The Wesleyan Church

Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki Archdiocese of Milwaukee

Most Reverend Salvatore J. Cordileone Archbishop of San Francisco

David Wilson, General Secretary Church of the Nazarene

Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President National Latino Evangelical Coalition

Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D. Archbishop of Louisville

Santiago "Jimmy" Mellado, President & CEO Compassion International

John Crosby, Senior Pastor Christ Presbyterian Church

Rev. Johnnie Moore Author

Bob Bouwer, Reverend Faith Church (8 locations)

John K. Jenkins Sr., Senior Pastor First Baptist Church of Glenarden

Keith Stewart, Senior Pastor Springcreek Church

Alec Hill, President Emeritus InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Scott Arbeiter, President World Relief Corporation

Martha Newsome, President & CEO Medical Teams International

J. Ron Byler, Executive Director Mennonite Central Committee


Mike Mantel, President & CEO Living Water International

Carol Bremer-Bennett, Executive Director World Renew

Gary Edmonds, President & CEO Food for the Hungry

Anita Smith, President Children's AIDS Fund

Shepherd Smith, President Institute for Youth Development

Bruce Wilkinson, President & CEO Catholic Medical Mission Board

Steve Stirling, President & CEO MAP International

Peter Vander Meulen, Coordinator in Office of Social Justice Christian Reformed Church in North America

Joel K. Johnson, Pastor Westwood Community Church

James H. Barnes III, President Bethel University

Steve Moore, Board Chair World Relief

Deborah Smith Pegues, Board of Directors World Vision USA

Rev. Jonathan Odom, Pastor Asbury UMC

Dr. Mark Wilbanks, Senior Pastor Wieuca Road Baptist Church

Dr. Stephen Treash, Senior Pastor Black Rock Church

Laura Truax, Senior Pastor LaSalle Street Church

Jeffrey Moes, Senior Pastor Sunnybrook Community Church

Gino Grunberg, Co-Pastor Harbor Christian Center

Rev. Jay Madden, Pastor for Mission Peachtree Presbyterian Church

Chris Cramer, Pastor
Orchard Grove Community Church

Chad Hayward, Executive Director Accord Network

Galen Carey, Vice President of Government Relations National Association of Evangelicals

Scott Garber, Author

Ken Wytsma, Senior Pastor Antioch Church

William Minchin, Pastor of Business Administration Grace Fellowship Church

Rev. Eugene Cho, Lead Pastor & Founder Quest Church/One Day's Wages

Bishop Horace E. Smith, MD, Senior Pastor Apostolic Faith Church

Ted Esler, President Missio Nexus

Rev. Dr. Michael L. Henderson, Senior Pastor New Beginnings Church

Dr. G. Craig Williford, President Multnomah University

Carmen Fowler Laberge, President Presbyterian Lay Committee

Colin P. Watson, Sr., Director of Ministries and Administration Christian Reformed Church in North America

Dr. Don Argue, Ambassador at Large Convoy of Hope

Scott Ridout, President Converge

Rev. Dr. Liz Mosbo VerHage, Associate Pastor Quest Church

Gregory Loewer, Pastor for Missions, Columbia Baptist Church

Jim Lyon, General Director Church of God Ministries

Constantine M. Triantafilou, Executive Director & CEO International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC)

Alan Robinson, National Director Brethren in Christ, U. S.

Mark S. Young, President Denver Seminary

M. Craig Barnes, President Princeton Theological Seminary

Adam Pray, Minister theChurch.at

Dennis Hollinger, Ph.D., President Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Alan Cureton, President University of Northwestern

Jon Middendorf, Pastor
OKC First Church of the Nazarene

Rev. Bobby Griffith, Jr., Pastor City Presbyterian Church

Rev. David Cassidy, Pastor Christ Community Church

Dr. Timothy J. Brooks, Lead Pastor South Portland Church of the Nazarene

Rev. Doug Serven, Pastor City Presbyterian Church

Rev. Dan Claire, Rector Church of the Resurrection

Rev. Joel St. Clair, Pastor Mosaic Community Church

Dr. O. Alan Noble, Assistant Professor of English Oklahoma Baptist University

Rev. Dr. Irwyn Ince Jr., Pastor City of Hope Presbyterian Church

Rev. Russ Whitfield, Pastor Grace Mosaic Church

The Right Rev. Dr. Steven A. Breedlove, Diocese Christ our Hope, Anglican Church in North America

Rev. Alan Cross, Executive Director Community Development Initiatives Montgomery Baptist Association

Rev. Dr. James C. Howell, Senior Pastor Myers Park United Methodist Church

Rev. Don Flowers, Jr., Senior Pastor Providence Baptist Church

The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach, Archbishop Anglican Church in North America

Dr. Chris Ellis, Minister of Mission and Outreach Second Baptist Church

Dr. Stephen Cook, Senior Pastor Second Baptist Church

Dr. Christopher Pollock, Lead Pastor Midtown Church

Peter Greer, CEO HOPE International

David W. Kendall, Bishop Free Methodist Church, USA

David T. Roller, Bishop
Free Methodist Church, USA

Matthew A. Thomas, Bishop Free Methodist Church, USA

Justin B. Fung, Pastor of Teaching & Formation The District Church

Jason Surratt, Pastor of Stewardship and Global Missions Seacoast Church

Dr. Gregg Okkesson, Dean Asbury Theological Seminary

Stephanie Summers, CEO Center for Public Justice

Ruth Anne Reese, Ph.D., Professor of New Testament Asbury Theological Seminary

Brandon Heath Singer/Songwriter

Dr. Stephen Offutt, Assistant Professor of Development Studies Asbury Theological Seminary

Matt Maher Singer/Songwriter

Jonathan Martin Writer and Speaker

Aaron Graham, Lead Pastor The District Church

President Donald Trump Vice President Mike Pence
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson


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