WASHINGTON, DC – Rev. Lori Tapia, National Pastor for Hispanic Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and 17 other Christian leaders, as a part of the Circle of Protection, have sent a letter to President Biden and every member of Congress calling for justice for poor and marginalized people in the package released today by the Biden administration. Although Congress passed a massive COVID relief bill earlier this month, more must be done to support recovery from the pandemic in a way that makes our country better than it was before.
Rev. Tapia states, “It is in our collective call to reconcile the world to God that our eyes and hearts are opened to see the inequities that are experienced by far too many, especially in communities of color, and to come together in action to create a more equitable world for all.”
The letter says: “We need to shift toward an economy that allows all people to thrive and protects the environment that sustains us. This will require concrete steps to address the legacy of racial injustice in the U.S. and commitment to rectify the structural inequalities experienced by so many, especially communities of color.” It outlines areas of public investment that would provide livable-wage jobs for workers and keep people out of poverty. It also notes that hunger, poverty, and conflict around the world have surged during the pandemic and recommends funding for international aid.
The Circle of Protection supports paying for some of these public investments with increased taxes on corporations and high-income Americans. “Our shared conviction on this controversial point is grounded in Jesus’ teaching,” the leaders wrote. “The Hebrew prophets were clear that nations sometimes need to make big changes, and we think now is such a time.”
The Circle of Protection is a broad and unprecedented coalition of church and ministry leaders from the main families of U.S. Christianity — Catholic, evangelical Protestant, ecumenical Protestant, the Historic African American churches, and Latino churches — working to address issues of poverty and hunger through advocacy work. Together, the church bodies in the Circle of Protection have close to 100 million members. This letter is the first time since the Circle began that these leaders have outlined a vision for long-term change.