Polling Evangelicals: Cut Aid to World’s Poor, Unemployed

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Christianity Today reports:

The House of Representatives is working day and night in its effort to cut more than $60 billion from the federal budget. The House is considering a continuing resolution, a bill used to fund the federal government for the remainder of the year. The bill includes deep cuts for environmental agencies, education, and foreign aid (except those related to security). It makes modest reductions for defense, homeland security, and police.

These cuts are in line with the spending priorities of most American evangelicals.

The Pew Research Center for People and the Press released a February 10 survey of Americans on their budget priorities, in which they asked them whether they favored increasing, decreasing, or keeping current levels of spending in specific policy areas. Pew provided Christianity Today with a religious breakdown of questions on the budget and spending priorities.

Overall, evangelicals were more likely to favor reductions in federal spending, but like other Americans, they wanted most areas to remain the same or increased.

The top choices among evangelicals for the chopping block are economic assistance to needy people around the world (56 percent), government assistance for the unemployed (40 percent), and environmental protection (38 percent). In each of these categories, evangelicals were more supportive of decreasing spending than are other Americans. In fact, evangelicals were more supportive of funding cuts in every area except military defense, terrorism defense, aid to veterans, and energy.

To us this means that many American Evangelicals merely pay lip service to the Bible: knowing — but not doing — what it says:

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
James 1:22-27

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This post was last updated: Feb. 19, 2011