Scores of well-known Christian celebrities, pastors and humanitarian workers have signed a letter openly opposing President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to foreign assistance — and some of those signatories have been vocal Trump supporters in the past.
“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,” more than 100 Catholic and evangelical leaders wrote. “It is our moral responsibility to urge you to support and protect the International Affairs Budget.”
The letter comes as Trump’s proposed budget asks for a $10.9 billion cut in State Department funding, among other international programs, to help pay for a 10 percent increase in military spending; this translates to a 28 percent cut to State Department and international spending, as Reuters reported.
And while some will see these cuts as being part of Trump’s pledge to shrink the government, the letter, which was released by Christian humanitarian group World Vision, takes an entirely different stand on foreign aid programs that could be cut, with the text proclaiming that these funds help the “poor, hungry, vulnerable and displaced men, women and children around the world.”
“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,” the letter reads. “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.”
The text continues, “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.”
The letter’s signatories include a host of well-known names, including Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference President the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, the Rev. Johnnie Moore, World Vision USA president Rich Stearns and singers Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant, among many others.
You can read the full text of the letter, which is addressed to House Speaker Paul Ryan, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer here.
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