More than 90 Catholic, evangelical and Protestant leaders have signed a statement rebuking “pro-life” lawmakers for the shutdown, saying they are “appalled that elected officials are pursuing an extreme ideological agenda at the expense of the working poor and vulnerable families” who won’t receive government benefits.
That's probably going to fall on deaf ears, of course. More pressing is that many of the religious charities that are supposed to be caring for the sick and the poor in the first place, according to Republicans, are themselves reliant on government funds. And those funds are going away along with everything else:
As Catholic News Service reports, the Diocese of Wichita (Kansas) is covering the costs of programs for homeless families and battered women run by the local branch of Catholic Charities. In Washington, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said it would be able to continue assisting immigrants through its Migration and Refugee Services for a couple of months if necessary.There's a cascade effect at work here. The shutdown of government-run programs for the poor will result in greater need for private efforts; those private efforts, however, rely themselves on other shuttered government programs. While the House frets over whether military chaplains will be considered essential or—shudder—have to curtail their activities, many religious groups are seeing rather more urgent problems continue to stack up.
But officials also made it clear that these are only stopgap measures that still leave the poor and vulnerable at greater risk.
Short version: in addition to being stupid, reckless and fiscally irresponsible, shutting down the government turns out to be not a very godly thing to do. I mean, duh.