It has been extremely satisfying over the last few days to see many different Blue Team spokespeople using the phrase “a budget is a moral document.”
It seems to be resonating with secular and faith-filled people in a powerful way and it is a statement for which Republicons have no adequate comeback.
The saying has been attributed to various people over the years.
Jim Wallis of Sojourner’s magazine wrote a widely-quoted article in 2012 entitled The Missing Religious Principle in Our Budget Debates.
...those always in most jeopardy during Washington’s debates and decisions are precisely the persons the Bible instructs us clearly to protect and care for — the poorest and most vulnerable.
Wallis’s article in retrospect seems naive in assuming that there could be agreement on this issue on both sides. There was no such agreement in 2012 and there is definitely no such agreement now.
In fact, now we have professed “Christians” on the R side of the aisle attempting they have the moral high ground for creating budgets that hurt the very poorest and most vulnerable, by appealing to the needs of the people who are just one rung further up the ladder.
The only religious leaders who sign on to this fake moral high ground are the ones who seek to benefit financially from it. I’m looking at you, Franklin Graham, and anyone else who has spiritual authority and the ability to influence the behavior of congregations, who has not already denounced the immorality of this budget immediately and publicly.
The expression “a budget is a moral document” is sometimes attributed to Martin Luther King Jr., but I searched through a lot of his material and could not find any documentation that he ever said it.
He did give a speech at Riverside Church in 1967 where he did not use that exact phrase but this section stands out as timely:
A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
MLK was referring to war spending as compared to spending on what used to be called the war on poverty. It was a spiritual echo of Eisenhower’s 1953 Chance for Peace speech with the following famous quote:
Going back even further, many of us have had some variation of this famous poster on our walls, quoting Gandhi’s Seven Social Sins, which include politics without principle and commerce without morality:
From MLK in 1976 to Eisenhower in 1953 to Gandhi in 1925. This idea has been around and very popular in Western culture for almost 100 years.
But for those who try to live their lives according to gospel imperatives, it goes back many more centuries to various gospel imperatives. You cannot worship God and Mammon. Those who do not care for the least of these have not cared for Christ himself. And it also appears in the central scripture quote of my life, from the Gospel According to Matthew, a passage I can recite by heart, and which was just read in thousands of Christian churches on Ash Wednesday as a prevailing theme for reflection during the holy season of Lent:
Do not store up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust consume, and thieves break in and steal, but rather store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consume, and thieves do not break in and steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. [Matthew 6:19-21]
This is one of the places where the Christian tradition is clear and can only be misinterpreted by those with a willful desire to mislead and align themselves with GOPropaganda.
If anyone here is familiar with similar sayings in other secular and religious traditions, please include them in the comments.
Back in the days of sig lines, Meteor Blades was known for "Don't tell me what you believe; show me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe." There is a parallel statement out there that goes like this: Don’t tell me what you believe, show me your checkbook and I will tell you what you believe.
Mick Mulvaney recently made a series of crass statements that the coal miner’s family in West Virginia and the single mom in Detroit do not want to give the government their precious money for programs that “sound good” but “don’t work”. So smug as they are laughing in the face of casualties and sorrow. According to the DJT budget, these programs that “don’t work” include providing food and medical care to young schoolchildren, disabled vets and frail elders.
So there is only one possible conclusion:.
Republicons like Mulvaney, Ryan, Bannon and DJT believe that those who are unable to care for themselves should starve to death. Should waste away from treatable diseases. Should live in cardboard boxes begging on corners until they succumb to exposure.
And at the same time these same Rcons believe it is perfectly okay to take money from the coal miner in West Virginia and the single mom in Detroit to give DJT’s wife and child luxury accommodations in the most expensive city in the US, and send DJT jet off to a luxury resort in Florida for golf every single weekend.
The only word for that kind of belief system is: immoral.
The blue team must continue to attack the Speaker ZEGS budget on secular and religious grounds of immorality. It is a frame that will work with people across many different belief systems and political ideologies.
Rcons must not be allowed to claim the moral high ground when they are literally proposing to starve widows and orphans to further fatten the wallets of the already-rich.
Previous TRUE BLUE REPORT diaries
Mar 18: Ribbons: CBO scorers, Senate Intelligence Committee, Judge Derrick Watson
Mar 17: They know DJT is lying. Here’s one sad reason they follow him anyway.
Mar 16: Mick Mulvaney's ignorant, callous, evil, Republicon definition of compassion
Mar 15: Message Discipline—Pushback against Rcon talking points re DJT 2005 tax return
Mar 14: Message Discipline 101—Pushback against Rcon talking points about Obamacare repeal
Mar 13: Culture, Civilization, Rural America, Working Families—the missing word is a “tell”
Mar 12: The Rcon definition of Christians is as wrong as the Rcon definition of Democrats.
Mar 11: Ribbons: A Day Without a Woman, Native Nations Rise, Voting Rights Act still lives
Mar 10: How to talk to people who have trouble understanding actions have consequences
Mar 9: Where’s the fire? The real reason Rs are trying to rush TrumpCare through Congress
Mar 8: Message Discipline 101: TrumpCare, RyanCare, GOPCare, DonTCare—what’s in a name?
Mar 7: How very hard it is for a woman to go a day without paid (or unpaid) work
Mar 6: Can DJT really be stumbling into the exact investigation we want?
Mar 5: How is it even possible that deplorables see a man of faith when they look at DJT?
Mar 4: Blue Ribbon Winners—Chris Hayes, Malcolm Nance, Cierra Fields
Mar 3: I’m glad Bannon, Conway, Carson, Sessions, Miller, et al. are in the DJT Administration
Mar 2: “In every major fire it always starts with smoke. And smoke is what kills you.”
Mar 1: Am I the only one whose skin crawled at the Carryn Owens BIRGing moment?
Feb 28: Spinspotting 101: Special Prosecutor for what? It’s so easy to answer that question
Feb 27: Spinspotting 101: I’ve seen no evidence because I haven’t looked for any evidence!
Feb 26: If Neil Gorsuch were a man of integrity, he would decline the S.Ct. appointment
Feb 25: True Blue Ribbons: Russia Flag trolling, Dixie Swastika grabbing, District Days demonstrating
Feb 24: There is no such thing as a compassionate conservative
Feb 23: Chief of Staff, Nat’l Security Advisor, GOP Head, President Bannon—too many hats!
Feb 22: DJT has a few questions for you—SMURF THIS POLL!
Feb 21: The end of “access journalism” means it’s time to #sendtheinterns
Feb 20: KAC lying low for now… can we banish her (and all her ilk) from the airwaves completely?
Feb 19: DeVos cartoon, Ruby Bridges, unearned unhappiness and childlike faith
Feb 18: Blue Ribbon Winners—Vice Adm. Harward, Melissa McCarthy, and intel whistleblowers
Feb 17: And Ain’t I an American?
Feb 16: Please tell your family and friends—If you regret your DJT vote, speak up NOW
Feb 15: R-supported forced childbirth laws deny the autonomy of women
Feb 14: What did the president know? Everything. When did he know it? From the beginning.
Feb 13: Coping with The Madness of King Donald by hoping political comedy will save us
Feb 12: The Poverty and Justice Bible
Feb 11: Blue Ribbon Winners: Swastika removers, Ninth Circuit Panel, and the Persisterhood!
Feb 10: The first three words of the Constitution are “We, the People” not “I, the President”
Feb 9: Who first inspired your political activism? Who inspires you now?
Feb 8: We cannot and will not be silenced—Here’s what to do if they try to silence you
Feb 7: Plain Talk Tuesday: Tell people the Affordable Care Act is the same as OBAMACARE
Feb 6: Interview Skills 101—Internalized oppression and what Ryan Lizza did right. BRAVO!
Feb 5: These protest signs with Bible cites will confuse and befuddle RWNJs
Feb 4: Blue Ribbon Winners: Temple B’Nai Israel, Judge Robart, CNN, Senate Phone Callers
Feb 3: Not rich, not smart, not a good businessman, not a winner—DJT is NOTHING he claims to be
Feb 2: Thursday action—Encouragement, thanks, and apologies (pick one or more)
Feb 1: July 7, 2009 to August 25, 2009 and September 25, 2009 to February 4, 2010
Jan 31: If you’re on overload that’s part of their plan—there’s more than one way to #resist
Jan 30: Interview Skills 101 for reporters attempting to interview KAC and other Rcons
Jan 29: Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness
Jan 28: Blue Ribbon Winners: Women's March participants and #NoMuslimBan demonstrators and...
Jan 27: I wish Steve Bannon would tell me to keep my mouth shut
Jan 26: Thursday Action—Have you ever written a letter to the editor? Here’s how to start
Jan 25: The Asch Conformity Study, inauguration crowds, and the importance of speaking out
Jan 24: #ResistTrumpTuesday—good news day or another paying dues day?
Jan 23: Spy the Lie 101: How to enjoy watching Rcon spokesbot interviews, even KAC!
Jan 22: Why I prayed for the President* today
Jan 21: The only silver lining in the midst of these clouds
Inaugural (!) diary: Stop expecting Republicons to make sense