Roll Call, the Capitol Hill paper, has published a letter from a number of religious leaders today. Here’s the text and signatories in full:
Dear Members of the United States Senate:
We write as leaders of U.S. churches and faith-based organizations to urge your support for a 2007 Farm Bill that strengthens the rural United States and brings life and hope to God’s people throughout our nation and the world.
Decisions about spending priorities made on the farm bill are a moral reflection of our nation’s fundamental values. This year’s debate presents an historic opportunity for the Senate to express our nation’s moral priorities by passing a Farm Bill that reflects a commitment to strong and vibrant farms and rural communities, an adequate and nutritious diet for all people, care for creation and an opportunity for everyone to benefit from the abundance of the land.
Specifically, we urge you to:
• Ensure support for U.S. farmers who need it most: The Senate should pass a fair commodity title that targets payments to those who need them by enacting strict payment limits while closing loopholes that have permitted some to collect multiple payments.
• Strengthen nutrition, conservation, rural development and food aid programs: The Senate should redirect savings from the improvements to the farm safety net to programs that support people living in poverty and suffering from hunger in the U.S. and around the world.
• Reduce trade-distorting subsidies: The Senate should begin the transition
to a modern safety net that helps U.S. farmers effectively manage their risk
while reducing the potential for trade distortions that stymie the efforts
of families living in developing countries to earn their way out of poverty.
We urge the Senate to support amendments on the floor that improve the
farm bill to meet these critical goals.
We pray for your work on behalf of the American people and for the common good of all,
The Reverend David Beckmann
President, Bread for the World
Simone Campbell, SSS
Executive Director , NETWORK
A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Ph.D., D.D.
Chairman, Domestic Policy Committee United States
Conference of Catholic Bishops
The Most Reverend Ronald Gilmore
President, National Catholic Rural Life Conference
The Reverend Mark S. Hanson
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Most Reverend Katharine Jeferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church
The Reverend Clifton Kirkpatrick
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, Presbyterian
The Reverend Michael Livingston
President, National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA
The Reverend John L. McCullough
Executive Director and CEO, Church World Service
Rev. Larry Snyder
President, Catholic Charities USA
Dr. Earl D. Trent, Jr.
Executive Director of Missions,
Progressive National Baptist Convention
The Reverend Daniel Vestal
Executive Coordinator, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
Founder and CEO, Sojourners
General Secretary, The United Methodist Church –
General Board of Church and Society