Reducing the deficit seems like a matter of strict dollars and cents, not one of religion. But this week, voices on both sides of the political fence have evoked God and morality in fighting for budget cuts. On Sunday, Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner addressed the National Religious Broadcasters convention, and talked about the moral implications of the deficit as an unfair burden on coming generations. On Monday, two dozen Christian leaders came out on the other side of the issue, placing a full page advertisement in Politico with the headline: "What Would Jesus Cut?" The argument was presented that the moral test of a society is how it treats its poor. Reverend Jim Wallis, President and CEO of Sojourners and author of "Rediscovering Values: A Guide for Moral and Economic Recovery" is one of the underwriteres of the Politico advertisement, who argues that the budget is a moral document because it sets priorities.
Charles Walcott, professor of political science at Virginia Tech, says that historically religious arguments have been implemented by conservatives for ethical, not fiscal issues, whereas liberals have taken the stance of social responsibility found in John Boehner's rhetoric and that we may be seeing a shift in this debate.
Professor of Political Science at Virginia Tech