This morning, March 24th, hundreds of Christian advocates are converging on Capitol Hill as part of Ecumenical Advocacy Days’ Lobby Day to bring a message to Congress promoting policies that make for a more peaceful world, including efforts to end gun violence and promote poverty reduction. The conference theme, Jesus Weeps, was centered on Luke 19:41-42, where Jesus weeps over Jerusalem for not knowing the things that make for peace.
Even if you didn’t get a chance to come to Ecumenical Advocacy Days or our PC(USA) pre-event, Compassion, Peace and Justice Training Day, you can still join in Lobby Day. Click here to send a message to your members of Congress that challenges our culture of violence and seeks to build nonviolence and peace.
Our nation can and must do more to nurture a culture of peace. We call for policies that:
- Reduce acquisition and use of guns for purposes that cause harm; and
- Rebalance funding priorities away from out-sized military spending to focus more resources on preventing violence and enhancing human security.
Neither Ecumenical Advocacy Days nor the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness is advocating that all guns be banned. Rather, we support legislation that will make it harder for people with hostile intentions to buy guns and easier for the community stakeholders to adequately prevent them from doing harm.
Further, Pentagon and war spending currently account for 57% of the federal discretionary budget. This means that every other priority included in the discretionary part of the budget must vie for tiny pieces of the remaining 43%. Research has indicated that investing in conflict prevention is 60 times more cost effective than intervening after violence has begun. We can, if we choose, invest in a different way of relating and interacting with our brothers and sisters here and around the world. We should be making budget decisions that promote policies that reduce violence, including right sizing military spending and focusing on efforts to end poverty and other causes of violence.
To read more details about these policy recommendations, see the Ecumenical Advocacy Days Ask.