The Hope of Political Discourse
I recently went to Washington DC in order to take part in some congressional meetings that allowed me to talk about the ways HVG helps to defend the cause of vulnerable women and children.
One of the areas we focused on is the desire to see the International Affairs Budget to be protected. Currently the submitted budget of The President is to cut this budget line by 30%.
So, why is this a big deal and why should it be to you as well?
1. In polls, most Americans believe the US gives 20-25% to foreign aid. In reality we only give 1%! We currently give 60% less to foreign aid than we did in the Reagan administration.
2. Some people will say, “Why are you getting involved in this political discourse?” Well, first, politics are sacred. They are not ultimate, but they are sacred and I believe we should speak hope into this sphere of society. Next, the issue at hand is that you and I are going to pay taxes no matter what. We need to speak up for HOW we want our dollars spent. Therefore, I believe that one of the greatest ways to express a “dollar of mercy and hope” is to vocalize that I believe we should support those who are in need.
3. Some will say, “Well, we have our own deficit, how can we be giving money away?” If this is your stance, think of it from a national security standpoint. The “3 D’s” of national defense are: defense, diplomacy, and development. The last two, diplomacy and development, are funded through the International Affairs Budget. As General Mattis has said in the past, “If you do not fully fund the State Department then you will need to fund me bullets.” Yes, this is a harsh reality.
4. I was able to meet with the state representatives in Missouri (where Amber and I live) as well. Emmanuel Cleaver’s (Kansas City Area) office was warm and encouraging. They support the defense of not cutting the International Affairs Budget. Claire McCaskill’s office was attentive and compassionate. They also supported the keeping of the International Affairs Budget. Roy Blunt’s office was a courteous and also expressed the desire to see this line not cut in the budget. I give all of these examples so you know this is not a partisan issue, so to speak. People on “both sides of the aisle” predominately see the importance in keeping this line item fully funded.
5. Some will say, “Shouldn’t the church being doing all of this?” I would say it really does take both. There are some areas the church can speak into that the government cannot and vice versa. The best way forward is not for an “either/or” approach. It is much better understood as a “both/and”.
This cut would be devastating to the most vulnerable and as you know, when we talk about vulnerable women and children, especially at HVG, we do not first see a “social issue”. We see faces. We see names. We see stories. This is also why I am speaking up. We are not talking about faceless causes. We are talking about real people who are made in the image of God and are stunningly sacred.
What can you do?
1. I would encourage you to really look into the International Affairs Budget and speak up to your state representatives on the need to keep this in place.
2. Understand that your dollar is going to be spent no matter what. It is a matter of speaking into the values you want your dollar to represent.
3. Know that your voice matters. Speak with compassion and conviction.
4. If you would like an in depth PDF that helps to break down the International Affairs budget, along with its importance, please shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org