Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Evangelical, Mainline Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim Leaders Call for Moral Response to Hurricanes
108 diverse leading religious officials - including, Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, National Council of Churches; Rev. Richard Cizik, National Association of Evangelicals; Richard Stearns, President, World Vision; Rabbi Steve Gutow, Jewish Council for Public Affairs; Dr. Ingrid Matterson, Islamic Society of North America; Fr. Larry Snyder, Catholic Charities USA; Rev. David Beckmann, Bread for the World; and Rev. Jim Wallis, Sojourners - signed an interfaith statement calling for not just a charitable response but for justice through long-term human rights-based recovery policy to help Gulf Coast families. Three years after the current administration's first major speech promising to rebuild the region devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the slow pace of recovery, the collapse of local institutions, homelessness, internal displacement, poverty, abusive labor practices and environmental degradation have created a moral crisis in the Gulf Coast. In recent weeks, hurricanes Gustav and Ike have added to the devastation in the Gulf Coast demanding a powerful response from people of faith. The statement urges national leaders to make enacting bi-partisan resident-led federal solutions, including the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act, helping families return and participate in rebuilding their communities, creating living wage jobs, restoring the coastal wetland and ensuring human rights along the Gulf Coast a national moral priority.