Monday, June 20, 2005

An Open letter to President Bush regarding the upcoming G8 Summitt

(inspired by World Vision's support of the ONE campaign.

As of the time I am writing this, the amount that we have spent on the war in Iraq is equal to what it would cost to fund global anti-hunger efforts for 7 years. The U.S. government has seen that the efforts in Iraq as a necessary for the greater good (whether I personally agree with our actions is not, at this time, relevant). Surely the facts of global poverty, hunger, the AIDS epidemic, etc. are, at the least, equally important. Surely that also calls for sacrifice, monetary or otherwise. By committing the money and efforts in Iraq, we have shown that we can commit great amounts of money and effort in leading the world for causes we deem just and worthy. If global hunger, poverty, AIDS, etc. are not just and worthy causes to sacrifice for, then this world is void of any cause that can rightly be called just and worthy.

Mr. Bush, you have made your faith and commitment in our Lord Jesus known by your words. I urge you to make your commitment know now by your actions and efforts in leading the world in the challenge of fighting the evils of world-wide poverty, hunger, and disease. Our Scriptures are bursting with the call to care for the poor, the hungry, the sick, the widowed, the alien, the stranger, the imprisoned; in short, our Lord has demanded that we care for "the least of these." By the same token, the Scriptures testify that God, through His prophets, has strong words of rebuke and reproach for His people when they fail to care for the "least of these." We are at one of those moments where we can choose the action that will lead to our Lord saying "well done, good and faithful servant." Or, we can choose the action that will lead to a most serious rebuke when at last we stand face to face with Him.

The facts are shocking:
One child dies every three seconds -- that's 30,000 a day more than 10 million a year -- most die of hunger and preventable disease.

Some 600 million children live in extreme poverty, without basic necessities like clean water, health care, and education. Approximately 15 million children have been orphaned and made vulnerable by the HIV/AIDS pandemic -- the vast majority of these children live on the African continent.

Mr. President, Africa's suffering is unnecessary. It's morally unconscionable.

Americans responded in force to the tsunami in Southeast Asia when 250,000 lives were lost. The "silent tsunamis" of hunger and disease are devastating Africa right now: About 70 percent of Africans live on less than $2 a day; 200 million go hungry; more than 2,700 people, most of them young children, die of malaria each day; and twice that many succumb to AIDS. We are not giving to this daily disaster with the same energy and fervor that we responded to the tsunami survivors.

Nearly 1 million Americans -- many in the faith community -- are calling for action across political and religious divides to beat the global AIDS emergency and extreme poverty. I am one of these Americans. And, far more importantly, I am your brother in Christ.

Our nation has an historic opportunity to use our greatness, wealth, and influence at the G8 Summit on July 6 to help our African neighbors in crisis.

I urge you to lead other nations at Gleneagles to make poverty history by:

> Helping the poorest of the poor fight poverty, disease, and hunger at a cost equal to just one percent more of the U.S. budget on a clear timetable.

> Canceling 100% of the debts owed by the poorest countries.

> Reforming trade rules so people in poor countries can earn sustainable incomes.

Please use this time and opportunity you have been given to help others help themselves and especially giving children the opportunity to live life in all its fullness.

1 Comments:

Blogger The Thief said...

Did you actually send this to President Bush, or just post it? If you did send it, I'd be interested in knowing what kind of response (if any) you received...

11:27 AM, August 25, 2005  

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