Columbia, SC –A coalition of Christian Groups--representing tens of millions of American Christians and hundreds of millions around the world--announced the launch of a billboard, radio, and on-line advertising campaign today in South Carolina urging Congress to avoid cuts to current funding levels for global development and aid that help theworld’s poor deal with hunger, poverty, and the effects of climate change. The American Values Network (AVN) sponsored the radio and on-line ads and was joined by the National Association of Evangelicals, World Evangelical Alliance, and Bread for the World in co-sponsoring the billboards, which are positioned outside the offices of key South Carolina Senators andRepresentatives, and along I-26 [click here to view ads].
The ads all are based on the moral case for maintaining current foreign aid funding levels and demonstrate the broad support for such a policy from America’s faith community. “Sadly, there are some in Congress who believe that this tithe of the tithe is too much for the least of these abroad. But maintaining our investments abroad is in our nation’s self interest –for moral, economic, and security reasons. And we need to make sure our Senators and Congressmen know that,” says Pastor Terry Alexander, who also servers in the South Carolina House of Representatives, and voiced the ad which will run at saturation levels on Christian radio stations throughout the state.
“Jesus taught that whatever we do unto the least of these, we do unto him. Cuts to funding for U.S. international development and aid would have virtually no impact on the U.S. deficit, but they would have a devastating impact on the world’s poor,” said Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance.
Online ads echoing the message in the billboards and radio ad are also running on Christian websites prominent among young evangelicals in the state. The ads are intended to provide support for South Carolina Senators and Congressmen working to maintain current levels of foreign aid funding, which represent only 0.6% of the U.S. Budget, and highlight the moral and security reasons for doing so.
“We don’t have a spending crisis in this country. We have a crisis of values and priorities,” said Eric Sapp, Executive Director of the American Values Network. “Something is out of balance when some in Congress propose cuts to the already-limited funding for global poverty and hunger that help the least of these among uswhile spending billions on tax giveaways to oil companies and trillions in new tax cuts for the wealthiest among us.”
The National Association of Evangelicals is made up of 40 different denominations representing millions of evangelicals nationwide. The World Evangelical Alliance is the largest association of evangelical denominations worldwide, representing over 600 million evangelicals. Bread for the World is a leading faith-based non-profit working for hunger and poverty relief across the globe. American Values Network is a faith-based advocacy group that has played a key role in recent debates over national security, climate, and economic justice issues.
Radio Ad Script:
“Jesus Gave His Life for the world. What should we give?
Hi, this is Pastor Terry Alexander. As a member of my church’s national Mission Board, I've seen how effective US investments abroad can be in saving lives and lifting up struggling families.
The U.S. dedicates less than 1% of its budget to help God's children around theworld confront poverty, hunger, disease, and climate disasters. Sadly though, some in Congress argue that this tithe of the tithe is too much for the least of these abroad.
But cuts now will cost much more later in lives and dollars. Our military leaders have said investments in foreign aid pay themselves back many times over bystabilizing regions and building goodwill for America.
Maintaining our investments abroad is in our nation’s moral and self interests, and we need to make sure our Senators and Congressmen know that. Learn more at American Values Network.org”
Founding Partner, Eleison Group
Executive Director, American Values Network