Urgent: Tell the House to Pass a Defense Budget that Prioritizes Human Dignity over Weapons

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The House of Representatives is poised to consider a bill next week to authorize nearly $850 billion dollars for Defense spending. At these levels, the Department of Defense will receive more money than the Departments of State, Justice, Education, Transportation, Health and Human Services, and the Environmental Protection Agency combined.

As United Methodists, we believe that national budgets are moral documents. They are a testament to national priorities. (2016 Book of Resolutions, #6129). Alarming portions of U.S. resources are devoted to military spending. We believe that human values must outweigh military claims as governments determine their priorities and that the militarization of society must be challenged and stopped. United Methodist Social Principles ¶165.C.

U.S. Representatives Lee (D-CA) and Pocan (D-WI) are introducing two amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would cut defense spending in favor of investing in our communities. The first amendment would reverse the $37.5 billion increase added to this year’s NDAA by the House Armed Services Committee. A separate amendment calls for a $100 billion cut to overall Pentagon spending. Congress will vote on these amendments next week so now is our time to make a difference.

Tell your Representative to support both amendments – which combined would only decrease the pentagon budget by 16%. If that money were reallocated to the Health and Human Services budget it would DOUBLE the discretionary budget of that agency.

Scripture tells us again and again not to live from a place of fear, but instead to model our lives after Christ’s example of love for God and love for neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40). As Christians, we must speak out against a national budget that prioritizes weapons over programs to support human dignity and quality of life.