By Elizabeth Tenety
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks at the National Religious Broadcasters convention Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011, in Nashville. In his speech, Boehner made his case for the GOP plan to prevent a shutdown of the federal government. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told an audience at the National Religious Broadcasters conference Sunday night that America’s national debt is a “moral hazard.”
Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody reported Monday that the “speaker of the House of Representatives came to the evangelical audience with a moral message.”
“We have a moral responsibility to deal with this threat to freedom and liberate our economy from the shackles of debt and unrestrained government,” he said.
Boehner made clear that this fiscal crisis requires people to get on their knees.
“This immense debt is a moral hazard,” Boehner said.
“When you begin to look at the big challenges that face our country both here and the challenges that we see abroad many people begin to realize that they better start praying as well,” he added.
The budget crises facing government at all levels have led to debates over the morality of funding a variety of programs –from the House vote to defund family planning and health services at Planned Parenthood –to religious leaders, including the U.S. Bishops, calling out Wisconsin’s “moral obligation” to pro-union protesters. On Monday, 27 Christian leaders, including Rev. Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo, Dr. Joel Hunter and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez asked “What would Jesus cut?” in a full-page ad in Politico.
Brody’s CBN dispatch also included this quote from Boehner:
“It is immoral to bind our children to as leeching and destructive a force as debt. It is immoral to rob our children’s future and make them beholden to China. No society is worthy that treats its children so shabbily.”
Was Boehner sending a spiritual signal? Matthew’s gospel says something similar: “When the son of God comes in his glory,” the passage reads, “the King will say to those on his right:”
“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Can the right pivot from free market to moral market? Do you agree with Boehner that America’s national debt is a moral hazard?