Speakers at the Oct. 9 "Faithful Filibuster" pray outside the U.S. Capitol for those affected by the government shutdown. RNS photo by Katherine Burgess

Speakers at the Oct. 9 “Faithful Filibuster” pray outside the U.S. Capitol for those affected by the government shutdown. RNS photo by Katherine Burgess

(RNS) Under a cloudy and drizzly sky, across the street from the U.S. Capitol, David Beckmann read passages from the prophet Isaiah.

“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God,” read Beckmann,  president of Bread for the World and one of several Protestant and Catholic leaders who gathered Wednesday (Oct. 9) to launch  “Faithful Filibuster.”

The effort is intended to remind members of Congress that the government shutdown is hurting poor and vulnerable people.

Volunteers planned to read more than 2,000 verses, possibly continuing into the night.

“In the midst of a crisis when we don’t really know what to do, we thought, ‘Let’s read the Bible and hear what God has to say,’” Beckmann said.

There were no protesters, and few showed up to support the group, which huddled in front of the Capitol later to pray.

Kathy Saile, director of domestic social development for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, flips through the "Poverty & Justice Bible," a Bible that speakers at the Oct. 9 "Faithful Filibuster" say they want to give to every member of Congress. In the "Poverty & Justice Bible" every verse pertaining to justice for the poor and needy is highlighted in orange. RNS photo by Katherine Burgess

Kathy Saile, director of domestic social development for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, flips through the “Poverty & Justice Bible,” a Bible that speakers at the Oct. 9 “Faithful Filibuster” say they want to give to every member of Congress. In the “Poverty & Justice Bible” every verse pertaining to justice for the poor and needy is highlighted in orange. RNS photo by Katherine Burgess


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The reading of Scripture will continue at the beginning of each day’s session of Congress, as long as Congress is in session. Religious leaders hope Congress will pass “a budget that cares for the poor and vulnerable.”

The Circle of Protection, a coalition of denominational and nonprofit leaders that supports programs that assist the poor, organized the event.

“We all are here because we agree that protecting the poor has to be one of our highest national priorities,” said Galen Carey, vice president of the National Association of Evangelicals.

Also speaking were Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners; Lisa Sharon Harper, director of mobilizing at Sojourners; and Kathy Saile, director of domestic social development for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

7 Comments

  1. This whole “thing” is totally blown out of proportion. First of all, welfare checks are still going out, food banks are not affected, at least yet, and most services are handled at either the state or local level, which is not affected by a federal government shut-down. The real effects are being felt by the choices made at the executive level (President Obama) on which services will be closed. Open parks such as the WW II memorial have received extra funding to close down, purchasing fencing to close off the area and posting security to prohibit the public access. Meanwhile, the President still enjoys security details, golf trips, vacations, and other perks. (So does Congress.) I am tired of political football!
    Meanwhile, the media is raking in millions by stirring the pot!

  2. Maybe if they read these passages…

    1 John 5:19 “The WHOLE WORLD is lying in the power of the wicked one.”

    Psalms 146:3 “Do not put your trust in nobles, nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs.”

    Jeremiah 10:23 “I well know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.”

    Ecclesiastes 8:9 ” …man has dominated man to his injury”

    Once you learn what the bible REALLY teaches, you can cast of the shackles of trusting in mans governments. They will all be brought to nothing.

    Daniel 2:44 “And in the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will CRUSH and put and end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite.”

    • The bible says to pay tax/ for the poor
      Exodus 23:11 – But the seventh [year] thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, [and] with thy oliveyard.es

      hey brought Him a denarius, and He asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then He said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” In full agreement, the Apostle Paul taught, “This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor” (Romans 13:6-7).

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