Social justice group targets Republican senators over stimulus bill

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA)
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA)


The group Catholics United is trying to rally support for President Barack Obama’s economic recovery plan by running advertisements on Christian radio appealing to faith and targeting Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) in their respective states.

The aids will air in 18 cities on over two dozen radio stations during the morning rush hour on Thursday, Feb. 5, a Catholics United press release states. The radio ads coincide with an email and radio campaign that Democrats are launching to garner support for President Obama’s stimulus package.

Catholics United argues that the economic recovery bill has “essential provisions” for struggling families and describes its passage as “of great importance to the faith community.”

The group says that Catholic social services and other faith-based organizations who care for the homeless, the hungry and the vulnerable “see the need for urgent action.”

The radio spot begins with a man’s voice asking “What are you praying for? What’s on your heart?”

“I am praying for my family during this economic crisis,” the narrator says. “Too many of us are asking: ‘How long will I be able to keep my job? How am I going to pay rent this month? Are my kids going to have a better future?’

“As Christians, we can do better. In Acts, chapter 4 verse 34, Luke states that in the early Christian communities ‘there was no needy person among them.’

“President Obama has a plan to help struggling families by creating jobs.  And we need it now more than ever.

“Help make it happen,” the ad concludes, asking listeners to call Sen. Specter or Sen. Voinovich, depending on the broadcast area.

“Catholics and people of all faiths expect an economy that works for everyone not simply a privileged few,” Chris Korzen, Executive Director of Catholics United, commented in a press release. “Jesus calls us to care for the least among us. That means looking out for our neighbors who are losing their homes, those who are unemployed and all those who are suffering.  We need this legislation to pass. It’s not about politics. It’s about moral responsibility.”

Sen. Specter is one of the most pro-abortion rights Republicans in the Senate, while Sen. Voinovich received a 100 percent rating in 2006 from the National Right to Life Committee.

Catholics United describes itself as “a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting the message of justice and the common good found at the heart of the Catholic Social Tradition.”

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Archbishop of Denver Charles J. Chaput accused groups like Catholics United of doing a “disservice to the Church” and undermining pro-life progress through what he called their “Democratic-friendly” work.

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