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Religious leaders’ Capitol rally to deliver loaves and fishes in symbolic call for tax increases

Dozens of religious leaders say they’ll distribute loaves and fishes to state leaders at the Minnesota state Capitol Tuesday to make a biblical point about the state shutdown.

They say evoking the Gospel story of Jesus multiplying loaves and fishes for a hungry crowd will illustrate the need for lawmakers to “ask those who have done well to make small sacrifices so that we can invest in those who’ve been hurt most by the economic downturn,” the religious leaders said in a statement.

They’ll rally on the Capitol steps at 11 a.m. to send the message that increased revenue is needed to solve the state budget crisis in a fair manner.

Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican leaders in the Legislature are locked in a stalemate over the size of the state budget. Dayton says more revenue is needed to preserve programs for the very poor and disabled. Republicans say their proposed $34 billion budget represents an increase in spending, and they have refused to consider higher taxes or fees.

At Tuesday rally, the religious coalition will present a letter signed by more than 100 members of the state’s clergy, calling for some type of tax increases on those who can afford to pay more.

Among the rally’s leaders are:

  • Pastor Paul Slack, New Creation Church, Brooklyn Park, co-chair of ISAIAH’s Clergy Caucus
  • Elder Alfred Babington-Johnson, president of The Stairstep Initiative
  • Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman, Temple Israel.

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Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by David Greene on 07/11/2011 - 03:28 pm.

    I’m proud that our religious leaders are stepping up to the plate! If more of the elected officials (and otherwise) at the capitol who profess some form of Christianity would bother to READ the bible, they might learn something about what God has to say about God’s priorities.

    I recommend Isaiah chapter 58 and Amos chapter 5 as starting points.

  2. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 07/11/2011 - 04:18 pm.

    “They say evoking the Gospel story of Jesus multiplying loaves and fishes for a hungry crowd will illustrate the need for lawmakers to “ask those who have done well to make small sacrifices so that we can invest in those who’ve been hurt most by the economic downturn,” the religious leaders said in a statement.”

    I suggest these “religious leaders” re-read their bible. Jesus didn’t get the loaves and fishes from people in the crowd and neither did he get the loaves and fishes from government.

    In fact, Jesus never once advocated for a government program to help the poor, he advocated for his followers to help the poor directly.

    Those alleged religious leaders are abdicating their “Christian” responsibility to the state.

  3. Submitted by David Greene on 07/11/2011 - 06:07 pm.

    Dennis, Dennis, Dennis.

    The story is not about who gave what to whom. It is about God’s abundance and our (represented by Jesus’ disciples) lack of faith in it.

    All we hear is scarcity, scarcity, scarcity. In fact there _is_ enough to go around. More than enough. Measure-for-measure-overflowing enough.

    But we must be willing to share the abundance. The extremely fortunate among us are not.

    This is a prophetic call, not a biblical commentary.

  4. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 07/11/2011 - 10:16 pm.

    “But we must be willing to share the abundance. The extremely fortunate among us are not.”

    But they are. Go to a food shelf or Second Harvest and see who is donating and volunteering there. It’s conservatives.

  5. Submitted by David Greene on 07/12/2011 - 08:09 am.

    And of course liberals never work at food shelves. Uh huh.

    Let me make it clear, Dennis. Those conservatives working at the food shelves are the same people who support cutting transit funding by 85%, cutting off those same food shelf patrons from any hope of getting to interviews and jobs.

    Yes, they’re all very compassionate.

  6. Submitted by Mark Johnson on 07/12/2011 - 08:16 am.

    They are giving to Caesar what is God’s.

  7. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 07/12/2011 - 09:39 am.

    Want happened to the12 baskets of leftovers? They may have gone to the selfish, GOP, conservative, disciples?

  8. Submitted by Herbert Davis on 07/12/2011 - 09:53 am.

    Religious leaders helped elect the anti-tax theocrats who focus more on abortion and gays than they really should. After your buddies kill this state you can step in and service it with “charity”.Until then, please be seated until an usher asks you to move…..to Wisconsin.

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