Bishop Chane speaks out on fixing the Farm Bill a multi-denominational press conference on Capitol Hill on July 17, Bishop John Bryson Chane of the Diocese of Washington and five other faith leaders called upon the leadership of the United States Congress to stand for a farm bill consistent with “our nation’s fundamental values of fairness and opportunity for all people.” according to Alex Baumgarten, reporting for Episcopal News Service.

“Current U.S. foreign policy is a broken promise to American farmers — especially small rural farmers — and also is a threat to the world’s poor,” said Chane, speaking of the Episcopal Church’s commitment to farm-bill reform to national reporters gathered one room away from where the House Agriculture Committee was slated to begin its final consideration of the U.S. farm bill later in the day.

Noting that the Committee thus far has rejected calls for reform of the U.S. commodity-crop payment program, Chane said that “the House leadership must now begin to address this bill from a moral perspective and center that transcends the typical as-you-go-politics that have sustained U.S. agricultural policy” in recent years.

Chane was joined at the press conference by Father Andrew Small of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; the Rev. David Beckman, president of Bread for the World; Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK, a national Catholic social justice lobby; the Rev. Earl Trent, director of missions for the Progressive National Baptist Convention; and Bishop Theodore Schneider of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Metro Washington, D.C. synod.

The press conference also marked the public release of a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from the heads of 13 Christian denominations and faith-based advocacy organizations, including Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. Stressing that “the vision behind the first U.S. farm bill in the 1930s — an economic safety net for farmers during difficult times — is barely recognizable in today’s farm bill,” the leaders called for Congress to enact a “new covenant with rural America” and people living in poverty around the world.

Read it all, including the letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi here

Interested persons can sign up here, and learn more about the farm bill here.

Ethics Daily has more from Bishop Chane and others. A comprehensive roundup can be found here.

Past Posts