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Please consider this excerpt from an article by Mark Tooley:

"Overall, federal spending per household has nearly tripled over the last 45 years. Shouldn't religious and moral leaders be concerned that the federal government's massive expansion is impeding not only economic growth but also the ability of churches and private charities to function fully in fidelity to their faith? Or do some of them see the Welfare and Entitlement State as ultimately a replacement for religion and charity? Maybe one of the most threatening corruptions of Big Government is its usurpation of the spiritual authority that rightfully belongs to religious institutions.

Responding to the failure of many church officials to question the morality and plausibility of an endlessly expanding federal government is a new coalition called "Christians for a Sustainable Economy (CASE)." It portrays endlessly expanding government and debt as potentially ruinous. "Compassion and charity for 'the least of these' is an essential expression of our faith, flowing from a heart inclined towards God," their inaugural statement declared. "And just as the love of God frees us for a more abundant life, so our charity must go beyond mere material provision to meet the deeper needs of the poor."

CASE warned that "to suggest that Matthew 25 -- or any commandment concerning Christian charity -- can be met through wealth redistribution is to obscure these truths." And it urged considering the "whole counsel of scripture, which urges not only compassion and provision for the poor but also the perils of debt and the importance of wise stewardship." Signatories to CASE's stance (including myself) are so far not so much senior church officials but theologians, ethicists, and lay activists. Check it out here.

In many moments of history, senior church prelates are stagnantly attached to the cultural status quo, however dysfunctional. Momentous social reforms usually arise from the lower ranks. Maybe CASE will signify a new groundswell among America's church goers for fiscal responsibility and a genuine concern for the needy rooted beyond a failing Welfare State.

The article in its entirety may be read at: