Faith and politics round up

People of faith are speaking out on the burden the federal budget places on the poor; Liberty University gets more federal aid than the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, but did not want their students to know that; the UK bans the export to the US of the drugs used for lethal injections.


Wounded Bird says let’s not forget what got us here and what’s really going on.

The Huffington Post relates a Religion News Service story about the fast that Jim Wallis has organized:

Sojourners founder Jim Wallis and Ambassador Tony Hall, executive director of the Alliance to End Hunger, say the poor stand to lose the most in the $38.5 billion in budget cuts, and plan to continue protesting by fasting through Easter.

“This compromise represents the interests of all those who make big campaign contributions but betrays the poor and vulnerable,” Wallis said, referring to the 11th-hour compromise brokered Friday night (April 8).

“This compromise has only strengthened my resolve to continue fasting, and we call for any person of faith or conscience to keep joining the fast and spreading the word.”

The two activists were joined in their budget protest by more than 36,000 fasters who vowed to pray and advocate for the poor as Washington attempts to get its fiscal house in order.

What started out as a straight-forward p.r. piece on the financial aide program at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA, became an embarrassment when Salon.com connected the dots and saw that the school, founded by the late evangelist Jerry Falwell, receives more federal dollars than the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Jenna Johnson at the Washington Post tells the story:

For at least one day last week, Liberty University administrators blocked campus access to the Web site of Lynchburg’s News & Advocate. According to reports, the site was blocked after the newspaper ran a story about the amount of federal student aid the school receives.

The chancellor of the evangelical college, Jerry Falwell Jr., told the News & Advocate that campus policies allow administrators to “block a number of sites at will.” Falwell wouldn’t give the newspaper a reason for blocking access to its site: “We’re a private organization and we don’t have to give a reason and we’re not.” Falwell said the decision was not related to the newspaper’s content.

But Jim Romenesko of the Poynter Institute, a nonprofit journalism organization, reported that an employee of the newspaper believes the site was blocked because of an article by reporter Liz Barry headlined: ”Liberty tops state in federal aid for its students.

Barry reported that the school received about $445 million in federal financial aid last fiscal year, an increase partly driven by the rapid growth of its online program.

Last week, Salon.com picked up the story and pointed out that Liberty received more funds than the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which received $420 million from the federal government.

Reuters says a ban has been imposed by the UK on the export to the US of drugs used to carry out the death penalty by way of lethal injections.

Britain said on Friday it would ban the export to the United States of three drugs used to carry out lethal injections and called on other European Union countries to follow suit.

The British government said it was putting additional export controls on the export of pancuronium bromide, potassium chloride and sodium pentobarbital.

Last year, the London-based human rights group Reprieve sued the British government to stop it exporting another drug, sodium thiopental, a sedative legally required for U.S. lethal injections, which was in short supply in the United States.

That led to Britain, which opposes the death penalty, imposing an emergency export ban on the drug.

Category : The Lead

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