Congress Must Invest in American Families and Communities – Baptist News Global


The US Congress is currently reviewing a series of bold investments in American families and communities that will better enable all of us to reach our God-given potential while protecting the most vulnerable in our societies. As a Baptist pastor and a father, I urge our elected leaders to support these critical investments, which are both moral and prudent imperatives.

The Build Back Better Act, currently debated in Congress, will provide states and communities with the resources they need to support their communities and the families who live, work and play in them. This plan would address some of the most fundamental challenges the nation faces today, such as managing the climate crisis and improving Americans’ access to health care. It would also implement some of the most family and common good policies we have seen in a generation, including solid investments that have been proven to make it easier to have and raise a child in America, the expansion and expansion of the child tax credit, introduction of a universal preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds, investing in the accessibility and affordability of childcare, and creating the first federal paid vacation allowance.

Adam Russell Taylor

Taken together, these family-centric investments represent changes in our economy that will help all children and parents to thrive. Together with the bipartisan infrastructure package recently passed by Congress and the Build Back Better Act provisions on health and climate change, these are moral investments that will help create a more just and just society. Once in place, Americans will be freer to live their lives and pursue their hopes and aspirations.

As a preacher and leader in the faith-based Advocacy community, I am guided and inspired by the way Jesus himself expressed his special concern for the most vulnerable among us, including children. In fact, he said in Matthew 25 that we would be judged by how we treat the weakest of us.

Our children are our most precious responsibility and depend on all of us to create a society that treats each of them with the care and dignity that Jesus requires us to give them. These family-friendly, life-affirming investments will enable us to help shape the Beloved Community, the kind of community that Martin Luther King and so many other civil rights activists dreamed of and fought for, where freedom and justice are extended to and anyone can one Experience life in dignity.

And as a father, I know that families are a fundamental building block of society. Anything we can do to help families thrive and make their lives easier will have positive effects in our economy and society. Living through a pandemic and struggling to manage parenting and work every day have highlighted the importance of these investments.

“Anything we can do to help families thrive and make their lives easier will have a positive impact on our economy and society.”

We need Congress to act boldly to meet us the scope and extent of this historic moment for our nation. I’ve seen the toll the pandemic has taken on my church family and ward. We have all been hit hard by the pandemic – some worse than others – and it shows more clearly the inadequacies and injustices in our society.

Returning to a broken and unjust “normal” is not an option. Instead, we must work together to create a new normal, in part by adopting a budget that prioritizes investments that will allow us to better care for one another and protect the sanctity and dignity of everyone.

Alongside all of us, Congress has a moral duty to make it easier to bring children safely into the world, to support and care for children after they are born, and to enable children and families to thrive. Now is the time to act. Now is the time to adopt a budget package that will help us build the Beloved Community by building a more equitable and caring economy.

Adam Russell Taylor is President of Sojourners and author of the new book A More Perfect Union: A New Vision for Building the Beloved Community. He is a Baptist minister and his family serves in the Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia.


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