Three Faiths Make Joint Appeal to Congress for Guaranteed Employment Act

Responding to the human needs advocated in the Poor Peoples March on Washington, spokesmen for the Jewish, Catholic and Protestant faiths joined today in urging Congress to adopt a guaranteed employment act to provide one million new government jobs for the nation’s unemployed. The appeal was made before a House Labor Subcommittee in joint testimony offered by Rabbi Richard G. Hirsch, director of the Religious Action Center, Union of American Hebrew Congregations; Father John McCarthy, assistant director of the U.S. Catholic Conference Social Action Department, and Dr. Grover Bagby, for the Department of Social Justice, National Council of Churches.

Their Joint statement said that opposition to poverty was “deeply rooted in our Judeo-Christian heritage, which affirms that obedience to the will of God demands that the hungry be fed, the naked be clothed and justice be established in the land.” Stressing Government responsibility in providing employment, the clergymen said that “involuntary poverty, especially in a society of affluence, undermines human dignity. To sanction or allow the continuation of such indignity is to diminish man’s stature and to desecrate the image of God.” They said “the Government should utilize all available fiscal, monetary, and economic instruments, and, if necessary, devise new means for expansion of the nation’s agricultural and industrial capacity and for job creation, in order to assure every employable person the opportunity to serve the community through work.

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