Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A letter from Sojourners about the food crisis

This is important:

You've probably seen the headlines about record food prices, which have led to deadly violence and panic across the globe.

The U.N. Secretary-General said last week that the situation has "become a global crisis," and the World Food Programme is warning of a "silent tsunami" of hunger. Even here in the U.S., grocery stores are starting to ration sales of rice.

Sadly, this desperate situation is being worsened by our own government's policies. While we spend billions of dollars on food for the hungry overseas, Congress requires that all of it be purchased from farmers in the U.S. and shipped halfway around the world — wasting money and delaying the food's arrival.

As Congress finalizes the Farm Bill, tell them to fix this misguided policy and help feed more hungry people.

It seems so obvious: When buying food for hungry people overseas, buy from farmers nearby — it's simpler, cheaper, and better for the local economy and environment.

But even as children are at risk of starving to death, Congress has shown more interest in increasing profits for big American agribusiness than in ensuring that we feed as many hungry people as possible.

These policies are decided as part of the Farm Bill, a mammoth but little-known piece of legislation that governs our nation's agricultural policies. So far, it's been shaped mostly by a narrow group of farm-state legislators and industry lobbyists — and it's become so laden with pork-barrel spending that President Bush is threatening a veto.

But our lawmakers have one last chance to get it right before the bill goes to the president's desk. One simple change could make a dramatic difference in addressing the global food crisis.

Click here to tell your senators and representatives to fix our food aid policies.

Thank you for raising your voice, as we seek to follow Christ in feeding the hungry multitude.

I truly think capitalism is a very great evil. From a theological point of view it is rank idolatry - with profit taking the place of God.

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