National Lutheran News

Church leaders want social security preserved

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and 15 other religious organizations released a joint statement of principles during May, aimed at informing the U.S. Congress as it considers show to preserve and strengthen the Social Securi-ty program.

“Our religious communities speak with one voice on the importance of providing compassionate care for the elderly, widows, orphans and persons with disabilities. We believe it is the birthright of each person to live a life with dignity and with access to the basic necessities of life,” said Kay A. Bengston, director of domestic policy for the Lutheran Office for Govern-mental Affairs, the ELCA’s federal public policy office, Washington, D.C.

“[Social security] has demonstrated the positive role that government can play in advancing the common good. Future generations deserve nothing less. We need to strengthen the present system so that it will serve future generations.”
The religious organizations’ statement said that the current discussion of the Social Security system is “timely and appropriate,” and warrants “careful reflection” concerning the basic principles on which the present system was founded.

The religious organizations’ joint statement says future changes to the Social Security system should emphasize compassion, economic security, equity, fairness, progressivity, a three-part retirement approach including savings and pensions, and stewardship of the public trust.
The full text of the statement, “To Preserve and Strengthen Social Security: Religious Organization Statement of Principles” is at www.elca.org/advocacy.