By Adelle M. Banks
WASHINGTON (RNS) The newly launched Conference of National Black Churches criticized Congress on Thursday (Dec. 9) for linking extension of unemployment benefits to tax cuts for the wealthy.
“Based on our prophetic responsibility to speak to those in power on behalf of the poor, underserved, and vulnerable, we find it utterly shameful that those who insisted that the deficit be reduced, now celebrate billions of dollars being added to the deficit as tax cuts for the wealthy,” wrote the Rev. W. Franklyn Richardson, chairman of the umbrella group of nine historically black denominations.
The letter called on President Obama and Congress to endorse “an extension of unemployment insurance without conditions.”
The group issued the letter as 300 of its leaders met in Washington to restart the work begun by the now-defunct Congress of National Black Churches, which helped rebuild Southern black churches destroyed in a spate of arsons in the 1990s.