Seventy-six leaders from across the evangelical Christian spectrum have petitioned President Bush to make antipoverty efforts a priority as he begins his second term.
Their letter, delivered to the White House on Martin Luther King Day, argues that evangelical concerns are not limited to abortion and family issues. Its prime author was Ron Sider of Philadelphia, chairman of Christians for Faith-Based Initiatives and a professor at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
The statement urges Bush to pledge "to make the necessary improvements in the next four years so that all Americans who work full time responsibly will be able to escape poverty and enjoy health insurance."
The Bible, it said, teaches that "God measures societies by how they treat the people at the bottom."