A ‘Faithful Filibuster’ of Catholics, Protestants, and Evangelicals
opens the day on the Capitol steps, demanding Congress restore the budget

Washington, October 16, 2013 – Quoting scripture and invoking ancient reminders of God’s love for the poor, clergy and religious leaders gathered on the steps of the U.S. Capitol at sunrise to pray and remind Congress of the moral imperative to end the gridlock on the national budget.

The “Faithful Filibuster,” will continue reading until congress acts. Readers have included a wide range of Catholic, mainline Protestant, and evangelical groups, including the National Council of Churches.

The Rev. Ann Tiemeyer, NCC associate general secretary for joint action and advocacy, opened the 10 am daily continuous reading reminding listeners of the over 2,000 bible verses that speak of “God’s concern for justice and protecting the poor and vulnerable people.”

Directing her admonition to members of Congress who are refusing to vote on actions to re-open the government and raise the national debt ceiling, Tiemeyer said, “These verses point the way toward a brighter future for our nation and for all people.”

The “Faithful Filibuster” began last week, continuing through the rain and the weekend. The filibuster is a religious effort, organized by the Circle of Protection, to read the more than 2000 verses of Scripture in the Bible to remind Congress that their dysfunction hurts the most vulnerable Americans and that we are charged with caring for the least among us.

Tiemeyer began the NCC participation in the Faithful Filibuster Monday in front of the Methodist Building on Maryland Avenue on Capitol Hill, across the street from the U.S. Capitol building.

“I read a section from Exodus that included the laws concerning slaves, laws concerning violence, laws concerning property, laws of restitution, and social and religious laws,” Tiemeyer said this morning, “There were harsh words of punishment and retribution amongst these laws designed to protect the vulnerable of the culture,” she said. “And I also find these words of love and compassion.

Quoting from Exodus 22:26-27, Tiemeyer said:
“If you take your neighbor’s cloak in pawn, you shall restore it before the sun goes down; For it may be your neighbor’s only clothing to use as cover; in what else shall that person sleep? And if your neighbor cries out to me,I will listen, for I am compassionate.”

Tiemeyer urged Congress to act with similar compassion and restore the U.S. government to full operation.
“Restore it before the sun goes down!” she said.

Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for shared ecumenical witness among Christians in the United States. The NCC's 37 member communions -- from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches -- include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.

NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 646-853-4212 (cell), [email protected]