Religious Leaders Chastise Politicians

Barrington M. Salmon | 9/18/2012, 7:25 p.m.

Blaire agrees.

"There is a tremendous amount of good that is done by charitable agencies but they cannot do it all," he said. "... We cannot meet the severe demands we face on this issue. Everybody has to create the common good."

The faith leaders played videos by Obama and Romney which they said they plan to distribute to congregations around the country. Obama spoke about preserving tax cuts for the poor and middle class. Romney cited the need for job growth. Faith leaders declared that there needs to be a new national commitment and a new strategy on poverty in America and globally.

Beckmann, who moderated the press conference at the National Press Club in Northwest, said the "Circle of Protection" does not support, oppose, or in any way endorse any candidate running for election.

"Those who struggle economically in our society, the most vulnerable ... do not have a voice at the policymaking table or a hand in influencing political campaigns," said Beckmann, president of Bread for the World in Southwest. "... We urge all people to let your voices be heard through your vote ... our faith calls us to consider how our choices in this election affect 'the least of these."'