There's a terrific new Op-Ed today in the Washington Post from the Rev. Dr. Katharine Rhodes Henderson, president of the Auburn Theological Seminary, an organization we've partnered with to support the campaign she highlights.
Her column begins:
I recently read the heartbreaking, moving story of Tracy Abruzzo, who, like thousands of other families, lost her home in the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy. Following the storm, she and her husband sifted through the rubble Sandy left behind, fitting all they owned into a single blue bucket.
Reading about her struggle to rebuild, I began to think about the incredible cost of this election and the wasted $6 billion that were poured into it. That money could completely rebuild the lives of more than 13,000 families who, like Abruzzo, now face ruins rather than homes. It’s clear to me that there’s a fundamental flaw in our approach to election spending when money that could help thousands of hurricane victims pays for misleading advertisements designed to tear the electorate apart.
As a woman of faith, I’m deeply troubled both by the colossal sums spent to influence the recent elections and the hundreds of millions of dollars that are already being collected in an effort to sway the midterm elections in two years. Super PACs are already holding planning meetings for the 2014 elections and considering how to engage directly with lawmakers on Capitol Hill during the Congressional session. We’re undeniably seeing the negative effects of the Citizens United court decision, which granted corporations the same rights as people and opened the doors for a flood of special interest election spending from a privileged few. As leaders of faith, we must sound the alarm.
Other highlights from the piece include:
When people make large gifts of money to influence the behavior of a leader, the Bible calls that a bribe. The Bible reserves its strongest words for anonymous bribes, saying in Proverbs that “a wicked man accepts a bribe in secret to pervert the ways of justice.” (Proverbs 17:23)
From a theological point of view, the idea of corporate personhood is a farce.
For the full column, click here.