A message from the ELCA Advocacy Office:
“This church shall seek to… contribute toward the upbuilding of the common good and the revitalizing of public life through open and inclusive processes of deliberation.” – ELCA Social Statement: The Church in Society: A Lutheran Perspective
The corruptive influence of money in American politics today silences the voices of middle-class and poor Americans in the democratic process. It is time for people of faith and moral commitment to insist on reform. As early as today, Monday, September 8, the United States Senate is scheduled to vote on legislation that would re-establish Congress and individual states’ ability to pass guidelines for election spending. S.J. Resolution 19 has nearly 50 co-sponsors in the Senate, and comes in the wake of the upcoming election season where roughly $72 million has been spent on 9 Senate elections alone. This important legislation comes as a result of the Supreme Court’s narrowly divided ruling in Citizens United v. FEC.
This legislation will ensure that political leaders focus on all of their constituents rather than the select few who make large financial contributions. Many religious traditions and teachings inspire us to continually strive for a more just democratic system that includes all of our brothers and sisters. A group of prominent theologians from multiple denominations compiled a religiously conscious report that found:
- The current role of money in American politics does not take into account the needs of the poor, as the poor by definition are unable to make needed contributions to have their voice heard
- Faithful justice is achieved through multiplicity of voices, not just the voices of a few
The Senators in the state of WI are crucial for the passage of this cloture vote, and as their constituent, your voice is particularly significant in this conversation. Contact both of your Senators at the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be transferred to their offices. Tell your Senators to support cloture on Senate Joint Resolution 19, to uphold democratic values and to protect the right of states to limit campaign contributions.
Please note: Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is considered a swing vote on this issue, so it is especially important to contact him and let him know your views.