America’s Goals: Goal 4 Empowering People Over Special Interests

We know what is wrong with politics today: big corporate money drowns out voters, and politicians choose special interests over regular people.  Too many politicians vote for corporate tax breaks, subsidies, and bailouts for the rich and powerful that most people oppose.  And they implement voting procedures  designed to make it harder to register and vote. It sometimes seems that corporate special interests control everything—and even threaten our private online data. It’s time to break the political grip of corporate interests and empower people in politics and society. (Source: America’s Goals)

 

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At least 16 states have no limit on corporate contributions to PACS. [15] Only 20 states ban corporations from contributing to candidates in state elections, while 6 states allow unlimited contributions. [16]

 

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A dozen wealthy countries achieve a national election voter turnout of at least 70% of the voting age population, compared with America’s turnout of 55.7% in 2016. [17]

 

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In 2014, 17 million Americans experienced at least one incident of identity fraud [18] — this can be reduced through strengthening online data protection and giving individuals more control over their personal data.

 

Jesus Confronting Fear, Money, Power, and Control

Special interests are ruled by the desire for money, power, and control (an unholy trinity). We see this manifest in various types of oppression. Fear itself is used as a primary weapon of special interests. Create constant states of fear helps them in raising money, buying politicians, and maintaining control. All at the expense of true democracy of the people, by the people, for the people.

Jesus’ day was no stranger to tactics of fear and oppression. Rome used fear for control. The desire for money, power, and control were at play then too. But Jesus proclaimed something different. Jesus called for transformation of society into a beloved community where fear and oppression were not the controlling factors of life.

Jesus addressed the fear he saw directly. Fear of the “other”; fear of change; fear of love over hate; fear of peace over violence; fear of justice over the oppression of control. At the heart is a fear of trusting in God’s beloved community over a desire for unrelenting privilege and power. Evil wants us to be afraid. As long as we are afraid we are silent. And when we are silent, evil has the upper hand.

It can be a difficult task. As Richard Rohr observes, the price for real transformation is high. It means that we have to change our loyalties from power, success, money, ego, and control to the imitation of a Vulnerable God where servanthood, surrender, and simplicity reign. 

Jesus is the incursion of God in the world. He is one with the authority and reign of God. And Jesus’ first act of public ministry in Mark’s Gospel is to teach. In so doing he calls out evil and invites transformation. It is there, as evil knows, where fear is broken and evil destroyed.

Jesus as the incursion of God was doing something new in the world. Jesus was God entering into the world for the purpose of transformation. A transformation which turns evil on its head and replaces injustice, hatred, and violence with justice, love, and peace.