February 11, 2014
Dear Member of Congress:
We write to ask you to express your support for a Constitutional amendment to reduce the role of money in elections and to enhance the integrity of the electoral system.
As representatives of faith-based organizations, we share a commitment to religious teachings that recognize each person as a gift of the Creator, and that emphasize the importance of the essential humanity of each person. These principles have prompted people of faith to take an active part in movements for civil rights – especially voting rights for people of color and women. These fundamental truths urge us now to protect the value of each person’s participation in the democratic process, both in their ability to be heard in the election process and in the relative weight of their individual vote.
Individual voting rights can lose their value when they are overwhelmed by the influence of corporations and individuals capable of contributing large sums of money to election campaigns. In the same way, the voices and concerns of the constituents each elected member of congress represents can be drowned out by the high degree of access and attention that comes hand in hand with this influx of money from a small number of individuals and groups. Many of our congregations and associations carry deep concerns about immigration, gun violence, prisons, and climate change. We have watched as the out-sized role of political donations has distorted the electoral process and limited elected representatives’ ability to truly represent their constituencies on these and many critical issues.
Honesty, integrity, and the meaningful inclusion of all voters in electoral and democratic processes arise out of closely held values of faith. When the electoral system begins to break down, our shared faith values call us to help mend and strengthen it.
We therefore strongly encourage you to review the resolutions in the 113th Congress that propose to amend the U.S. Constitution to protect the value of every person’s vote and participation in elections, and to express your support for one of these proposed amendments. If you are waiting for a preferred legislative vehicle, we ask you to state publicly that you do support the idea of a Constitutional amendment that would set right our distorted electoral system.
In shared hope for our democracy,
American Friends Service Committee
Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
Conference of Major Superiors of Men
Disciples Justice Action Network
Faith in Public Life
Franciscan Action Network
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Mennonite Central Committee, U.S. Washington Office
Muslim Public Affairs Council
NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
Pax Christi USA
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Institute Justice Team
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society
United Methodist Women