The Athens Friends Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends endorses the ‘We the People’ amendment to the U.S. Constitution, introduced into Congress on April 29, 2015 as House Joint Resolution 48.
This Amendment specifies 1) that only natural persons are entitled to the human rights specified in the Constitution and its amendments, and 2) that speech, the freedom of which is protected by the First Amendment, does not include money spent on behalf of candidates or issues up for election.
The ‘We the People’ Amendment will restore the authority of Congress, as well as state legislatures and local governments, to impose appropriate restrictions on campaign contributions and spending, authority which has been denied by recent Supreme Court decisions. It can also prevent the use of Constitutional rights by corporate entities to conceal illegal activity. Equal protection under the law does not exist when corporate entities, which have the legal means of concentrating wealth, also enjoy the protection offered by human rights intended for individuals.
The Religious Society of Friends is committed to working toward a world free of violence and oppression, in which no one’s development is hindered by meager income, insufficient education, or too little freedom in directing his or her own affairs. In the words of the Friends Committee on National Legislation, “We seek a world free of war and the threat of war. We seek a society with equity and justice for all. We seek a community where every person’s potential may be fulfilled. We seek an earth restored.”
These goals of equity and justice cannot be reached when democracy is thwarted by the concentration of power into corporate hands, as has been facilitated by unfortunate Court interpretations of the Constitution. Adoption of the ‘We the People’ Amendment seems essential to these goals.
Approved for endorsement by the Athens Friends Meeting in a Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, March 13, 2016.