I’m sick of politics. I don’t like what politicians do, how they run campaigns, how they fashion rhetoric, or how they divide the body of Christ for their own filthy ends. I get a little heartbroken when I think about how much money is donated by average folks to support the campaigns of politicians they like. For example, the campaigns of Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina for the 2010 Senate race here in California have raised a combined $23 million from the public (not to mention private funds being applied). Think what $23 million dollars could accomplish in Oakland or in Compton or in Watts! Poor minority neighborhoods lack adequate schools and services, but the general populace can afford to throw millions away that are used only to sway the most unintelligent and uninformed members of the populace in order to buy power. There is something astonishingly wrong with that picture. We are told again and again that that is simply how the game is played, but if so may God forgive us for ever walking onto the field.
It may get me in trouble, but I no longer think Christians should give money to politicians. It furthers a system wherein money is still the means of power, an evil incompatible with our faith. Furthermore, we deprive the poor of what they need so that we can afford for ourselves a piece of the political power broking. To borrow from John Chrysostom:
The gold bit on your horse, the gold circlet on the wrist of your slave, the gilding on your shoes, mean that you are robbing the orphan and starving the widow. When you have passed away, each passer-by who looks upon your great mansion will say, “How many tears did it take to build that mansion; how many orphans were stripped; how many widows wronged; how many laborers deprived of their honest wages?” Even death itself will not deliver you from your accusers. ( Homily 2.4)
Giving to politicians is the worst sort of wasteful largess, nothing is accomplished and no one benefits but the power-hungry. So here is my new non-partisan Christian approach to politics: Starve the lot of them out. If Christians refused to give money to politicians it would severely dent their resources and demonstrate just how dependent they are on corporate money and kickbacks. I wonder how much the world could change if all the dollars funneled into politicians’ hands went to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless.