China’s president Xi Jinping, has vowed to crack down on both “tigers” and “flies” – powerful leaders and lowly bureaucrats – in his campaign against corruption and petty officialdom
New Indonesian President Joko Widodo has postponed the announcement of his cabinet because he is having all of his potential candidates vetted first by the country’s Anti-Corruption Committee (KPK).
“When Louis XVI presented Benjamin Franklin with a snuff box encrusted with diamonds and inset with the King’s portrait, the gift troubled Americans: it threatened to “corrupt” Franklin by clouding his judgment or altering his attitude toward the French in subtle psychological ways. This broad understanding of political corruption—rooted in ideals of civic virtue—was a driving force at the Constitutional Convention.
For two centuries the framers’ ideas about corruption flourished in the courts, even in the absence of clear rules governing voters, civil officers, and elected officials. Should a law that was passed by a state legislature be overturned because half of its members were bribed? What kinds of lobbying activity were corrupt, and what kinds were legal? When does an implicit promise count as bribery? In the 1970s the U.S. Supreme Court began to narrow the definition of corruption, and the meaning has since changed dramatically. No case makes that clearer than Citizens United.
In 2010, one of the most consequential Court decisions in American political history gave wealthy corporations the right to spend unlimited money to influence elections. “
Pope Francis addressed this subject:
“When we embark on the path of corruption, we lose our humanity and sell ourselves, just as the prophet Elijah tells Ahab, I have found you “because you have given yourself up to doing evil in the Lord’s sight.”
He said, corruption vexes God and scandalizes people because it exploits, enslaves, even kills the vulnerable while those who commit this crime are focused solely on money and power.
The Pope said “The corrupt are traitors who steal and kill, who exploit the innocent, but they do it at a distance with gloves on so that they do not have to get their hands dirty.”
God curses these people, but he said they can, just as Ahab did, repent. Ahab tore his garments and fasted and humbled himself before the Lord. The corrupt must repent and make amends for what they have done.
The Pope concluded by reminding the faithful that our duty as Christians is to ask forgiveness from God for those “people we read about in the papers” and “pray for their conversion of heart and for the grace that we may never become corrupt ourselves.”
“Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil. Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.” Proverbs 15:16-17
Corruption pervades all levels and many organizations, religious ( including churches ) and otherwise.
– Are you feeling the heat of corruption, turmoil and hatred when you eat?
– Would it not be better to eat in love of God and man?