Over 40 Colorado Faith Leaders Voice Support for Critical Campaign Finance Reform
By mreyf
October 22, 2012

Diverse Faith Leaders Call for Change in Flood of Special Interest Money into Politics, Demand Leaders Pursue Bold Solutions to this Crisis of Our Democracy 

Denver, Colorado – A multifaith, multiracial group of 40 faith leaders from across the state of Colorado are speaking out in support of critical campaign finance reform at the same time that Coloradans are considering how to vote on Amendment 65.

Pastors, Reverends, Rabbis, Priests, Theologians and Sisters have signed a letter calling out the dangers of unchecked money in our elections and advocating for large-scale reform. They represent a unique and diverse coalition within the state of Colorado [developing list is attached below].  Coalition members include Evangelicals, Roman Catholics (including a Monsignor), various denominations of Judaism, mainline Protestants, a Chaplain, and seminary professors that hail from all corners of the state of Colorado, including Denver, Lafayette, Pueblo, Aurora, Niwot, Littleton, Boulder and Salida. 

“As religious and moral leaders, we believe it is our calling to sound the alarm on significant, systemic threats to the foundations of our society. The unchecked power of special interest money dominating our politics, right here in our state, threatens the Common Good and the very foundation of our democracy,” stated Rev. Daniel Klawitter, a coalition organizer and the Religious Outreach Organizer of FRESC: Good Jobs/Strong Communities.

Just as the Biblical prophets railed against abuses of economic wealth and power that sowed injustice for the people, these faith leaders are crying out against a system that tears at the fabric of our democracy and endangers the promise of a government of, by and for the people.  

“We are inspired to see Coloradan faith leaders come together on this important issue,” stated the Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson, Auburn Theological Seminary President and convener of a national faith-based coalition on money in politics. “The lack of appropriate limits on money in our politics is hurting our democracy and undermining our citizens’ faith in the democratic process. Auburn is proud to support efforts around the country rallying faith leaders to speak out on this crisis of democracy.” 

Auburn Seminary is officially endorsing Amendment 65.

“We cannot achieve political equality by allowing those with wealth and power to drown out the voices of the rest of us in our elections,” said Elena Nunez, Executive Director of Colorado Common Cause. “Bad Supreme Court decisions, including Citizens United, have made it crystal clear that constitutional level reform is needed. By decreeing that spending money on elections is constitutionally protected, they have gone too far.” 

The text of the national sign-on letter that faith leaders around the country are rallying around is available online here [http://www.groundswell-movement.org/faith-leaders-sounding-alarm/]. This effort has been organized in coalition with Colorado Common Cause, Colorado FRESC, Auburn Theological Seminary, Groundswell (Auburn’s social action initiative), and Free Speech for People.



Msgr. Robert L. Amundsen, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Lafayette

Rev. Jeffrey R. Babb, Grace United Methodist Church, Denver

Rabbi Birdie Becker, Temple Emanuel-Pueblo

Rev. Bonita Bock, ELCA, Wartburg College

Rabbi Eliav Bock, Ramah Outdoor Adventure

Rabbi Deborah Bronstein, Congregation Har HaShem, Boulder

Rev. Rusty Butler, Arvada United Methodist Church

Rev. Bert Chilson, St. Therese Parish, Aurora

Rev. Hal Chorpenning, Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ

Rev. Glenn Duggin, Redemption Fellowship

Rev. Anne Dunlap, Comunidad Liberación/Liberation Community

Rev. George E. Dunn, Chaplain at Sky Ridge Medical Center

Rev. Gail Erisman-Valeta, Prince of Peace Church of the Brethren, Littleton

Rev. Pam Everhart, Niwot United Methodist Church in Longmont

Dr. Gregory G. Fell, Superintendent, Rocky Mountain District, Evangelical Free Church of America

Rabbi Brian Field, Judaism Your Way

Rev. Gregory Garland, United Church of Broomfield

Rabbi Bernard Gerson, Congregation Rodef Shalom, Denver

Rev. Linda Gertenbach, Interfaith Worker Justice-Colorado

Rev. Margaret E. Gillikin, First United Methodist Church, Salida

Pastor Valerie L. Jackson, First United Methodist Church of Aurora

Rev. Kim James, Wesley United Methodist Church, Pueblo

Rev. Dr. Patricia M.B. Kitchen, Wellshire Presbyterian Church in Denver

Rev. Daniel Klawitter, FRESC, co-Chair of the Order of Deacons of the Rocky Mountain Conference of the UMC

Sister Anna Koop, Loretto Community

Rev. Paul Kottke, University Park United Methodist Church, Denver, CO

Rev. Dr. James Laurie, President, Interfaith Alliance of Colorado

The Rev. Dr. Kristina Lizardy-Hajbi, United Church of Christ, Denver

Prof. Jeffrey H. Mahan, Ralph E. and Norma E. Peck Chair in Religion and Public Communication, Iliff School of Theology

Rev. Mark Meeks, Capitol Heights Presbyterian Church, Denver 

Rev. José F. Morales, Jr., Executive Regional Minister, Central Rocky Mountain Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Rabbi Adam Morris, Temple Micah, Denver

Rev. William Morris, Burns Memorial United Methodist Church, Aurora

Rev. Wes Mullins, Pikes Peak Metropolitan Community Church

Rev. Stephanie Price, Hope United Methodist Church in Greenwood Village

Rev. Nancy Rosas, Washington Park United Church of Christ

Rev. Dr. Jim Ryan, Colorado Council of Churches 

Rabbi Joel R. Schwartzman, Rabbi Emeritus, Congregation B'nai Chaim, Morrison

Jeremy Shaver, Executive Director, Interfaith Alliance of Colorado 

Rev. Miriam H. Slejko, Trinity United Methodist Church, Denver

Rev. Dr. Peter A. Terpenning, Pastor, Community United Church of Christ in Boulder

Dr. Dana Wilbanks, Professor Emeritus of Christian Ethics, Iliff School of Theology, Denver 

Signatures do not necessarily constitute organizational endorsement.