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I Believe in Body Justice and Why I am Opposed to the Latest Supreme Court Decision

It sounded like an April Fool’s joke when I first heard it: Chief Justice John Roberts, of the Supreme Court in a case called “McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission,” had effectively struck down limits on how much money a person can contribute in an election cycle. Although this overturns 40 years of national policy it is perfectly consistent with another of his court’s infamous decisions four years ago called “Citizens’ United” that gave unions and corporations the same rights as individuals. This new ruling completes that idiocy by now allowing individual donors to give as much as $3.6 million to federal campaigns in every election cycle, an action that will allow unparalleled personal influence to impact the government and drown out our voices. Democracy is now for sale. So I attended the rally in Philadelphia in protest. But you may ask “Why? What does this have to do with body justice or sex?”

If we care about bodies then we must look closely at how most corporations treat our bodies. The answer is: not well. If a product is full of chemicals that have not been tested adequately or was tested only in research funded by the very corporation that stands to benefit from positive results, then guess how much interest that corporation has in whether the product is harmful to our bodies? If a national or transnational corporation is allowed a free ride without paying any taxes because of specially designed loopholes their lobbyists have helped write into law, guess what happens to funding to care for the bodies of our children? To after school programs that house and protect little ones whose parents are both working? What happens to school lunch programs that feed the bodies of hungry children? Right. Corporations don’t care about such bodies.

Corporations in this country run on the platform that whatever makes the most money is good. As such their bottom line has nothing to do with the environment, -- think Monsanto, Cargill, Exxon, GE – or the workers, -- think Hobby Lobby and Dominos Pizza – or the financial well-being of our communities – think Walmart. None of this is of concern because it doesn’t translate into profits.  And don’t get me started on the corporations that clean up when there are wars and the prison industry—again, killing and maiming bodies, imprisoning bodies. The more death and suffering of people, the more profits.

Regardless of the supposed “people” rights that the Robert’s Court thinks corporations have let’s be clear corporations do not care about bodies. People care about bodies, and children and those bodies being treated poorly. People understand and experience justice because we learned it by playing fair with one another in kindergarten. Corporations do not have to go to kindergarten.

Body justice is about protecting all bodies, those who are discriminated against, the taunted and bullied, those who are defenseless and weaker, those not allowed to thrive and develop to their potential, and those who need a break and can’t get one. Of course, corporations do not have to be driven by the economic bottom line because other countries have more humane and ethical principles. No, that is the way we have been brainwashed to think; profits -- without thought of long term community impacts or without a consideration of consequences for the common good --  is all that is relevant.

In contrast the bottom line for people of faith and justice-oriented communities is, “What is the most loving thing? What is the best action that will help all of us who are in these bodies that need clean air, free and fresh water, adequate food and shelter, access to quality education and affordable health care?” A very different question indeed! Then again, corporations have  no compelling reason to care about our bodies at any level--unless it is about profits, at any cost.

I care about bodies -- sexual bodies, gendered bodies, diverse bodies. I care about little bodies, disabled bodies, bodies of all sizes and shapes and colors. Corporations, by definition care about profit – short term profit regardless of the consequences. Yes, if we care about sex and bodies then we now must be ever vigilant for the Supreme Court has put much of our future into the hands of those who intend to make plenty of profits and much of it will be at the expense of our bodies’ health and well-being and that of our children. May God help us protect one another's bodies.

Eleanor, 04-05-14 7:59pm:

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