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  • Writer's pictureStaci Sweet

What the Bible Says about Lobbying

Since 2012 I’ve prayed for ‘the hood’. In 2017, I felt led to focus my prayers on lobbying and laws; particularly laws pertaining to prison reform and sentencing. As a result, I’ve written a book entitled, ‘What the Bible Has to Say About Certain Crimes, Criminals, and Redemption’, which I highly recommend. In it, I provide several biblical accounts of criminal activity and give readers a bird’s eye view of the mitigating circumstances that surrounded each crime and how each criminal was sentenced. But here lately, I’ve been really interested in and have prayed about the 13th Amendment.

The 13th

For those of you who don’t know, the 13th Amendment states, ‘Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.’ The problem with the amendment is that those incarcerated today are being used to work for large corporations who partner with the state for free labor and often receive huge incentives and tax breaks as a result. That led me to watch Ava DuVernay’s, 2016 ‘13th’ documentary which delved into lobbying.

The documentary cited a particular organization called, ALEC; the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC is, ‘…a political lobbying group…a private club whose members are politicians and corporations. Under the umbrella of ALEC, corporate members get to propose laws to their political counterparts1.’ It goes on to say that, ‘through ALEC…corporate lobbyists secretly vote as equals with lawmakers on bills that [they introduce to Congress which]…become laws in our states2.’ WTW? Yeah. In fact, ‘…one in four state members in [Congress] are members3’ of this forty-year-old non-profit. After seeing that I was outraged and if you know me, then you know that I am a Word girl. Meaning, when I’m faced with a formidable opponent, I fight with the Word. Therefore, I immediately began to wonder if something like this was mentioned in the Bible? And you know what, it is!

Lobbying in the Bible

Daniel 6 speaks about how Daniel was one of the three ‘governors’ (v.2) who was over ‘one hundred and twenty satraps.’ (v.1) ‘This Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king…’ was about to promote him ‘…over the whole realm.’ The other elected officials found out about his future promotion and sought to set him up, so they decided to entrap him. But in order to do so, they would have to introduce a bill to the king so that he could, ‘…make a firm DECREE, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days...[would]…be cast into the den of lions…’ (v.7,8) This is a clear example of lobbying. What is Lobbying?

Lobbying occurs when an individual or group seeks to influence a politician or public official. And such was the case with the, ‘governors, administrators, satraps, counselors, and advisors’ in Daniel’s day. They came ‘together to establish a royal statutea DECREE’ which today would be likened to a bill, that would then be established as law. Certain lobbyists today, like ALEC, also come together to pass laws that trap certain demographics under the guise that such laws are in the best interest of the people outside said demographic. They then present their ideas in such a way that it appeases voters and elected officials. Clearly when such a bill was presented to King Darius, it was not in the best interest of the people. It merely stroked the king’s ego, as many of the laws of the land do today. It appeases the politician, the party or the corporation; not the people.

Harsh Sentencing Because of the Law

Inasmuch, the bill passed, and Daniel inevitably broke the law and was harshly sentenced. In fact, this particular crime, worshiping someone other than the President, I mean king, came with a death sentence. Hence, being ‘…cast into the den of lions…’ would be analogous to being sentenced to death row. Similar laws are in place as it pertains to mass incarceration. Laws such as three strikes and mandatory minimums are seemingly in the best interest of the people. The question is what people? With Blacks and Latinos being disproportionately incarcerated, you can see how such sentencing serves a certain purpose for a certain demographic which is one of the reasons I wrote, ‘What the Bible Says About Certain Crimes, Criminals, and Redemption’.

Order your eCopy for just $7.99!The point is that even though a bill that was presented by people like ALEC was passed into law, and even though Daniel was sentenced to death, he came out untouched by the lions. Though it seems impossible to defeat a 40-year-old lobbyist organization like ALEC, God will raise up people, like Ava DuVernay, Shaun King, like you and like me to bring light on this issue. God protected Daniel while he was there, and the same is true for your loved one. God is protecting them from lionous prison conditions. Like Daniel, they too have angels, sent by God, to ‘shut the lions mouths’, so that they won’t be ‘hurt, because God has found [them] innocent…’ because in His eyes theyhave done no wrong.’ Oh how God loves His incarcerated babies! But that’s not all!

Daniel 6 goes on to say that those who pass such legislation will not be able to rest. They’ll have no peace until they let His people go free. How do I know? Because verse 18 says, ‘…the king went to his palace and spent the night fastingand his sleep went from him.’ The reason he wasn’t able to rest is because he realized he shouldn’t have passed such a law. He realized it was his pride that led to Daniel being sentenced to death. And so will the lobbyists, legislators, law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges that wrongfully passed laws like the 3-strike laws, mandatory minimums, and other crime bills will have no sleep, rest and/or peace until they do like King Darius did and go, ‘…in haste to the den of lions’ or to the prisons and courts to see about the millions of inmates that have been impacted by their legislation. The king went to the den (prison and courts) and ‘cried out with a lamenting voice to Daniel.’ Until they humble themselves, seek repentance, and amend those laws, they’ll have no rest. It didn’t take King Darius long to realize he needed to repent, and prayerfully it won’t take them that long as well. People like former President Clinton, Bush and all those that voted to pass those laws; presented by groups like ALEC, will have to do the same. Otherwise, there will be no peace. And I didn’t say that, the Bible did.

Judgment for Wrong Lobbyists

So why haven't bills been passed to amend such legislation? Because as believers of Christ, we haven’t prayed and searched the scriptures enough to know that modern day topics are discussed in the Bible. We haven’t used our Christ-given authority to demand that such laws be amended. Because when we do, God’s incarcerated children will be set free. But like us in the free world, they too need to pray and study because that is why Daniel obtained his freedom; he stayed in prayer. The Bible even says that while he was on death row, ‘no injury whatever was found on him.’ Why? ‘Because he believed in his God.’ (v.23) If you have a loved one is incarcerated, send them this post. Until then…

Pray this with me: Heavenly Father, I ask that You’d encourage those who are believing You to work within the criminal justice system because in order for many of them to go free, it will require a change in the law. So Lord I pray for the Darius’ today. Those lobbyists and lawmakers who passed legislation that are holding Your people. Lord, I’m not asking You to strip them of their rest, sleep or peace. I only ask that You’d create an opportunity for them to come to the same knowledge of You as King Darius did. In Jesus’ name.

Now let's pray for your loved one…

Pray this with me: Lord, I thank You for delivering ___________ from the power of the lions. I thank You for delivering him/her from the powers and principalities that hover over prisons and from the people yielding, abusing, and using their power against him/her. I thank You for sending Your angels to every compound and jail tonight to protect and shut the mouths of those who try to hurt, provoke and intimate Your children and ______________. I thank You for keeping _____________ and other inmates from lionous people and conditions until their early release. In Jesus’ name.

FYI: King Darius went on to, ‘make a decree that every dominion of [his] kingdom...[had to] tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God, and steadfast forever; His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall endure to the end. He delivers and rescues, and He works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.’ (v.25-27) Look at God! If He did it for Daniel thousands of years ago, He’ll do it today in 2019!

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SOURCE: 13th the Film

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