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Social Justice

A Statement from Wisconsin Faith Leaders

We, the undersigned Wisconsin faith leaders, are profoundly disturbed by persistent attempts over the last two months to overturn the will of the people as expressed in the November election, which has been called “the most secure in American history.”[1] These efforts came to a head last week in the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol and our democratically elected leaders of all parties. As leaders of faith, we claim our role as part of our country’s moral conscience. We decry attempts to subvert and overthrow democracy. We lament that President Trump has encouraged these acts and, in so doing, has violated his oath to defend the Constitution. His actions have put the country, its leaders, and our democratic institutions in danger. Our prayers go out to the families of the five people who died as a result of this attack.

January 6, 2021, was a day of great moral reckoning. Leading up to it, we had witnessed the remarkable strength and perseverance of voters who braved a pandemic to make their voices heard, election officials who worked diligently to ensure safe and honest vote counts, and public officials, notably judges across the country, who carefully examined all alleged instances of fraud and ultimately certified the results as sound. We looked forward to Congress completing the process by formally certifying the results.

Instead, we witnessed an attempted coup. We watched in horror as a mob, led by white supremacists, antisemites, conspiracy mongers, and seditionists—incited by the President and encouraged by some Congress members—stormed the Capitol, physically abusing the seat of our national government and forcing members of Congress to flee for their safety. We saw as well how the indulgent treatment of this armed and dangerous crowd by some law enforcement officials compared with the ways in which police around the nation have all too frequently subjected unarmed Black Lives Matter protestors to highly aggressive crowd control. Some crowd members hoisted the banner of the secessionist Confederacy, which fought to uphold slavery and its racial ideology proclaiming that all human beings are not created equal. As people of faith, we are called to witness against the immorality of that claim and its inversion of our country’s highest ideals.

This attempt to overturn the election ultimately failed, but it reminds us that our democracy is fragile and needs protection. Because we cannot accept half-measures to defend our nation’s safety and stability, we join together to call for:

  1. The impeachment and conviction by Congress of President Donald Trump in order to restore the rule of law.
  2. The resignation or expulsion of the 8 Senators and 139 Representatives, including Wisconsin Congress members Scott Fitzgerald and Tom Tiffany, who supported attempts to overturn the election by voting against the certification of duly and legally selected electors.
  3. The passage of bills by the Wisconsin Legislature to protect the voting rights of all the state’s citizens and to redraw maps of the state’s legislative and congressional districts in a fair and non-partisan manner.
  4. Those who wish to protest to do so in a non-violent manner which respects our democratic institutions and does not harm any person.

Signed,

Organizations

Milwaukee Inner City Congregations Allied for Hope (MICAH)

Pastors United

Souls to the Polls

Wisconsin Council of Churches

Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice

 

Individuals

Rev. Beth Abbot, Pastor, First Congregational United Church of Christ, South Milwaukee

Rev. Dr.Curt Anderson, retired minister, United Church of Christ

Rev. Jane B.Anderson, Associate Conference Minister, Wisconsin Conference United Church of Christ, Appleton

Rev.Karen Armina, Minister, James Reeb Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Madison

Rev. Joseph B. Baring, Jr., African Methodist Episcopal Church, Madison

Rev. Roger Bertschausen, Interim Minister, First Unitarian Society, Madison

Rev. Claire A. Beutler-Cruise, United Church of Christ, Milwaukee

Rabbi Jonathan Biatch, Madison

Rev. Winton Boyd, Pastor–United Church of Christ and Retreat Leader–Center for Courage & Renewal, Madison

Rev. Carin Bringelson, Minister, Lake Country Unitarian Universalist Church, Hartland

Omega S. Burckhardt, Unitarian Universalist Candidate for Ministry, Milwaukee

Rev. Erik David Carlson, Lead Minister, Bradford Unitarian Universalist, Kenosha

Rev. Kimberlee Tomczak Carlson, Minister of Religious Education, First Unitarian Society, Milwaukee

Rev. Denise Cawley, Minister, Unitarian Universalist, Milwaukee

Pastor Adam Clausen, Pastor, Life Center Madison, Madison

Charles Cohen, E. Gordon Fox Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison

Rev. Ruth Costello, Pastor, Community Church of Fontana, United Church of Christ, Fontana

Pastor Marianne Cotter, Pastor, First United Methodist Church, Baraboo

Rev. Kelly Crocker, Minister of Congregational Life, First Unitarian Society, Madison

The Rev. Monica L. Cummings, Assistant Minister for Pastoral Care, Bradford Community Church Unitarian Universalist, Kenosha

Rev. Joseph W. Ellwanger, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Milwaukee

Rev. Alissa Kretzmann Farrar, Pastor, Lake Park Lutheran Church, Milwaukee

Rev. Dr. Jerry Folk

Rabbi Betsy Forester, Rabbi, Beth Israel Center Madison

Rev. Kelly R. Fowler, Pastor, Our Lord’s United Methodist Church, New Berlin

Rev. Selena Fox, Senior Minister, Circle Sanctuary, Barneveld

Rev. Reirin Gumbel, Milwaukee Zen Center and Buddist Peace Fellowship, Milwaukee

Rev. Karen Hagen, Pastor, Tippecanoe Presbyterian Church, Milwaukee

Rev. Sonja L. Ingebritsen, Minister, Community of Hope United Church of Christ, Madison

Rev. Joseph H. Jackson Jr., President, MICAH, Milwaukee

The Rev. Dr. Andrew C. Kennedy, Minister Emeritus, First Unitarian Society Milwaukee

Rev. David Kraemer, Minister, United Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Waukesha

Rev. Erik J. Koepnick, United Church of Christ, Milwaukee

Pastor Walter Lanier, Minister, Progressive Baptist Church, Milwaukee

Rev. Tony Larson, Minister, Unitarian Universalist Church North, Mequon

Rev. Christina Leone-Tracy, Senior Minister, Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Appleton

Minister Greg Lewis

Rev. Suzelle Lynch, Minister, Unitarian Universalist Church West, Brookfield

Rabbi Bonnie Margulis, Executive Director, Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice, Madison

Rev. Dena McPhetres, Associate Minister, First Unitarian Society, Milwaukee

Rev. Dr. Sydney A. Morris, retired minister, Unitarian Universalist, Oshkosh

Rev. Jennifer Nordstrom, Senior Minister, First Unitarian Society, Milwaukee

Rev. Dr. Sarah Oelberg, retired minister, Unitarian Universalist, West Allis

Rev. Diane Olson, Milwaukee

Rev. Jennifer Olson, ELCA, Milwaukee

Rev. Leah Ongiri, Associate Minister, Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Appleton

Rev. Kerri Parker, Executive Director, Wisconsin Council of Churches, Madison

Rev. Kenneth L. Pennings, Associate Pastor, Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ, Madison

Rev. Ellen Rasmussen, Pastor, Brown Deer United Methodist Church, Brown Deer

Rev. Karon Sandberg, Community Minister, Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Appleton

Rev. Karla Schmidt, Campus Minister, The Crossing, Madison

Rev. Dr. Larry Sexe, Board President, Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice, Deerfield

Rev. Valerie Showalter, Pastor, Madison Mennonite Church (MC USA), Madison

Rev. Patrick Siegler, Madison

Rev. Bryan Sirchio, Pastor McFarland UCC, McFarland

Rev. Daniel J. Stark, Pastor, Christ Church UCC, Milwaukee

Reverend Tory V. Topjian, Senior Minister, Milwaukee Metropolitan Community Church, Milwaukee

Pastor Alexis Twito, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Cedarburg

Rev. Nick Utphall, Pastor, Advent Luther/Madison Christian Community, Madison

Rev. Marlene Walker, Minister, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rock Valley, Rockton (IL)

Mallory Yanchus, Executive Director, The Crossing Campus Community, Madison

Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman, Congregation Shaarei Shamayim, Madison

 

[1] https://www.cisa.gov/news/2020/11/12/joint-statement-elections-infrastructure-government-coordinating-council-election

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