By Rev. Max J. Rigert: Acrimonious amendments deserve a 'no' vote
There are two items on this November's ballot which transcend the realm of partisan politics and need careful and ethical consideration.
The first deals with capital punishment and seeks to reverse the state of Wisconsin's long-standing opposition to the death penalty.
The execution of criminals is brutal and cruel, but more significantly has been shown to be ineffective in the curtailment of crime.
Innocent people have died, the administration of the death penalty has been shown to be racially prejudicial and the extended legal processes have proven to be far more expensive than life imprisonment.
Help preserve our state's reputation for sanity and progressivism by defeating this unwelcome overture.
The second item is the so-called marriage amendment which seeks to define marriage as soley between a man and a woman, but proceeds to outlaw any sort of legal relationship between members of the same sex.
The amendment is seen as an affront by homosexual persons and men and women cohabiting without benefit of legal marriage.
First, Wisconsin state statutes already define marriage as being between a man and a woman. Thus, those who want to define marriage in the traditional Judaic-Christian understanding will find this amendment redundant.
Second, the amendment seems unnecessarily punitive to those who choose to live in a same-sex relationship, or to the many women and men who today live together unmarried ... whether we like it or not.
This amendment would prevent such domestic partners from sharing health insurance benefits, retirement benefits, the privilege of family hospital visitation rights, the ability to invoke living will stipulations for one another, and the simple freedom to live together with the rights others in committed relationships possess.
Many of us within the Christian faith tradition find both of these amendments to be acrimonious and ethically stifling, rather than life affirming.
You are urged to emphatically vote 'no' on both measures.