Since his father’s recent death, and since his election loss on November 6th, Scott Walker has been helping his mother move, reading (and disseminating) Bible verses, and looking at some of his parents’ memorabilia.
I hope that while he takes this journey through time and deals with the loss of his father and the loss of his job, Scott Walker also takes the time to think about how his father dealt with loss many years ago.
It is well known that Scott Walker’s father was an American Baptist minister. The American Baptist Convention is one of the most liberal denominations, though there is certainly a range of political persuasion among the membership. Walker and his wife Tonette attended Underwood Memorial Baptist Church (one of Wisconsin’s American Baptist congregations) in Wauwatosa for many years, but left the church abruptly in about 2003. That was the year that Underwood affiliated with the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, an LGBTQ-friendly group.
The Walkers moved their membership to Meadowbrook Church, a non-denominational evangelical church. Meadowbrook’s theology, described by Diane Butler Bass as “a fairly typical boilerplate of conservative evangelical theology, includes beliefs in biblical inerrancy, sin, exclusive salvation through Christ,and eternal damnation,” is a far cry from the embracing theology of the American Baptist Church. The loss of his son to a vastly different church must have hurt Rev. Llewellyn Scott Walker deeply. Nevertheless, Rev. Walker remained by his son’s side and supported him at every election, trusting that his son could judge what was best for himself.
Scott Walker, please follow that example. You have claimed for years to want what is best for Wisconsin. The voters — more than in any previous gubernatorial election, by the way — have told you loud and clear: Wisconsin wants more money for public schools, funding for roads, attention paid to local businesses rather than public dollars lavished on foreign corporations, and environmental protection. Wisconsin did NOT ask for more restrictive abortion laws, lame duck session changes to gubernatorial powers, changes to the composition of the WEDC Board, or more handouts to corporations.
Demonstrate that you understand what your father did for you when he trusted you to leave the church of your upbringing to move to a vastly different place. Your father trusted you and honored your judgment. It is time for you to honor the judgment of the Wisconsin voters.