Konopacki 10/23/19

One of the most puzzling realities of today's American politics is how white, Evangelical Christians fully support President Donald Trump — a man who tells bald-faced lies daily, has undergone two divorces, has committed adultery, has paid off prostitutes, brags about grabbing women by their privates, separates small children from their immigrant parents and regularly disrespects other teachings found in the Bible.

He is probably, as Nobel laureate Paul Krugman frequently writes, the least godly man ever to occupy the White House.

We've got our share of these self-professed Christians right here in Wisconsin, including some of our most prominent "leaders." Among them, of course, is former Gov. Scott Walker, the preacher's son who frequently trumpets his own religiosity, yet thinks Trump is the best thing since sliced bread.

Walker came to mind earlier this month when new Gov. Tony Evers announced he was pardoning four convicted felons who he believed had paid their debt to society and changed their lives for the better. During his eight years in office, Walker proudly refused to consider pardons for anyone, no matter how deserving they may have been, despite the biblical admonitions of Jesus Christ concerning forgiveness.

I wrote several columns over Walker's years about one of those people who Walker shamelessly and hypocritically refused to pardon — Eric Pizer, a former Marine who had served two combat tours in the Middle East.

A graduate of Spring Green's River Valley High School, Pizer had been home from Iraq only two days when he stepped between a friend of his and an angry Boscobel man, who believed the friend was fooling around with his wife. Pizer landed one punch, which severely broke the man's nose and sent him to the hospital.

It was his first and only scrape with the law, but a bullheaded Grant County assistant district attorney felt it necessary to charge the veteran with a felony, when in most cases of this kind a misdemeanor is typical. That, of course, altered then 23-year-old Eric Pizer's life.

Pizer had ambitions of becoming a law enforcement officer and had completed all the course work to become one. But the felony conviction prevented him from carrying a gun which, of course, is necessary to be a cop.

The man Pizer had punched in the nose backed him in seeking a gubernatorial pardon, but Walker, who could have righted this wrong, adamantly refused to even look into the matter.

Evers corrected that indefensible stubbornness this week when he included Pizer with three other pardons for people who had set their lives straight since their convictions and deserved, the governor said, to get a second chance in life.

I call people like Scott Walker a "pretend" Christian — you know, the kind who make a big deal about going to church every Sunday and then do everything contrary to what Christ preached during the rest of the week.

Only a couple of weeks ago, Walker gladly served as the keynote speaker at the annual prayer breakfast of Thy Kingdom Come Ministries in Davenport, Iowa. That ministry, incidentally, is run by a fellow named David Pautsch, who has called for former President Barack Obama to be hanged for being "demon infested." He's also been an ardent backer of Iowa's U.S. Rep. Steve King, the notorious white supremacist.

Nice company our Christian former governor keeps.

Guess we can take solace that he's no longer our governor.

Dave Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times. dzweifel@madison.com

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