Grassroots effort means taking it to the street
Windsor congregants battle Amendment 2
IMPERIAL – Success or failure of a political issue can often hinge on the amount of grass-roots support the issue receives. And while rallies in large public venues have been beating the drums against Amendment 2, the grass-roots movements are beginning to get traction as well.
Wind-blown, yet upbeat “protestors” holding “Vote NO on 2” signs were the scene Oct. 22 along a busy street in Imperial, a few minutes south of the St. Louis metro area. Members of Windsor Baptist Church were out in force after morning worship services doing their part to ensure the public knows the truth about Amendment 2.
Amendment 2 is the Missouri Cures and Stem Cells Initiative and claims that it bans cloning in Missouri. However, the language of the amendment would protect somatic nuclear cell transfer (SCNT), a scientific name for cloning. The harvesting of stem cells that might someday lead to the cures that its supporters promise also results in the destruction of human embryos.
“The way they wrote the amendment, the definitions are turned upside down,” said Ron Updegrave, the event’s organizer.
“I hope people will pay attention and take time to find out what the amendment is about. They’re playing with life.”
Ron Mackey, pastor of Windsor, braved the 45-degree weather along with Updegrave and about 25 other members. He said they were well-received by passersby.
“We’ve had a few frowns and rude gestures, but overall people have been supportive,” he said.
Mackey said Windsor church members have been and will continue to be active in educating their community about Amendment 2. They are planning at least one more day of demonstrating in the street and will be visible at several polling places throughout Jefferson County Nov. 7.
“Every Thursday night we’ve had educational meetings about the stem cell initiative and we’ve had a pretty good response,” he said.
Mackey said the amendment to the state’s constitution was an issue for the church to rally around.
“I don’t see how this can be anything other than a faith issue,” he said. “This is about life. Embryonic stem cell (research) is the destruction of human life. That’s a simple fact and that makes it unbearable for us.”
Updegrave said he hopes other churches, groups and individuals would follow in Windsor’s footsteps and make their opposition to Amendment 2 known.