Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bachmann, the Bible, and Beelzebub

When seeking public office, one's personal religious affiliations can become a source of controversy. President Obama learned that lesson in 2008 with the raging psychopath, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

Michele Bachmann and her husband recently withdrew their membership from Salem Lutheran Church in Stillwater, Minnesota, where they have worshiped for ten years. CNN Belief Blog reports that the request came several weeks before she announced that she would seek the Republican nomination for POTUS. They had not attended the church in over two years but has been worshiping at an undisclosed non-denominational congregation when time permits.

Because she never explained why, (not that any requirement exists to do so), reporters have begun to speculate.

Salem Lutheran Church is a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, one of the more traditional Lutheran church organizations. One of its traditional beliefs, following their founder Martin Luther,  is that the Pope is the Anti-Christ of the Bible. The Synod bases this on historical judgments derived from the Bible, not upon any propositions to that effect contained in the Bible.

Obviously, affiliation with a church that holds such beliefs might be a political handicap. Catholic voters, even those who share Bachmann's political views, may find themselves reluctant to support her candidacy. Although she left the church and has not worshiped there in two years, one might reasonably ask why she stayed there for ten?

It is interesting that the mainstream media has suddenly acquired an interest in the minutia of church dogmatics. If their interest proves enduring, they will have a field day with Mitt Romney's Mormonism. Usually, the media assesses the candidate about their consistency on hot button issues such as abortion: how does any candidate's positions line up with those of their church. In recent times, the positions of most presidential candidates on abortion actually conflict with the positions of the church denominations where they worship.

If the media attempts to generate controversy on the Bachmann family's choice of churches, rejecting their church's teaching may be the best solution. Whether the media will give Bachmann the same pass on this issue which they gave to Obama, time will tell.

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