Monday, July 18, 2011

Michele Bachmann, Politics, the Anti-Christ, and the 8th Commandment

Last week a parishioner emailed me a link to an article that talked about presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann leaving her Lutheran church because of its anti-Catholic stance. My parishioner thought it might be important to point out what kind of Lutheran Bachmann was. Around here (in West Virginia, that is) Lutherans are a tiny minority, but in that group they are overwhelmingly ELCA Lutherans, with a handful of LCMS congregations scattered throughout the area. Being the sole Lutheran congregation in Morgantown, I am accustomed to Lutherans of various traditions walking through the door, including some from WELS, the denomination that Bachmann has recently left. Some folks come from these traditions and stay. Some come, abide with us for a while but ultimately move on to something else because of various pressures. Still, few people know the variety of Lutherans that are out there.

I have puzzled over the Bachmann migration. I am in personal agreement with the position that pope is not the anti-Christ. But I cringe at the thought that perhaps this migration is motivated more by political reckoning. After all, it is reported that Bachmann and her family has been worshipping on and off at a local evangelical church over the past two years. I doubt that their stance toward the Pope is significantly more charitable. Maybe it is, but even if not, it is simply not an official public stance.

Clint Schnekloth offers a very nice analysis of Bachmann from a Lutheran standpoint over at Lutheran Confessions. He upholds the spirit of the eighth commandment. Despite some apparent political disagreements hinted at in his post, he sets those aside for a reflection that seeks the best possible interpretation both of Bachmann and her former denomination. It is a refreshing moment in a blogosphere full of snarkiness and vitriol, fueled only by politicians' and other public figures' own nastiness in an attempt to gain power and influence.

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