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Is Michelle Bachman an anti-Catholic? Or merely a Protestant?

July 14, 2011

An unusually ignorant story in The Atlantic--with a completely misleading headline—questions the religious affiliation of Rep. Michelle Bachman Republican presidential candidate.

Bachman was—but no longer is—a member of a Minnesota Lutheran congregation that belongs to the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. The latter, a theologically conservative group, teaches that the Roman Catholic Church embodies the spirit of Antichrist—although a representative of the group reports that this view is rarely expressed today. Columnist Joshua Green asks whether Catholic voters will find Bachman’s beliefs offensive.

But Bachman herself never professed that belief. When questioned about it, she repudiated it, and said that she regards Catholics as good Christians. Moreover, she has formally withdrawn from the Wisconsin Lutheran parish.

Writing for GetReligion, Mollie Ziegler Hemingway (who is Lutheran) finds it remarkable that Green should be shocked by the beliefs of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. They are Protestants, after all; if they agreed with the Catholic Church they would presumably be Catholics. She argues that the Synod’s official statement shows only that “they’re still Protestants who still don’t believe in the papacy and still think it sits in opposition to the Gospel of Christ.”


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  • Posted by: impossible - Jul. 18, 2011 11:10 PM ET USA

    hartwood, how about some proof of your assertion. I doubt very much that her husband claims that "gays can be changed to heterosexuals." I suspect, truth be known, that he is talking only about changing their behavior rather than their inclinations.

  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Jul. 15, 2011 9:06 AM ET USA

    A large number of Protestants are anti-Catholic if you scratch their veneer. What is scarier is her husband's counseling service which claims gays can be changed to heterosexuals. He will, no doubt, have some influence on her.

  • Posted by: garedawg - Jul. 15, 2011 12:49 AM ET USA

    It does surprise me to see so many Protestants speak so highly of the Pope. If he really is not the rightful successor of St. Peter, then he is either a fraud or deluded. At least the Wisconsin Synod has the guts to say what it really believes.