Tuesday, July 19, 2011

magical-thinking brand management...,

The Atlantic | Michele Bachmann is practically synonymous with political controversy, and if the 2008 presidential election is any guide, the conservative Lutheran church she belonged to for many years is likely to add another chapter due to the nature of its beliefs--such as its assertion, explained and footnoted on this website, that the Roman Catholic Pope is the Antichrist.

Bachmann was a longtime member of the Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Stillwater, Minn., which belongs to the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), a council of churches founded in 1850 that today comprises about 400,000 people. WELS is the most conservative of the major Lutheran church organizations, known for its strict adherence to the writings of Martin Luther, the German theologian who broke with the Catholic Church and launched the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. This includes endorsing Luther's statements about the papacy. From the WELS "Doctrinal Statement on the Antichrist":

Since Scripture teaches that the Antichrist would be revealed and gives the marks by which the Antichrist is to be recognized, and since this prophecy has been clearly fulfilled in the history and development of the Roman Papacy, it is Scripture which reveals that the Papacy is the Antichrist.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama's relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright nearly derailed his quest for the Democratic nomination after video surfaced of Wright's extreme pronouncements. Similarly, the views of Bachmann's church toward the papacy--which are well outside the mainstream of modern political discourse--could pose a problem as she pursues the Republican nomination.

Seeking to better understand WELS theology and how voters should regard it, I called the Rev. Marcus Birkholz of Salem Lutheran Church in Stillwater. When I identified myself, he hung up. Turning the other cheek, I called WELS and had slightly better luck. While I didn't get to speak to a pastor, as I'd hoped, Joel Hochmuth, the communications director, did his best to oblige. On the matter of the Antichrist, he said, "Some people have this vision of a little devil running around with horns and red pointy ears. Luther was clear that by 'Antichrist' [he meant] anybody who puts himself up in place of Christ. Luther never bought the idea of the Pope being God's voice in today's world. He believed Scripture is God's word." Hochmuth hastened to add that despite the lengthy doctrinal statement, the belief that the Pope is the Antichrist "has never been one of our driving principles."

Hochmuth also revealed that Bachmann is no longer a member of the WELS congregation. "I do know that she has requested a release of her membership," he said, adding that she took the unusual step of formally requesting that release in writing. "She has not been an active member of our fellowship during the last year." Hochmuth wouldn't speculate on whether her presidential ambitions factored in this decision -- the nation's 70 million Catholics (who lean Republican) might not respond kindly to the Pope-as-Antichrist stuff -- but he did emphasize that "it's not something you're going to hear preached from our pulpits every Sunday."


umbrarchist said...

No, no, no!

European Christianity is the Anti-Christ.  The Protestant apples did not fall far from the tree.


CNu said...

anything purporting to be Christian without strong wine as its eucharistic sacrament http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2011/02/mushroom-in-christian-art.html

is anti-Christian...,

Tom said...

Awwww, man, why'd you have to go and make the eye candy look all scary like that?

CNu said...


It cohabits with Marcus Bachmann!!!!

Ain't a dayyum thing I can do to make that any scarier than it already is!!!!

Dale Asberry said...

Ya'll see the Jon Stewart bit on Marcus Bachmann? Comedy gold...

nanakwame said...

And she married a so-called ex-gay man, man when they write about this moment in our history. And this is after The Evangelist and Catholic Church agreed on Jesus is The Lord. can't make this shit up 

nanakwame said...

You were correct about twitter being a personal RSS feed, and of course I love my #haiku, left quite a bit on it myself. The puzzlement I have, btw I believe Jon Stewart is quite IT; is where is our homegrown. I find even Afro-American harsh and not timely. You know when a society can not laugh at itself, we got problems. The jokes seems so hateful and revengeful, and I am so tried of "race" and sex jokes.

CNu said...

Seen't it just now, comedy gold....,