I don’t apply a religious test to politicians, as I think folks of any religion can be good and effective leaders. Except, I do watch to see how willing a politician is to defend what should be his or her most sacred principles. If a politician will throw his or her religion to the scrap heap to appeal to voters, that’s how I expect the politician to treat the other principles the politician supposedly espouses.
So, when I heard that Michelle Bachman quit her church because she got flak over a teaching she didn’t understand, I investigated. Apparently, her church holds to the position that the papacy has the marks of the anti-christ. Apparently, Bachman doesn’t want to alienate Catholics, so she quit her church. Upon investigation, the charge is true, sort of, but the explanation for it is wrapped in historical documents and theological distinctions. The claim is about as fair to Lutheranism as asking a Catholic how they can belong to a church that damns all protestants. (look up council of Trent and “anathema”.) Further, well over 3 million Lutherans belong to churches that hold to the same position (WELS, Bachman’s former church, ELS, LCMS, and other smaller Lutheran bodies.) Rather than just refuse to discuss her religion, or say she hasn’t fully investigated or considered every doctrinal position taken by her church, or learn the position of the church and reasons for it so she can offer a reasonable explanation, she cut and ran from the religion she was raised in. I have yet to find any explanation from her about what church she belongs to. That fails my religion test, and really, it should be seen as a slap in the face for all Lutherans that believe their church’s teachings. If she’s willing to bail on her church over a few out-of-context sound bites, I won’t put any faith in her when dealing with Senate democrats to reform social security, or when dealing with bank lobbyists over bailout funds.
Here are the websites I looked at to investigate the Lutheran church’s views on the anti-christ, so you see where I’m getting my information: