At this point, I don’t particularly feel the need to pile onto Michelle Bachmann. My seven readers (maybe down to six, now that I’m writing less) probably already have strong opinions on her, mostly negative ones, I assume. Still…
I was raised Lutheran. Non-Lutherans probably don’t realize that there is no one Lutheran Church. Lutherans are divided into synods. When I was a kid, I was aware of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS, and what I was raised), the American Lutheran Church (ALC), the Lutheran Church of America (LCA), the American Evangelical Lutheran Church (AELC), and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). There might be more than that, but those were the ones I could rattle off (and still can).
I think I was in high school when the more liberal synods within the Lutheran Church merged to form one larger church body. So the ALC, LCA, and AELC became the ELCA, i.e. the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.
To us Missouri Synod types, the ELCA was crazy. They had women pastors. Women! They recently voted to perform same-sex marriages. Same-sex marriages! Only God knows what else was going on behind those closed doors. Fornication? Maybe.
On the other hand, there was the Wisconsin Synod. And they were fucking crazy. But for the opposite reasons.
To put this in contemporary political terms, the ELCA is the Democratic Party. The Missouri Synod is the Republican Party. The Wisconsin Synod is the Tea Party.
So it’s not at all surprising to me that Michelle Bachmann would be a Wisconsin Synod Lutheran. Nor is it surprising to me that one of the tenets of the Wisconsin Synod is that the Pope is the Anti-Christ. Like I said, they’re fucking crazy.
Now, I don’t put much stock in the official positions of a church and their direct correlation to its parishioners. But that’s only because I remember how it was with my dad.
My dad was a Missouri Synod man his whole life. He also believed that women should be pastors, and that same-sex marriage is totally great. He even secretly helped preside over a lesbian wedding once.
And he did what he could to change the church to reflect his beliefs. It was, from my outside point-of-view, a futile effort. But his personal beliefs were occasionally in conflict with the official church beliefs. And my dad was part of that church’s bureaucracy the last 12 years of his life or so. I would guess, then, that people would assume he held “Missouri Synod beliefs.”
So no, I won’t necessarily believe that Michelle Bachmann thinks that the Pope is the Anti-Christ.
But it is also further proof that this particular Lutheran is fucking crazy.