|2012 Presidential Candidate Michele Bachmann|
(The Christian Post) - Michele Bachmann has received a much-needed endorsement from Catholics following media reports saying she quit her Lutheran church, which believes the Pope is the Antichrist.THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: I need to point out here that this is a really big deal. Many Republican presidential candidates have had ties to anti-Catholic Protestant groups in the past. The list includes John McCain, Mike Huckabee and George W. Bush. In each case, the candidate has distanced himself from the anti-Catholic views of the person or group in question, but none have ever cut themselves off from that person or group completely, until now. What we have in the case of Michele Bachmann is a clean break from not only her former Lutheran parish, but her entire Lutheran denomination as well, in addition to a public statement that categorically rejects the teachings of her former religious affiliation. "I love Catholics, I’m a Christian, and my church does not believe that the Pope is the Antichrist" Bachmann said, in complete opposition to her former denomination's official stand...
“We find no evidence of any bigotry on the part of Rep. Michele Bachmann,” Catholic News Agency quoted Bill Donohue, president of America’s largest Catholic civil rights organization Catholic League, as saying Friday. Donohue, however, also said it was “regrettable that there are still strains of anti-Catholicism in some Protestant circles.”
Donohue was responding to Thursday’s report in The Atlantic that said the Minnesota Republican was likely to face controversy over her affiliation with Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Stillwater, a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, which says the Roman Catholic Pope is the Antichrist.
Rep. Bachmann has “condemned anti-Catholicism” and “just as President Barack Obama is not responsible for the views of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Rep. Bachmann must be judged on the basis of her own record,” the League president said, referring to Obama’s former pastor’s statements in 2008 that the U.S. government may have spread AIDS among the black community and that some American wartime activities constituted terrorism.
According to the director of communications of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, Joel Hochmuth, the 55-year-old congresswoman was released from her family’s membership on June 21, six days before she formally announced her candidacy for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination...
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We reject the idea that the teaching that the Papacy is the Antichrist rests on a merely human interpretation of history or is an open question. We hold rather that this teaching rests on the revelation of God in Scripture which finds its fulfillment in history. The Holy Spirit reveals this fulfillment to the eyes of faith (cf. The Abiding Word, Vol. 2, p. 764). Since Scripture teaches that the Antichrist would be revealed and gives the marks by which the Antichrist is to be recognized (2 Th 2:6,8), 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.We do not know what Michele Bachmann's personal interpretation of her previous church's doctrine was. We do now know if she ever even accepted it at all. At present, we still do not know what nondenominational church she currently attends, though it appears there are only about a half-dozen of them in the Stillwater area. There is only one thing we do know. Based on Michele Bachmann's personal words and actions, she clearly DOES NOT believe the pope is the Antichrist. Furthermore, based on her few comments on the matter, it would appear the very idea of such a thing is repulsive to her, and this may have possibly contributed to her decision to leave the WELS denomination.
Statement of FaithWisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS)
Now as a Catholic (born Lutheran and descended from a man who helped form the WELS) I've got to say this was a pretty gutsy move on Bachmann's part. She went above and beyond the typical Republican response to this problem. She backed her words with action, and that's just something you don't see every day. Good for her!