Bachmanns Leave Church as Anti-Catholic Fracas Flares

Lutheran synod equated pope with antichrist, said homosexuality is a sin
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2011 9:04 AM CDT

(Newser) – One thing is for certain: You won't catch Michele and Marcus Bachmann darkening the door of the Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church, which they attended for more than a decade. The would-be first couple officially left their longtime church in June, reports the LA Times, after taking heat in recent years over the church's anti-Catholic and anti-gay views. A spokesman for the church's synod says the Bachmanns requested to formally end their membership, and that the church granted that request "a few weeks" later. Both sides say the Bachmanns hadn't attended services there in two years.

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But the plot twists slightly: The same spokesman, Joel Hochmuth, tells the Washington Post that it wasn't the Bachmanns' idea to leave: “The impetus came from the church,” said Hochmuth. “For the pastor’s sake, he wanted to know where he stood with the family.” The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod has equated the pope with the antichrist—a view Michele Bachmann has called "abhorrent"—and believes homosexuality is a correctable sin. A Bachmann spokeswoman says the family has attended a nondenominational church in Minnesota for the past two years. (Read more Michele Bachmann stories.)

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