Joshua Green of The Atlantic Monthly quotes the omnipresent Bill Donohue in his piece regarding Michele Bachmann's church affiliation: "Obama had to answer for Wright, McCain had to answer for [Rev. John] Hagee, and this is something that Bachmann has to answer for."  Indeed, Ms. Bachmann is obligated to explain her affiliation with a church so adamantly anti-Catholic.  Renunciating membership from the the church is not enough.  Green's piece [here] refers several times to a nine page doctrinal statement [available here online] from the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod which argues for the claim that the Pope is the Antichrist.  The statement refers repeatedly to 2 Thessalonians 2 and identifies the Roman Catholic Pope as the most obvious manifestation of Satan's work in drawing people toward untruth: "The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.  Therefore, God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness." (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)  These are tough words from Paul.

The WELS's doctrinal statements emphasize the primacy of scripture.  Yet, they ignore an important passage from Matthew's gospel: "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Matthew 16:18-19)  Sola scriptura results in irresolvable paradoxes and corrosive pronunciations such as the Roman Catholic Pope is the Antichrist.  Does the WELS believe that Christ inaugurated a Satanic institution?  A house divided against itself shall not stand.

In any case, doctrinal disputations aside, Ms. Bachmann, please tell us more about your long association with WELS as well as your abrupt disassociation with it.

Comments

Anonymous | 7/17/2011 - 10:25pm
Obama is not a Catholic but is a Christian - protestant of some type apparently. Since all Protestants must hold Rome to be in apostasy in order to justify their own existence, it follows that whatever Our President believes, it must include some form of "therefore the Pope is wrong" if in not so many words, in essence.

But obviously it matters to me that any Protestant believes on such flimsy evidence that the Pope is 'anti-christ' when the Gospel of John is clear on who the anti-christ is - he who denies that the word became flesh. Since the dogma of the Incarnation is firmly Catholic, I think we can put that little canard to rest from a 'scripture alone' perspective.

But in the political tit for tat, I must say, our democratic brethren sure don't seem to have detailed memories... for the fact is, until the GOP (pushed by conservatives and youtube) started pointing out rev. wrights' outrages, Obama did not distance himself from him and then later claimed he really didn't pay much attention (sort of the yeah I smoked but didn't inhale). Oh well, then it's all OK then? If so, why isn't it OK for Bachmann?

Personally, I think we have far more important reasons for disliking each side's politicians than what their pastors may believe or said once upon a time. It matters much more to me what Obama the man or Michele the woman has to say and vote about the most defenseless of humans - the unborn - than what they may be forced to admit over a bruhaha about one of their pastors.

But that gets back to the elephant in the room.... when one party is totally pro-abortion and 50% of Catholics vote for them despite that fact and don't appear to do anything to persuade them differently but do seem to spend an awfully lot of energy rah rahing them... what does this say about Catholicism in the USA? Or how smart or honorable catholic democrats are when they advance the dubious theory that "war is bad"....but abortion is a necessary evil. Or that it's an outrage for Bush to invade Iraq (because people will die) but ho hum, that 1.3 million babies die each year by abortion?

Mr. Obama is clear on his vociferous pro-abortion stance and policy preferences. Rep. Bachmann is so far, pro-life. As the rubber hits the road issue, it doesn't get much clearer than that.
Stephen Murray | 7/16/2011 - 10:24pm
There is no cure for stupid.
Anonymous | 7/15/2011 - 7:05pm
I believe throughout most Protestant literature, there is a theme of the pope being the AntiChrist or referred to in some other derogatory way.  I once was on a blog with a scientist who left the Evangelical Church of his youth and cited one reason, all the anti Catholic literature he was subjected to.  He was not a Catholic but knew from his associations how witless it was.  


But these are the same Protestants that Democrats were in harmony with for over a 100 years after the Civil War as both belonged to the Democratic Party.  David Carlin discusses it in his book.  How much anti Catholic preaching is going on these days in Protestant Churchs?  I am sure there is some but it doesn't make the news. 
ROBERT NUNZ MR | 7/15/2011 - 5:35pm
I hate being in continuing disagreements, but dredging up Jeremiah Wright is old news, disavowed buy the POTUS -obviously hated by the right and now they clainm credit for the disavowal?
Bachman is nuts, see her salvery comment, for example, but only her dedicated idealogic disciples can defend her actions.This is the sad state we are in in this country. where the Gospel is held by some to say the word "tax" is dirty and the first commandmen tis to never compromise.
JIM MCCREA | 7/15/2011 - 5:18pm
Brendan said:  " - when I observed many gay and lesbian people being hostile to the Church (though understandably), I felt... well, "betrayed" is too strong a word, but I felt very defensive.)"

Now you know how LGBT folks who have been raised Catholic feel!
ROBERT NUNZ MR | 7/15/2011 - 10:52am
I just want to add that I'm not surprised by the balther from the right here who are wounded by any criticism because they think they are the real Catholics.
Bachman is a nut job as far as I can see.
But saying that's nothing comapred to the division within the Church  that continues to be heated by "I'm right, you're wrong" arguments gets us nowhere!
Anonymous | 7/15/2011 - 9:52am
We were told - by our moral and intellectual superiors - that a politician's private lives and sins are of no consequence AT ALL to that politicians' public performance of his duty.

We were also told - by our moral and intellectual superiors - that a politician's preacher and religious leader's opinions and vociferously held beliefs that are entirely out of the mainstream of Christian thought - are totally besides the point because the politician can't be assumed to agree much less to have paid attention.

So what's different here? Or is there a double standard between Democrats and Republicans when it comes the criteria we as a nation are told to use with respect to their personal and religious actions?

Vince Killoran | 7/15/2011 - 1:53am
The answers to your questions Brendan are:incorrect, a bogus distinction, and yes.
Brendan McGrath | 7/15/2011 - 12:23am
Vince - I think a few questions woud need to be asked:

1) Is current Catholic teaching on homosexuality and homosexual acts correct, incorrect, or correct on some points and incorrect in others?

2)  In what sense does Benedict, with Catholic teaching, consider homosexuality to be a "disorder"?  (I.e., I've heard some say that it's important to keep in mind that "disorder" is being used in a theological and philosophical sense, not a modern-psychological/psychiatric one.)

3)  How do we define homophobia, and is it homophobic to consider homosexuality a disorder, in any of the senses mentioned in #2?

Vince Killoran | 7/14/2011 - 11:06pm
The Pope isn't the anti-Christ, but he does think that being gay is a disorder.

Brendan McGrath | 7/14/2011 - 6:09pm
I have to say, I personally get much more annoyed/offended/disheartened by the "new" anti-Catholicism that comes from liberal/secular sources than the old anti-Catholicism that which comes from Protestant/"conservative" sources - perhaps because I tend to be more liberal (but not of course secular) myself, so when the anti-Catholicism comes from liberals, it's sort of "my own people" who are "betraying" me.  Even more importantly, most of my fellow Northeast U.S. Catholics tend to be more liberal/Democratic too, and the liberal anti-Catholicism is more likely to influence them away from the Church.  (I.e., Catholicism and the Democratic party used to be more aligned, with Catholics attached to both, at least in the Northeast - now with the Democratic party is moving away from Catholicism the past several decades, Catholics are being tugged in two directions, and unfortunately, what snaps is often the attachment to the Church.) 

To put it another way - I was raised Democrat (I'm 29).  And growing up in grade school and high school, most of the Democrats I knew were also Catholic, or at least not hostile to Catholicism.  Now that's changing - and I guess I feel betrayed, though that's too strong a word.  (A similar experience - in high school, I was very much against homophobia, etc.  I still am, of course, but in college at Georgetown, when I observed many gay and lesbian people being hostile to the Church (though understandably), I felt... well, "betrayed" is too strong a word, but I felt very defensive.)

Anyway, the point of these ramblings is that I'm not really bothered by anti-Catholicism that comes from a Protestant/conservative source - if anything, it makes me wish that that was what we were still dealing with, rather than liberal/secular anti-Catholicism, since the former is less of a threat, and its presence reinforces rather than erodes the loyalty of Catholics to the Church.

I have to say it also annoys me to see more liberal/secular sources point to anti-Catholicism on the right, as if we're now supposed to get dutifully outraged by that, while said liberal/secular sources don't seem to think there's anything objectionable about their anti-Catholicism, and indeed, we're made to feel like we don't really have the "right" to be upset.

In short, I'd rather have the pope be called the anti-Christ than be called homophobic, misogynist, etc.
ROBERT NUNZ MR | 7/14/2011 - 4:46pm
In a year when craziness abounds poltically -and wil probably get worse - am I surprised?