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Bachmann and the Beast of Revelations

News that Michele Bachmann has ended her membership in a brand of Lutheranism that condemns the Papacy as Antichrist is a sign that the forces making America a tolerant country as well as a religious one are still at work.  In national politics, bigots can’t win.

The Catholic vote isn’t large enough to elect a Catholic the Protestants don’t trust, and Protestants are so divided between conservatives and liberals that no single Protestant bloc can dominate the country.  To win you have to get the crossover vote; Michelle Bachmann can’t even aspire to the GOP nomination without making her peace with the Catholic vote.

Peoria, it appears, is well worth a mass — and that is very good news for the United States.

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  • Dan

    It seems a bit much to imply that Bachmann is a bigot based on her membership in a church that adheres to a theological position that considers the Papacy’s claim of ecclesiastical authority as consonant with the actions of the Antichrist. After all, the rejection of papal authority was one of the primary theological developments (for better or worse) of the Protestant Reformation. Bachmann’s particular Lutheran denomination stops well short of calling for any kind of censure or civil penalty against Catholics for their supposedly errant theological beliefs. Within the confines of American religious pluralism, do her religious beliefs really constitute bigotry? Would you apply the same term to Muslims who hold similar views of those Christians who maintain the divinity of Christ and reject Mohammed’s legitimacy as a prophet?

    • Walter Russell Mead

      Actually, by leaving the church Bachmann made clear that on this point she isn’t a bigot. I don’t say she was a bigot before, or that all members of the church are bigoted — but by leaving she has made a clear statement. The language raises doubts; the action takes them away. That’s normally a good case for changing language.

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