Sunday, July 17, 2011

Politics, Headlines, Bachmann, and 'Those Catholics'

First, the good news:
"...Although [Catholic League president Bill] Donohue expressed regret over the church's doctrinal statement, he said that ...[Representative Michele]... Bachmann has 'condemned anti-Catholicism' and shown no signs discrimination against Catholics in her political career...."
Now the not-so-good news:
"...Rep. Bachmann made headlines this week when The Atlantic linked the presidential candidate with the Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Stillwater, Minnesota.

"The church community belongs to the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod - founded in 1850 with around 400,000 members today - which tightly adheres to the teachings of 16th century Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther.

"The synod's 'Doctrinal Statement on the Antichrist' claims that the Bible has 'revealed' that the 'Roman Papacy' is the anti-Christ...."

'Oh, the Satanic Horror of Those People Over There'

That bit about the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod being one of the lot who feel that the Pope is the antichrist explains a lot.

I'm a convert to Catholicism: partly because I grew up in a virulently anti-Catholic part of the country.1

My contact with majority denominations in my home area was mostly through folks who, in some cases, were surprised to find out that Catholics were Christians. And I'd listened to some quite imaginative radio preachers. At least some of the latter were of the 'Franklin Delano Roosevelt's birthday divided by Stalin's hat size and the circumference of a Roosevelt dime gives you the Number of the Beast' variety. I exaggerate, but not by much.

As I said: imaginative.

I think there's a need, for some folks anyway, to have someone to blame. It can be those 'deluded, superstitious, immoral, smelly, un-American Catholics and their Satanic Pope,' or those 'dirty, smelly [ethnic group],' or the Illuminati - and I've opined about that in another blog:
In America, I think Catholics have been a fairly safe group to loathe. Until quite recently many of us were focused mostly on trying to blend in and make a living. Making a fuss about anti-Catholic propaganda just wasn't a priority.

And that's another topic.

Oh, by the way: Yes, I know about the pedophile priests.

Is a Candidate's Religion Important? That Depends

Although I think a person's faith is very important: I don't think it's necessarily a major issue with most political candidates. America isn't a country where political leaders are also religious leaders.

I'm much more concerned about whether a candidate can be relied upon to stay out of the courts for the duration of his or her term, and is generally sober enough to sign documents. Beyond the basics, I'm also concerned about a number of issues - and will have to start slogging through that as the next election gets closer.

As to whether or not I think a candidate can be a member of some church, and hold views contrary to those of that church? I'm a practicing Catholic - and the shenanigans of 'Catholic' politicos is another topic, for another day.

Related posts:
In the news:

1 My parents went to a nice mainstream Protestant church - which didn't claim that somebody the founder didn't like was the antichrist. It was a rather pedestrian - and sane - denomination. And I have fond memories of my Protestant past.

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Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.