Thursday, July 14, 2011

Are You Now or Have You Ever Been a Lutheran?

I must, reluctantly, draw some attention to this asinine headline:
Michele Bachmann's Church Says the Pope Is the Antichrist
And respond with two points:

1) As noted in the article (buried deeply in the text) Bachmann is no longer a member of the WELS congregation she once attended. What, if any, congregation she is currently a member of is unknown. So I am puzzled how the Wisconsin Synod is considered "her church."

2) Leaving that aside, the main point of this article seems to be that it is politically beyond the pale to be a confessional Lutheran. After all, the Smalcald Articles are pretty specific on the subject:
This teaching shows forcefully that the Pope is the very Antichrist, who has exalted himself above, and opposed himself against Christ because he will not permit Christians to be saved without his power, which, nevertheless, is nothing, and is neither ordained nor commanded by God.
As was pointed out by a commenter, the existence of this story "is right up there with those vintage 1959/1960 stories that since John F. Kennedy was Catholic, as President he would take orders from the Pope."

As a Lutheran, I'm a bit puzzled that this position is controversial. We're friggin' Lutheran. Of course we have problems with the papacy! Asserting that this is somehow surprising and notable betrays a remarkable amount of historical ignorance.

(Headline stolen shamelessly from a response to the article over at getreligion.org. Thanks for the pointer, Karl!)

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