Last July, when Michele Bachmann was riding high in the polls and grabbing general media attention, a question arose about where she and her husband Marcus go to church. The story was that they had given up their longtime affiliation with Salem Lutheran Church and joined an evangelical megachurch called Eagle Brook because they had moved their residence and wanted to be closer to where they worshiped.
A little mapquesting showed, however, that all four Eagle Brook campuses were farther away from their new home than Salem Lutheran. The suspicion arose that the move actually had to do with Bachmann’s desire not to be affiliated with Salem Lutheran because, as a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, it was tied to statement of faith that consider the Pope to be the Antichrist–which became a bit controversial the last time Bachmann ran for Congress. Such doctrinal baggage had best be jettisoned in a run for the presidency, no?
Now it seems that the Bachmann’s have joined another evangelical church–for the same alleged reason as before. (RNS has a Bachmann churchgoing timeline.) Here’s the relevant exchange from her interview with Christianity Today‘s Sarah Pulliam Bailey:
You mentioned your church attendance. Where do you attend now?
We attend Rockpoint Church in Lake Elmo, Minnesota. We
had lived in another part of the community and we moved about 20 minutes
away, so we moved to a church that was closer.
With the previous Lutheran church you attended, did you have any concerns about the stances they took?
No, it was a wonderful, conservative Lutheran church.
The pastors were marvelous there. We really enjoyed being a part of it.
We were very active. My husband was involved in the school board, our
children attended school there. We were grateful for the years of
fellowship there. Very giving, loving people attended that church. We
gained a lot and we hope we contributed.
However, once again it turns out that the Bachmanns have a longer drive from their home at Stoneridge Golf Course to Rockpoint Church than they did to Salem Church–by five miles/10 minutes. One explanation for their joining Eagle Brook was that Marcus Bachman’s counseling business had a relationship with the church. Bachmann & Associates is no longer mentioned on the church website. Has the relationship come to an end?
Folks are entitled to switch churches for whatever reason they want, of course, but why keep fibbing about it?