I thought this was a parody or an Onion story, but evidently it’s not.
Word comes via the Chicago Tribune that congregants of Anshe Emet Synagogue in Lakeville, IL, were upset by the unexpected appearance in their sanctuary of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann during Kol Nidrei, the service that began the solemn Yom Kippur holiday last Tuesday. According to reporter Manya A. Brachear’s story, there is “No word on why Bachmann was in Chicago or why she chose to attend the Jewish service. Calls and emails to her campaign and congressional office were not returned.”
Rabbi Michael Siegel, following his congregation’s practice of acknowledging the presence of public officials as guests in their sanctuary, welcomed the conservative congresswoman from the pulpit. But according to Brachear,
“The formality enraged more than a few congregants, prompting some to walk out and one to start a campaign of his own in support of Bachmann’s opponent in the race for her congressional seat, Jim Graves. ‘The holiness of the room and the holiness of the evening was greatly diminished for me, if not completely destroyed,’ said Gary Sircus, who stormed out of the synagogue where he has observed the High Holidays for 25 years. ‘Our congregation values and embodies tolerance, compassion, respect for individual rights, intelligence, science—all of the things that I think Michele Bachmann stands against.’
“Later that night, [Sircus] composed an email to Graves’ campaign and sent it to others, urging them to donate. His words have since gone viral. ‘I felt that the best way to ‘honor’ Ms. Bachmann’s visit was to make a contribution to your campaign,’ Sircus wrote [to Graves]. ‘Even though I do not vote in Minnesota, please do everything in your power to take away this evil woman’s soapbox.’”
I’ve seen reports that Bachman is in the closest race of her congressional career, and really may be ousted on November 6. Also reportedly in very close races are Bachmann’s fellow right-wing extremists Joe Walsh of Illinois, the deadbeat who failed to pay his wife her child support; Steve King of Iowa, as demeaning a congressman as there is toward new Americans and immigrants looking to catch a foothold our country; and Alan West of Florida who routinely demeans female politicians.