Poor Michele Bachmann. She just wanted to do some outreach for Yom Kippur. And what better place to do it than a Conservative synagogue? That means a synagogue for Jewish Tea Party Republicans, right? That’s correct, isn’t it? Baruch atah adonai Obama is a terrorist, or something like that?
And so Michele swung by the Conservative Anshe Emet Synagogue in Chicago. Sounds pretty Republican to us!! Except it’s not. Anshe Emet is located right in the middle of Chicago’s LGBT neighborhood (Boystown), and it bills itself as an “egalitarian” synagogue, and just for good measure, it’s across the street from a Whole Foods and the LGBT community center. Ruh roh.
It started out okay. Rabbi Michael Siegel observed protocol by offering a customary greeting to Bachmann during the services. It went downhill from there.
Gary Sircus, a 25-year member of the Synagogue, recalled:
The holiness of the room and the holiness of the evening was greatly diminished for me, if not completely destroyed. Our congregation values and embodies tolerance, compassion, respect for individual rights, intelligence, science — all of the things that I think Michele Bachmann stands against.
Things got more awkward from there, as the service included a segment honoring Israel’s openness to the LGBT ceremony. Bachmann has previously called homosexuality “part of Satan” and a “dysfunction” and “bondage” (apparently not the fun kind of bondage, though?).
There are varying accounts on exactly how many people left in the middle of the service, but after the awkwardness subsided, Sircus and others decided to donate to Jim Graves, Bachmann’s Democratic opponent in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District. Oh, and Sircus left a note:
I felt that the best way to ‘honor’ Ms. Bachmann’s visit was to make a contribution to your campaign. Even though I do not vote in Minnesota, please do everything in your power to take away this evil woman’s soapbox.
The Graves campaign told the Chicago Tribune that it experienced a 400 percent growth in donations from the Chicago area last week, although it’s unclear to what extent the Synagogue attendees are responsible for this.
*Helpful link: Here’s a link to the Jim Graves (D) campaign website in case you’d like to donate. As a political humor site, we’re going to be a little sad if Michele does lose her House seat, but hopefully she’ll just get a gig on Fox News or something so we still have something to write about every day.
**Helpful reminder: Hey, you know that thing you’ve been meaning to buy on Amazon? Why not order it now through this super convenient link we are providing? Man, we are so helpful sometimes!! You’re totally welcome. (Seriously though, thanks.)