Bachmann's synagogue appearance during gay tolerance celebration goes as well as you'd think
At Anshe Emet Synagogue, you can't have a yarmulke and Chick-fil-A, too.
For the second time in just over a week, Michele Bachmann (or political operatives working on her behalf) has unwittingly enriched Jim Graves' campaign to take her job.
Late last month, an outrageous pro-Bachmann attack ad helped Jim Graves raise $8,000. Then, last week, her appearance at a Lakeview, Illinois synagogue caused a 400 percent week-over-week increase in Chicago-area contributions to her opponent's campaign, according to Adam Graves, Jim's son and campaign manager.
Bachmann's appearance at the synagogue came on the eve of Yom Kippur and during a service "celebrating Israel's openness to the gay and lesbian community," the Chicago Tribune reports. So, as you'd expect, worshipers were less than thrilled to see one of America's most notorious gay rights opponents in their midst. (The Tribune contacted Bachmann's campaign and congressional office to try and figure out why she was at the synagogue, but never heard back.)
After Rabbi Michael Siegal followed a long-established synagogue policy of acknowledging public officials and mentioned Bachmann's presence, some congregants walked out. Another, Gary Sircus, used the opportunity to start a fundraising drive for Graves.
"The holiness of the room and the holiness of the evening was greatly diminished for me, if not completely destroyed," Sircus told the Tribune. "Our congregation values and embodies tolerance, compassion, respect for individual rights, intelligence, science -- all of the things that I think Michele Bachmann stands against."
Sircus went home and composed an email, which he then sent to his acquaintances and the Graves campaign. Here's some of what it said:
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...
I am aware of the fact that our congregation's policy in regards to public officials clearly caused pain to some members of our community on the most precious day of reconciliation on the Jewish calendar. That we regret deeply.
Next time, Michele, you might be better off keeping your presence on the DL by hiding in some bushes.
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