Leith Anderson, Tim Pawlenty's pastor, named to Obama's faith council

Leith Anderson, friend of the White House.

Leith Anderson, friend of the White House.

Leith Anderson is Tim and Mary Pawlenty's pastor at Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie. He's head of the National Association of Evangelicals. And now he's been named to President Barack Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

That's awkward.


Pawlenty has made much of his born-again Christian faith while laying the groundwork for a possible bid to oust Obama in 2012, including a call to force military gays and lesbians back into the closet, denying the right of same-sex couples to marry, and outlawing abortion.

The Pawlentys heaped praise on Anderson during an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Pawlenty has been touring Christian bookstores around the country touting his ghost-written autobiography to the GOP base, and he's speaking to an evangelical group today in Iowa.

But while T-Paw likes to cast Obama as a villain, Anderson has gone out of his way to point out that the NAE and the president are not always at loggerheads.

The naming of another Minnesotan to the president's panel is less of a surprise.

Rev. Mark Hanson

Rev. Mark Hanson

Bishop Mark Hanson is the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and perhaps best remembered as leading the ELCA during its acceptance of gay and lesbian ministers during its 2008 convention in Minneapolis.

He was an early Obama supporter, and in 2009 was appointed to a White House task force on inter-religious dialogue and cooperation.