Republican Michele Bachmann decided to attend the worship service on the eve of Yom Kippur in a Chicago-area synagogue. Little did she know that her presence would upset congregants present in the religious ceremony.
According to sources, Rabbi Michael Siegel of Anshe Emet Synagogue observed protocol by offering a customary greeting to Bachmann during their services.
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While elected officials are traditionally acknowledged during such events, it was the presence of conservative representative from Minnesota that led to extreme displeasure among the attendees. Some walked out of the ceremony, while Gary Sircus, a 25-year-old member of the synagogue actively voiced his opposition towards Bachmann.
"Our congregation values and embodies tolerance, compassion, respect for individual rights, intelligence, science -- all of the things that I think Michele Bachmann stands against," said Sircus.
He later took to Twitter to announce his contribution to Bachmann’s Democratic opponent Jim Graves.
Michele Bachman's at Anshe Emet for Kol Nidre.In honor of this unholy person being in my synagogue, I've made a contribution to Jim Graves— Gary Sircus (@gsircus) September 26, 2012
Furthermore, Sircus later explained his reasons for opposition by saying that Bachmann actively campaigns against virtually every principle that lays down the foundation of Judaism, hence, to honor such a person was intolerable for him, and he had therefore decided to leave.
It is important to mention here that Bachmann has always been a vocal supporter of Israel and a staunch opponent of gay rights. Among her many controversial statements about the LGBT community, she has compared homosexuality to "bondage," "child abuse" and "sexual dysfunction."
Another member of Anshe Emet, Ben Strauss, also criticized Bachmann’s presence at the religious ceremony. "It was bizarre," Strauss said. "You have to understand, this is a congregation on the north side of Chicago located in a part of the city that is very LGBT friendly, and given her political leanings it was a strange fit."