Neumann is giving a little pay-back to the GOP establishment that savaged his 2010 bid for the GOP nomination for governor last September, giving Scott Walker a victory over Neumann.
Neumann offered Walker only a terse endorsement in the general election.
In reaction to the proliferation of religious extremists like Mark Neumann seeking to impose his own, if genuinely held, bigoted dogma as public policy, Bill Keller has a piece in this week in the NYT Magazine, Asking Candidates Tougher Questions About Faith, foreshadowing closer scrutiny of the We-ask-God-to-guide-the-unbelievers sect.
"I do care if religious doctrine becomes an excuse to exclude my fellow citizens from the rights and protections our country promises. And I care a lot if a candidate is going to be a Trojan horse for a sect that believes it has divine instructions on how we should be governed," writes Keller. See also Joanna Brooks' Questions to Ask Mormon Presidential Candidates.
Neumann has repeatedly said that the Wels Church instructs how he would work as an elected public official.
Neumann in a Wels religious publication, Issue: November 2006 (WELS Forward in Christ).
MAL Contends checked with the Lord this morning after the annoucment and the Lord told me Mark Neumann is a rightwing bigot who is not qualified for public office.
The Lord also instructs that Neumann be defeated in the GOP primary election because, in the words of the Lord: 'Mark Neumann is so crazy, he makes Scott Walker look like a sensible moderate by comparison. I guarantee you Mark Neumann will lose the GOP nomination. Not in this part of multiverse does Neumann win in Wisconsin. I condemn Mark Neumann's bid for the Senate because Neumann is nothing more than a cretin."
If the Lord is not good enough for you, check this out:
Here is Neumann's Wels sect on those lee-bral CoExist t-shirts and bumper stickers. The text captures well the spirit and substance of Neumann's exclusionary approach to all things public:
Featured Question on Mark Neumann's Wels Church on the CoExist sentiment
Question - I am seeing Coexist t-shirts and bumper stickers. (These are bumper stickers that spell out the word “coexist” using symbols from various religions including Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Wicca, and Christianity – all in an effort to promote religious tolerance.) As a Christian, how should I react to this symbolism, and how can I witness to someone who displays this?
Wels Answer - The popular and often-used "coexist" symbol merits our attention, appraisal, and thoughtful response. The symbol itself was originally a plea for religious tolerance, and today the focus has been somewhat broadened. The symbol is normally used to promote the idea that different religions, value systems, ways of life, and points of view should exist harmoniously and peacefully. This is a plea for tolerance and peaceful coexistence as opposed to open strife, war, and political or social oppression based on differing religious, moral, or ideological convictions.
You ask how Christians should best react to the symbol and to those who display it on their clothing, vehicle, or another personal possession. I believe that the Christian's response will be more complicated and thoughtful than a simple "I like it" or "I don't like it" vote. For example:
First, we do well to ask the people what the symbol means to them and why they display it. Don't assume the worst in regard to their motives. They may or may not have given much thought to displaying it. Or they might be sick and tired of all the bloodshed, oppression, and social or political persecution that has stemmed from differing religious and ethical standards. They may not be expressing approval or disapproval of any of the religions or ideologies represented in the symbol, but they like the idea of mutual courtesy or a peaceful coexistence that has little to do with religious convictions. But sometimes the people who display the symbol knowingly seek more than a peaceful coexistence. They may wrongly believe that all religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) or all lifestyle choices (homosexuality and lesbianism, pacifism) are equally valid or worthy of our allegiance. We will want to clarify what they do and why they do it.
We also wisely appraise our own kind of "Christian tolerance." Christian tolerance displays a kind and patient treatment of the persons and motives of others even if or when we disagree or reject their false principles and opinions. We seek to treat the people with kindness, even when they embrace error that we hate and despise as poison to their souls. Christian toleration maintains a love for those in error and seeks points of contact that may be used to witness to the truth and against the error.
Then we strive to witness to the other people, reacting to their expressed motives, convictions, and understanding of issues involved. We may warn, encourage, rebuke, commend, and inform or teach -- and sometimes we do all of these things depending on what we have learned from the people. We cannot approve or endorse error or falsehood in religion or morality. We can love and seek the well-being of the people to whom we witness. We can share accurate information to serve souls and enlighten minds. And we can be prepared for a variety of reactions, from appreciation to ridicule, from gratitude to hatred. But we are called on to continue to speak and react by speaking the truth in love.
And if we do not have opportunity to speak with those who display the symbol because they are in moving vehicles or walking in a crowd, we can include them in our prayers and intercessions. We ask God to guide them into the truth centered in Jesus Christ just as he has graciously guided us.