Apr 30, 2009

Mark Neumann in His Own Words

As other bloggers and we have pointed out the anti-Catholic (and anti-Semitic and anti-gay) virulence of his church, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), Mark Neumann deserves to be heard.

Neumann is the first to say that his faith informs his decision-making in elected office.

Neumann served in the U.S. Congress (1995 -1999), and has indicated he will seek the governor's office in 2010.

WELS Communication Services Director, Joel Hochmuth, has a conversation up with Neumann recorded in November 2007 about Neumann living his faith as he served in Congress (podcast in right column entitled "Inspiration").

Nuemann comes across as amicable, well-spoken and earnest in talking with Hochmuth about his faith and his life, seemingly devoted to his family.

"What matters most in life is our faith, and being true to our faith and to our family," said Neumann.

He recounts being inspired by a trip to Washington D.C. and recalls later butting horns with Newt Gingrich for whom he later voted present in the election for Speaker in 1997, instead of voting for Gingrich.

Asked how he made his decisions in Congress, Neumann replied, "What we did in our office, and Sue (wife) helped me a lot with this, we established a checklist, so to speak, on any bill that would come before us. And we'd ask ourselves first, 'Is there a moral or ethical reason to a cast a vote in any particular way.' And if there was, it didn't' matter what anybody else said to me, we were going with the morals and ethics first."

Seems like a principled-enough guy, but if you happen to be Catholic, Jewish, gay or pluralistic, Neumann's extreme beliefs are worrying at best and deserve a hearing.

See, for example, his church's apparent blood feud with Roman Catholics:

Christians must take care during their lifetimes not to regularly associate with any group or organization that would take their focus off Christ alone as their salvation.

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