PawlentyPalmsOver the weekend with news that former Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) was going to announce his candidacy, I had a friend from high school message me.  He used to lead worship at Governor Pawlenty’s church, Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, MN, until he turned away from the faith (a story I have yet to hear).  He gave me permission to share his message provided he remained anonymous.  I thought it was an interesting perspective from a liberal atheist about Governor Pawlenty’s faith.

Hey, Shane. I read that T-Paw is formally announcing his bid to be POTUS in IA next week, and I’m sure he’ll court your favor. I just wanted to give you some impressions I have of him personally, since I’m not sure how may MNs will contact you. This involves the issue of my unbelief, but I’ll avoid that for the purpose of this message:

Before I put aside my faith, and became an atheist, I used to help lead worship at Wooddale Church, where Tim & Mary attended for years. I’ve actually met him several times, and if he saw my picture, he might even remember me.  Because of –obvious– security concerns, he usually left the service through our backstage area, and he would always stop to shake hands & say "hello" to anyone who asked. A very gracious man.

But that’s not my purpose in writing. In my life, I’ve seen many –far too many– politicians who court the church when they thought it would do their career a favor, but disappear when they achieved the present goal. I can tell you, from personal experience, Governor Pawlenty is not like that. When he was there, he was just another member of the congregation. He didn’t speak; he didn’t draw any attention to himself; he even raised his hands when the spirit moved him — a decidedly embarrassing thing if one is concerned about whom is watching one. That really impressed me.

Again: I think all religion is nothing but a shameful way to control people. And I also think the GOP is destroying America.

But I want you to know that the one thing people can’t say about Tim Pawlenty is that he’s a fake Christian. Thought you might be interested in an insider’s perspective.

I don’t think you can get higher praise than that.

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