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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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7 comments
  1. Wooddale Church is a good church – they hosted the  famous debate on evil and suffering in 1999 between William Lane Craig and Walter Sinnott-Armstong.

    The audio is here:
    http://www.bringyou.to/CraigSinnottArmstrongEvilSuffering.mp3

    That debate was eventually included in this book published by Oxford University Press:
    http://www.amazon.com/God-between-Christian-Counterpoint-Paperback/dp/0195166000

    If I lived in MN, I would go to that church. And I am really picky.

    Michele Bachmann also has a more direct connection to apologetics:
    https://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2011/05/23/the-wintery-knight-demands-that-michele-bachmann-run-for-president/

    You won’t believe who her favorite apologist is.

  2. This information is only useful to shallow voters who vote for the “most christian” candidate rather than the most intelligent, or most honest candidate.  The two do not go hand in hand.  

    1. Dave, I agree that nobody should decide who their voting for based on this alone, and this isn’t about who is the “most Christian.”  It’s about sincerity, and if there is a question a candidate is being sincere about his or her faith.  This individual who took the time to message me said basically “put those concerns to rest.”
      I would add a qualifier to your statement “the two do not go hand in hand.”  I would say the “two do not always go hand in hand.”  Unless you meant to come across as an anti-religious bigot.

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