Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) swung by a Chicago-area synagogue for a worship service on the eve of Yom Kippur last week, upsetting congregants and provoking one man to mount a campaign for her Democratic challenger before the end of the night
, the Chicago Tribune reports
According to the Tribune
, Rabbi Michael Siegel of Anshe Emet Synagogue observed protocol by offering a customary greeting to Bachmann during the services. While elected officials are traditionally acknowledged during such events at the temple, the presence of the conservative Minnesota firebrand prompted particular displeasure.
Some reportedly walked out of the ceremony, while Gary Sircus, a 25-year member of Anshe Emet Synagogue, voiced more active opposition to Bachmann's attendance
"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, according to the Tribune
Bachmann has been a vocal supporter of Israel and an unabashed opponent of gay rights, an awkward policy duo on that particular night; Siegel told the Tribune
that the night's service had included a piece honoring Israel for its openness to the LGBT community.
Among Bachmann's many controversial statements about the LGBT community, she has likened homosexuality
to "bondage," "child abuse" and "sexual dysfunction."
Ben Strauss of Chicago, a member of Anshe Emet, was present that night
and explained the uncomfortable incident in an interview with HuffPost Live on Monday (video above).