Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann attended an Iowa church service Sunday where the pastor denounced homosexuality and implied that Christianity turned a gay man straight, offering further clues to how the candidate's devout Christianity and position on gay rights intertwine.
Bachmann attended a nondenominational church near Des Moines, personal Bible in hand, and was in the congregation when Pastor Jeff Mullen labeled homosexuality ""immoral" and "unnatural." After Bachmann read a passage from Philippians, saying "Whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, think well of these things," Mullen gave a presentation on the church's beliefs that included a video in which a man named Adam Hood testified to shedding his homosexuality after a conversation with God.
"I am so happy God has given me natural affection for a woman," Hood said in the video, adding that his wife is nine months pregnant. "We need to have compassion for people that are bound by that sin," he added. "And it is a sin. Call a spade a spade."
Bachmann's views on gay rights and same-sex marriage have come under scrutiny since she declared her candidacy. The Minnesota congresswoman has a long record of staunch social conservatism -- she cited her opposition to same-sex marriage as a central reason she chose to pursue a political career and once compared homosexuality to "personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement."
The video shown at the service also parallels allegations that the Christian counseling center run by Bachmann's husband, Marcus, promotes "reparative therapy," a form of counseling -- repudiated by psychological organizations -- that seeks to make gay people renounce their sexual orientation and become heterosexual. Bachmann's husband has countered that "we don't have an agenda or a philosophy of trying to change someone" and saying a previous comment comparing gay people to "barbarians [that] need to be educated" had been taken out of context.