WAUKEE, IA –- Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann yesterday attended a church here in Iowa, where the pastor called homosexuality "immoral" and "unnatural," and later showed a testimonial video from a man who claimed to have been gay before having a conversation with God.
Before the sermon at Point of Grace Church -- a non-denominational congregation near Des Moines -- Bachmann stood with her husband, Marcus Bachmann, before a crowd of about 100 people, clutching her personal copy of the Bible.
“This is a time that we need to be encouraged this week, not discouraged,” she said, referencing Friday night’s credit downgrade and Saturday’s news about the Navy SEALs killed in Afghanistan.
“Whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,” Bachmann said, reading from the book of Philippians, “think well on these things.”
The reading drew cheers. Pastor Jeff Mullen, standing next to Bachmann, took her Bible his hand. “There are some candidates who start running, and have this come-to-Jesus moment,” he said. "What I love about this Bible,” he said, “is how well it's used.”
Mullen offered a prayer honoring democracy. “We have a nation where people can still rise up and speak their voice, and say, ‘This is what I believe.’”
When Bachmann and her husband returned to their seats, Mullen began a half-hour presentation on his church's beliefs. Reading verses from the Bible to support his case, Mullen said, "We inherently know that homosexual behavior is immoral and unnatural."
“God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness,” Mullen said, reading from the book of Romans.
Mullen’s sermon concluded with video testimonial from a man named Adam Hood, who claims to have been gay before experiencing 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," Hood added. "And it is a sin. Call a spade a spade."
The Bachmanns remained in the church for the duration of the service, and afterward posed for a picture with Pastor Mullen and his family.
In an interview with NBC News, Mullen called his sermon on homosexuality “a bedrock, just a Biblical truth we’ve taught over the years.”
“It just so happens they were here today,” Mullen said of the Bachmanns. “And we were teaching on both marriage and homosexuality.”
The Bachmann campaign released this statement on Mullen's sermon: "Michele was an invited guest, she always welcomes the opportunity to meet with parishioners."
The Point of Grace Church service was the second church event Michele Bachmann attended on Sunday. Earlier, they visited the Des Moines First Church of the Nazarene, where the presidential candidate discussed the origins of her faith and political life.