Controversial U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) — infamous for (among other things) a TWO undercover operation last year which proved that the Minnesota Christian counseling clinic she co-owns with her husband Marcus practices dangerous and discredited “pray away the gay” therapy — visited a Conservative Jewish synagogue last Tuesday on the eve of Yom Kippur, a day of atonement, forgiveness, and reconciliation that is the holiest day in Judaism. When Rabbi Michael Siegel of Anshe Emet Synagogue acknowledged Bachmann’s presence, as is the congregation’s custom whenever a public official is present, things did not go well. The Chicago Tribune reports:

“. . .the formality enraged more than a few congregants, prompting some to walk out and one to start a campaign of his own in support of Bachmann’s opponent in the race for her congressional seat, Jim Graves.

“The holiness of the room and the holiness of the evening was greatly diminished for me, if not completely destroyed,” said Gary Sircus, who stormed out of the synagogue where he has observed the High Holidays for 25 years. “Our congregation values and embodies tolerance, compassion, respect for individual rights, intelligence, science — all of the things that I think Michele Bachmann stands against.”

Bachmann’s appearance, which I’m guessing was a publicity stunt intended to convey the congresswoman’s support for Israel, may have inadvertently helped her opponent: Adam Graves, Jim Graves’ son and campaign manager, reported a 400 percent increase in donations to the campaign from the Chicago area last week, according to the Tribune.

h/t: Rex Wockner