Lutherans in Congress, by Mollie

Recently, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released data on the religious makeup of Congress. While some groups were over-represented (Catholics, Jews, Mormons) and other groups were under-represented, (evangelicals, Pentecostals, unaffiliated), Lutherans were pretty well represented. We makeup 4.6 percent of the population and comprise 4.5 percent of the seats.

This may not interest you all as much as it interests me as a reporter, but I actually didn’t know that some of these folks were Lutheran.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America News Service shared the specifics.

Seven new U.S. Congressional members are Lutheran, bringing our total to 24.
Fifteen are Democrats and nine are Republicans.

Four are senators and 20 are representatives.

All four senators are members of the ELCA — newly seated Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.;  Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Byron Dorgan, D-N.D.; and Tim Johnson, D-S.D.

Three of the new Lutherans in the House of Representatives are Missouri Synod Lutherans: Debbie Halvorson, D-Ill.; Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.; and Erik Paulsen, R-Minn. The other three new Lutheran House members are members of the ELCA: Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.; Chellie Pingree, D-Maine; and Marc Schauer, D-Mich.

Of the remaining Lutherans in the House, 11 are members of the ELCA, two belong to LCMS and two are members of  Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). The ELCA members are: Lois Capps, D-Calif.; John R. Carter, R-Texas; Norman D. Dicks, D-Wash.; Stephanie Herseth, D-S.D.; Tom Latham, R-Iowa; Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.; Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn.; Thomas Petri, R-Wis.; Bill Shuster, R-Pa.; and Tim Walz, D-Minn.

The LCMS members are Dave Reichert, R-Wash., and John M. Shimkus, R-Ill. The WELS members are: Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and Ron Kind, D-Wis.

Only one Lutheran, Darlene Hooley, D-Ore., didn’t seek re-election. All others who did were re-elected.

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