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Aug 08 2011

Michele Bachmann, Dominionist

You must read the profile of Michele Bachmann in The New Yorker—scary stuff all the way through. It goes right down to her philosophical foundation, and it’s all this crazy Dominionist crap from Frank Schaeffer, with nods to the notorious creationist Nancy Pearcey. Do we really want an apocalyptic believer in Christian tyranny to be in the White House?

51 comments

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  1. 1
    Glen Davidson

    Do we need rabies?

    Deep questions all around.

    Glen Davidson

  2. 2
    Jerrald Hayes

    Michelle Bachmann will never ever become the President of the United States but in my desire to guarantee a second term for President Obama I certainly hope she wins the Republican nomination (although I also know there is no chance of that too).

  3. 3
    Gerry L

    I just this moment came in from getting the mail — laughing out loud. You see, I found waiting for me the latest issue of Newsweek. On the cover: Ms Bachmann with that oh-so-surprised look that only she can do. It cracked me up.

    The New Yorker. Newsweek. Seems to be her month. Let’s hope all the attention will spark her flame out.

  4. 4
    echidna

    The whole tea party movement is, I think, aimed at getting people to respond emotionally, rather than rationally, to their environment. They are much more easily led that way.

  5. 5
    'Tis Himself

    She is a fundamentalist dominationist who believes the Bible trumps the Constitution. She’s a pretty scary person.

  6. 6
    schism

    Do we really want an apocalyptic believer in Christian tyranny to be in the White House?

    Pharyngula answers: “Good lord, no!”
    General American public says: “JESUS LOVES ME, THIS I KNOW / FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO!

    Although, the horribly cynical part of me wants to see Bachmann win the Presidency just to see what completely batshit candidates will spawn out of the Tea Party when they (inevitably) decide even Bachmann isn’t hardcore enough.

  7. 7
    echidna

    I wouldn’t wish for Bachmann to win the Republican nomination. I wouldn’t count on people not voting her in for President.

  8. 8
    Gerry L

    Update on that Newsweek cover: Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News just reported that the Newsweek cover photo is getting a lot of criticism. Makes Bachmann look bad. Makes it look like someone is dangling a treat in front of her. No one would treat a male candidate like this.

    It’s a posed photo, folks. It’s not some candid gotcha snapshot. This is how she looks. Really.

  9. 9
    kk

    PZ, Totally hate the popup on this blog. Its a big turnoff :(

  10. 10
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    I’m kind of amazed that people doubt the Bachman could be elected. I remember when folks said the same of Reagan when he was the lunatic fringe of the Republican party. I remember when they said the same thing about Dubya (doesn’t that sound Russian, now that I think if it–obviously a spy).

    Whoever is running against Obama will be running against a very damaged politician. The Republicans have spent 3 years sabotaging the economy (intentionally or unintentionally) and passing up no opportunity to slam the President. No Obama hasn’t helped himself, but many in the Republican party would love to see the first black President fail and have made no secret of it. They will be motivated in November 2012, and they will have very deep pockets.

    The Republicans will do whatever they can to perpetuate their kleptocracy–and that includes electing a total bat-shit crazy loon.

  11. 11
    Freerefill

    I dunno, I think that article pretty well sums up what we can expect if Michele Bachmann gets elected…

    “Shoot, aim, score!”

    Michele, for that, you have earned this:

    *clap … clap … clap*

  12. 12
    ImaginesABeach

    I keep thinking that if Bachmann gets the nomination, it will guarantee a Democrat gets elected, and then I remember thinking this for the past 6 years. She’s crazy, but that’s not grounds for rejecting her for way too many people.

  13. 13
    'smee

    RemebersABeach:

    She’s crazy, but that’s not grounds for rejecting her for way too many people.

    Hopefully, her congressional support will not scale to the national stage. While the gerrymandering of her district ensures her continued election as a representative, she – I hope – is too batshit crazy even for those republicans swayed by failin’ Palin.

    I am worried, though, that she makes the eventual Republican nominee seem extremely sane and rational, by contrast. IN that event, Obama may have a hard fight ahead, given the continued negativity of the Republican attack dogs on Faux Neus.

  14. 14
    The Lone Coyote

    Good lord, scary. I’m gonna echo dilbert space’s comment up there…. it’s not too ridiculous to happen.

  15. 15
    Shplane, Spess Alium

    I really hope that the Oligarchs don’t decide to put Bachmann in charge. That would suck pretty bad.

  16. 16
    Paul Holt

    What could possibly go wrong?

  17. 17
    Alan Macphail

    Now that Canada has a fundamentalist Prime Minister, and if you guys get that ding bat as your President, then I’ll know for sure that I’m just a Boltzmann brain and the janitor is spinning the dials and having a laugh.

  18. 18
    The Lone Coyote

    Don’t get me fucking started on Goddamn Harper. Bastard wants a 10 year minimum sentence for pot possession, I’m told. He’s in bed with American Conservatives and wants to destroy everything that marks Canada as a ‘progressive’ nation…..

    *begins frothing at mouth and may have to be put down*

  19. 19
    early_cuyler

    Who isn’t a loon in the Rethuglican party?

  20. 20
    Janine, The Little Top Of Venom, OM

    Today, one of the leading proponents of Schaeffer’s version of Dominionism is Nancy Pearcey, a former student of his and a prominent creationist. Her 2004 book, “Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity,” teaches readers how to implement Schaeffer’s idea that a Biblical world view should suffuse every aspect of one’s life. She tells her readers to be extremely cautious with ideas from non-Christians. There may “be occasions when Christians are mistaken on some point while nonbelievers get it right,” she writes in “Total Truth.” “Nevertheless, the overall systems of thought constructed by nonbelievers will be false—for if the system is not built on Biblical truth, then it will be built on some other ultimate principle. Even individual truths will be seen through the distorting lens of a false world view.”

    Everyone who does not believe as she does is both evil and wrong. It would be laughable if these people had little power and influence.

    While looking over Bachmann’s State Senate campaign Web site, I stumbled upon a list of book recommendations. The third book on the list, which appeared just before the Declaration of Independence and George Washington’s Farewell Address, is a 1997 biography of Robert E. Lee by J. Steven Wilkins.

    Wilkins is the leading proponent of the theory that the South was an orthodox Christian nation unjustly attacked by the godless North. This revisionist take on the Civil War, known as the “theological war” thesis, had little resonance outside a small group of Southern historians until the mid-twentieth century, when Rushdoony and others began to popularize it in evangelical circles. In the book, Wilkins condemns “the radical abolitionists of New England” and writes that “most southerners strove to treat their slaves with respect and provide them with a sufficiency of goods for a comfortable, though—by modern standards—spare existence.”

    African slaves brought to America, he argues, were essentially lucky: “Africa, like any other pagan country, was permeated by the cruelty and barbarism typical of unbelieving cultures.” Echoing Eidsmoe, Wilkins also approvingly cites Lee’s insistence that abolition could not come until “the sanctifying effects of Christianity” had time “to work in the black race and fit its people for freedom.”

    In his chapter on race relations in the antebellum South, Wilkins writes:

    Slavery, as it operated in the pervasively Christian society which was the old South, was not an adversarial relationship founded upon racial animosity. In fact, it bred on the whole, not contempt, but, over time, mutual respect. This produced a mutual esteem of the sort that always results when men give themselves to a common cause. The credit for this startling reality must go to the Christian faith. . . . The unity and companionship that existed between the races in the South prior to the war was the fruit of a common faith.

    For several years, the book, which Bachmann’s campaign declined to discuss with me, was listed on her Web site, under the heading “Michele’s Must Read List.”

    So, slavery can be justified. Also there is no need to be in a hurry to ban it because trust is built between the power holders and the powerless.

    Unethical fuckface.

  21. 21
    Felix

    I have a minor quibble with the terms used in the article, namely “conservative”. In my view, and I don’t consider myself a conservative, she’s simply a reactionary. She’s actively aiming at turning law back to what it might have been in a Puritan colony of the 17th century. Conservatives tend to be resistant to change and progress, but this woman’s ideology is much worse than that. From across the pond, it’s unsettling to watch American politics and appreciate that about 20% of USAians have barely stepped out of the Middle Ages, mentally.

  22. 22
    Moggie

    What happens to Bachmann when the inevitable gay scandal about her husband breaks? Would that kill her appeal with the Christian right, or could she ride it out?

  23. 23
    Michael

    The blurb for each story in your blog doesn’t wrap around correctly. It is currently running across the page and appearing on top of the text in the sidebars.

    What a shambles this place has been.

  24. 24
    Tim DeLaney

    Jerrald Hayes (first comment):

    Hoping for Bachmann’s nomination is a really bad idea. Presidential elections have been won and lost for the most trivial of reasons.

    Obama may be vulnerable for reasons we cannot even guess at. It’s not hard to imagine circumstances under which the Republican candidate–even a certifiably batshit crazy one–would sweep him out of office.

    The woman is dangerous, and the electorate fickle.

  25. 25
    MrCheese

    I like that the article moves from her husbands ‘psychology’ and straight in to her personal history of how her dad was a democrat and left her family to live in California. Paging Dr Freud!

  26. 26
    HidariMak

    Moggie pondered…

    What happens to Bachmann when the inevitable gay scandal about her husband breaks? Would that kill her appeal with the Christian right, or could she ride it out?

    Roy Zimmerman’s song about Ted Haggard springs to mind. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZmHC75FDqQ

  27. 27
    Mus

    A fundamentalist christian has the supreme commander of the strongest armed forces in the world, with nuclear weaponry,is a disturbing ideaa!

    On the other side: their (tea partiers, dominionists and friends)hatred by a modern egalitarian society, the enlightenemnt ideals, greco-roman heritage in Art and Law, Science and all the discoveries in several fields (from Astronomy to Zoology), starts to seem part of some kind of project to sever the USA from all the ideas and forces that helped to make the USA one of the cornerstones of the modern world.

  28. 28
    Gus Hinrich

    I would like to point out that it was FRANCIS Schaeffer who was one of the founders of the Christian right. FRANK Schaeffer is his son; admittedly Frank got his dad into it, but has been regretting it ever since. He’s been on an “apology tour” for the last several years & is usually the go-to guy on several networks for comments on the evangelical right (as a former member).

  29. 29
    AusieMike

    Here in Australia we have a non-religious, un-married female Prime Minister who lives in the official Prime Ministers residence with her long time live in boy friend.
    Our Finance Minister, Ms Penny Wong occupies the third most powerful position in the ministry. She and her partner Sophie are expecting their first IVF child together. They are not married and can’t be in this country by law.
    How the hell is this nutcase Bachmann going to deal with the rest of the civilized world? When our Prime Minister (sleeping with her boyfriend out of wedlock) and our Minister for Finance (arriving at the state dinner with her Lesbian girlfriend) are in your country for finance talks how’s that going to work. Will she ever visit out country on a State visit? All this assumes the current government will still be in power by then but that’s another story.

  30. 30
    Janine, The Little Top Of Venom, OM

    How the hell is this nutcase Bachmann going to deal with the rest of the civilized world?

    Simple. The US is the only godly, therefore most blessed, righteous and powerful nation on Earth. Australia is like any other fallen country, they are wrong and evil and needs to submit to the will of god; that is Bachmann.

  31. 31
    AusieMike

    Ah yes, I always forget that part!

  32. 32
    Ing

    I like that the article moves from her husbands ‘psychology’ and straight in to her personal history of how her dad was a democrat and left her family to live in California. Paging Dr Freud!

    “How may fags do I have to drive to suicide before daddy loves me!?!??” ?

  33. 33
    The Pint

    Do we really want an apocalyptic believer in Christian tyranny to be in the White House?

    Considering what 8 years of Shrub resulted in and that this latest crop of Hard Right candidates makes him look like an untrained puppy…. I’d have to say that’s a “Oh sweet bleeding Jebus on a pogo stick – NO!!!”

  34. 34
    AusieMike

    Put her in a debate with Hitchens. It would be like throwing christians to the lions.

  35. 35
    JimNorth

    I just spent over 20 minutes listening to a fake phone conference-call presented by Michele to entice us conservatives (of which group I definitely do not belong)to attend the Iowa Straw Poll and cast a kernel in her jar. She had lackeys faux call in and ask stupid dumb fracking softball lobs to which she rambled. And rambled. and rambled. The only reason I stayed on the line was because I hit *3 which, as was promised, put me in the queue to ask her a question. I realized, after about 28 seconds, that this would not happen. So I let her spend her money on the call whilst I snickered.

    My question, and, admittedly I’m too lazy to research, would have been “What pieces of legislation have you written or co-written since being elected to any public office?” I think the answer is Zero.

    Or it could have been, “Why did God choose three republican candidates to run for the office of president? Is he hedging his bets?”

  36. 36
    truthspeaker

    How the hell is this nutcase Bachmann going to deal with the rest of the civilized world?

    By bombing the hell out of any country she feels like, and pressuring other countries to join in to preserve their relationships with the United States.

    Kind of like Bush did.

  37. 37
    GJames

    Check out one of Frank Schaeffer’s books. (NOT Francis Schaeffer, Frank’s father). This title says where Frank is coming from: Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back.

    Frank is actually quite rational. And describes the insanity of the religious right with a good bit of humor.

  38. 38
    Rey Fox

    Do we really want an apocalyptic believer in Christian tyranny to be in the White House?

    Damn you and your infernal riddles!

    Am I crazy, or was there a time when the most batshit and/or stupid candidates for political positions didn’t automatically get the most media coverage?

  39. 39
    HaggisForBrains

    I have to take issue with the blatant “batism” being expressed on this site. My tame pipistrelle bat, Bruce, (well not tame, but living in our lounge purlins) is becoming quite upset with these derogatory references to his excreta, and as for the term “d-ng b-t”, well, that’s just plain insulting. Please remember that they are a protected species in the UK (which is why he is still living in our lounge).

  40. 40
    Rey Fox

    Don’t get me wrong, I have much respect for the role of chiropteran feces in nature. But would you want that inside of peoples’ heads?

  41. 41
    Greg

    HOLY SHIT, I just read this entire article… I read previous pieces and quickly made my list of people to fear along with Rick Perry but man, she’s part of the religious sect that thinks that slavery was wrong but the slave owners were doing the slaves a favor by keeping them as they weren’t capable of fending themselves…. WTF!?

  42. 42
    Quodlibet

    On today’s edition (Aug 9) of Fresh Air, Terry Gross is interviewing Ryan Lizza, author of the New Yorker article PZ cited.

    http://www.npr.org/2011/08/09/139084313/the-books-and-beliefs-shaping-michele-bachmann

    One of the interesting comments at the NPR site:
    “Bachmann is a religious extremist who would be a threat to other sovereign nations should she become president, or even continue to hold any office of power. Were she able to spread her power and influence over the American people, the world would rightly view us as a dangerous religious state much the same as the ones we’re bombing now.”

    —-

    Michele Bachman is the sort of person who frightens me most: inflexible ideology + desire for power + strong ambition + hateful politics

  43. 43
    Part-Time Insomniac, Zombie Porcupine Nox Arcana Fan

    Bachmann as president….*shiver* We had a close call with Palin for VIP, do we really need another one?

  44. 44
    tubi

    My question, and, admittedly I’m too lazy to research, would have been “What pieces of legislation have you written or co-written since being elected to any public office?” I think the answer is Zero.

    Hey, I can answer that! At least for the current Congress. As a sane resident of MN6, I don’t have the luxury of being lazy :>

    MB has sponsored 7 pieces of legislation in the 112th Congress-whether sponsored=written I’m not sure.

    H.R. 86: End Tax Uncertainty Act of 2011
    “To prevent pending tax increases, permanently repeal estate and gift taxes, and permanently repeal the alternative minimum tax on individuals, and for other purposes.”

    H.R. 87
    “To repeal the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.”

    H.R. 849: Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act
    “To provide for the repeal of the phase out of incandescent light bulbs unless the Comptroller General makes certain specific findings.”

    H.R. 850: “To facilitate a proposed project in the Lower St. Croix Wild and Scenic River, and for other purposes.”

    H.R. 1285 Military health Care Affordability Act
    “To amend title 10, United States Code, to prohibit certain increases in fees for military health care before fiscal year 2014. ”

    H.R. 1286: Healthcare Fiscal Accountability Act of 2011
    “To provide for fiscal accountability for new direct funding under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by converting its direct funding into authorizations of appropriations and by rescinding unobligated direct funding.”

    H.R. 1450
    “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to eliminate any time limitation for granting equitable innocent spouse relief.”

    Initially I had added comments on each but that got too long. As a consitutent, none of this helps me, except potentially 1285 and 1450. I rarely use the existing Stillwater bridge, and I like Obamacare and flourescent bulbs.

  45. 45
    Cosmic Snark

    Bachmann as president….*shiver* We had a close call with Palin for VIP, do we really need another one?

    It’s only gonna get worse. The Tea Party salmon will fling themselves against the falling water until one of them manages to flop onto the top of the dam. Palin and Bachmann are just the beginning.

  46. 46
    The Pint

    Bachmann as president….*shiver* We had a close call with Palin for VIP, do we really need another one?

    Given that Bachmann’s proximity to the Presidency indicates that we apparently haven’t learned our lesson after Palin (or Shrub, or the California Cowboy), I’m afraid that we’ll keep getting these close calls until we’re sufficiently terrified into never letting anyone else like her anywhere near the Oval Office again.

  47. 47
    raven

    Right now it isn’t impossible for even a crazy xian Dominionist like Bachmann to get elected.

    Historically, when the economy isn’t doing well, the party in power gets tossed. That is how Obama got elected after all.

    I’m sure most people have seen the latest econo-disasters.

    1. 17% stock market crash.

    2. 9.1% unemployment, real is probably 18%.

    3. The fed reserve is out of bullets. Bernanke has even admitted they don’t see a recovery.

    4. Possible or likely double dip recession.

    5. Europe is in even worse shape.

    6. It goes on and on.

    The next president is likely to be Bachmann, Palin, Perry, Romney, or Huckabee.

    Of course, they won’t do any better than Obama. The GOP and Bushco were who caused this total mess in the first place.

  48. 48
    raven

    How the hell is this nutcase Bachmann going to deal with the rest of the civilized world? When our Prime Minister (sleeping with her boyfriend out of wedlock) and our Minister for Finance (arriving at the state dinner with her Lesbian girlfriend) are in your country for finance talks how’s that going to work.

    She might just nuke you just in case.

    What do you think fruitbat crazy religious kooks would do with nuclear weapons?

  49. 49
    Ragutis

    Bachman doesn’t worry me, frightening as she is. I just don’t see our corporate overlords backing her. She’s too idealistic and therefore too unpredictable/unmanipulable for them. Rick Perry on the other hand… He’s Romney only without the Mormon issue and much better at faking that “Aw shucks” charm Republicans get all wet about. He’s a televangelist designed in a top secret Koch Industries lab. Barring , as they say, “a dead girl in his bed, or a live boy”, he’ll be their candidate.

  50. 50
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    See, I’m seriously worried. I explained this to a friend. It’s not as simple as a “well, we got a crazy in the White House” with people like this. These are the people who’ll make it illegal for women to have abortions. These are the people who’ll destroy science. These are the kinds of people who would love to see me put in jail the rest of my life for daring to hold my boyfriend’s hand. These are the kinds of people who won’t care that I will be destroyed if I’m forced to re-closet myself.

    It scares me that they’re in power in my state (Cuccinelli doesn’t care that sodomy laws have been overturned) and it’ll be absolutely terrifying if they get in power in the country.

  51. 51
    xstudent

    PZ said:

    “It goes right down to her philosophical foundation …”

    Well yes, this is true: the problem with this woman does ‘go right down’ to how she defines and relates to concepts, and to her ‘logic’ and analytic skills (or lack thereof). But equally, it goes right down to her scientific foundation, her ‘ability’ to formulate empirical hypothesis and carefully craft methods of examining them.

    It seems to me that her problem with philosophy might be treatable IF she had at least some grasp on science. Without it, she is a hopeless case. But also, so long as she has no clue as to what philosophy can do for her, (and because she was born into a pathetic little tribe that openly sneers at human knowledge), she stands no chance at ever actually grasping what science can (and does) do.

    It’s a provable hypothesis: her problems go right down to her ‘scientific’ foundation.

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