Bachmann: The Bible is the Standard For All

August 9th, 2011 at 2:42 pm | 184 Comments |

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Ryan Lizza’s reporting on Michele Bachmann’s intellectual background is invaluable. It allows for past statements that Bachmann has made which sound utterly bizarre to be placed into context. For example: were you aware that Bachmann believes there is a link between postmodern philosophy and efforts to curtail abstinence education?

In an interview from June 25, 2003, with the Christian radio show Issues, Etc. Minnesota State Senator Michele Bachmann discussed the pernicious influence of postmodernism and how it was undermining the culture:

Postmodernism goes ones step beyond humanism. And it says ‘there is no final authority.’ Man isn’t even a final authority. Reality is what I want it to be. I construct my own reality. This is kind of a bizarre idea, but this it the new philosophy that is permeating not only education, not only textbooks, but our entire culture.

Bachmann might be accurately describing the opinions of some tenured philosophy professors, but in her mind this isn’t just an argument in an ivory tower. For her, this is an argument about whether or not the country will recognize Biblical truth.

What is the practical application of this kind of thinking in Bachmann’s mind? Here is how Bachmann used postmodernism to explain why abstinence education was being curtailed in Minnesota (at the 15 minute mark in the interview):

Bachmann: Our law reads [that] we will teach abstinence until marriage in our sex-ed curriculum. And this legislator wanted to strike two words: ‘until marriage’. The reason that she wanted to strike that we will be teaching abstinence until marriage is because she said: well that’s not true for everyone, because your truth may be that people should be abstinent until marriage but not everyone does. ‘Our society has changed’ she said, so we need to strike the words, ‘until marriage.’

Interviewer: So in other words it sounds as though she was saying: because we disagree with abstinence until marriage…

Bachmann: We’ll adopt hedonism. [Laughter] In essence, that’s what she is saying. That we will not have a standard. And the Bible presents a standard to which everyone can repair, whether you are a believer or not. … This new way of thinking offers no standard.

The whole exchange makes little sense to people who do not share Bachmann’s worldview. Abstinence education can be opposed because of pragmatic concerns about its effectiveness and not because of moral relativism. It is also frustrating to hear that Bachmann thinks that a literal interpretation of the Bible should be used as an absolute standard even by non-believers.

But if you have been convinced by frightening apocalyptic documentaries that the humanist-secular-police-state is just around the corner and that your Christian faith is being targeted, then blaming postmodernism for trying to stop abstinence education seems tame by comparison.

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184 Comments so far ↓

  • TerryF98

    Abstinence works. Ask Bristol Palin!

    • abrady

      and her brother, Track: married in May and baby in August.

      So how is that abstinence working for you? Try birth control.

      • kuri3460

        But don’t you know, a woman’s health decisions are between her priest and her husband!

      • Kevin B

        The nine-month standard for pregnancy only applies for the second and subsequent pregnancies. A woman’s first pregnancy is often significantly shorter than that.

  • Elvis Elvisberg

    “For example: were you aware that Bachmann believes there is a link between postmodern philosophy and efforts to curtail abstinence education?”

    Kinda funny, given that the postmodernism of some college campuses of the 1980s reads as a playbook for today’s Republican propagandists.

    “My belief that climate change/evolution/gravity isn’t real is every bit as valid as the truth claims of ‘scientists’ in the thrall of ‘objectively measurable reality,’ whatever that is. Your math and historical experience might say that decreasing revenues increases the deficit, but I have my own beliefs on the matter that are just as deeply felt as yours.”

    To say nothing of the identity politics that entirely defines allegiance to the GOP…

    • _will_

      absolutely. cf ‘unnamed Bush aide’ scoffing at “reality-based community”.

    • NRA Liberal

      I’ve been saying for years that the likes of Paul Feyerabend made strange bedfellows with the Intelligent Design crew.

    • Banty

      I was thinking something similar. Like, that Fox News being so biased is of no major import, because an unbiased media is impossible. That perfect standard being unreachable, all other possibilities stand as the same, so they might as well represent a viewpoint.

  • Smargalicious

    Folks, anti-God and pro-homosexual is no way to go through life.

    Are the liberals on here all fat, too?

    • medinnus

      Going through life as a hateful bigot assures you damnation.

      In the meantime, I enjoy imagining you suffer the reality of racial and religious equality, and the rising acceptance of homosexuality.

      • Smargalicious

        meddy, look at London right now. This should give you a balanced view on race:
        http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/katharinebirbalsingh/100099830/these-riots-were-about-race-why-ignore-the-fact/

        And, homosexuality is now and will forever be a filthy, disease-ridden practice explicitly condemned by God.

        Keep these words in your brain tonight as you go to sleep. They will haunt you forever.

        • Lonewolf

          Yes, because us white folks never riot or pillage. Except over Hockey.
          Sincerely,
          Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots

          PS – Or when the Prime Minister comes to town
          Sincerely,
          The Riot at the Hyatt

          PPS – Or when we host seven Finance Ministers
          Sincerely,
          The Battle in Seattle

        • DeathByIrony

          Admittedly Smarg, I didn’t peg you for a social conservative. Oh well.

        • ConnerMcMaub

          Dude, stop obsessing on gay sex, it’s a tell.

        • Redrabbit

          Smarg, I can name at LEAST two dozen superheroes who can take down your god for all you believe he has done.
          The Fantastic Four alone would have Jehovah/Yahweh down on his knees begging for his life, and they would listen because they are inherently more moral than him.

    • Graychin

      Better to be pro-homosexual and anti-God than to be a hateful bigot.

      I’ll be surprised to find any hateful bigots in heaven. At all.

      • Traveler51

        There are only Catholics in heaven. Just ask any of them, they will tell you that is what is taught. Disclosure: I did 8 yrs Elementary and 4 yrs. of H.S. in a Catholic school. That IS what they teach.

        • Chris Balsz

          Since Vatican II we’re less militant:

          “Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.337
          “Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.” 338 ”

          As it says in Matthew 17:

          “After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.”

          Catholics believe that Moses and Elijah see the face of God, despite never having been baptized.

        • think4yourself

          I can quote scripture too:

          “Blessed are the gentle for they shall inherit the earth.” Matt: 5:5

          “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God.” Matt: 5:9

          “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Matt: 5:44,45

          “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.” Matt 6:1

          “Do not judge lest you be judged.” Matt 7:1

          That’s only two little chapters in Matthew – All texts from New American Standard

          So far of the GOP, it seems that Huntsman is a better fit scripturally then Bachmann.

        • Bagok

          I was taught Limbo was for these people who, through no fault of their own, aren’t Catholic (ie all humans born before Jesus, unbaptized babies). Once you make a conscious decision not to be Catholic you’re going to Hell. Pretty much what the nuns taught me circa 1965. It could be they just weren’t with the program yet. Didn’t Dante have them (unknowing ones) inhabit the suburbs around hell?

          Edit: On further reflection I think it was this revelation that started me down the path to Atheism. Apparently little 10 year old Bagok had some deep thoughts for his age.

        • doubter4444

          It’s my understanding that there is a strong element in the church to repeal VII and revert to the more “Catholic” way of doing things – Pope Benedict is trying and is supported by a resurgence in the Opus Dei and other ultra conservative organizations.

        • ChallengingFrum

          hey think,

          are you “Judging” with that statement about Bachman? In fact, which is a greater judgement to say a sin is a sin(like abortion, lust, greed, homosexuality)? Or to infer a person is going to hell?

          btw how many foster children has huntsman or you for that matter taken in?

        • ConnerMcMaub

          The current pope reversed 75 years of doctrine by declaring that all non catholic Christian demoninations are “diseased” and not valid alternative paths to Christ. While we’re at it, if you say “The Bible” is the standard for everyone, you’re saying Jews must convert to Christianity and embrace the New Testament. I wonder if Smargy has ever met a Jew or even eaten a bagel.

    • Oldskool

      Dewd, you own the word ugly and that stuff can’t be scrubbed off.

    • _will_

      someone should do a study on the political leanings of overweight people. i’ve got a pretty good idea of how that would shake out.

      • drdredel

        They already did… the red states are the fattest and the most religious (also the least educated, the least healthy, and the poorest). I don’t have the link here to the article, but I’m sure you can google it. It’s really funny (if you find that sort of thing funny).

        • laingirl

          There’s also more crime in red states. The states with the least crime, such at New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont are also among the least religious according the a Pew study done last year. Also’ on the Pew religion knowledge survey,’ atheists, agnostics, Jews and Mormons scored the most knowledgeable.

    • FormerConservative

      Oh sky cake, why are you so delicious?
      If you have three minutes and want to laugh your butt off:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55h1FO8V_3w

      Smarg, you are an ignorant, Neanderthal and bigot, just like Bachman. Good luck with that!

  • medinnus

    Heh.

    Once more the Christianists pick and choose from the Bible to espouse whatever they want to espouse anyways.

    “For everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother. His blood shall be upon him.” (Leviticus 20:9)

    Mass stonings of the age 13-21 age group. Check your local listings for the Christianist ritual slaughter…

    “Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.” (Leviticus 19:27)

    Well, what do you know? All the shavetails in the Armed Forces are damned!

    “…and the swine, though it divides the hoof, having cloven hooves, yet does not chew the cud, is unclean to you.” (Leviticus 11:7)

    No bacon for you!

    “…do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. Do not wear material woven of two kinds of material.” (Leviticus 19:19)

    So every modern farmer needs to be condemned. And don’t even think of wearing a polyester/cotton blend!

    “But all in the seas or in the rivers that do not have fins and scales, all that move in the water or any living thing which is in the water, they are an abomination to you.” (Leviticus 11:10)

    “They (shellfish) shall be an abomination to you; you shall not eat their flesh, but you shall regard their carcasses as an abomination.” (Leviticus 11:11)

    “Whatever in the water does not have fins or scales; that shall be an abomination to you.” (Leviticus 11:12)

    Waiting for the Christianist fundamentalist hypocrites to organize protests and picket seafood restaurants, oyster bars, church barbecue suppers, all grocery stores, barber shops, tattoo parlors, and stores that sell suits and dresses made of mixed wool, cotton, polyester, and other materials; all of these products and services are “abominations” in Leviticus.

    Oh, but wait… we shouldn’t give too much credence to Leviticus, you say? Its more a product of the culture and not really the word of God, you say?

    Jesus agrees with you.

    “Are you too so uncomprehending? Don’t you see that whatever goes into your mouth from the outside cannot defile you; because it does not go into your heart, but into your stomach, and is eliminated? That which proceeds from within you, out of your heart, defiles you. Evil thoughts, abusive sex acts, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting, wickedness, deceit, not caring, envy, slander, arrogance and foolishness: all of these evil things proceed from within and defile you.” (Mark 7:18-23)

    Unfortunately for the gay-bashers, Leviticus is also the source of the condemnation against Homosexuality…

    Jesus also said — now pay attention, Smeggy — “Do not judge lest you be judged yourselves… Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? …You hypocrite!” Matthew 7:1-5

    Matthew is full of the words of Christ that show the entire Fundamentalist GOP to be anti-Christ in action and creed:

    “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” [Matthew 5:9]

    “Resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. ” [Matthew 5:39]

    “I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despite-fully use you, and persecute you” [Matthew 5:44]

    “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to cast a stone at her. [John 8:7]

    “Do not judge, lest you too be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” [Matthew 7:1 & 2.]

    “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. ” [Matthew 5:6]

    “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” [Matthew 5:7]

    “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. “[Matthew 6:15]

    “But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just. [Luke 14:13 &14.]

    “And when thou pray, thou shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou pray, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret…” [Matthew 6:6 & 7]

    “If any of you has a son or a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? [Matthew 12:11]

    “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” [Mark 2:27.]

    “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[Matthew 22:39]

    “So in everything, do to others as you would have them do to you. ” [Matthew 7:12.]

    “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.” [Matthew 19:21]

    “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” [Matthew 22:21]

    “In the temple courts [Jesus] found men selling cattle, sheep and doves and other sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.” [John 2:14 & 15.]

    “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” [Luke 12.15.]

    “Truly, I say unto you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. [Matthew 19:23]

    “You cannot serve both God and Money.” [Matthew 6:24.]

    “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.” [Matthew 19:21]

    • Chris Balsz

      Whaddya mean “Leviticus is also the source of the condemnation against Homosexuality”? You just quoted the Gospel of Mark:

      That which proceeds from within you, out of your heart, defiles you. Evil thoughts, abusive sex acts, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting, wickedness, deceit, not caring, envy, slander, arrogance and foolishness: all of these evil things proceed from within and defile you.”

      And there’s First Corinthians:

      Or do you not know that the unrighteousb will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

      “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything. “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joinedd to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.

      There is scriptural authority for the rejection of the dietary code of Leviticus in Acts chapter 11. The idea that we can therefore throw out sexual morality is pure modern invention and comes from cherrypicking what appeals to our culture from the Bible.

      There is no such thing as a secular, neutral, common morality. Either you adopt one moral code or you adopt an opposite and conflicting moral code.

      • TerryF98

        How about buggering small altar boys,getting found out then getting moved to another parish to bugger some small boys there.

        Where is that in the bible?

      • medinnus

        The word used in First Corinithians to indicate homosexuality is “arsenokoitēs”, and is more likely a translative error (the Bible has a lot of them). It has been translated as “abusers of themselves with mankind” (KJV), “sodomites” (YLT), or “men who practice homosexuality.”

        The last is pretty strange, as there was ALREADY a perfectly good word for homosexual in Greek – androkoites.

        The philosopher Philo wrote that arsenokoitēs referred to “temple prostitution”, and later literature used the word to mean variously prostitution, incest or rape without any single clear meaning — for example, John IV spoke of coercive and non-procreative sex being a sin, mentioning “…many men [who] commit the sin of arsenokoitia with their wives…”

        So, to paraphrase the Princess Bride “I do not think that work means what you think it means”. The more consistent interpretation would be a sexual practice that doesn’t result in children.

        • Chris Balsz

          And that would include homosexuality.

        • TerryF98

          So Priests buggering small boys is a bit like “It’s Ok if you are a Republican”.

          It’s ok to bugger small boys if you are a Catholic priest. Because the Vatican sure could not care a shit!

      • Banty

        “There is no such thing as a secular, neutral, common morality. Either you adopt one moral code or you adopt an opposite and conflicting moral code.”

        There are only two moral codes?

        Wow.

        Or do you mean, there is more than one, but each one has an opposite, so you only adhere to one, or its opposite? Is this like a parallel universe thing? Like Spock with a beard?

        • Chris Balsz

          No, I mean, as in this instance, either you teach abstinence to marriage because it is right, or you don’t teach it to marriage because it is right to skip that part. Or you don’t teach abstinence at all, because that is the proper thing to do. Or you don’t believe there is a proper thing to do. Or you believe there’s a proper thing to do, but nobody has to do it. None of those has the benefit of being the “neutral” option.

      • Primrose

        Nonsense. lMorality may come from God but not the belief in God. My belief in God has absolutely nothing to do with my belief in morality. I believe in moral action because it is right and righteous. You do good because it relieves suffering and makes life better. If I discovered upon my death that there is no heaven, no hell, no karma, no god, that I was disembodied consciousness, I would not regret a single moral choice.

        Indeed, I question the actual morality of people who think you do good so get into heaven, or to avoid punishment. Those seem like terrible self-serving reasons.

        I have no quarrel who find religious practice useful, or comforting or a useful mnemonic, but plenty of people are perfectly capable of adhering to a moral system without its aid.

        As for homosexuality, there is no reason to define homosexuality as an abusive sex act if it is done between consenting adults with respect and affection for each other.

        I simply don’t understand you so-called faith types who seem to always be second guessing god’s works. If you believe God created all, then you believe God created homosexuals too, and non-believers.

        • Chris Balsz

          He created free will, and the personal exercise of free will creates conscious acts in all their varieties.

        • drdredel

          actually, it turns out he didn’t. Almost all of your decisions are outside your control (in fact, most of them are outside your awareness). Your brain is really good at crafting explanations as to why you just did what you did, in hindsight.
          You should read David Eaglman’s Incogneto, it describes these mechanisms in really interesting and easy to comprehend (for non neuroscientists) ways.

          Anyway… from a philosophical standpoint, if your argument is that god created free will and packed the world with temptation to test if you will succumb to same, and it simultaneously gave you the ability to make logical decisions about what is or isn’t harmful (and most of what is forbidden is in fact completely banal), then shouldn’t you honor this gift by making rational decisions and not adhering to a bunch of mistranslated, easily disprovable, non-sense in a 2 thousand year old jumble of bullshit?
          If you truly believe in god, you are practically spitting in its face if you don’t take the 30 seconds necessary to discern that the bible is no more authored by it than the yellow pages.

    • think4yourself

      Sorry Meddy – I responded before I got to your post. :)

    • think4yourself

      My guess is that if President Bachmann were to ever engage in a war, whether against domestic enemies (gays, abortion providers or clients, liberals, communists, the Fed) or foreign (Muslims, the UN, the Hague, China, Mexico, France, etc). It will be because God ordained it.

      I’ll give this to Bush, after 9/11 he did speak to the idea that Muslims were not responsible for the attacks, radicals were and we did not have mass killings of Muslims and other faiths in America (as they have had religious killings in other countries). I can’t say the same for many of these current GOP stalwarts.

    • Nanotek

      medinnus + 1

      I missed your post before I posted the same … didn’t mean to duplicate the obvious — the Bible teaches some evil ways that orthodox religionists gloom onto in order to oppress others who believe differently

      a nasty book

      • medinnus

        Actually, I have a great deal of fondness for the Bible; it contains the sensible and the idiotic, the sacred and the profane, much like the Book of Mormon, the Koran, and the Torah. They are all man’s interpretation of divine will, and are fascinating documents. I spent a year at Santa Clara University studying and debating apocrypha with Jesuits, for whom I have a profound respect, just as I have a profound respect for many of the Christian sect scholars from whom I learned.

        My problem is not with the Biblle or its errancy. The problem is with the loud minority of Christians who use the Bible as a cudgel in the political arena, and who misrepresent it to further their own secular, greedy ambitions. There are hundreds if not thousands of Christian ministers and priests who quietly go about their faith in all sincerity, helping their Brothers and Sisters where they can, and not judging them where they cannot.

        Those Christians deserve respect, and all co-operation. Nondenominational humanism is not a foreign concept to them, like it is to the Fundamentalist political hacks who claim to be Christian while cutting off all social programs to their less fortunate Brothers and Sisters under God.

  • Oldskool

    Imo, she’s getting a lot more attention than she deserves. Not saying it isn’t fun to ridicule her, it is and it’s easy as sin. Just sayin she’ll go down in flames soon enough.

    • Grace

      Agreed. Once Rick Perry gets in she’ll sink like a stone. She won’t even be well-placed for a VP nod, since they both draw heavily from the same religious right base. As fun as it is to watch her glassy-eyed TV appearances, we’ll be seeing much less of her very soon. She’ll go back to being a cheerleader at the occasional Teanut rally.

  • Saladdin

    I thought the standard was the Constitution, silly me…

    • Smargalicious

      A Constitution based on Christian principles…

      • Lonewolf

        Like slavery …

      • Saladdin

        Smargalicious, no. The first amendment is a pesky thing isn’t it?

      • medinnus

        Actually, its pretty much a secular humanist document, which fits – as most of the Founding Fathers were secular humanists )

        • ChallengingFrum

          Yes as I recall the Declaration reads…..We hold these agreed upon “Truths” to be less offensive, that all persons (especially of color) are born (but not conceived) by the community of right givers (press, hollywood) with certain rights under appropriate circumstances except when those rights refer to individualism, entitlementism or privileged group in which case they shall be absolute.

      • jakester

        Hmm, where in the bible does it mention anything about freedom of religion, or speech, illegal search and seizure or even the three branches of government Smarg? If it was all about the freaking Bible, why wasn’t all of Christian Europe on the same level as us?
        Quick, run to Dennis Prager or Rush so he can feed you some bs comeback to that one!

  • sparse

    or, the argument for a postmodernist understanding from new testament scripture (matthew 18:18-20):

    18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

    19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

    if it only takes two believers agreeing with a consequence that whatever they think becomes true, it is hard to understand how there could be a single biblical truth for all, even unbelievers, to adhere to.

  • Lonewolf

    Dear Ms. Bachman:
    “God suffers a woman not to teach NOR TO USURP AUTHORITY, but to be in silence. ”
    1 Timothy 2: 11-14
    “Give me any wickedness, but the wickedness of a woman”
    Ecclesiastes 25:13
    “A shameless woman shall be counted as a dog”
    Ecclesiastes 26:25
    “Look! I am against you! I shall lift your skirts as high as your face and show your wickedness to the nations, your shame to the kingdoms. I shall pelt you with filth.”
    Nahum 3:6

    Sincerely,
    The Bibles

    • Chris Balsz

      Somebody went to a lot of trouble to compile that selection. Presumably, a male.

      • drdredel

        please be clear… are you saying these passages are not from the bible? If not, then are you saying they are being taken out of context? If so, what is the correct context?
        How much vile hateful evil shit does one need to squint past in this “holy” book of yours before one realizes that the only consistant, non contradicted factor in the whole thing is that it’s all bullshit?

        • Chris Balsz

          I think they did not lie there awaiting Michelle Bachmann to give them purpose. They have some other context than flaming Republicans.

        • Banty

          Possibly you can grace us with an explanation as to why these passages, especially the one from Timothy, would not apply to Michelle Bachmann.

        • jakester

          Chris
          Even if you want to use the Founding Fathers Original Constitution sock puppet routine, a favorite tactic amongst tea partiers, women didn’t vote, have any civil rights or held office back in those salad days of the young republic.

  • dmnolan

    She’s got a nice mouth, though.

  • Rob_654

    I can’t wait to see Bachmann’s views on helping the poor, the sick and other folks who need help with all of the teachings about how we should help those folks.

    And the teachings of Jesus about wealth…

    I am very concerned that Bachmann could turn the United States into a socialist country where we would take from the wealthy to help the poor and sick.

    • Saladdin

      Rob,

      I’m with you on this one. OTOH, maybe you have to be a kid fostered by the Bachmanns. Hey, here’s a slogan, “Saving the world, one foster kid at a time…”

  • ottovbvs

    Time for a Bachmann time out?

  • Derek

    “Bachmann might be accurately describing the opinions of some tenured philosophy professors, but in her mind this isn’t just an argument in an ivory tower.”

    Are you sure? She might be referring to the thoughts of Neils Bohr and other physicists trying to explain how reality changes when man is involved, for example, when waves become particles, simply because a human is observing them.

    Picking Bachmann as their leader would be the crowning glory of what is now the idiot right.

  • Nanotek

    “Bachmann: The Bible is the Standard For All”

    and yet, oddly, self-proclaimed American religionists ignore the command that all debts are to be wiped away every seven years. (Deuteronomy 15:1-2).

    plus, it looks like their always cunning Devil actually wrote the Bible and gave their God all the psychotic credit:

    “So they sent twelve thousand warriors to Jabesh-gilead with orders to kill everyone there, including women and children. “This is what you are to do,” they said. “Completely destroy all the males and every woman who is not a virgin.” (Judges 21:10-24 NLT)

    “Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes. Their homes will be sacked and their wives raped by the attacking hordes. For I will stir up the Medes against Babylon, and no amount of silver or gold will buy them off. The attacking armies will shoot down the young people with arrows. They will have no mercy on helpless babies and will show no compassion for the children.” (Isaiah 13:15-18 NLT)

    “Take your son, your only son – yes, Isaac, whom you love so much – and go to the land of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will point out to you.” (Genesis 22:1-18)

    “… you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God.” (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)

    Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)

    “If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death.” (Leviticus 20:10 NLT)

    If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you. (Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB)

    … keep the Sabbath day, for it is holy. Anyone who desecrates it must die; anyone who works on that day will be cut off from the community. Work six days only, but the seventh day must be a day of total rest. I repeat: Because the LORD considers it a holy day, anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death.’ (Exodus 31:12-15 NLT)

    Then I heard the Lord say to the other men, “Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all – old and young, girls and women and little children.” (Ezekiel 9:5-7 NLT)

    Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes. Their homes will be sacked and their wives raped by the attacking hordes. (Isaiah 13:15-18 NLT)

    etc etc etc what a lovely work

    • medinnus

      “If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death.” (Leviticus 20:10 NLT)

      …or apparently to be turned into a Newt. Gingrich.

      • Nanotek

        + 1

        ever notice how casually fundamentalist preachers and priests who get paid to preach on Sundays whistle past the graveyard of Exodus 31:12-15?

    • Kevin B

      Exodus 32:26-28
      Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’s side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.

      And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.

      And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.

  • talkradiosucks.com

    You know, I dislike Bachmann as much as the next guy with an IQ above room temperature, but I fear this is yet another case of an FF title that distorts the story it leads.

    Title: “The Bible is the Standard For All”

    Bachmann quote: “[T]he Bible presents a standard to which everyone can repair, whether you are a believer or not.”

    The words “can” and “is” are not equivalent.

    • Idle Resources

      Hey, this is neither a Rovist nor a Tea Party site. So where are all the “Christian-phobe” witch-hunters? Do you have to hump the carpet for allah to get exemption from Rovist infiltrators? C’mon. Be consistent and speak out against the above “PHOBE.” Quran puke for nation-builders and inclusivists:

      “And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter…” — 2:191

      “They long that ye should disbelieve even as they disbelieve, that ye may be upon a level (with them). So choose not friends from them till they forsake their homes in the way of Allah; if they turn back (to enmity) then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend nor helper from among them…” — 4:89

      “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies…” — 8:60

      “Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” — 9:5

      “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” — 9:29

      “Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens…” — 47:4

    • Bagok

      I understand your point and agree. However I am offended by her suggestion that I could use the Bible as my (moral) standard. It’s condescending and just flat out wrong. I would never use that book as a guide for anything, nor would any other “nonbeliever” I know.
      It’s insulting for her to make the suggestion regardless of can or is.

      • Banty

        Taking from the excerpt, I also agree. She said the Bible was *a* standard, not *the* standard.

    • Primrose

      They aren’t TRS but the essence of her meaning that that Bible should be the standard morality for our nation remains intact. The Her belief that there is only one way to approach the idea of when someone should or should not have sex remains extant.

      And it isn’t. It isn’t a matter of her standard being the standard and we poor sinners are failing it. For example, I don’t regard her standard as a good. Indeed, I think her standard has caused a great deal of harm for society, and healthy relations between men and women. Yet she is incapable fo understanding that. I think the headline is accurate.

    • ChallengingFrum

      Talk,

      I usually disagree with you and I have an IQ above room temperature…but great comment. Just because someone is liberal or conservative doesn’t mean they can’t follow the facts. The headline is clearly misleading. And its amazing how illiberal some of the commentators on this board really are….another fact worth following up on.

      • jakester

        Mainly the illiberal ones are the foolish fanatical ones who are defending Bachmann. All you are doing is spouting the dittohead party line as usual.

  • Idle Resources

    Denial isn’t a river in Egypt.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dN6CHtGGo4g

  • dgm

    “And the Bible presents a standard to which everyone can repair, whether you are a believer or not. … ”

    True, but irrelevant. The real power lies in being given the authority to interpret the standard. To say how it applies to everyday life.

  • Chris Balsz

    >>So Priests buggering small boys is a bit like “It’s Ok if you are a Republican”.
    It’s ok to bugger small boys if you are a Catholic priest. Because the Vatican sure could not care a shit!<<

    I take it you agree with Bachmann that some things are wrong without any ameliorating context.

    • TerryF98

      I take it you agree with the Vatican’s handling of the pedophile priest issue. Otherwise you would have done the Christian thing and left a Church that endorsed and covered up such abuses!

      • Chris Balsz

        Educated Catholics know how that argument turned out the first time:

        “Donatism was the error taught by Donatus, bishop of Casae Nigrae that the effectiveness of the sacraments depends on the moral character of the minister. In other words, if a minister who was involved in a serious enough sin were to baptize a person, that baptism would be considered invalid.

        ..The problem with Donatism is that no person is morally pure. The effectiveness of the baptism or administration of the Lord’s supper does not cease to be effective if the moral character of the minister is in question or even demonstrated to be faulty. Rather, the sacraments are powerful because of what they are, visible representations of spiritual realities. God is the one who works in and through them and He is not restricted by the moral state of the administrant.”

        “The priest is not a priest for himself; he does not give himself absolution; he does not administer the Sacraments to himself. He is not for himself, he is for you.” — St. John Vianney

        For another thing, most of us go to Mass said by a priest who has not been accused of anything. What does it mean when anybody can accuse a priest and be heard, and my priest is not accused? It means he has not harmed anybody. Why would I turn my back on him?

        • TerryF98

          Obfuscation!

        • TerryF98

          Your Priest may have been moved by his Bishop from a parish where he was accused. Many were moved around in order to avoid scandal. The Church went to great lengths to cover up the wrongdoings of Priests.

        • chephren

          The explanation of Donatism is interesting. I agree that you can’t dismiss the teachings of the church based on the moral character of individual priests.

          But turn your argument around: what is the value of a priest’s personal character if his church is morally corrupt? The ongoing, worldwide scandal of child sex abuse in the church was allowed to grow and continue for decades by moving offending priests to new parishes where they were free to re-offend. The highest authorities in the church knowingly covered up serious crimes, protected abusive priests and bought the silence of victims. The institution itself is profoundly hypocritical, self-serving and gravely lacking in moral character.

        • Chris Balsz

          “I have nothing against Catholics myself – I’m high Anglican (all the incense with out the pope).
          But I have serious anger over the way the abuse was handled and still is being dealt with. I also understand that a devout person (as I take it you are) finds is very difficult to square the acts with the teachings.
          It should shake to their core, firm it up perhaps, but shake it none the less.
          The promotion of Benedict is troubling to most who think there needs to be reforms in the church. Not faddish reforms, but real in depth reforms that take into account the crimes and problems facing it today.”

          “The explanation of Donatism is interesting. I agree that you can’t dismiss the teachings of the church based on the moral character of individual priests.

          But turn your argument around: what is the value of a priest’s personal character if his church is morally corrupt? The ongoing, worldwide scandal of child sex abuse in the church was allowed to grow and continue for decades by moving offending priests to new parishes where they were free to re-offend. The highest authorities in the church knowingly covered up serious crimes, protected abusive priests and bought the silence of victims. The institution itself is profoundly hypocritical, self-serving and gravely lacking in moral character.”

          Yes it appears they are still trying to outlive the issue.

          Nobody puts up with the antique forms of the Church if you don’t find Christ’s grace in it. When you do, then as a rational person you’re bound to uphold your own experiences and respect the historical record of other people claiming the same experience. For American Catholics, we are tied to a leadership we don’t choose, but we’re still loyal to the grace we found in the sacraments, and the bulk of us have ministers who are not under suspicion.

    • Nanotek

      I would agree with her that the sun rises in the east … she’s still mean-spirited, tightly wound and looney; but then perhaps I would be too if I were married to what she married

      • ChallengingFrum

        So you disagree with her politics and feel a need to demean her and her marriage…yeah thats not hate filled.

        • jakester

          As if your side is not loaded with hate filled bigots who spew garbage on Obama, Hillary and RINOS every chance they get.

  • rbottoms

    The GOP is running lunatics for president.

    This is news?

  • Chris Balsz

    “I was taught Limbo was for these people who, through no fault of their own, aren’t Catholic (ie all humans born before Jesus, unbaptized babies). Once you make a conscious decision not to be Catholic you’re going to Hell. Pretty much what the nuns taught me circa 1965. It could be they just weren’t with the program yet. Didn’t Dante have them (unknowing ones) inhabit the suburbs around hell?

    Edit: On further reflection I think it was this revelation that started me down the path to Atheism. Apparently little 10 year old Bagok had some deep thoughts for his age.”

    The program has changed somewhat.
    The Church understands that is what Christ said on those issues, so that is what it teaches.
    The Church also teaches that Christ will have the final judgment. Christ can save someone who never knew the Church, or someone was against the Church. Christ will judge the Church for how it tries to save those outside the Church. The days when the Church militant had to lock ranks against nun-raping Protestants are understood to be largely over.

    • TerryF98

      If Christ is the judge how can a man (priest) forgive another’s sins by the incantation of magic words?

      Hail Mary mother of God.

      And how can the Pope be deeply involved in the cover up of pedophilia if he is infallible?

      Catholicism is a cult.

      • Chris Balsz

        “If Christ is the judge how can a man (priest) forgive another’s sins by the incantation of magic words?”

        He doesn’t. The penitent prays God forgive him, and God does. Confessing them outright to the Church is a sign of renewed commitment to share in God’s work on earth.

        “Hail Mary mother of God.”

        That prayer is in two parts; the first part, which you quote, is a direct quote of Elisabeth’s greeting to her cousin taken from the Gospel.

        “And how can the Pope be deeply involved in the cover up of pedophilia if he is infallible?”

        He’s not “infallible”. He can’t lay 20:1 on a horse that dies and still collect.
        I get the idea that you don’t like Catholics and this current generation’s crimes are a handy cudgel.

        • doubter4444

          I have nothing against Catholics myself – I’m high Anglican (all the incense with out the pope).
          But I have serious anger over the way the abuse was handled and still is being dealt with. I also understand that a devout person (as I take it you are) finds is very difficult to square the acts with the teachings.
          It should shake to their core, firm it up perhaps, but shake it none the less.
          The promotion of Benedict is troubling to most who think there needs to be reforms in the church. Not faddish reforms, but real in depth reforms that take into account the crimes and problems facing it today

        • TerryF98

          It’s hypocrisy I hate.

          You seem to fit well within both the Catholic Church and the Republican party. Both of which are rife with hypocrisy.

          “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death. Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, heaven so we also should walk in newness of life. ”

          Yet you can go into the confessional week after week and confess the same sins week after week and get absolution for the same sin week after week. Makes a mockery of the above passage does it not?

        • Chris Balsz

          1. No, because we’re told our sins shall be forgiven “seventy times seventy”. The thief who steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, and dies, will be forgiven as though he never stole.

          2. A priest should refuse to offer prayers for absolution if the person is “confessing” he’s going to commit a sin in advance.

          3. Supposedly if you confess to criminal acts you’re advised to make restitution to the authorities, or so we’re taught that’s what they preach in there.

        • ChallengingFrum

          You have to have firm purpose of amendment otherwise your sins aren’t forgiven.

          Some people are weak and fall out of weakness and get back up. Some people fall because they want to fall and don’t get up. There is a difference.

  • paulw

    “The Bible represents a standard…”

    Which Bible? Last I heard there was a big difference between the Protestant and Catholic Bibles… what with the Apocrypha and all.

  • ChallengingFrum

    dude,

    President Obama before he was elected in GQ said “that sin was being out of alignment with HIS values”….that is humanism and its already here. I don’t know what you are so shocked about. After all, as Justice Kennedy said we each have a right to “define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life”

    Liberal hate abstinence education because it points to absolute truth and not just self actualization and moral relativism.

    • TerryF98

      Liberals don’t hate abstinence they mock the proponents of abstinence (the Palins) when they breed like rabbits well before marriage.

      • ChallengingFrum

        they hate the teaching of abstinence because it points to absolute truth and as liberals have taught us all truth is contextualized.

        btw since the palins live in america they didn’t receive an abstinence only education. all you have to do is turn on the tv and watch our politicians and movie stars to know that we don’t really believe it.

        but as western civilization is quickly learning the moral relativism that sets you free in your youth will track you down in your old age.

        • TerryF98

          The Palins teach, promote and earn a living by pushing abstinence on others. The fact that two of the kids (so far) have spawned outside of wedlock does not prevent them from continuing to spout the BS of abstinence.

          There are things called birth control you know.

        • ChallengingFrum

          So you are against teaching against hate because hate persists. Unemployment better get below 8% before liberals start going crazy.

        • jakester

          Sorry dittohead, but bible brainwashed conservative fools like you have no lock on “absolute truths” I am Jewish and there is nothing more contemptible to me than some hypocritical little twerp getting all high and mighty spewing out biblical (or koranical) bs in politics. I don’t do politics to validate my religion unlike the low brow fools, mainly on the right these days, who feel they have to their so called leaders toss God and Jesus into every other sentence. Like so many right wingers, you mask your ignorance and existential selfishness and egomania with your self serving version of religious dogma. Your type worships power, strength wealth and success but try to fob it off as if Jesus or some other invisible friend was merely using or you as a tool of his will or that was the reward for piety.

    • sweatyb

      “Liberals hate abstinence education…”

      because it doesn’t work?

      “…because it points to absolute truth and not just self actualization and moral relativism”

      Wow! I did not see that coming! That’s a very complicated explanation. I think the “it doesn’t work” reason makes more sense.

  • indy

    I see that I’ve wandered into the mythology class.

  • Argy F

    Is it funny or should it have been expected that the craziest, nastiest posters are the “religious” ones?

  • *karendianne.

    David, the more I read what you have to say – the more I appreciate what you contribute to the discussion. I’m not necessarily in line politically but that doesn’t mean I don’t agree in a number of areas and more importantly, I like the shape of your arguments and/or point.

  • anniemargret

    A little religion doesn’t hurt the soul.

    However, consistent stream of God-talk from politicians mean they’re unable to separate fact from belief, or they are pandering for votes.

    Either way, they are untenable as serious candidates. She’s done. So is Perry with his ‘prayer fests’…

    The GOP still hasn’t gotten the message. And never will. It is basically a religious party. If these had been Muslims or Jews or Hindus or Buddhists speaking similiarly, the right would be having hissy fits. There are too many christianists within the GOP whose primary goal is to ‘christianize the federal government.’ Basically, a pseudo-religio-political fascist role for government. If this doesn’t scare you, something’s wrong with you.

    Think I’m kidding?

    • TerryF98

      “Think I’m kidding?”

      Nope you are 100% right Annie.

    • Chris Balsz

      I’m not doing cartwheels over the Protestant character of it either. But I’m more upset at the opposing party’s total dismissal of religion from the historical record, and the refusal to tolerate individual conscience in the economy. And that to me is closer to “fascism” than ALLOWING a majority vote on “moral issues”.

      • Primrose

        Refusing individual conscience from the economy. What? You get your conscience —about your own business. What you don’t get is to decide for somebody else.

        As for what the government decides to spend money on, that’s called voting. Plenty of pacifists have to pay for war. Plenty of vegetarians have to pay for meat inspectors. Plenty of Jehovah’s witnesses have to pay for blood transfusions.

        As for deleting religion from the historical record, nobody does that. What they do is pay more attention to the words our founders wrote than who they were or the society they lived in. Our country did not come out of the Christian traditions but that of the enlightenment. It’s entire motivation was based on enlightenment values.

        And since no doubt you are about to say that the 10 commandments are the basis of law. No. They are not. There was law before the 10 commandments, and plenty afterward. Neither Rome nor Greece started out Christian. And England specifically moved away from the canonically law from the time of Henry the 2.

        • Chris Balsz

          “Refusing individual conscience from the economy. What? You get your conscience —about your own business. What you don’t get is to decide for somebody else.”

          Not true. The standard is being pushed that, when you choose to play an economic role, you choose to offer goods and services without regard to personal values. As in, a pharmacy must offer birth control, a nurse must perform an abortion. It’s the reduction of the person to a function, something the Catholic Church has been complaining about in one form or another for over 100 years.

          “As for deleting religion from the historical record, nobody does that. What they do is pay more attention to the words our founders wrote than who they were or the society they lived in. Our country did not come out of the Christian traditions but that of the enlightenment. It’s entire motivation was based on enlightenment values.”

          First, I think our young people have LESS exposure to the actual words of historical figures than ever. It’s mostly summary, and social context, rather than actual intellectual content. The primary sources are saved for college, if they get that far. And even there the required courses are being streamlined to Cliff’s Notes.

          The Enlightenment, celebrating individual worth and expansible merit, is based on the Christian tradition.

          And yes I think religion is being cut out of the record; the general popular American celebration that their political freedoms would enable a Christian people to fulfill more fully their duty under the Gospels. And I say that as a member of a church that was generally ostracized as part of that social mission. I don’t think you can understand much of American history if you don’t understand that most Americans throughout our history believed they were individually answerable to God for their conduct, and collectively the United States would answer to God for the laws it enacted.

        • jakester

          The Enlightenment, celebrating individual worth and expansible merit, is based on the Christian tradition.

          More like it was an secular evolutionary outgrowth of Renaissance Humanism mixed with anti Papal Protestantism. The Enlightenment tried to get away from those pious humorless tyrants who wanted to beat everyone into submission mentally and physically with that old fashioned Christianity as the last word on everything. The GOP seems to want to even undo the Enlightenment in their quest for some biblical purity. Palin, Bachmann, along with most of the theos are un or anti-enlightened

        • Redrabbit

          As in, a pharmacy must offer birth control, a nurse must perform an abortion.

          This is reductive to an absurd degree. You only see it as two agents; the government and the religious objector.

          The fact is, the pharmacies, most of them, offer birth control as company policy. It is their individual employees that object to this, and don’t want to sell the product. Now, it should come as no surprise that this annoys the company that hired them. They were hired to do all the work their bosses asked of them, not all the work except things the objected to. Often, this comes down to a clash between an individual pharmacist and the business that hired them to dispense their wares.

          They can go find a drugstore that doesn’t offer birth control at all, and get a job there.

      • anniemargret

        Chris. I was raised steeply in Catholicism. It is still my religion in the core of me, although my practicing church-going days are basically over. While I still believe in God as a spiritual force for good over evil, I cannot for the life of me why religion, per se, has become a litmus test for the GOP.

        Yes, I know there are liberals like myself, who are either agnostic or atheist and I don’t much care what people believe. Life is a journey, a long, and for many, a very harsh one. I don’t have any arrogance that religion or belief in God can help people sustain themselves, keep sanity, or help them be better people.

        So the Church can sin. And it did. And we can call it out. I haven’t a problem with that at all. But in the midst of all this religious talk, is the fact that individual people can be truly Christian, or truly Jewish, or anything else and live lives of honesty and hope and good will for their fellow man.

        But when I see and hear politicians get on that gravy train, I stand up and shout. No one person has the right to insist others buy their religious merchandise unless they are in the market. And religion must be removed from the political arena as an issue. Period.

        It is dangerous. It is wrong. A person’s inner spiritual life, and/or religious beliefs/no belief is no issue for the country. We have freedom and liberty and to hang with the GOP who keeps wanting to inflict their particular version of Christianity on the rest of America. How. Dare. They?

        We know the difference between right and wrong. We know evil when we see it, and we must respect the views of every American because that’s what we do in this country. ‘

        The GOP has to clean up its act. It is way too pious and self-righteous. Too close to zealotry. And as my father, a long old timey Republican used to say…”watch out for those religious nuts…”

        • Chris Balsz

          Do we respect the views of every American? What if I think it wrong to buy this or that with tax dollars? What if I can build a voting majority in support of my view?

          The notion is spreading through case law : “A viewpoint is banned if it is based, or can be traced, to religious views.” They’ve applied that onto California when they struck down Prop. 8. Now really, California is a seething hotbed of conformist theocracy? Really?

          If that’s the case we’re less free than the poorest of the barefoot farmers in 1797. They had nobody on earth to order them not to do what they collectively thought was right.

        • drdredel

          There’s no need to generalize here and yes, even Californians, can be swayed to make decisions based on core beliefs not rooted in rational thought, but rather in scriptural dogma. The bible is a-ok with slavery, right? The law can’t wait for the plurality to “come around”, it has to take charge and demand that such practices be abandoned no matter how popular they might be.
          As a general rule, there hasn’t been much protest. The populace isn’t overly desperate to stone its members to death for adultery or worship of graven images (something most Americans find deplorable as it is practiced, in violation of all common sense, in the “modern” Muslim faith).
          There is very little good advice that isn’t readily obvious to a 5 year old, in the Bible. What someone chooses to read for personal inspiration is entirely their business, but when these teachings are suddenly the basis of policy, it doesn’t matter even if they happen to coincide with our social norms, they need to be ignored or even shouted down.
          There is no shortage of arguments for why stealing or killing is “bad” without the need to resort to any “higher authority”. Anytime you have to no reason for something aside from “god doesn’t like this”, that something is almost without exception just a matter of taste and has no business on the legislative table.

          What’s bizarre is that any of the above needs to be articulated at all in 2011 and isn’t as self evident as the shape of the earth.

          “If that’s the case we’re less free than the poorest of the barefoot farmers in 1797. ”

          Indeed… you are less free… This is a GOOD thing. Society (and all its laws, depriving individuals of their various “freedoms”) is what you get when the members of that society accept that their personal freedom can only be tolerated within certain boundaries before they start to impede the ability of the group to function AS a group. If you’re longing for the life of a 1797 farmer (along with the freedom to lose half your children to disease and starvation) there are OODLES of places on earth where you can have exactly such liberty.

  • TerryF98

    “Chris Balsz // Aug 9, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    1. No, because we’re told our sins shall be forgiven “seventy times seventy”. The thief who steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, steals, repents, and dies, will be forgiven as though he never stole.

    2. A priest should refuse to offer prayers for absolution if the person is “confessing” he’s going to commit a sin in advance.

    3. Supposedly if you confess to criminal acts you’re advised to make restitution to the authorities, or so we’re taught that’s what they preach in there.”

    As I said you belong to a cult of the highest order. Your answer to the scripture I quoted is proof beyond doubt. You are advocating sin so grace may abound, totally against scripture.

    • Chris Balsz

      Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
      Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. Matt. 18:21-22

      What do you guys do, order people off the property if they’ve fallen too often?

      • TerryF98

        Enjoy your Cult. And don’t forget to buy Pope Nazi some new $100,000 slippers as people die of hunger.

        Hypocrites.

        • Chris Balsz

          Was there an answer somewhere in there?

          How about drug addicts? Do you welcome recovering alcoholics in your church?

        • TerryF98

          I don’t believe in organized religion, especially ones like yours that are based on idolatry. The pomp and circumstance, the obscene spending on buildings and paraphernalia. The lack of outreach in a practical sense into the community and the world at large.

          That sort of Church is nowhere in the new testament. If I was to belong to a church it would be a house church, one that splits up if it gets too big to function within a normal home.

          If I believed in “organized” Church as a concept I would turn no one away. Hate the sin not the sinner.

          However if someone claims to be “saved” and goes on sinning again and again in the same manner I would question his salvation not ask him to say a few hail Marys and everything is fine.

  • SFTor1

    This is an amusing discussion in so many ways, but here are the relevant conclusions as far as I can tell:

    1. Michele Bachmann has disqualified herself from becoming POTUS. She puts the Bible above the Constitution. Disqualified—end of story.

    2. Michele Bachmann has disqualified herself from becoming POTUS. She is unable to accept freedom of religion, a cornerstone of American democracy.

    3. The Bible is not a universal code for right living in the United States. It has been superseded by secular American laws. Those regulate our existence today; the Bible does not. The Bible allows and advocates more behaviors that are illegal by today’s laws than there is space to mention.

    Stoning your children for swearing at you is not an option today, sorry. Just to take one example.

    The final conclusion is that Michele Bachmann barely can make out what country she lives in. At least part of her febrile brain thinks it is Roman-era Palestine, or perhaps Spain under the Inquisition. I am not going there with her, no matter what. She can go medieval all by herself.

    Her notion that we have gone into some deep state of postmodernism is a strawman argument for religious fundamentalism. It is dishonest in the extreme. The truth is that the vast majority of the population share a basis for their deliberations and actions. This basis is known as reality.

    Most Americans couldn’t distinguish postmodernism from a hole in the ground.

    • anniemargret

      Love it! +1

    • Chris Balsz

      You mean when a secular American law is passed, there’s no basis for further critique? Martin Luther King Jr. was shameless renegade? Or that time of reflection on our laws is past, and we’ve got total justice at long last?

      The vast majority of the public seems not to share any opinions at all. For instance, it sounds really divisive when you think Barack Obama got elected with 53% of the vote…did 47% of America reject “reality”? But then you should realize that half the country didn’t vote at all, so, whichever opposite view represents this unspoken supreme moral law, it was rejected by about 3/4 the adult population of the United States.

      • advocatusdiaboli

        No, he/she just means you cannot use a religious book written by ignorant men who never knew electricity or modern science or women’s rights as evidence to change rights or laws. Get it? Keep your religion out of our laws.

        • Chris Balsz

          Of course not, like every other American political movement, we’ll base our laws on what we consider most fit.

        • SFTor1

          You may do that, but keep the Constitution close at hand for reference. Do not think no one will notice if you try to bring theocratic ideas into the political philosophy our Founding Fathers worked so hard to establish.

          American laws change all the time, that is the whole point. The Bible does not, and hence is unable to address the changing needs of our society.

          Let me give you an example: take a look at the Bible and give me its position on protection of privacy.

      • SFTor1

        Dear Chris,

        This is what I am saying: Michele Bachmann is an enemy of the social order as we know it today in the United States. She wants to make the Bible the undisputed authority for our choices as a nation. That goes against the philosophical bedrock of this country.

        This is not a critique of her politics. This is a statement of fact about her basic point of view.

        • Primrose

          Read the New Yorker article, she believes in a man who opposes the enlightenment. If you oppose the enlightenment you oppose America and all that it stands for. Period.

          While I agree with Jon Stewart that the Newsweek photo was unfair, she is a deeply scary person. I also deeply object to the kind of “christians” who think other “christians” aren’t real. The group she joined knew she wasn’t saved. She was a lutheran.

    • advocatusdiaboli

      Articulate, fact-based, and cogent. I am a Vietnam-era veteran, life NRA member, independent and I call them like I see them from both sides. Bravo!

  • advocatusdiaboli

    How is it these extremists get on to the national scene? I can understand them picking up maybe 2-3% of the vote, but are there really this many nutso’s out there supporting wack jobs like this? She sounds like Rasputin.

    • anniemargret

      The problem as I see it, is that the GOP ‘leaders’ or establishment conservatives are still hiding under the rock. They’re scared to death of bucking the Religious Right and/or the T.P. which is basically the same thing in many cases.

      They’re cowards. They know their party has drifted into dangerous waters, of real extremism – the fact that we are talking about religious beliefs entering the political chorus of voices in the year 2011, says it all. As I said earlier, the GOP is a religious party with political overtones.

      Within days of becoming President they were looking for any reason to disqualify Obama because he wasn’t ‘Christian’ enough. Who gave them that authority? Who? These are the Pharisees of today. Shame on them all.

      The only reason they don’t come down hard on Jews is because of biblical literalism – they waiting for Christ to come again into Israel – a la the Rapture. Otherwise, the Jews would be similiarly lamblasted for not being ‘christian enough.’

      When the lefties took over the Democrats in the 60s,it went thru a cartharsis. As a result, leftists do not dominate the Democrats. The hard right has dominated the GOP for years and there is no easing up.

      They are unfit to govern. They don’t have the guts to stop their own brand of radicalism…as we already saw with the odious & destructively insane T.P’ers.

  • COProgressive

    “Postmodernism goes ones step beyond humanism. And it says ‘there is no final authority.’ Man isn’t even a final authority. Reality is what I want it to be. I construct my own reality. This is kind of a bizarre idea, but this is the new philosophy that is permeating not only education, not only textbooks, but our entire culture.” – Bachmann

    Sorry lady, you’re wrong again…

    New philosophy? Try 2,500 year old philosophy. Older that Christianity.

    “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.” – Buddha -563 BCE to 483 BCE

    • Primrose

      Actually, postmodernism would make man the final authority, as does biocentrisim.

  • advocatusdiaboli

    Has this ill-educated ignorant women, who fumbles and bumbles about the history of the Founders making glaring errors, ever actually read their letters , their speeches, and their documents of law? I sincerely doubt it. Does the phrase “Separation of Church and State” even make sense to her? She is a Hitler, Stalin. Mussolini, or Jim Jones in the making but it’s hard to tell which in this early stage.

    • anniemargret

      And just as dangerous. These religious zealots can’t keep their own brand of religiosity under wraps. They’ve been enabled by the Limbaughs and the Roves and Hannities and the weak-willed ‘leaders’ in the GOP, who became so craven, that they forgot what they were elected for.

      To serve the people. To serve the country…not a group of loud, noisy negativists with too much overt religiosity and arrogance to boot.

    • Chris Balsz

      Yeah, it’s a phrase written separately of the Constitution, which for 150 years meant towns could celebrate Christmas and build public schools where kids could pray.

      Funny how the American population between 1800 and 1962 was confused on that point.

      • anniemargret

        So you believe in a dominant religion taking precedence in the public square? I went to Catholic school and church and no one ever stopped us from going or praying. They put statues of Christ and Mary on the church property…no one ever complained.

        In a multicultural society such as ours, religious symbolism should remain on church grounds. Forced prayer in public schools is anathema to the idea of religious freedom. My parents sent us to Catholic schools because they wanted us to pray in school. They has always been the option for all Americans – to go to parochial schools to encourage or enlighten their religion.

        The insistent creeping Christian religionists are not content with this. They want a ‘christianized government’ – you can wager what they means. And so there won’t be anything public, free from any dominant religion in our society if the christianists get hold of it…they will shove it down everyone’s throat.

        Make no mistake about that.

        • paul_gs

          Forcing people to live their religion only in private is not freedom of religion. Freedom of religion means all citizens are able to live their religion in private and public, with normal limitations.

          But granting supremacy in the public square to atheists and secularists is to elevate non-belief over belief and infringe upon the rights of various people of faith.

          What we see “shoved down peoples throats” nowadays is radical environmentalism and radical secularism, two very intolerant ideologies.

        • Primrose

          I see so the absence of one’s religious symbols in public is oppression, but only when those symbols are christian? And protestant?

          For everyone else the absence of their symbols is just peachy and doesn’t affect them.

          If you say I don’t respect evangelical Christians as a group, you will be right and it is for this reason and this reason only, they are unbelievably, hideously self-centered. They think only of themselves.

          I have little respect for those that self-centered, none for those who trace their narcissism to god.

        • Houndentenor

          LOL

          No one is forcing religious people to do or not do anything except force other people to participate or use public funds and resources. I prayed while I was in public school. But I didn’t need the school to tell me when or how to do it. No one is preventing anyone from putting up religious signs and symbols. But we do expect churches or temples or whatever to do it at their own expense. Considering how often we’re told by the right that government can’t do anything right, isn’t it odd that the very same people want government to decide what kind of religious display to have and what kind of prayer we should pray? Aren’t those things better left to the churches? And then people can participate or not…their choice.

  • jjack

    You can’t reason someone out of something that they weren’t reasoned into in the first place.

  • jakester

    It seems that the whole conservative movement involves kissing up to bible brainwashed fundy fools like her, even if you are Jewish like Prager or an atheist like FOX model SE Cupps. Personally, that is such a turn off, it is the abandonment of common sense and reason for “truths”.

  • Demosthenes

    1) The “absolute” truth of scripture must always be, and has always been, mediated through tradition (both commentarial and practical).

    2) Accordingly, it is always wrong to take passages from the Bible out of context in order to justify sin, whether misogyny or murder or anything else. NB “anything else” includes trashing Christianity/Sacred Scripture.

    3) American democracy is not imperiled by homosexuals. It is imperiled by tyrants who would eschew our heritage as nation of religious freedom, and seek to impose their deluded concepts of “Biblical” law in its place.

    Chris, you have done an admirable job responding patiently and thoroughly to those with questions. Please don’t give up!

    • Idle Resources

      Gays? When you had your website, what did you ever say about Iran’s serial hangings of gays? Nothing. I would oppose gays if their condition was a character issue. But I support gay marriage because the American Psychiatric Assn says homosexuality is a “minor personality disturbance.” You were out of the fucking debate, and now you weasel your way in, putz.

  • larocquj

    Presidential aspirants have to tack to the center if they want to win. I can’t see Ms. Bachman pulling this off given her world view. The best she can hope for is to run on someone else’s ticket.

    Nothing to see here. Move along…

  • Idle Resources

    Let’s see. One recent post should have brought out notice of the mecca-hordes 1400 war against Judeo-Christian Civilization, but posters continued the whitewash, and witch-hunt of “phobes.” A post on Tea Party marginals, brings out attacks on Judeo-Christian religion. Orwell posed a state where 2 contradictory beliefs could be held at the same time, if political fear induced same. So the haters and conspiracy theorists hate Judeo-Christians and love the perpetrators of a 1400 war against Civilization. What drives those shit-heads?

    Why does this happen? David Frum can explain: in 1998 Jamaat-i-islami (Islamic Society, Peshawar, Pakistan) invited bin Laden to attend the JI’s annual convention; he declined because Clinton had tossed 80 cruise missles at his Genocide camp; at the same time, Grover Norquist was employed as a paid lobbyist for the JI”s American wing (Islamic Society of North America), as an advisor to GWB; special advisor, Karl Rove, sought and received ISNA support, even though the JI founder, Maulana Maududi, claims, “democracy seizes sovereignty from allah”; after 9-11, Rove inclusivists worked against massive retaliation against the Pashtun-Saudi perpetrators of the atrocity, and for the worthless nation-building farce to the private benefit of Pashtuns; after 9-11, GWB attended each and every Iftar celebration (which touches on the Badr-Massacre of “disbelievers” during one of the first ramadans); the fruit of selective Rove-inclusivism, has been the utter destruction of Secularism in the Middle East and Central Asia; continuance of the special-friend relationship between US administrations and “islamist” movements, has yielded the nominal “arab spring” which is pure islamist.

    There is no conspiracy to point to. Bush-Rove set up Americans for an additional $10 T in debt, in order to be in place for a take in post-administration Saudi pimp funds. The nation-building farces yielded campaign funding (or kickbacks). As I have posted below, the huge program spending surplus of 2000, became money burning. BHO responded with a popular and bi-partisan “Stimulus Package,” which didn’t work because investors feared repetition of the Bush-Rove Regulatory catastrophes. The Tea Party arose from ideological illiterates who are too myopic to understand debt incidence. Within the Republican Party, “White-Board” Conservatives arose, to get away from Rove perma-politics, and to offer solution-consensus political models, to counter the extremists. But what happened? Rove-Rodents debase the movement, with their penchant for quip-and-banter rhetoric, void of practical content. Those wild animals are helping the Perverse-Inclusivists to promote fiscal calamity, to the end of restoring rule by a parasitic elite, void of public purpose. The Rove mentaliy – “attack early and often” – caused the catastrophic military waste that goes on to this day, and the indulgence of snake-oil vending among the Financials. Of the posters here, 95% are too dogmatically crippled to promote Stability. In fact, that very word is beyond their comprehension.

    Coloration of the “tea party” and “islam0phobia” as the sole enemies continues to pollute discourse, then expect to be marginalized.

    If America meets its demise, its tombstone should contain the twin messages: “islam is peace.” George Walker Bush; “calamity is opportunity”; Karl Rove.

  • paul_gs

    I least one can understand where Ms. Bachmann stands, even if one disagrees firmly with her. Progressives change their positions constantly (and without logic) and hold viewpoints far more contradictory (and toxic) then any Xtian does.

    I fear progressive zealots much more then any Xtian type of zealot.

  • Redrabbit

    Is it just me, or is the overall grammatical quality of the teabaggers who post here getting worse and worse? Seriously, some of the posts above are barely coherent.

    • Idle Resources

      Ooh the humanity!!! Or the passive-aggressive compensation. Cockroaches condescend to you. If you put “fuck you” on your forehead, you would accurately wear your attitude which can only lead to Columbine or My Lai.
      http://dkmnow.wordpress.com/2007/12/17/guilt-free-massacre/

      An economy cannot be restored, until the players restore their lost humanity, after the morality drain from 2001-2008.

  • midwest guy

    Michele Bachmann, like most of her reactionary right-wing fundamentalist colleagues, has no real understanding of the context in which the words of her Bible were written. She has made no attempt to understand the deeper meaning of most issues, including Biblical wisdom. This kind of anti-intellectual behavior is her stock in trade, and she is proud to be a know-nothing.
    If there is a God, we can only pray that he help us overcome any chance of such feeble-minded folks gaining power in our government—-never mind the Presidency.

    • Demosthenes

      “Biblical wisdom”

      It has been apparent for some time that the Religious Reich simply does not notice the existence of anything in the Bible apart from Leviticus and a few of Paul’s letters. Bachmann et al. would be well served by spending some time studying Ecclesiastes and Job, even if they are incapable of perceiving the value of the Desert Fathers. Bottom line, the “Christianity” of Palin and Smeggy would have been unrecognizable to the saints and martyrs.

  • EdMigPer

    Bachmann is even more out of touch than this portrays.

    As quoted above

    Postmodernism goes ones step beyond humanism. And it says ‘there is no final authority.’ Man isn’t even a final authority. Reality is what I want it to be. I construct my own reality. This is kind of a bizarre idea, but this it the new philosophy that is permeating not only education, not only textbooks, but our entire culture.

    Consider, via Jay Rosen, this:

    Ron Suskind in the New York Times, October 17, 2004
    http://nyti.ms/phwIHU

    [blockquote]In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn’t like about Bush’s former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House’s displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn’t fully comprehend — but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

    The aide said that guys like me were ”in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who ”believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ”That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”[/blockquote]

    Isn’t that precious.

    • Oldskool

      I remember reading that at the time. It was shocking, to say the least. What he left out was the word “bad” before “actors”.

  • John Frodo

    How come God did not know the earth was billions of years old and that it traveled around the sun, not vice versa as stated in the bible.

  • Chris Balsz

    “I don’t believe in organized religion, especially ones like yours that are based on idolatry. ”

    Then your lack of a “policy” on what your church ought to do with the “seeds strewn among rocks” is due to your lack of a church. That’s not ridiculous. If you sought to work in a lasting faith community you’d find the problem unavoidable.

  • Chris Balsz

    “Indeed… you are less free… This is a GOOD thing. Society (and all its laws, depriving individuals of their various “freedoms”) is what you get when the members of that society accept that their personal freedom can only be tolerated within certain boundaries before they start to impede the ability of the group to function AS a group. ”

    Remind me again who’s bringing fascism to America? By the way, I don’t owe allegiance to “society”.

    This is where Ayn Rand’s theories start breaking down too…the notion that no man can be compelled to destroy himself…OK, but then she seriously argues this means you don’t have to have marital fidelity. If it would “destroy” you to have one wife instead of sharing a girlfriend with two other guys, you MUST save yourself. How conveeeenient…

    Your idea that the group can’t “function” without this loss of freedom–but you’re bringing changes to a 225-year-old Republic. Did it exist from generation to generation without those limits? Sure. So how is it disfunctional? It’s not as much fun for you, but, so what?

  • Chris Balsz

    “They can go find a drugstore that doesn’t offer birth control at all, and get a job there.”

    That used to to be the compromise, but there’s been recent case law back east, that ANY licensed practicioner/proprietor agreed to provide the FULL range of services to the public by taking a state license.

    • LFC

      Chris Balsz said… “The standard is being pushed that, when you choose to play an economic role, you choose to offer goods and services without regard to personal values. As in, a pharmacy must offer birth control, a nurse must perform an abortion.”

      Yes. A thousand times yes. If your religious beliefs prevent you from performing your job, you must have the strength to find another job. Should a Hindu be able to demand a job at a McDonald’s but refuse to handle or serve beef?

      I received a kidney transplant. There are certainly people out there who hold the religious belief against putting somebody else’s organ, or even blood, into another body. What if a pharmacist held such a belief. Should they be able to deny selling immunosuppressive drugs? In a place with lots of options I can always take my business elsewhere, but what about a place with no other options (as in some of the birth control pill issues). BTW, in at least one of the cases I read about the pharmacist who refused to dispense birth control pills to a single woman, but would do it for married women. Does that mean that person can also refuse AIDs medications to somebody who is gay?

      There is a reason that states license medical providers (and a host of other jobs), and that is to protect the citizens of that state by ensuring safe, quality, dependable medical care. Care that is dependent upon “I don’t wanna’” hardly qualifies.

      • Chris Balsz

        “Should a Hindu be able to demand a job at a McDonald’s but refuse to handle or serve beef?”

        No, nor should a Hindu demand McDonalds stop selling beef, or the state demand a Hindu restrauteur offer beef.

        “What if a pharmacist held such a belief. Should they be able to deny selling immunosuppressive drugs?” I would say yes, use another pharmacy.

        • Nanotek

          part of the public education of pharmacists are paid for by everyone’s taxes … the infrastructure (roads, police & fire protection) are paid for by everyone’s taxes …

          if anti-abortionists shouldn’t be forced to pay for other’s abortions, then people who need medical help shouldn’t be forced to pay for the educations of people who refuse to serve them commercially

      • Houndentenor

        Actually there is already case law on this. Long ago, Jews sued because employers forced them to work on the Sabbath and the High Holy Days or they would be fired. The courts ruled in favor of the employers. Employers can accommodate your religious beliefs (letting you not work on you religious holidays or pairing you with another employee who doesn’t mind selling birth control), but they can’t be required to do that. They can sue over this, but they are going to lose. If you are unwilling or unable to do your job, then you have to find a job you are able or willing to do.

        And now my rant…who hasn’t had a job that they had moral or ethical issues with? I’ve had quite a few. You either hold your nose and do it, or you find something more to your liking. Sometimes in a bad job market, you just have to suck it up. Yes, it stinks. So does not being able to make rent. Grow the eff up and stop whining.

  • Bebe99

    A lot of people support Bachmann because of her politics, they assume that she is like many Bible thumping politicians, eg: Bush, who merely use religion to advance their political careers. But Bachmann is involved in politics to advance her religious ideas. These people -like Bachmann- can and will bring the country and the world to its knees if they believe their religion will gain from it. Patriotism and fundamentalist religion really cannot coexist, religion will always come far, far ahead of country for the fundies.

  • think4yourself

    Seems to me the issue here isn’t Michelle Bachmann (no chance of being a real force in politics other than helping pull the GOP rightward), the real issue is the constituency she represents.

    As a Christian I can understand this thought process although I do not share it. A Christian owes their allegiance to God first, then country. It colors how they look at the world. For those on the religous Right, it compels that they act to create a nation in harmony with their beliefs. If your version on Christianity is that all things not Christian are from an evil source (i.e. the Devil), then you are required to act against all things not Christian. If as part of that belief structure your opponents hold views that you believe are evil, such as abortion or gay rights, then those opponents are of the Devil. In addition, you are in a spiritual warfare against the Devil and his minions, which are those who hold viewpoints you consider sinful.

    Liberals can laugh at this viewpoint all they want, but about 15% – 20% of the population view politics as nothing more than a spiritual struggle in a great war of good and evil – and Liberals tools of Satan. It is a short step from Michelle Bachmann’s position to the guy who killed George Tiller. I’m sure she abhors that action, but understands the killer’s reasoning and sympathizes with it.

    Call this the Radicalized Christian Right. This group believes that Liberalism and Socialism have disorted America AND Christianity. This group has proponents who are re-writing the bible to remove what they believe are liberal bias http://www.conservapedia.com/Conservative_Bible_Project. They truly believe that the founders did not intend separation from church and state http://www.rightremedy.org/tracts/7. For this group it is a holy mission to bring America back to what they percieve it was ordained by God to be – A Christian nation. This is their one true mission.

    Obviously this is not all Christians or even most of them. Most self-identified Christians do not take their religion any more seriously than their politics. Some who do take a different viewpoint – that the actions of Jesus were aimed at that least empowered in society and these Christians are compelled to act for the betterment of mankind on earth. The Radical Christian Right dismiss these is social justice and condemn it as not being true Christianity. This is really no different than the war for the soul of Islam.

    The point in this long-winded post (sorry) is that, the radical Right firmly believe in their holy cause. It is a spiritual war and one that their faith demands winning, whatever the cost. Also, just like Liberals are a part of America (and deserve a place), so does this group. The challenge is how to accommodate these diverse viewpoints.

    • Traveler

      Very thoughtful post, Think. But the challenge is not necessarily to get liberals to accommodate radical right viewpoints. They can accept dogma, even if the secular humanists among the liberals don’t buy it. So long as dogma isn’t spending their tax dollars.

      The challenge is get the radical right to accommodate liberals at all. Don’t look promising from what you describe. I look forward to what Chris would say.

  • Chris Balsz

    A good post.

    Sometimes we forget this isn’t television, and the loser isn’t going to vanish forever. The country is facing some deep divisions. I think the Founders understood the strength of democracy was not that it created unity, but that it allowed disagreement to be handled sensibly. Disagreement is part of the human condition, because making decisions divides people. Even if they like the result they can disagree with the manner in which it was achieved. Their answer was an open-ended system where anything is possible– if you can get the votes.

    I think most people on this forum would agree one of the purposes of law is to set up commerce, criminal justice and other social conduct according to moral standards. Even if we don’t agree what is right or wrong, I keep hearing programs or policies defended as morally preferrable to alternatives that worked here or exist elsewhere.

    Seems to me what has worked in the past (except for slavery) is to use the democratic system to settle matters as much as possible. I don’t see one-tenth as much right-wing outrage over the New York state legislature enacting gay marriage, as I do about the California decisions to impose it on the voters. That’s because New York’s decision doesn’t pretend to impose anything on the country; it just makes law for New York. It doesn’t establish a procedure that can cancel out popular opposition anywhere. I’m opposed to it, but my side didn’t have the votes. And I’d have to go get votes in New York state to reverse it, if possible; but I don’t live there. I can’t get outraged that a majority of a state population of dozens of millions of people tolerate, or outright support, such a legislature.

  • jdeware

    I can’t believe this is a republican oriented blog…who are you people? Seriously? As far as I know, and maybe hen I don’t know much, but republican are god first, gun second ad he are even questioning the value of the US constitution.
    So my question is: Can you actually be a republican and still favor the separation of the church and the state?I’m not republican, so I’m really surprised at the comments I’m reading here…

  • As if economic illiteracy isn’t enough.. — shareholdersunite.com

    [...] submissive to your husbands.” In 2003, in a conversation about public abstinence education, she argued that “the Bible presents a standard to which everyone can repair, whether you are a believer [...]

  • ceruleanbill

    If I ever needed a reason to utterly reject her, your title would do nicely.