Michele Bachmann - Possible 2012 Candidate:
As of August 2011, U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann is one of the frontrunners in the 2012 Republican Presidential race. A darling of conservatives and Tea Partiers, Bachmann has gotten a lot of press for her statements, some of which have left analysts scratching their heads. As a member of Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), Bachmann has repeatedly made it clear that her evangelical beliefs have influenced her decisions as a state representative.
How Bachmann's Faith Influences Her Politics:
Bachmann says she found Jesus at age sixteen. She attended an Oklahoma law school which was once a branch of Oral Roberts University, and married husband Marcus Bachmann, whom she has said was sent to her by God.
A June 2011 article in Rolling Stone magazine summarizes Bachmann’s religious stance well, saying, “Bachmann says she believes in a limited state, but she was educated in an extremist Christian tradition that rejects the entire notion of a separate, secular legal authority and views earthly law as an instrument for interpreting biblical values.”
When Bachmann and her husband settled in Minnesota, she became a Christian activist, and in fact was responsible for the establishment of New Heights, one of the country’s first charter schools. Part of their platform involved fighting the Disney film "Aladdin," feeling that it endorsed witchcraft and promoted Paganism. In the late 1990s, she became involved in politics, and was part of a group that ran on an extreme fundamentalist platform. She has claimed on numerous occasions that she has made political decisions because God spoke directly to her and guided her.
Public Statements on Faith and Religion:
Bachmann has come under some scrutiny for her husband Marcus' counseling practice, which uses a controversial therapy aimed at turning gay people straight. Bachmann herself has been a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage and has repeatedly said she believes that homosexuality can be cured.
Michele Bachmann has also come under fire for her position on the "submissive wife" brand of Christianity she practices. The concept of the "submissive wife" is a simple one. In this relationship model, there are three parties within a marriage - the husband, the wife, and God. According to the theology, God has a plan for both the husband and wife, and each has a designated role within the marriage. The husband is the leader and spiritual head of household. The wife's job is to be a devoted wife and mother, to do as her husband instructs her, and spread the word of God. While the wife is obedient to her husband, she is obedient because it's all part of God's design for the marriage.
Bachmann's Biblical worldview is one that becomes apparent in her speeches and interviews. She makes constant references to scripture, and often comments that God has guided her to make a decision. She tends to use theological references to explain why Christians are supposed to be in charge of running America.
In 2008, an article appeared that exposed Bachmann's connections to an anti-Pagan group. On the surface, the Minnesota Teen Challenge bills itself as an evangelical-based recovery program to help at-risk teens. However, the group seems to prey upon vulnerable kids and bombard them with anti-occult messages, warning them of the dangers of everything from cursed Halloween candy to the music of Iron Maiden. It should be noted that the group later returned money donated by the Bachmann camp.
In addition, Bachmann has strong ties to David Barton, a rabidly anti-Pagan evangelical activist and historical revisionist, who has said that the concept of the separation of church and state is actually just a myth. In 2010, Bachmann said "she wants to hold "Constitution classes" for new members of Congress in the hopes of preventing them from being "co-opted into the Washington system."
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