Monday, August 15, 2011

A glimpse inside Bachmann's world

Alisa Harris, author of the forthcoming Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith From Politics, gives a chilling view of life inside conservative Christianity for CNN in My Take: I could have become Michele Bachmann:
Newsweek’s latest cover calls Bachmann the “Queen of Rage.” I can testify to the rage her beliefs inspire, a rage that is focused inward - on protecting the sanctity of an iron-clad worldview, battling all the heretics who dare to believe something different, and seeing life from the bunker of a besieged and victimized faith.
I recommend the entire article and would love to hear from any members of the readership who can shed some insider's light on the conservative Christian culture.

* * *

51 comments:

jonas said...

A few books that have dealt with these things. These are written by two prominent American sociologists who are experts in this field:

http://www.amazon.com/American-Evangelicalism-Conservative-Religion-Modernity/dp/0813509858/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_7

http://www.amazon.com/Evangelicalism-Generation-James-Davison-Hunter/dp/0226360830/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_6

http://www.amazon.com/Culture-Wars-Struggle-Education-Politics/dp/0465015344/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_2

http://www.amazon.com/There-Culture-War-Dialogue-American/dp/0815795157/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_5

http://www.amazon.com/American-Evangelicalism-Embattled-Christian-Smith/dp/0226764192/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1313442456&sr=1-8

Anonymous said...

Let the bashing begin.








JOG

Kirk said...

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/08/14/dominionism-michele-bachmann-and-rick-perry-s-dangerous-religious-bond.html?om_rid=DfmcT9&om_mid=_BOSQ7zB8ctRRHD

Anonymous said...

@ JOG-It's not bashing if it's true.
MR

Harry Finch said...

There are two sorts of people in America:Those who can make no sense of this senseless existence but somehow muddle through; and those who fabricate some sense and expect others to go along with them. Democrats and drunks constitute the first group, while my mother and Ms Bachmann make up the second.

Bill said...

I know lots of born again Christians and plain ol conservative Christians. Don't worry, most are harmless. They do like to prostelytize though. They believe in something that they can't prove. It's called faith. If you're ever in need of a fox hole buddy, you could do worse. You can also count on them to help out a neighbor in need. You can read about them all you want but if you want to know about them, ask them. Or not.

Derek D. said...

Imagine the comfort of knowing all the answers, or at least the source of those answers. Many, many people don't trust their own judgement and their own inner voice - for very good reasons. If their view of God keeps people alive, with some sanity, and productive - then thank God for their religion. Who am I to judge? Unfortunately, religious groups are judged these days mainly on their more "newsworthy" extremists instead of on the steady, positive citizenry that makes up a large part of our country.

Erin O'Brien said...

Bill and Derek, you are both exactly right. The question is whether Bachy is one of the "steady, positive citizenry" or an extremist.

I believe Bachmann will be fading rather quickly and I'm not interested about doing serious research on her or her record until I have a reason to, but that "pray away the gay" bit is one area where she gets into that weirdo-hyper-god-squad trouble.

If homosexuality is one of those things poor ol' Bachy turned to God for because she didn't know "all the answers," that just doesn't get it with me.

Then again, I'm just one vote.

Cleveland Bob said...

In matters of theology and belief, I often turn to the great H.L. Mencken who famously said about fundamentalists that they... "find comfort in the imbecilities of their creed and that no amount of proof of the falsity of their beliefs will have the slightest influence on them.” They accept Genesis because it offers a cosmogony “so simple that even a yokel can grasp it”—it holds “the irresistible reasonableness of the nonsensical.”

Bill said...

Obama vs Bachmann or Perry on religion. Now THAT would be an interesting subject for a debate moderator to raise. When O tries to prove how religious he is, will he quote Menken or the Bible?

Cleveland Bob said...

@Bill,

Obama will always quote the Bible. The ridiculous false religiosity of American politicians is a hard and fast requirement of electability regardless of their actual belief system.

Of course, if a politician in nearly any other Western democracy said aloud that he or she "spoke to G-d" as GW Bush once did, they'd be laughed out of office. Here, we relected him.

jonas said...

Bill:

The point of Academic research is to be able to understand something larger than the beliefs or opinion of one or two people. Yes, we can "just ask them." But...who? How many? And should we take the word of a few people as..ahem...gospel for entire movements? The books I've listed use nationally representative samples, in-depth interviews, and a bloody ton of research. Perhaps rather than dismissing the idea of learning via reading, we might suggest speaking with people in ADDITION to research.

I fully agree that many of our daily prejudices quickly disappear when we engage the "other" face-to-face. However, I've seen that the opposite is just as true: we tend to have one or two conversations and then feel that we "know" something about the group(s) of which that "other" may be a group. "Well, my friend Jimmy is a member of that group (race, ethnicity, religion, political org...), and he's the nicest person...yeah, all of X are decent people." We make broad assumptions all the time based on very little actual experience. Sometimes we might have alot of experience with different kids of folk, yes. But, while its nice to have those experiences and we can learn alot from them, experts are experts for a reason...

Bill said...

Cleve: Speaking to God is praying. You can't tell me that other leaders, Sarkozy for example, don't pray. How else would he have been able to get that hot wife?

Jonas: Choose your experts wisely. Make sure you find one that supports your point of view.

Anonymous said...

To All-the qualitative difference between Perry and Bachman's religiousity, and that practiced even by Mr Bush is that it is EXCLUSIONARY. Ms. Bachman firmly believes, despite all evidence to the contrary, that the founding documents created a Christian theocracy. Mr. Perry, who just held a religious event for 30,000 of his fellow citizens, made it clear that no Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Rastafarians, Rosicrucians, Mormons, (sorry, Mitt) animists, Wiccans or Druids need apply. (Sorry if I left anybody's personal belief system out). He is influenced by a group called The New Apostolic Reformation, (I'm unsure if I have the name correct-Rachel Maddow profiled it last week, and any number of bloggers or Texas journalists have reported on it.)They believe they are called to establish a Fundamentalist Christian republic in the United States, against despite all the evidence of the intentions of the authors of the founding documents.
Even Mr Bush, at the height of post-9/11 hysteria, was a calming and cool voice in discriminating between Islam and the people who did violence and murder in its name.
This is a new and different thing in our politics.
I believe it is dangerous.
Mike R

Tony Rugare said...

From "The Onion" - http://tinyurl.com/3ckclsd

Anonymous said...

@ Cleveland Bob
Mencken also said 'In a democracy, people get the kind of government they deserve.'
MR

Big Mark 243 said...

Way cool discussion you got goin' EO'B... you have some intelligent folks that come here and I wouldn't mind having a cup o' joe and listening to the conversation..!

VideoDude said...

Here's a ltlle web page that most of the so-called right wing Fundamentalists would not want to see or believe: http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html

Anonymous said...

August sideshow.
WJM

Anonymous said...

http://thebookofcletis.blogspot.com/2011/07/liar-liar-pants-on-fire-by-circle.html

Erin O'Brien said...

Agreed, WJM.

Isn't it funny how no one's talking about the Straw Poll vote count?

Bachy got 4823 votes. Ron Paul got 4671. Does either really have a chance at the Oval Office? I'm starting to think the Straw Poll is a bunch of tripe.

Bachy, incidentally, picked up the ticket price and had a free concert for those who went into her tent. The coverage I watched was laughable.

Nice link, anon.

Dudesworthy said...

Totally agree with what you're saying there Erin - does anyone really think that she could get through an entire presidential campaign without dropping some ridiculous comment that wrecked her chances?

Harry Finch said...

Past Iowa Straw Poll winners:

1979 - GHW Bush
1987 - Pat Robertson
1995 - Bob Dole/Phil Gramm
1999 - GW Bush
2007 - Mitt Romney

That's 2 for 6, the winner getting the Repub nod; 1 for 6, the winner getting the big prize.

I feel better already.

Harry Finch said...

oops...2 for 5, and 1 for 5.

Don't want to jinx it by counting Bachmann out of it before it happens.

Anonymous said...

MR
Truth? Blogs are more about opinions than hard facts and truth. It's extremely hard if not impossible to find out the real truth about a person until its too late.



JOG

alphadog said...

Michele Bachmann's religious convictions matter not to me. To the best of my knowledge she is neither performing clitoridectomies nor participating in honor killings so she's at least one step ahead of some people whose diversity we are encouraged to embrace.
No, Ms. Bachmann alienated me when I found out she was an attorney for the IRS and later, with her husband, made a business out of accepting government money in the form of grants and foster care payments. Now she's aligning herself with the Tea Party? Give me a break Michele. Just another scam to further your personal interests and agenda.

WV- squensh:
A thoroughly satisfying sexual encounter.

Anonymous said...

@jog-I'm not talking about blogs except those carried by print outlets in their on-line editions; I don't for instance credit the Huffington Post for anything.
And no, bloggers such as Jonathan Chait of The New Republic or Kevin Drum of Mother Jones or James Fallows of Atlantic Monthly are not 'more about opinions than hard facts and truth'. They're journalists, respected nationwide.
And no, it's not impossible to find out 'real truth'(s). It takes some interest and some digging but it's out there.
For example, in the last month or six weeks, I have found out some facts about Governor Perry which, when they become known to a national audience, will prevent him not only from ever becoming President, but even of getting the Republican nomination.
1) Governor Perry allowed the execution of Cameron Todd Willingham, whose conviction was proven by scientific evidence to be erroneous. When a commission to investigate this and other factual errors in this and other Texas capital cases was on the verge of reporting their findings, he abolished the commission and fired its members
2) Governor Perry violated international law by refusing consular assistance to a Mexican national(sorry, name not at hand-within the last month or so) in violation of the Vienna Accords which govern the treatment of criminal suspects overseas. The strict Constitutional scholar Perry should know that a ratified treaty is the law of the land-or perhaps he just doesn't care?
3) Governor Perry has signed death warrants and carried out death sentences on mentally retarded inmates.
Obviously, I could go on, but look what he's had to say just since Saturday! Why dig up the past when breaking headlines are so revealing?
-Questioned the President's love for his country
-Besmirched the men and women of our armed forces by implying that they don't respect their commander-in-Chief
-Stating that our economy has been under a BLACK cloud since Mr. Obama became President-now THAT's subtle
-Suggesting that the Chairman of the Federal Reserve would be guilty of treason were he to engage in monetary policy which he (Mr. Perry) disagreed with. (treason-a capital offense-a subtle pattern begins to emerge, eh?)
So, you see, if you're willing to invest a little time to learn about those who would seek high office you can find many 'truths'
MR

Anonymous said...

@ Erin-the great thing about Ms. Bachman's showing in the Iowa Republican Party fundraiser tarted up as the Ames Straw poll-her vote total only reflected about 80% of the total of $30 tickets she bought and distributed-her campaign spent $180k on tickets and she couldn't get a 100% return.
MR

Anonymous said...

Mr
Here a truth,I have no respect at all for the present Commander and Chief and I served 30 years. I have many friends still in the military that share the same opinion, its not respect for an official its love of country. The military follows the law, they respect the law, but respect has to be earned and this one has not earned it.
I see you jumped from one candidate to another, hard to keep up while your switching horses.

JOG.

Anonymous said...

That's all you took from all that? That you don't like the President? And it's hard to keep up with two completely separate and unrelated posts?
And you go by "James Old Guy"?
And I'm not surprised because?
MR
ps-Alll you rotten kids get off my lawn!!! And take that rotten little dog with you!!!

Anonymous said...

MR
Yep, pretty much, then again I am old and really don't care for the current President, most of Congress and non of the current candidates. But that is just me.


James Old Guy (JOG)
Have a nice day and don't mess with my dog. I might have to dig vman up from his drunken stupor.

Erin O'Brien said...

Good Christ, Smith, who was the last president you liked? Eisenhower?

Anonymous said...

Truman he knew he was in over his head.







JOG

Anonymous said...

In public remarks today, Ms Bachman commented to Elvis Presley fans in her crowd about Presley's birthday today.
August 16 is the anniversary of his death.
MR

jonas said...

Bill:
"Choose your experts wisely. Make sure you find one that supports your point of view." ????

Seriously? I'm not actually going to take the time to explain how thoroughly silly you make yourself sound with such dismissive comments. And for now, I'll ignore the less-than-subtle derision of academia. But I will go so far as to humor your absurdity to this extent: I know one of those "experts" personally. He an I hold very...very different views of the world. That is, he and I DO NOT support the same opinions on a great deal of things. Even further, he might be considered one of those people you suggest we all go talk to in order to REALLY learn about Christian conservatives. But you know what, regardless of his views, he is still an expert. Regardless of the view he holds, after studying conservative Christians for 30 years, he knows more about them than about 99.99% of anyone else in the world.
So, when I choose my experts...I choose because they know more than I do. Not because we share the same views.
Crazy stuff, all this buk learnin', huh?

Ms Amanda said...

My rebellion from my hippy family was to become a BAC. Thank God I saw my way out of that. Still believe in God, just not all the crazy BS the 'conservative church' would have you believe. Too much hate and fear disguised as faith and righteousness. Judge not lest ye know you're right and the other guy is a heretic, then you can damn him to hell for his beliefs while being forgiven for your misdeeds. Amen & amen.

Anonymous said...

Jonas @ 8:08-well spoken, and well reasoned. however, never underestimate the power (or, indeed, the obstinancy) of motivated reasoning.
To wit, see my exchange above with JOG @ 5:17 (mine) and 5:26 (his).
In response to a rather lengthy (windy?-go ahead, say it, you won't hurt my feelings)post that touched on a number of topics, my co-respondent lasered in on the one grain he could latch onto.
MR

Bill said...

Too bad we can't come up with a good athiest to run for Pres. Think of all the time saved by not having to hear the obligatory "God Bless The United States of America" at the end of every speech.

Judy said...

Would love to have an athiest run for President; unfortunately, too many people feel we have to have a christian...really sad when a candidate doesn't dare express any other stance except christian...and shouldn't a god bless all the earth and not just the USA?

Erin O'Brien said...

Back in the heat of the 2008 race, Colin Powell was on some talk show. He said something to the effect of--I've heard people say Barack Obama is a Muslim, so what if he is?

Then he went on about how many Muslim Americans serve in the armed forces and how insulting Islamophobia is to them.

HELL YES.

There were things about Powell I just loved.

Anonymous said...

Erin-you might be bemused to look into the issue JFK's Catholicism played in 1960. He actually had to give a speech reassuring the nation he would abide by the Constitution and not Papal dictates.
Many people thought there was such a thing as a 'Catholic' bible.
The branch of Lutheranism localized in Wisconsin which Ms. Bachman distanced herself from prior to declaring for President believes that the Pope is the living embodiment of the Antichrist, as I have previously mentioned.
MR

Bill said...

A Muslim a Christian and an athiest walked into a bar.

Anonymous said...

"atheist"? sp? just sayin'.
Bill perhaps we could make the Christian an Irish Catholic? Fits the bar stereotype better? And do you have a punchline? Let me know either way, because I've got a bar joke ready to go.
MR

Bill said...

Thanks for spell checking for me. Go for the joke. I've got nothing.

Anonymous said...

Hiya Bill-the sp?-wasn't just you, and I had to check it myself-thus the question marks-
A duck walks into a bar, hops up on the stool, and pulls out a dollar...
-What'll ya have?
-I'd like a grape please...
-It's a bar, pal, no grapes...
(next day)...Duck comes in, same time of day...Can I get a grape, please?
-Pal, I told you yesterday, it's a bar...NO grapes!!
-third day, same time, same stool, same dollar..I'd like a grape please...
-LISTEN, asshole-I told you twice already-NO GRAPES-you come back I'll nail your fucking beak to the fucking bar!!!
-On the fourth day the duck came in hopped up on the stool and waits for service..
-NOW what do you want??!!
-I'd like a hammer and a nail please...
-LISTEN,chump, I ALREADY TOLD you, it's a bar...WE DON'T HAVE hammers and nails....
-We'll, then can I have a grape please?
MR

Anonymous said...

Awww, thanks, you're a great bunch..(rim shot)...come back, I'll be here all week...tip your waitress, now (rim shot)...say, try the veal -it's the best in the city
The Masked Comic...

Bill said...

You guys might be onto something:

Robert D. Putnam, a professor of public policy at Harvard, and David E. Campbell, a political scientist at Notre Dame, say they have collected data indicating that the tea party is "less popular than much maligned groups like 'atheists' and 'Muslims.'"

jonas said...

Careful Bill, Putnam is a world renowned sociologist...an expert. Prolly can't trust a damned thing he says...

Bill said...

Whew!

Anonymous said...

Actually, from what I've read about the study, they have followed as many as possible of an original cohort of approximately 3,000 respondents. Obviously since 2006, individuals will have dropped out of the survey field, but the results seem to hold up, and they both prove and question some of the presumed expectations. I was never a statistical fan in school, but a lot of their results are going to stand up to peer review.

MR

Anonymous said...

g'night and have a pleasant tomorrow...
wv: rettidd: we rettidd thas fuggin co-co-co-ttage...'en thas blitch tr-tr-tr-tried to throw uz owt cuzza a liddle fahr...(out on the islands)