Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Campaign 2012: We Review Michele Bachmann

Friends, as your studious Peasant was researching presidential
candidate Michele Bachmann to review her and her candidacy,
Bachmann had placed far down the line in the Iowa Republican
Caucus last week, the official beginning of the 2012 presidential
campaign. After initially holding front-runner status in the earliest
stages of the campaign season, Bachmann had lost ground and
has since been sliding away into polling oblivion until deciding to
call it a day and return home. This being so, I would still like to
offer my analysis of U.S. Rep. Bachmann, as she will still be a
player on Capitol Hill; Bachmann will run for re-election to
Congress instead of further pursuing the presidency. There are
some things that many conservatives should know about this
Tea Party favorite, and these things should be discussed in an
open and straightforward way; to put a finer point on it,
my analysis of Michele Bachmann will be served straight with
no chaser.

An Iowa native now living in Minnesota, representing that state's
6th Congressional District, Rep. Bachmann's conservatism is
rooted in her rural Lutheran upbringing. Originally a Democrat
(Bachmann and her husband, Marcus, worked on Jimmy Carter's
1976 presidential campaign in Iowa), the Bachmanns switched
to the Republican Party when they became disenchanted with the
policies of Carter and the Democrats, supporting Ronald Reagan
against Carter in 1980. Although a stout fiscal conservative, Rep.
Bachmann is a stronger social conservative in large part due to
her association with the Salem Lutheran Church in Stillwater,
a city in Bachmann's Minnesota district. This church is associated
with the Wisconsin Lutheran Synod, a substantially right-of-center
arm of the Lutheran Church which declares the Pope to be the
Anti-Christ. The Bachmanns ceased membership in the Salem
Lutheran Church on June 21, 2011, shortly before Rep. Bachmann
officially began her campaign for the presidency. A spokesman
for the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights stated that
the League "sees no evidence of any bigotry" in Michele Bachmann.

However, Bachmann cites evangelist theologian Francis Schaeffer
as a "profound influence" on her and her husband Marcus.
Schaeffer is known to have ties to the Dominionist Movement, the
fundamentalist Christian movement which has among its goals the
occupation of all branches of and all seats in government so as to
bring the country under the "Law of God". Now, your inquiring
Peasant is not accusing Michelle Bachmann of running for the
highest office in the land in order to secure it for the sole benefit
of the members of any particular religious faith. That is not my
intent. But I do raise the question of just how much influence
has this particular theologian on Rep. Bachmann, and does it
(or how likely is it that it) in turn influence her politics?
In my review of Gov. Rick Perry's candidacy I pointed out
his ties to an evangelical religious organization that has ties
to the Dominionist Movement, pointing at the potential danger.
All I'm saying is this: I don't want a government that would
force a particular religion or religious view upon our
country any more than I want a government that would, in
the name of separating church and state, would banish any
and all things even lightly pertaining to a religious informing
of one's politics and political behavior. Your concerned Peasant
does not want to break the grip of the church and state seper-
ation zealots on our government and our culture only to hand
everything over to religious zealots who would make us bow
down to them and their perceptions of God and our being
"One nation under God" --- perhaps I should say "One nation
under those who claim to represent God and His will for us".
Our freedom of religion clause in the Constitution is a safe-
guard against both of these fates; we should take care to pre-
serve this freedom by electing only candidates for office
whom we can trust to respect and protect this guarantee of 
religious freedom.

Furthermore, the Bachmanns own a Christian counseling
practice, Bachmann & Associates, which provides "conver-
sion therapy" for homosexuals in order to transform them
into heterosexuals. Although they claim to take a loving
and compassionate approach to their patients who choose
to undergo this treatment, while on the campaign trail Rep.
Bachmann and husband have publicly called gay people
"barbarians" for their sexual preferences. Let me tell you,
my fabulous readers, something: I have had, and have,
some gay friends. They each are wonderful people, loyal
friends, and people of good and gentle, amicable dispo-
sitions. One of them ---  God rest him, he's passed on ---
was a conservative, and called himself a republican,
although he was acutely aware of the animosity toward
gay people within the party, much of it from the socially
conservative, "religious right" types. My late friend
may well have become more involved in the GOP
but for this. He railed against the fundamentalist/
evangelical elements within the party who, while most
helpful in turning the GOP toward embracing protection
of unborn humans and other compassionate things in
its platform, have also stated their condemnation of
homosexuals and have opposed (and still oppose)
guaranteeing even the most modest basic rights for
them, rights that the rest of us take for granted.
Another such friend is a fellow whom I met and
have enjoyed an enduring friendship with since
our very first day of college. He has stuck with me
through the proverbial thick and thin. He used to be
a conservative republican until he became accepting
of his sexual orientation, and aware of the opprobrium
dished out by these elements in the Republican Party.
Moreover, there are many, many gay Americans
who have serious disagreements with liberals and their
main vehicle, the Democrat Party, who would love to
join the Republican Party in order to make common
cause with the GOP on the issues pertaining to
limited government and preservation of personal
liberty, including a free and unfettered marketplace
of goods, services, and ideas; they instead are joining
the Libertarian Party, a "third party" with no realistic
chance of gaining any considerable political clout,
or are independents, not belonging to any political
party, or they are Democrats by default, that is, they
believe that although they have sharp differences
of opinion with that party at least there they are not
chastised, ostracized, or condemned for being
what they are, and think that they can live with
being in the party of paternalism. The Republican
Party and the conservatives in general would only
stand to gain in tems of strength by embracing,
or at least not waging a sort of holy war, against
homosexuals. And besides, we have a nation to
save; we must take back our government from
Obama and the Democrats in order to have any
hope of repairing our weak and sickly economy,
let alone undo the damage done by these statists
to other areas of our society. We simply cannot
waste time, energy, and resources on railing
against a group of people just because we may
not be comfortable with whom and how they love.
Your doubtful Peasant is not sure that Michele
Bachmann understands this simple truth, nor would
have made the right priorities accordingly as our


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