The EFM Feature
Rep. Michele Bachmann, taken by Monique Cala, used under a Creative Commons license

There are some evangelicals out there who believe, to put it simply, that Mormons like Mitt Romney are just too kooky to be president.  For proof positive that this is not a discussion to which we want to contribute, look no further than this week’s Washington Post Style section piece on Dr. Marcus Bachmann, husband of Rep. Michele Bachman.

Needless to say, the Post doesn’t think Dr. B. has much style.  The article begins:

In an interview last year with a Christian-radio talk show, Marcus Bachmann, a therapist who runs a faith-infused counseling center here, compared homosexuals to “barbarians” who “need to be educated, need to be disciplined.”

Dr. Bachmann’s strong anti-gay views would hardly be noteworthy outside of the suburban towns marked with water towers in the St. Croix Valley, except that his wife, Rep. Michele Bachmann, is suddenly the hottest commodity in the Republican presidential field. She has staffed up with professional consultants, but her husband of 32 years plays a central role. Dr. Bachmann, who recently called himself his wife’s “strategist,” has acted as her media planner, traveling assistant and even personal shopper. They share a bond born of a mutual religious awakening in high school and college, a deep faith in an especially conservative form of Lutheranism, and a common abhorrence of homosexuality.

The article goes on to delve into the Bachmanns’ “especially conservative form of Lutheranism.”  Like so:

Dr. Bachmann’s influence on his wife is an article of faith within the family.

“He is her godly husband,” said Peter Bachmann, Dr. Bachmann’s oldest brother, who lives on the family dairy farm across the eastern border in Wisconsin. “The husband is to be the head of the wife, according to God.” It is a philosophy that Michele Bachmann echoed to congregants of the the Living Word Christian Center in 2006, when she stated that she pursued her degree in tax law only because her husband had told her to. “The Lord says: Be submissive, wives. You are to be submissive to your husbands,” she said.

And it is clear that when it comes to their social conservatism, the Bachmanns are in full agreement.

“Philosophically, they are 100 percent aligned,” said Ron Carey, Bachmann’s former chief of staff, and now a Pawlenty supporter, who admired Dr. Bachmann as a “soft-mannered, gentle, great guy.”

And so:

In Dr. Bachmann’s interview with Point of View talk radio in 2010, he said that parents and authority figures have a responsibility not to allow homosexual feelings “to move into action steps” and warned that the rate of homosexuality in public schools would increase if it became tolerated with “full, wide-open doors.” Both Bachmanns have been supportive of Janet Boynes, the author of “Called Out: A Former Lesbian’s Discovery of Freedom.” “Janet’s life,” Michele Bachmann once wrote, “is a powerful testimony of the changes that Christ can bring through His healing power from the bondage of sin.” (Boynes declined to comment about the couple or Bachmann & Associates, and she referred all questions to Bachmann’s congressional office.)

The Bachmanns’ strong belief that homosexuality is a correctable sin within the realm of possible redemption is consistent with the teachings of the Salem Lutheran Church in Stillwater, the birthplace of Minnesota on the banks of the St. Croix River. A modest brick building with a wide isosceles roof and stained-glass windows in the chapel, Salem served as the place of worship for the Bachmanns until their recent move. The church belongs to the highly conservative Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, which, in explaining its views on homosexuality, points to the passage in Corinthians where the apostle Paul says to former sinners, “That is what some of you were.”

“The past tense is significant,” the Synod’s official Web site observes.

There’s more, but that’s more than enough to make my point.  And my point is this:  As you can tell from the Post‘s sneering tone, the mainstream media and the left–whoops, I repeat myself–see no difference between what many evangelicals regard as the Bible’s truth and the teachings of Mormonism.  If we support the idea that you can paint some “conservative” faith communities as simply beyond the pale, they’ll do the same to us before we even get out the first five words of our explanation of submission or sin offerings.  That’s what they’re trying to do right now to Rep. Bachmann, and when we attack Mormons as too kooky to be president, we aid and abet them–not because there really is no difference between our beliefs and theirs, but because the soundbite war in the midst of a presidential campaign isn’t the right place to have that conversation.

About Charles Mitchell

EFM's resident Yankee, Charles Mitchell, works in the non-profit arena in his native Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Charissa, live near the state capital of Harrisburg with their daughter, Adeline, and are members of a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America.

Comments and Discussion

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6 Responses to We’re All in This Together, Bachmann Edition

  1. ccr says:

    Thanks for that analysis. I would be much more on the side of the Christian Right if I thought they truly loved the Constitution……including Article 6. Hypocrisy of the Christian Right who insert the “religious test” into this GOP race is unfortunate.

    Michele has some wonderful qualities which can do much to help our country but her experience in creating jobs and turning economies/budgets around is thin/non-existent. I do hope she will continue to serve our country in some as i think IF she were to get the GOP slot, the left were “destroy” her over the above.

  2. Jim Tills says:

    The religious litmus test is unconstitutional. So be done with it for Mitt Romney or Michele Bachman and her husband. We need a President who can and will utilize the best and brightest minds grounded in solid conserrvative prinicples to turn around the Nation. One man with God can make a tremendous difference. However, one man or woman using the talents, intelligence, sound thinking, and inspiration required to solve our Nation’s debt crisis, massive unemployment, failed educational system and threat of nuclear proliferation (posed by Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, China, India, etc), can put together that solid core of true American patriots needed at the top to inspire individual citizens to rise up and reinthrone the Constitution as it was written and meant to be followed. Mitt Romney is the only person who can possibly do it due to the “divide and conquet machinations of the Democratic Left who will spend over a billion dollars to see Obama reelected to bring about the complete socialization of America and reduce it to a third-world status.
    No other Republican or Independent third party (tea party) candidate has the money or the support to beat Obama and the Democratic machine juggernaut (Socialist Left) that has been marshalled into place to ensure the “one-world/new-world-order transformation of America—reducing it to one cog of a godless oligarchy who only worshiips at the throne of materialism.
    Tea partyers, evangelical Christians, and others must wake up and unite behind Mitt Romney despite philosophical or Christian differences in doctrine. His values are akin to those of the Founding Fathers who gave us the liberty we used to have and are fighting to regain. To fight against him to put some one else in the White House will be counter-productive for no-one else has the finances nor the political clout to overcome the blindness of a massive Hispanic/Black Obama vote based on tradition and blind pulling of the Democratic lever in the voting booth. May I say that I know Mitt Romney well; he is NO RINO but a man of principles who will turn the Nation around.
    What will be crucial will be his choice of a Vice-President. I believe it will be one of three individucals: Marco Rubio, Michele Bachman or Herman Cain. All would make great Presidents but none have the wherewithall to make it against Obama this time around. And this time around is all there is. If Obama gets reelected, the USA as we knew it will be gone forever. That’s how crucial this election is. May our righteous prayers to God be answered that this Republic may be preserved and that righteousness be restored again to our beloved land—America the Beautiful.

  3. Steve Bigelow says:

    I judge a man by how well he exemplifies the teachings of Christ in his actions, not just his words or professed beliefs.
    God may or may not judge a man by his “works” but I am not God nor do I profess that I can stand in the place of God, when it comes to judging a man. Many may draw close to Christ in their words or professed religious beliefs but are not even close in their actions or works.
    The best way to judge future behavior is to look at past behavior. Mitt Romney exemplifies the commonly held morals and ethics that Christ taught, in his actions as well as his words.
    He is also unparalleled among other candidates at building incredibly successful companies and projects in our American free enterprise system. Without bringing our country back from economic disaster, we will not have the ability to provide the freedoms and opportunities that America has always been known for in the past. If America declines further, who will dominate? What practical hope will we Christians have for spreading the “Word”?
    No man is perfect. But among the republican candidates, Mitt Romney is the clear choice. A combination of:
    Conservative morals, ethics held by all Christians regardless of their religious affiliations
    Proven leadership ability
    Charisma & presidential poise
    The rest of the candidates are all good people but we need more than just that!
    Our country, our way of life, our freedoms are at a turning point. Good conservatives must unite. We need to pick the best candidate to fit the job! This is not just a popularity contest.

  4. Marcus Aurelius says:

    The above statements by Jim and Steve resonate loudly. Such a candidate is Mitt Romney-best man for the job.

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