Michele Bachmann

If Dominionism Is A Liberal Conspiracy, Why Does It Have Conservative Critics?

Over the last week Kyle has been rebutting claims by some journalists and Religious Right activists that Dominionism, which contends that fundamentalist Christians must take ‘dominion’ over society and government, is nothing more than a liberal conspiracy. Dominionism has been gaining attention as Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry’s close ties with outspoken propagators of the radical dominionist ideology come to light.

In a post today, Rachel Tabachnik takes on the Washington Post’s Lisa Miller’s much-discussed article dismissing dominionism. Tabachnik notes that Miller’s article quoted Mark DeMoss downplaying the prevalence of dominionism in the Religious Right - without noting that the DeMoss Group has ties to Bill Bright, the founder of the dominionist Seven Mountains ideology, and Gary DeMar, who is a chief proponent of the Christian Reconstructionism, a hardline dominionist ideology.

As Kyle noted last week, Pat Robertson denied knowing anything about Dominionism, even though he delivered a speech where he urged his audience to “get ready to take dominion!” and Matt Barber of Liberty University School of Law called it a “scary Christian monster that lives under liberals’ beds,” despite the fact the Liberty University School of Law sponsored DeMar’s conference last year, called "2010 Sovereignty and Dominion conference — Biblical Blueprints for Victory!" In fact, the Communications Director of Truth In Action Ministries, which until recently was called Coral Ridge Ministries, claimed that “dominionism is a sham charge-one reserved for Christians on the right,” even though prominent dominionist Janet Porter was once the head of a Coral Ridge Ministries affiliate. So if domininionism doesn’t exist and is merely a construct of the left, then why was Porter fired by two conservative Christian radio stations for promoting…“dominionism”?

Last year, Voice of Christian Youth America (VCY America) fired Porter because of what they called the “drift of [Porter’s] program toward ‘dominion theology.’” VCY America says it is dedicated to “featuring solid Bible teaching programs” and features conservative programming like ‘The Phyllis Schlafly Report’ and ‘Freedom’s Call,’ Liberty Counsel’s radio bulletin.

Listen to VCY’s decision on Porter’s firing, which states that “VCY America does not believe in Dominion theology or waging spiritual war for the establishment of an earthly kingdom of power, that is dominion theology and it is being promoted by many who are guided by their own dreams and visions and not necessarily the Word of God”:

VCY America also hosted Sarah Leslie of the Discernment Research Group and the Herescope blog, who has worked to expose dominionism. Leslie is the former head of Iowa Right to Life, hardly a liberal activist, who talked to VCY America about the rise of Seven Mountains Dominionism:

VCY America wasn’t the only Christian radio station to fire Porter for promoting dominionism. Worldview Radio also dropped Porter for promoting “Dominion theology” and working “with the Dominion theory theology people” during her May Day prayer rally.

Surely, Barber can ask Porter herself why she was fired, since she was a featured speaker at Liberty Counsel’s Awakening 2011 and Liberty Counsel sponsored Porter’s How To Take Back America conference. Or ask Dominionism’s many conservative critics.

If you want a taste of what dominionism sounds like, watch Janet Porter preach with Cindy Jacobs about taking control of the mountain of government:

Downplaying The Religious Right's Embrace Of "Sovereignty & Dominion"

As we mentioned the other day, there have been a lot of articles lately from journalists, columnists, and Religious Right activists completely dismissing any talk of "dominionism" among the Religious Right.

Dominionism, they claim, is just some meaningless conspiracy-theory dreamed up by the Left as scare tactic because nobody within the Religious Right movement would ever embrace those ideas or associate with anyone who espoused any sort of Christian Reconstructionist views.

Really?  While searching for something else, I stumbled upon this 2007 article from Americans United about a conference organized by the Christian Reconstructionists at American Vision and co-sponsored by several "mainstream" Religious Right organizations:

The gathering, dubbed “Preparing This Generation to Capture the Future,” was hosted by American Vision, a ministry that has been toiling away since 1978 to “help Christians build a truly Biblical worldview.” In a conference handout, American Vision states that “By God’s grace, we will work together to make America a truly Chris­tian nation for our children’s children.”

Based in Powder Springs, Ga., American Vision also produces reams of material that push Christian Reconstruc­tionism, a form of fundamentalism that argues for a re-writing of American history, dismantling secular democracy and constructing an America governed by “biblical law.” Reconstructionists seek to impose the criminal code of the Old Testament, applying the death penalty for homosexuals, adulterers, fornicators, witches, incorrigible juvenile delinquents and those who spread false religions.

Despite its overtly radical theocratic agenda, American Vision is allied with some of the Religious Right’s most powerful outfits. This year’s conference was cosponsored by the Alliance Defense Fund, a well-funded Religious Right law­yers’ outfit that James Dobson and other religious broadcasters helped create; Michael Farris’s Home School Legal Defense Association; the late TV preacher Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University School of Law; and World Magazine, Marvin Olasky’s influential evangelical Christian periodical.

The event was promoted heavily by the Rev. Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition, and it was held in a facility owned by the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest non-Catholic denomination and a religious body closely aligned with the Bush administration.

American Vision is run by Gary DeMar, who is a self-identified Christian Reconstructionist.  Last year, DeMar's organization hosted another Worldview Super Conference.  Take a guess what it was called?

Sovereignty & Dominion: Biblical Blueprints for Victory!

The Bible tells us in Genesis 1:28 that God created us to multiply, fill the earth, and take dominion of His creation for His Glory. When Jesus came to earth, He gave his disciples the Great Commission and told them to make disciples of all nations, Baptize them, and teach them to obey all that he had commanded (Matthew 28:18-20). These two mandates form the basis for why Christ’s Church exists on this planet. Every square inch of this world belongs to King Jesus. It is our privilege to serve Him by exercising servanthood dominion in every area of life.

This conferece was co-sponsored by Liberty University Law School and among those attending the event were Janet Porter, who served as the co-chair of Mike Huckabee's Faith and Family Values Coalition during his presidential campaign and John Eidsmoe, who spoke at the event. Eidsmoe, as you may recall, was Michele Bachmann's mentor who advocates a variety of far-right views.

So Religious Right groups openly co-sponsor an event organized by Christian Reconstructionists and Michele Bachmann's mentor is a featured speaker at an event organized by these same Christian Reconstructionists which is entitled "Sovereignty & Dominion" ... but to point out the influece of Christian Reconstruction and Dominioism among the Religious Right and some GOP presidential candidates is "just another attempt to discredit opponents rather than answer them"?

Bachmann To Address FL Group Responsible For Gay-Marriage Amendment

John Stemberger is a leading Religious Right activist in Florida.  He was deeply involved in the Rifqa Bary saga and also serves as the President of the Florida Family Policy Council, which was the organization behind the successful 2008 Florida For Marriage effort to pass a constitutional amendment outlawing marriage equality in the state.

On Saturday night, Michele Bachmann will be the keynote speaker at FFPC's 6th Annual Policy Awards Dinner:

We hope you will be able to join us for our Florida Family Policy Council, 6th Annual Policy Awards Dinner on August 27, 2011 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando

In addition to celebrating the amazing and historic pro-life, pro-family victories achieved recently in Florida, and announcing exciting new developments here at your FFPC, you are sure to enjoy hearing from U.S. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, our special Keynote Speaker!

Recently, I had the opportunity to personally experience hearing Congresswoman Bachmann speak in a live forum. I was so impressed, that I wanted you to have the opportunity to hear from her personally as well. (There is nothing like being there in person!)

This year’s theme is “Igniting A Cultural Transformation” and I can’t think of a time in our history when it was needed more!

If Bachmann doesn't want to talk about "fringe" issues like gay marriage on the campaign trail because she doesn't judge people, perhaps she shouldn't be keynoting events for Religious Right groups that dedicated to fighting "fringe" issues like gay marriage.

If Dominionism Doesn't Exist, Someone Forgot To Tell The Dominionists

Thanks to the presidential campaigns of Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann, there has been a lot of attention focused lately on dominion theology and its role within the Religious Right political movement.

This, in turn, has led to a number of pieces asserting that there is no such thing as "dominionism" and claiming that it is nothing more than a conspiracy-theory/scare-tactic dreamed up by the Left.

Our colleague Peter Montgomery addressed this effort to downplay dominionism in an excellent piece he wrote for Religion Dispatches yesterday, but Religious Right activists continue to claim that there is no cause for alarm whatsoever.

Today, John Aman, Director of Communications at Truth in Action Ministries, went a step further, writing a piece for the Christian Post claiming that dominionism doesn't even exist:

I had never even heard the term until 2005 when a Christian Science Monitor reporter asked me about it in connection with our Reclaiming America for Christ conference.

The reason I was so clueless is because, as Joe Carter explains in First Things, it’s a label used exclusively on the left. Berkeley-educated sociologist Sara Diamond, the author of several critiques of Christian civic engagement, including Spiritual Warfare: The Politics of the Christian Right, invented the term in the 1980s.

Dominionism, Carter explains, is a term “never used outside liberal blogs and websites. No reputable scholars use the term for it is a meaningless neologism that Diamond concocted for her dissertation.”

It is, however, a handy way to smear evangelicals like Bachmann and Perry who bring biblically informed moral convictions into public debate.

...

The truth is that dominionism is a sham charge-one reserved for Christians on the right.

Really? Maybe someone ought to tell that to all the dominionists who have suddenly started downplaying their dominionism. 

And I guess someone ought to really tell C. Peter Wagner to change the name of his book:

And perhaps Aman ought to talk to Janet Porter, since she lost her radio program because of her well-documented dominionism

As it happens, Porter was once the National Director for the Center for Reclaiming America, the sister organization to Coral Ridge Ministries ... which just so happens to be the former name of Truth in Action Ministries, where none other than John Aman serves as the Director of Communications.

Why Are The Dominionists Suddenly Downplaying Dominionism?

Last week, we noted that C. Peter Wagner was growing the recent attention and criticism his New Apostolic Reformation movement has been receiving and sent out an email trying to downplay all of their talk of taking dominion.

It now seems like this is becoming a pattern as Os Hillman, a leading Seven Mountains advocate and the man behind Reclaim7Mountains.com, is also seeking to downplay all that dominionism talk:

An important understanding and distinction must be stated at this point. Dominion, or perhaps a better word to use is influence, is a result of our love and obedience to God, not a goal to be achieved. It is the fruit of our obedience. Otherwise we begin to use fleshly strategies to exploit and subjugate others to our way of thinking.

Jesus never sought to have dominion; rather, He encouraged others to love and obey God. It is better that we avoid the word dominion in our culture today due to the connotation that comes with this word of control and manipulation of others. It also reminds people of a flawed movement in the body of Christ called dominion theology that caused great harm to many.

On August 19th during a CNN Situation Room broadcast with Wolf Blitzer, Jack Cafferty attempted to tie Michelle Bachman [sic] and Rick Perry to dominionsim theology. He took their words out of context, yet the very word "dominion" brought out the worst in the secular media for fear that Christians want to rule the world.

Of course, none of this changes the basic facts about dominionism or the agenda, as Hillman's own website still makes clear that the US is insufficiently Christian because "we have not understood our biblical mandate to have dominion on the earth" and they have failed in their responsibility to institute "preparatory dominion, as in the earth being prepared for the return of the King":  

(1) God’s covenant people taking dominion of the earth has been the main theme of every covenant that God has ever made with mankind.The New Covenant for the church is no different with its expectation of dominion by making disciples of all nations.

(2) The Dominion Process is two-fold.First, human beings are blessed by God. Secondly, these blessed human beings are given a mandate to take dominion of the earth for the purpose of blessing it.

(3) The first advent of Christ was for the purpose of creating a blessed seed upon the earth - the church.The second coming of Jesus will take place after this blessed seed has completed the Dominion Process upon the earth by making disciples of all nations.

And, of course, they are focused on taking "the Mountain of Government" since it is "the most important of the mountains because it can establish laws and decrees that affect and control every other mountain." As such, every level of government - from presidents to mayors - must be taken over by "true Apostles" because "we need to fill the entire mountain with children of the Kingdom who know why they are there" in order to establish a "virtual theocracy" and "bring the influence of heaven to bear on whatever political machinery that exists."

And the key to this endeavor is stealth:

The goal is not just to have Christians in high places, but rather to have Christians who are called to be in high places step into that role. And wearing a "Christian” label on our sleeve isn’t the point. We need to learn to be "as wise as serpents and harmless as doves” and realize that stealth authority and influence are much preferred over overt authority and influence. A low profile diffuses resistance from the opposition. Political righteousness isn’t determined by whether someone calls himself a Christian or not anyway. That’s established by whether the political values they are prepared to defend or establish are actually righteous. A Christian who espouses abortion rights or the validity of gay marriages, for example, is worthless as a "Christian” candidate. If candidates don’t understand righteous politics, they aren’t anointed for this mountain. They may have enough Christianity in them to enter heaven, but they don’t have enough Christianity to bring the rule and reign of God down to earth.

This will change as the Elijah Revolution is released upon the nations. Sons and daughters of the King who understand the call to take the seven mountains will rise to the mountaintops ... One of the primary roles of future government leaders will be to instruct in righteousness. The more God’s judgments are poured out on earth, the more explicitly will they be able to give that instruction.

I guess one good way to maintain a low profile and diffuse resistance from the opposition would be to try and downplay all the talk about taking dominion.  Which is exactly what they are now doing.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • VA Gov. Bob McDonnell will be joining Pat Robertson to help him celebrate 50 years of CBN.
  • Anne Graham Lotz is positive that Jesus’ return is imminent.
  • NOM supports Herman Cain's call to impeach President Obama.
  • Joseph Farah loves Michele Bachmann.
  • Yes, Eric Bearse, the AFA seeking to mobilize participants in The Response is just like secretaries of state registering voters ... if the secretaries of state were seeking to "mobilize 5 million unregistered conservative Christians to register and vote according to the Biblical worldview in 2012."
  • Finally, the fight between the Georgetown basketball team and Bayi Military Rocket makes Gary Bauer miss Ronald Reagan: "With each passing day, as Big Government spends more and as we cut our defense budget and grow weaker, China grows stronger. This is a dangerous time for America and the world. I have missed Ronald Reagan every day since he walked out of the Oval Office for the last time. Days like today, I miss him even more."

Right Wing Round-Up

Did Michele Bachmann Destroy Feminism?

When Sarah Palin was chosen as the GOP nominee for vice president, Phyllis Schlafly hailed her as a role model of the non-feminist woman who by her very existence discredited the women’s movement. Feminists “are really spooked by Palin because she’s done everything and she is a success,” Schlafly said, “besides she is pretty and they cannot stand her.”

Now that Palin’s star has significantly subsided and she has become one of the most unpopular politicians in America, Schlafly’s niece Suzanne Venker is crowning Michele Bachmann as the new conservative woman who destroyed feminism. Venker, who co-authored The Flipside of Feminism with Schlafly, told James Dobson that women shouldn’t pursue challenging professions like brain surgery because it might prevent them from having children.

In an article for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch today, Venker lauded Bachmann for showing the bright side of biblical “submission” and proving that the women’s movement has contributed nothing beneficial to society. Venker writes that for “the first time in decades, the liberal feminist establishment is up against something new: outspoken conservative women who undermine the feminist agenda.” But haven’t conservative women, like say, Phyllis Schlafly, been involved in politics for decades?

Venker argues that now Bachmann is being unfairly depicted as “a religious nut and a doormat,” and says a man would never be asked about biblical submission (not so). And even though Bachmann may be one of the easiest GOP candidates for President Obama to defeat, Venker says that she is actually making liberals run scared:

For 40 years, this country has endured a social movement that has been relentless in its goals. Women on the left believe the feminist movement is responsible for liberating women from constricted lives; women on the right see things differently. Feminists are consumed with their place in society; conservative women are not. They are especially uninterested in fighting a gender war. That's why the Submission Question could be asked only of a conservative female candidate. It's women on the right, we're told, who want to keep women in their place. Conservative women are anti-woman.

So what to do when faced with a female candidate who's conservative and popular? Why, portray her as a religious nut and a doormat, of course! Indeed, feminists know most women won't identify with that kind of woman. And they're right: they won't. Women on the left don't appreciate that traditional values, even Biblical values, are not at odds with female empowerment. No matter what you think of Bachmann or Sarah Palin, these women have proved this in spades. No one gets to their position by being oppressed or mousy.

For the first time in decades, the liberal feminist establishment is up against something new: outspoken conservative women who undermine the feminist agenda. Conservative women are supposed to stay home! Conservative women are supposed to lead nice, traditional lives: raise a gaggle of children, be subordinate to their husbands and stay out of the public sphere. Why are they asserting their independent minds?



The implication that Michele Bachmann is a Stepford wife in disguise was a pitiful attempt to bring down a female conservative candidate who has sinned in the worst way possible: She does not carry the feminist torch. And, yet, she still won the Iowa straw poll.

Perhaps feminism really is dead.

Bachmann: The American People Are Concerned About "The Rise Of The Soviet Union"

Michele Bachmann dropped by "Jay Sekulow Live" today to talk about her win last weekend in the Iowa Straw Poll and her presidential campaign in general.  During the discussion, Bachmann asserted that while the American people are very concerned about the state of the economy, they are concerned about other issues as well like abortion, defending marriage ... and the rise of the Soviet Union:

I would say it's a unified message. It really is about jobs and the economy. That doesn't mean people haven't [sic] forgotten about protecting life and marriage and the sanctity of the family. People are very concerned about that as well. But what people recognize is that there's a fear that the United States is in an unstoppable decline. They see the rise of China, the rise of India, the rise of the Soviet Union and our loss militarily going forward. And especially with this very bad debt ceiling bill, what we have done is given a favor to President Obama and the first thing he'll whack is five hundred billion out of the military defense at a time when we're fighting three wars. People recognize that.

Umm ... who exactly are these people that are concerned about the rise of the Soviet Union?  Because last time I checked, it went out of existence two decades ago.

Meet The Religious Right Extremists Behind The Pro-Bachmann Super PAC

A secretive ‘Super PAC’ tied to an Ohio political operative is planning to aid congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign after working to defeat South Carolina congressman John Spratt in the last midterm election. Chris Cillizza writes that “Citizens for a Working America, as the group is known, will be chaired by former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. Ed Brookover, a longtime political consultant and adviser to Bachmann, will be involved as will conservative lawyer and economist Marc Nuttle.”

Ken Blackwell’s ties to the Religious Right are well known, but Nuttle’s activism has flown below the radar.

Blackwell was Ohio’s Secretary of State from 2002-2006 whom after leaving office, unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2006 and chairman of the Republican National Committee in 2009. He is now a senior fellow with the ultraconservative Family Research Council, a senior fellow with the far-right American Civil Rights Union, and a board member the pro-corporate Club for Growth. Columbus-based televangelist Rod Parsley vigorously backed his failed gubernatorial campaign and Religious Right activists endorsed his abortive bid for RNC chair. His staunchly anti-gay views will serve him well in the Bachmann camp, as Blackwell once compared gay people with arsonists and kleptomaniacs and same-sex couples with farm animals.

Nuttle is a Republican adviser and economist with deep ties to an extreme movement within the Religious Right composed of advocates of Seven Mountains Dominionism. Nuttle is in fact Chairman of The Oak Initiative, a far-right organization dedicated to promoting the Seven Mountains ideology. The group claims in its mission statement, “The Oak Institute is being developed to raise up effective leaders for all of the dominant areas of influence in the culture, including: government, business, education, arts and entertainment, family services, media, and the church,” otherwise known as the Seven Mountains of society that Dominionists think should be controlled by fundamentalist Christians.

The Oak Initiative’s president Rick Joyner, the founder of MorningStar Ministries, has claimed that God is planning to destroy California and that God used Hurricane Katrina to punish America for tolerating homosexuality. The Oak Initiative’s board is filled with leading proponents of Seven Mountains Dominionism, including Jerry Boykin, Janet Porter, Lance Wallnau and self-proclaimed prophet Cindy Jacobs. Lou Sheldon, the head of the Traditional Values Coalition who described LGBT activism as “the very face of evil,” is also a board member.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (Blackwell’s boss) and 2000 GOP presidential candidate Alan Keyes addressed the Oak Initiative’s 2011 Summit alongside Nuttle, where Perkins called gays and lesbians “hateful” people who are “pawns” of Satan and Keyes urged Congress to impeach President Obama before he seizes power with the help of foreign countries. At the Summit, Boykin said that Obama is creating his own Brownshirt army to usher in Marxism and Joyner suggested that a secretive cabal crashed the economy to help Obama win the presidential election.

Nuttle spoke to Joyner’s MorningStar Ministries on how to “apply proper biblical principles to the marketplace and the workforce” and that God “has a plan and a solution for this current world crisis we find ourselves in.” Nuttle said that people “don’t have to figure” out all the economic solutions, “all you have to do is be obedient” to God. He also claimed that the United States is the only country with a government subservient to God: “Every other government in the world is some sort of government authority, it’s a dictatorship, or Islam where government is God, or where the dictator is God, or the Constitution is God, over the constituents.” Nuttle argued that “the fight is against the 30% [of politicians] who don’t care” about the decline of the economy, “because then there’s more room for government. Government’s what they want, socialism is the goal.” He ended his speech by saying, “lock your shields with each other against the enemy.” 

Earlier this year he addressed Liberty University’s Awakening 2011, the Religious Right political event hosted by Mat Staver of the LU-affiliate Liberty Counsel. Nuttle also appeared on God Knows with Jacobs, where he shared with the 'Prophet' his plan to solve the nation’s debt troubles.

As heads of the pro-Bachmann Super PAC, Blackwell and Nuttle will surely help Bachmann link her far-right economic views with her deep-seated social conservative activism.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • I don't see how anything Liberty University says here in any way changes the fact that the school is one of the leading recipients of federal aid in the form of student loans.
  • FRC reports that Michele Bachmann has been confirmed as a speaker at the next Values Voter Summit.
  • I almost want to see Michele Bachmann become president just to watch her try and fulfill her promise to get gasoline under $2 a gallon.
  • Finally, the fact that one of Bachmann's staffers was arrested for terrorism in Uganda seems like it might be a big deal.
  • Liberty Counsel says schools ought to be able to block websites for gay organizations because they are just trying to "force school to be purveyors of their immorality."
  • Finally, it seems that members of the band Sugarland were saved from the Indiana State Fair stage collapse tragedy by their prayer circle.

Fischer: Bachmann Can Run For President Because Her Husband Gave Her Permission

You have to wonder why Bryan Fischer is writing posts defending the fact that Michele Bachmann is running for president when he has already stated that God has put men in charge of everything and doesn't want women as leaders. 

But he is so that he can explain that marriage is not a democracy and God intended men always have the last say on everything.  And so if Michele Bachmann is running for president, it is only because her husband has given her permission to do so ... and, by doing so, she is really submitting to her husband's will: 

She demonstrates her reverence for Christ by not challenging her husband’s leadership in their home but by supporting him and working with him to help him succeed in shaping and directing the life of their marriage and family.

How does a husband submit himself to his wife? Husbands are told to “love your wives, as Christ love the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). That is, he submits himself to his wife, not by giving up his headship, but by refusing to use it simply as an excuse to get his own way, or as a cloak for his own selfishness. He submits himself to his wife by making a determination to use the authority God has given him in his home to give his wife and children what they need rather than to get what he wants. He exercises his headship by laying down his life, laying down his self-centered interests, in order to do what is best for his wife.

Marriage is not and can never be a democracy. Somebody has to have the tie-breaking vote when the poll reveals a one-to-one tie. In a Christian marriage, the husband is the tie breaker. The way it is designed to work is that a wife willingly defers to her husband on those rare occasions when they cannot agree on a course of action, and the husband makes the decision that his conscience tells him is best, not for himself, but for her, their marriage, and their home.

If a husband believes before God that the best decision in a given situation is different than the one his wife prefers, he does not order her to follow him, he asks her to. He asks her to defer to him and follow his lead. The decision is then up to her. He’s not forcing her to do anything. He leaves the issue squarely where it belongs, between her and her God.

Now back to the Bachmanns. Ms. Bachmann’s husband Marcus urged her to run for the White House, and enthusiastically and without reserve supports her in her campaign. Bottom line: Horror of horrors to our leftwing friends, Michele Bachmann is in fact submitting to her husband by running for president.

A few weeks back, Fischer mentioned on his radio program that he had actually lost two preaching positions in his career for talking a Biblical stance on the role of women in the church and at home. 

I cannot imagine why. 

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Following a poor showing in Iowa, Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the presidential race.
  • Apparently, the fact that he had back surgery is somehow going to help Rick Perry attack healthcare reform ... or something.
  • Richard Viguerie hasn't liked any GOP candidate for a long time, but he likes Rick Perry.
  • WorldNetDaily, on the other hand, does not like Perry.
  • Barry Hankins, author of "Francis Schaeffer and the Shaping of Evangelical America," does not approve of the portrait of Schaeffer constructed by Ryan Lizza's in his profile of Michele Bachmann.
  • Finally, Gary Bauer says that "the media’s war on faith — their continued attempts to force Christianity into the closet — is very dangerous for our republic."

The Ames Straw Poll Victors: From Robertson To Bachmann

Following Michele Bachmann’s triumph in the Ames Straw Poll, she was immediately crowned the frontrunner in the Iowa Caucus. While winning the Ames Straw Poll does not guarantee a victory at the Iowa Caucus (just ask Mitt Romney), it does show the strength of a candidate’s campaign operation and popular support. But most importantly, victory at Ames does not make a candidate a mainstream political figure. As Tim Murphy writes today in Mother Jones and consistently chronicled on RWW, Bachmann throughout her entire political career has seen herself and acted as an ultraconservative, Religious Right fanatic, and her victory at Ames makes her no more mainstream or less radical.

For example, Pat Robertson won the 1987 Ames Straw Poll, topping both George Bush and Bob Dole, who went on to win the Iowa Caucus. But defeating the Vice President and the Senate Republican Leader did not make Robertson a mainstream politician, in the same way Bachmann is still a right-wing extremist even after her straw poll victory. Their victories in Ames show the endurance and growth of the Religious Right base of the Republican Party.

Need a reminder of how out of the mainstream Robertson is? Just today on The 700 Club, for instance, Robertson explained how he performed an exorcism on a girl and “cast this demon out of her” before she tried to kill her mother:

So if Pat Robertson can win in Ames, is it any surprise that Michele Bachmann could too?

Bachmann Wasn't The First GOP Candidate To Be Asked About "Submission"

During last week's Republican presidential debate, Michele Bachmann was asked by Washington Examiner’s Byron York about her past statement that she ended up studying tax law even though she "hates taxes" and never had a desire for it" but did so because wives "are to be submissive to your husband" and so she "was going to be faithful to what I felt God was calling me to do through my husband."

In her response and since, Bachmann has been trying to claim that being "submissive" merely means that she and her husband "respect each other," which is nonsense, as Sarah Posner explained today in Salon.

And now the Religious Right is rallying around Bachmann, attacking the question as unfair and inappropriate:

Penny Nance, president of the conservative group Concerned Women for America, expressed her dismay at the question in a statement: "Byron York's question to Michele Bachmann about her relationship with her husband was incredibly inappropriate and downright ignorant.”

...

Given that both men and women are called to give of themselves in marriage, Nance lamented that the male presidential candidates were not asked the same or a similar question.

Ummm ... does Nance not remember when Mike Huckabee was asked by Carl Cameron about the 1998 ad he signed stating that a "wife is to submit graciously to the servant leadership of her husband" during a Republican debate in South Carolina in 2008 where Huckabee delivered a more eloquent but equally Bachmann-like response:

CAMERON: Governor Huckabee, to change the subject a little bit and focus a moment on electability.

Back in 1998, you were one of about 100 people who affirmed, in a full-page ad in the "New York Times," the Southern Baptist Convention's declaration that, quote, "A wife us to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband."

Women voters in both parties harshly criticized that. Is that position politically viable in the general election of 2008, sir?

HUCKABEE: You know, it's interesting, everybody says religion is off limits, except we always can ask me the religious questions. So let me try to do my best to answer it.

(APPLAUSE) And since -- if we're really going to have a religious service, I'd really feel more comfortable if I could pass the plates, because our campaign could use the money tonight, Carl.

(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)

We'll just go all the way.

First of all, if anybody knows my wife, I don't think they for one minute think that she's going to just sit by and let me do whatever I want to. That would be an absolute total misunderstanding of Janet Huckabee.

The whole context of that passage -- and, by the way, it really was spoken to believers, to Christian believers. I'm not the least bit ashamed of my faith or the doctrines of it. I don't try to impose that as a governor and I wouldn't impose it as a president.

But I certainly am going to practice it unashamedly, whether I'm a president or whether I'm not a president. But the point...

(APPLAUSE)

... the point, and it comes from a passage of scripture in the New Testament Book of Ephesians is that as wives submit themselves to the husbands, the husbands also submit themselves, and it's not a matter of one being somehow superior over the other. It's both mutually showing their affection and submission as unto the Lord.

So with all due respect, it has nothing to do with presidency. I just wanted to clear up that little doctrinal quirk there so that there's nobody who misunderstands that it's really about doing what a marriage ought to do and that's marriage is not a 50/50 deal, where each partner gives 50 percent.

Biblically, marriage is 100/100 deal. Each partner gives 100 percent of their devotion to the other and that's why marriage is an important institution, because it teaches us how to love.

Staver: Under Obama, The US Is "One Of The World's Immoral Leaders"

On today's episode of "Faith and Freedom Radio," Mat Staver and Matt Barber spent all of their time railing against the fact that the United States had reportedly withheld $350 million in aid to the country of Malawi due to efforts in that country to outlaw homosexuality.

Like the Family Research Council before them, Barber and Staver were outraged that the United States would be using economic extortion to impose its own immorality on a sovereign nation like Malawi which simply seeks to uphold God's laws by imprisoning gays:

Barber: What we need is to return to your moral grounding and moral roots in this nation. Until we do that, the moral and the economic are definitely combined and our nation is going to continue to sink, we're going to continue to lose our status in the world as the world leader. And frankly, when we are holding out nations hostage to a radical, sexually-immoral agenda, I don't know that we necessarily are in a position - at least the government as its stands right now under this administration - are in a position to claim to be the world's moral leaders.

Staver: We're not the world's moral leader under this administration; we're one of the world's immoral leaders ... What the administration is doing is just putting its own immoral views into its funding, trying to get other nations to come around and do the same thing. And they're literally trying to create and extend this immorality globally.

Barber: The Obama administration is saying that sexual perversion is a human right.

Staver: More than sixty countries have laws criminalizing homosexuality and virtually every country in the world has laws that criminalize pedophilia and child incest. Malawi was doing what it was doing in its own best interest and America should not be trying to make that country act in an immoral way.

I think that maybe we should point out that, earlier this year, Michele Bachmann personally tapped Staver to come to Washington to teach her Tea Party on the Constitution.

Imagine If Janet Porter Ran For President

Perhaps one of the most alarming realizations about Michele Bachmann is that even if she hand never a member of Congress and a Republican presidential contender, we would probably still be writing about her here on Right Wing Watch because she is, at heart, a hardcore Religious Right activist.

Tim Murphy of Mother Jones has a new profile of Bachmann which, I feel, perfectly demonstrates that point: 

There was one issue that seemed to consume Bachmann. The slow creep of the gay rights movement was, in her words, an "earthquake issue," with the potential to shake the foundation of society itself: the family. Taking a page from Schaeffer, who vilified the "rampant sexuality" and moral relativism of the Romans, Bachmann saw the gay rights movement as a secular ideology that posed a direct challenge to traditional marriages.

As she'd done before with the Profile of Learning, Bachmann embraced her role as a messenger. When EdWatch, as the Maple River Education Coalition was later known, invited her to deliver a speech at its 2004 convention, she unleashed a masterful presentation, mixing slides with self-deprecating humor, that hammered home the same urgent message that has since become familiar to a national audience: The forces working against you are bigger than you think.

Bachmann ripped into pop culture, telling her audience about a dangerous show she'd discovered called Sex and the City. ("It's received critical acclaim," she said, "so that tells you, 'Don't watch it.'") She warned that The Lion King soundtrack was potentially toxic to small children because it was written by Elton John, a gay man. She urged her audience to pray for Melissa Etheridge, suggesting that the lesbian songwriter's breast cancer diagnosis might be a wake-up call for her to turn away from her sinful lifestyle. To Bachmann, homosexuals had even usurped the English language. "It's part of Satan, I think, to say that this is 'gay,'" she said. "It's anything but gay."

The Bachmanns worked as a tag team. In 2005, they both participated in the Minnesota Pastors' Summit, a conference sponsored by the Minnesota Family Council that was designed to train religious leaders for the culture wars. Michele led a session on a state gay marriage amendment; Marcus, in a rare moment of public activism, moderated a talk called "The Truth of the Homosexual Lifestyle."

Imagine if Sally Kern or Janet Porter were not only running for president but winning the Iowa Straw Poll and being treated like a front-runner and you start to get an idea of just how truly amazing/terrifying this development is.

Tim Pawlenty's Short-Lived Post-Straw Poll Bravado

On Sunday, after a disappointing defeat in Iowa's Ames Straw Poll, Tim Pawlenty withdrew from the presidential race, saying that "the audience, so to speak, wanted something different." What Iowa Republicans want, at least according to the straw poll results, is Michele Bachmann, who many pundits agreed had bested Pawlenty in a harsh exchange at last week's GOP debate. Just hours before he dropped out of the race, Pawlenty's campaign emailed supporters with a claim that he was eager to continue the fight, a fundraising pitch, a new video title "The American Comeback Begins," and a bravado that seems to have lasted about 12 hours:

Hello Friends -

I want to congratulate Congresswoman Bachmann on her victory in today's straw poll. I'm also very proud of the work my campaign has done, and I appreciate their hard work. As I've said all along, we needed to show progress to do well, and we did just that. This is a long process to restore America -- we are just beginning, and I'm eager for the campaign.

I'm encouraged by our progress, and I'm so thankful for the thousands of Iowans who showed their support for my candidacy by voting for me in Ames. Don't miss my remarks at the straw poll earlier today including our latest video
 
We are now moving onto the next phase of our campaign. Over the coming weeks we will be visiting New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida while continuing to grow our already strong ground game in Iowa.
 
Mary and I will never forget your continued support, words of encouragement, and friendship. But we need YOUR help to take the message that resonated in Iowa to the rest of the country. Can I count on you for a special “Victory Contribution” of $25, $50, $100 or even $250, to commemorate our strong showing in Ames?
 
We’ve completed an important first step on the road to the Republican nomination and, ultimately, the White House.  We can’t do it alone, and I need your support to continue the journey.

 
Sincerely,


Tim Pawlenty

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Michele Bachmann Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Saturday 03/16/2013, 11:19am
Rep. Michele Bachmann delivered a typically incoherent speech at CPAC this year which revolved around the theme of caring; specifically, conservatives care and liberals do not. To demonstrate her point, Bachmann claimed that people cared back in the 1950s, which was why Dr. Jonas Salk found a vaccine for polio and then gave it to President Eisenhower who, because he also cared, then gave it to all Americans. Contrast that to today when the nation is facing the costs associated with treating Alzheimer's Disease when "a much smarter strategy would be to develop a cure. That's... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 02/26/2013, 6:35pm
Alex Seitz-Wald @ Salon:  Bachmann: ‘I didn’t get anything wrong.’ Jeremy Hooper: In equality vs. discrimination debate, writing is on the wall; 70+ leading conservatives put it in a brief, too. National Jewish Democratic Council: NJDC Demands Huckabee Stop Invoking the Holocaust. J. Lester Feder @ BuzzFeed: American Christian Legal Group Exports Anti-LGBT Agenda To Brazil. Zack Ford @ Think Progress: NOM Spokesperson: All Gay Men Are Ashamed Of Being ‘Deeply Wrong.’ Chris Rodda: Barton Admits Getting Gun-Toting Students... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Wednesday 02/06/2013, 3:49pm
The Thomas More Law Center, a right-wing legal group whose advisory board includes Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Rep. Allen West, is warning the Supreme Court that a ruling in favor of marriage equality would lead to “ideological totalitarianism” and hand gay rights advocates “a legal weapon with which to beat down ideological opponents.” In an amicus brief filed last week [pdf], Thomas More argues: To enshrine one side of a deeply divisive issue in constitutionally untouchable concrete is to fashion a legal weapon with which to beat down ideological opponents... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 02/01/2013, 6:30pm
This year, Michele Bachmann will be joining the cavalcade of anti-gay bigots who populate the annual "Awakening" conference. Scott Brown will not run for former Senator John Kerry's now open seat in Massachusetts. Glenn Beck and Sen. Ted Cruz want all of you freedom-hating liberals to stay they heck out of Texas. We are thrilled to find ourselves on the NRA's enemies list. Finally, Bryan Fischer says that President Obama's Christian faith is a "total sham": MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 01/31/2013, 1:00pm
For decades, the Right has attempted to discredit Hillary Clinton with attacks ranging from the disturbing (killing people) to the bizarre (killing cats). But after serving four years as Secretary of State, Clinton is leaving office with sky-high approval ratings. Before she steps down on Friday, we decided to look back on some of the most extreme and befuddling accusations she has faced from the far-right during her term as the nation’s top diplomat. 1. Clinton Engineered Benghazi Cover-Up While the official report on the U.S. mission in Benghazi found multiple security and management... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Friday 01/18/2013, 3:47pm
On Monday, People For the American Way delivered a petition with 178,000 signatures to House Speaker John Boehner calling for the removal of Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Bachmann, one of Congress’ leading purveyors of conspiracy theories, earned rebukes from Boehner and others last year when she accused several Muslim-American government employees, include top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, of being secret agents of the Muslim Brotherhood. The petition, to put it mildly, hit a nerve among Bachmann’s allies in the... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 01/17/2013, 6:29pm
Buster Wilson says that most "'Big Gay', homosexual activists, blogosphere [sic] and it’s many blog authors and writers and 'journalists' are really pretty much nothing but mind numbed automatons." Gov. Rick Perry sends a shiver down Bryan Fischer's spine. Gun control is the real war on women! Is Scientology just a massive real estate fraud scheme? Finally, this "Stop The Witch Hunt Against Rep. Bachmann" effort might just be the most amazingly hypocritical thing we have ever seen. MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 01/16/2013, 4:50pm
Frank Gaffney hosted Andrew McCarthy of the National Review yesterday on Secure Freedom Radio where he warned that People For the American Way is “promoting the Islamist agenda in the attack on Michele Bachmann” and should really be called the “People For the Islamist Way.” PFAW recently delivered a petition opposing Bachmann’s reappointment to the House Intelligence Committee due to her long history of making extremist claims including her recent charge that Muslim Brotherhood agents have “penetrated” the U.S. government, a conspiracy that Gaffney... MORE >