After exalting James Dobson on his show Family Talk yesterday, today Michele Bachmann credited antifeminist luminaries Phyllis Schlafly and Beverly LaHaye, along with Dobson and his wife Shirley, for motivating her to become a conservative activist. Bachmann has previously called Schlafly, who has endorsed her presidential campaign, her “hero” and “the person that I hope to be someday,” and said that LaHaye is “an extraordinary woman of God.” In fact, Bachmann said that LaHaye’s warnings “on the threats to the family” riled her enough to join LaHaye’s organization Concerned Women for America:
Bachmann: As a young woman I read a lot, I was a big reader my whole life, and I loved reading Phyllis Schlafly, she is just smart as a whip.
Ryan Dobson: Who started off as a homemaker and a mom, and then had a law career.
Bachmann: And who also taught her children how to read at home, she did that, she was self-taught in many ways and she was very interested in national security, as I am, and defense issues, but also very cognizant on financial issues.
And also Bev LaHaye, Marcus and I were brand new newlyweds and I got in our mailbox a cassette tape back in the cassette tape days from Bev LaHaye, talking about where our nation was at. I listened to it, and she was trying to pull the alarm on the threats to the family, like Dr. Dobson was doing, so I joined Concerned Women for America, that was the inception, and started getting materials from her, from Phyllis Schlafly, from Dr. Dobson. Over the course of the years, I’ve poured all of these great women and Dr. and Shirley Dobson into my life, and they’ve really been my teachers.
LaHaye, whose husband Tim is best known for writing the Left Behind series and for his attacks on gays, Roman Catholics and “the Illuminati,” still chairs CWA and has a long history of Religious Right activism. She started CWA because she “knew the feminists’ anti-God, anti-family rhetoric did not represent her beliefs, nor those of the vast majority of women,” and also outlined the “biblical worldview” in politics that Bachmann often talks about: “America is a nation based on biblical principles. Christian values dominate our government. The test of those values is the Bible. Politicians who do not use the Bible to guide their public and private lives do not belong in office.” According to LaHaye, conservative Christians need to enter politics in order to “stand up against the wiles of the devil.”
Not only does LaHaye have harsh words for feminists and people “who do not use the Bible to guide” their political lives, but also doesn’t take kindly to gays and lesbians, writing in a CWA mailer: “[Homosexuals] want their depraved ‘values’ to become our children’s values. Homosexuals expect society to embrace their immoral way of life. Worse yet, they are looking for new recruits!”
With her role models holding such extreme views, it is no wonder Bachmann turned out to be one of the most far-right figures in contemporary politics.