A mostly left, feminist perspective of current events.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Obamacare Reading List
























Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Gay Marriage Post

I have trouble understanding why people want to deny gay people the ability to be legally married. What do they think they're accomplishing by denying gay couples this right or privilege? Obviously gay people aren't going away, nor will they just fade away back into the closet. So what is the real issue here?

Firstly, I think there are two definitions of marriage to consider. What does marriage mean in religion, and what does it mean by law?

The Meaning of Christian Marriage (Ephesians 5:21-32) link
21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. 22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; 26 that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband.
The Meaning of Legal Marriage in the US link
In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word “marriage” means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word “spouse” refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.
Beyond this legal definition of marriage, what the status entails from the government is much more than a metaphysical joining of Christ and his Church. Being married in the United States entitles spouses to 1,138 federal benefits, rights and responsibilities. link

Spouses have or are entitled to:
  • visitation rights and can make medical decisions, unless otherwise specified in a living will
  • benefits for federal employees -- many of which are also offered by private employers -- such as sick leave, bereavement leave, days off for the birth of a child, pension and retirement benefits, family health insurance plans
  • some property and inheritance rights, even in the absence of a will
  • the ability to create life insurance trusts
  • tax benefits, such as being able to give tax free gifts to a spouse and to file joint tax returns
  • the ability to receive Medicare, Social Security, disability and veteran's benefits for a spouse
  • discount or family rates for auto, health and homeowners insurance
  • immigration and residency benefits, making it easier to bring a spouse to the U.S. from abroad
  • visiting rights in jail  link
So if you're a gay couple, legally you are not entitled to these rights. In some cases, it may even make a hospital or other organization legally liable to allow you to have these rights. 

Therefore the question of gay marriage becomes one of what is the spirit of the religious doctrine? How does  a religious person decide to deny the civil rights of their fellow and equal citizens of this country by claiming that the Bible has declared gay marriage to be a sin? Are we a religious nation, or are we a nation concerned with the equality of every citizen?

To look at it from a different angle, what are the legal implications of denying gay marriage? What does the Bible say about how Christians should respond to laws they disagree with?

What the laws of the United States say regarding the rights of its citizens:
Amendment I:  Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.... link 

Amendment IX: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. link 

AMENDMENT XIV: Passed by Congress June 13, 1866. Ratified July 9, 1868.Section 1.All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. link

More on how the 14th Amendment has been applied and measured by the Supreme Court: link

So let's look now at what the Bible says about government's role in the lives of its followers.

Romans 13:1-7 link
13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by God’s appointment, and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God. 2 So the person who resists such authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will incur judgment 3 (for rulers cause no fear for good conduct but for bad). Do you desire not to fear authority? Do good and you will receive its commendation, 4 for it is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be in fear, for it does not bear the sword in vain. It is God’s servant to administer retribution on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of the wrath of the authorities but also because of your conscience. 6 For this reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants devoted to governing. 7 Pay everyone what is owed: taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.

I would question whether anyone believes our elected officials are appointed by a divine power anymore. Which if true, raises this question, if this passage of the Bible is no longer applicable to our current state, what other passages are no longer applicable? I will address this more later.

Romans 12:14-21 link
12:14 Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil; consider what is good before all people. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people. 19 Do not avenge yourselves, dear friends, but give place to God’s wrath, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Rather, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing this you will be heaping burning coals on his head. 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. 

Further commentary on Paul's thoughts on the role of government and the Church link:

Paul’s teaching on subordination is no interruption of his theme or emphasis, but rather an extension of it. From verse 1 of chapter 12, Paul has been teaching the importance of subordination. We must subordinate our lives to God, presenting our bodies as living sacrifices to Him. We must subordinate our interests to the interests of others if we are to walk in love. We must also subordinate our lives to those in authority over us as civil servants.

I feel that many conservative Americans today feel a very patriotic sense of rebellion against anything that contradicts their worldview. As a country founded on rebellion, we are taught that if the authority ruling over you is wrong, it is your duty to overthrow them. I would argue that this is not, in essence, a Christian principle.

The opinion of early American Benjamin Rush link
A Christian cannot fail of being a republican . . . for every precept of the Gospel inculcates those degrees of humility, self- denial, and brotherly kindness which are directly opposed to the pride of monarchy. . . . A Christian cannot fail of being useful to the republic, for his religion teaches him that no man "liveth to himself." And lastly a Christian cannot fail of being wholly inoffensive, for his religion teaches him in all things to do to others what he would wish, in like circumstances, they should do to him.
Therefore, it does not make sense that a thoughtful Christian would support enacting a law that takes away a privilege from their fellow human beings which they themselves enjoy. It would go against the very principles of loving your neighbor as yourself.

Finally, I would address the specific parts of the Bible which condemn homosexuality.

The Sin of Sodom--Genesis 19 link
19:4 Before they could lie down to sleep, all the men – both young and old, from every part of the city of Sodom – surrounded the house. 5 They shouted to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!” 6 Lot went outside to them, shutting the door behind him. 7 He said, “No, my brothers! Don’t act so wickedly! 8 Look, I have two daughters who have never had sexual relations with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do to them whatever you please. Only don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.” 
And then God destroyed Sodom.

Several Bible scholars have debated whether the original English translation of "Bring them out to us so we can know them better!" translates to "have sex with them," but you can understand how they reached that conclusion by Lot's next lines. Which, as Lot is a God fearing man, how is THAT ok? Here guys, have at my daughters! Go to town! Just not my menfolk, please! How is the lesson of this passage homosexuality is not ok and punishable by God? The lesson should be people did a lot of stupid things back in the day, and God punished people kind of unequally.

Leviticus 18:22 link
 "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a women; that is detestable."

Leviticus 20:13 link
 "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable."

Commentary on how these passages were meant to be interpretted link:

Some argue that these verses appear in the Holiness code of the Leviticus and only applies to the priests and ritual purity. Therefore, according to this perspective, these are religious prohibitions, not moral prohibitions. Others argue that these prohibitions were merely for the Old Testament theocracy and are not relevant today. They suggest that if Christians wanted to be consistent with the Old Testament law code in Leviticus, they should avoid eating rare steak, wearing mixed fabrics, and having marital intercourse during the menstrual period.
I think that last passage is particularly significant, even if the author of the article was merely presenting them as alternate points of view from his own. Where does a Christian draw a line in the sand about what Biblical scriptures to follow and which ones can be discarded? Check out this letter from a professor to a conservative radio show host (click to embiggen):

So that's the Old Testament. What does the New Testament say?

Romans 1:26-27
1:26 For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged the natural sexual relations for unnatural ones, 27 and likewise the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed in their passions for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.  
1 Corinthians 6:9
6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals...
1 Timothy 1:10
1:10 sexually immoral people, practicing homosexuals, kidnappers, liars, perjurers – in fact, for any who live contrary to sound teaching.

These are pretty clear admonitions against a gay lifestyle, but how should a Christian apply such teachings in their lives? Is it religiously moral to condemn your neighbor and enact laws against him or her that you would not wish enacted upon yourself? Is it right to deny them equal liberties under the rule of man because the rule of God declares something a sin? The Old Testament says a myriad of things should be punishable by death, but the New Testament says to love your neighbor. Which does a religious person choose?

I believe for a religious person, Biblical doctrine is incredibly complex. There are reasons why so many "types" of Christianity and "versions" of the Bible exist today. Being a Christian isn't easy, nor is being a responsible citizen of this country. We have the privileged of being free from slavery and indentured servitude, but what follows from that is a great deal of responsibility that many citizens are not willing to accept and engage in thoughtfully. Thinking about one's faith is not a sin. Simple acceptance of every particular section of a piecemeal religious work which spans several centuries, written in different and obscure languages, is not something to be taken as a given.

As citizens of this country who come from vastly differing backgrounds and religious persuasions, we must be open to discourse. We must think! To do otherwise is to let yourself be governed without a voice.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Good Republicans

I am starting to feel very sorry for old school Republicans. Political parties change over time. Early Democrats and Republicans were fairly reversed in ideology from the groups we have today. In more recent history, Democrats were once the party of both Labor and Farmers. Republicans have slowly claimed farmers for their own, whereas immigrants have shifted to follow the Democrats.

Ideologies aside, I want to see intelligent, well-spoken, and well-versed in history Republicans represented in the media and running for higher elected offices. Just look at the pool of likely Republican candidates for the Presidential election in 2012.
Why are there no smart and thoughtful Republicans like West Wing character Ainsley Hayes?

You think because I don't want to work here it's because I can get a better gig on Geraldo? Gosh, let's see if there could possibly be any other reason why I wouldn't want to work in this White House? This White House that feels that government is better for children than parents are. That looks at forty years of degrading and humiliating free lunches handed out in a spectacularly failed effort to level the playing field and says, 'Let's try forty more.' This White House that says of anyone that points that out to them, that they are cold and mean and racist, and then accuses Republicans of using the politics of fear. This White House that loves the Bill of Rights, all of them - except the second one.

There are at least two Republican contenders for President out there that would make the next election more than just a media circus of sound bites and false promises. If any of these candidates makes it through the Primaries, we'll have a chance for real debate in this country. I'll be voting for President Obama, but that doesn't mean I don't want to see a strong and respectable candidate for the Republican party. I truly do.

He's an ardent supporter of WikiLeaks, for example, telling Russia Today that "Government needs to be transparent! The more transparent that government is, the better off we all are. Basically, everything we see out of WikiLeaks is what we theorized was actually the truth!"

Well what I'm offering up is, and I hope, we'll see how it plays out, but what I'm hoping for is that people would actually, people might say, "Oh Gary Johnson? Well there's no way that that guy gets elected but I sure like him because he talks about the truth and all the different issues. He's the only one that's telling the truth." And that's what I would love to see happen.

On Abortion: "Leave the decision up to the woman."

On Civil Rights: "I support gay unions; government out of marriage business."

On Crime: "Half of crime is drug-related; legalizing drugs cuts crime."

On Gun Control: "Laws regarding guns are ineffective."

On Immigration: "Open the border; flood of Mexicans would become taxpayers."

Johnson ran for governor of New Mexico on a low-tax, law-and-order platform. He won – twice – leaving his state with a $1 billion budget surplus and becoming the highest-ranking elected official in the US to advocate legalizing marijuana.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Johnson proved himself to be one of the more honest – and certainly more unorthodox – politicians in the running.

Because of our convoluted immigration policies we’re educating the best and brightest kids from all over the world and we’re sending them back to their countries of origin. Instead of them staying here to start up businesses that will employ tens of millions of Americans they go home and employ tens of millions of Indians. We’re doing that to ourselves.

We should make it as easy as possible to be able to get a legal work visa – not citizenship, not a green card. Just a work visa, with a background check and a social security card so that applicable taxes would get paid.

And then legalize marijuana. Seventy five percent of the border violence with Mexico would go away – that’s the estimate of the drug cartels’ activities that are engaged in the trade of marijuana. We’ve had 28,000 deaths south of the border over the last four years. If we can’t connect the dots between prohibition and violence, I don’t know if we ever will.

I like to tweak the Republican Party on the notion that it is just Obama’s fault. I would like to repeal President Obama’s healthcare plan – very simply because we can’t afford it. But let’s not forget Republicans here a few short years ago, when they controlled both houses of congress and the presidency, passed a prescription healthcare benefit which couldn’t be afforded then and can’t be afforded now. That was the largest entitlement ever passed. And Republicans did that! That’s not why I signed up to be a Republican.

The man climbed Mount Everest, not via helicopter, but on his own two legs.

Fred Karger fredkarger.com/
"The Republican Party, you know, and the party platform is just despicable. It's 27 pages of trying to drive people away," said Karger, who worked on Republican presidential campaigns for much of his career before dedicating himself to activism for gay rights.

Karger said he's gotten a warm welcome to the presidential field by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and other party officials. But he acknowledged some "bumps in the road," such as Iowa GOP National Committeeman Steve Scheffler's vow to "work overtime to help ensure that your political aspirations are aborted right here in Iowa."

"The parties and the state parties have been very welcoming to me as the first openly gay candidate," he said. "I think that it's important that it be -- that that barrier be broken by a Republican, because this is the Republican Party of old."

“The parties and the state parties have been very welcoming to me as the first openly gay candidate,” he said. “I think that it’s important that it be -- that that barrier be broken by a Republican, because this is the Republican Party of old.”

Karger cited the party’s history, including Abraham Lincoln’s freeing of the slaves, and Theodore Roosevelt’s welcoming of African-Americans into his White House.

"Being a gay Republicans is kind of an oxymoron," he said, "I have been a fighter in my party, I have always been on the more moderate side but I'm also a protigy of Lee Atwater. We need to open up this party and that's one of my reasons for running. The party should not be dominated by one faction or another. It should be open to all."

Karger also added, "I want to be a different kind of Republican. The kind of Republican I grew up with. I consider myself to be Progressive. The last Progressive Republican president was over 100 years ago; Theodore Roosevelt."

Monday, June 27, 2011

Political Cartoon

GIMP stylings by me. I'm particularly proud of the hands though cutting out heads is rather more difficult than in Photoshop.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Required Reading

With apologies to Sarah Vowell, whom I love reading & heartily recommend.

From The Wordy Shipmates

Protestantism's evolution away from hierarchy and authority has enormous consequences for America and the world. On the one hand, the democratization of religion runs parallel to political democratization. The king of England, questioning the pope, inspires English subjects to question the king and his Anglican bishops. Such dissent is backed up by a Bible full of handy Scripture arguing for arguing with one's king. This is the root of self-government in the English-speaking world.

On the other hand, Protestantism's shedding away of authority, as evidenced by my mother's proclamation that I needn't go to church or listen to a preacher to achieve salvation, inspires self-reliance - along with a dangerous disregard for expertise. So the impulse that leads to democracy can also be the downside of democracy - namely, a suspicion of people who know what they are talking about. It's why in US presidential elections the American people will elect a wisecracking good ol' boy who's fun in a malt shop instead of a serious thinker who actually knows some of the pompous, brainy stuff that might actually get fewer people laid off or killed.


In 1790, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson come to Newport, stumping for the Bill of Rights. (Rhode Island is the last state to ratify the Constitution precisely because its citizens hold out for a bill of rights so they can retain the freedom of religion they have enjoyed since the days of Roger Williams.) Moses Sexias, a member of the Touro Synagogue, wrote Washington a letter asking about his administration's policy toward Jews. Washington's response, addressed "to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island," reassures Sexias and his brethren that the American government goes beyond mere tolerance:

The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent national gifts. For happily the Government of the United States... gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Reluctant Anarchist

Eh, that's just a cute title. I'm not even a little anarchist. Humans need government. Is our current system clunky and ineffectual at times? Definitely. Is it better than any alternative out there? Absolutely. Just look at Somalia:

Check out the recent news concerning the pollution and over-fishing of the oceans that's predicted to wipe out all marine life within one generation. How did this happen? Because without regulation, humans will wipe every species off the planet. It's Manifest Destiny run amuck.

And to those who would say that their faith gives them the right to claim all earth's creatures for their use (Genesis 1:26-28), I would say that any divine power that "created" all of the earth and its creatures surely did not intend for us to act like 3 yr old boys, destroying everything in our path just because we can.

My anarchist friends are quick to point out that because any government is inherently corrupt, society is better off governing ourselves. Do they remember history? Remember the frontier? This is what happens when we govern ourselves: we steal; we lie and cheat; we murder; the strong inherit the earth on the backs of the weak. Like any teenager, society needs boundaries with clearly delineated guidelines and consequences. Those consequences though should be a whole other blog post on how the current system of criminal justice is anything but, and I will save that for another time.

My fervent republican or crunchy hippie friends who seek autonomy and a return to a simpler existence of barter and living off the land also need government, though they would deny this tooth and nail. Maybe if we had no history, if we didn't have minorities who have been robbed from and made effectively into slaves or indentured servants for so long, then perhaps no one would just kill you for asserting that this tract of land is "yours." But you won't make people forget, nor should we wish anyone to forget history. Change cannot come from without, it must come from within. I'm recalling the words of Malcolm Reynolds in Serenity: "Sure as I know anything, I know this - they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, ten? They'll swing back to the belief that they can make people... better. And I do not hold to that."

Communism/Socialism also inherently do not work because of human nature. The people at the top always become tyrants and redistribute wealth unfairly. Wealth is also inherently unfair. Some who work for it have it while some don't; some who do not work for it have it and do not share. Society will never "fix" this. Government is the only thing that can.

It is this author's opinion that no single person should ever have an income exceeding $100,000. It's a sign of our incessant waste, price inflation, and greedy corporations who charge so much for food and housing that we think we need to earn so much money. We do not. I would propose that Government limit businesses to only paying their employees a capped salary. Any excess salary would be donated to charities approved by the Government, but not run by them. Businesses profiting now from these salary caps would be made to hire more employees and solve our unemployment crisis, or also donate to charities. Think of all the good we could do for curing diseases, homelessness, hunger, medical care.

It would have to be a clearly open and apparent system. There could be no secrets; no confidential files. But it also wouldn't work. The wealthy would simply move away. And we as a species are too self-serving to see the benefit of a global form of government. America, such as it is, is still our best hope as a species for one day attaining a balance of governors and citizens. Like the quote from Michael Douglas in The American President: "America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say 'You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can't just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest.' Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the 'land of the free.'"

Alas I fear that the future will not look much different that today. Unless some divine power or environmental disaster comes along to wipe us out like the parasites we are to this planet, we will continue to cause species to go extinct, continue to deforest the rainforests, continue to abuse each other & let the sick, hungry, and poor die, because we think we earned the right to live. I have news for you. Winning isn't about who lives the longest. Cockroaches will always have you beat 10:1.

I want to close with a quote from Battlestar Galatica when Cylon Sharon Boomer speaks to Admiral Adama, the man charged with saving humanity from the robots and from themselves: "You said, 'Man never asked itself why it should survive.' Maybe you don't."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A review of Michele Bachmann

I've been seeing a lot of the Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann in the news lately. Without taking too deep a look, I saw yet another "Michelle/Michele" entering the political fray & a lot of comparison to Sarah Palin. But after she was called out to a history debate by a 16 yr old, and she refused to address the challenge or the persons threatening to rape and murder this poor girl, I had to find out more about this Representative of my state. I am embarrassed for my state that its most known Representatives are of this new breed of Republican that misconstrues history and science to fit its holier than thou purposes. I also am angry on behalf of my President, historians, school teachers, and everyday Christians whom she bad mouths or represents falsely with her words everyday.

Let me show you what I've seen...

Bachmann: "Not All Cultures Are Equal" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nP4hYkfwuTY

Selections from "Bachmann's Unrivaled Extremism" from The Daily Beast by Michelle Goldberg

But in Minnesota, even those who don't like her politics say she shouldn't be underestimated. "The fact that she's not a heavy lifter, the fact that she's relatively unconcerned about the substance of legislation, does not mean that she's not crafty, that she's not intelligent and she's not fast," says former Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson, a Republican. Her ideological radicalism should not be mistaken for stupidity.


A key moment in her political evolution, as for many of her generation, a was the film series "How Should We Then Live" by the theologian Francis Schaeffer, who is widely credited for mobilizing evangelicals against abortion, an issue most had previously ignored. A Presbyterian minister, Schaeffer argued that our entire perception of reality depends on our worldview, and that only those with the right one can understand the true nature of things. Christianity, he argued, is "a whole system of truth, and this system is the only system that will stand up to all the questions that are presented to us as we face the reality of existence." Theories or assertions from outside this system—evolution, for example—can be dismissed as the product of mistaken premises.

This accounts for some of the bafflement that occasionally greets Bachmann's statements. "Michele Bachmann says certain things that sound crazy to the general public," says author Frank Schaeffer, Francis Schaeffer's son and former collaborator. "But to anybody raised in the environment of the evangelical right wing, what she says makes perfect sense."


Bachmann often says she has "raised" 23 foster children. That may be a bit of a stretch. According to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Bachmann's license, which she had for 7 1/2 years, allowed her to care for up to three children at a time. According to Kris Harvieux, a former senior social worker in the foster care system in Bachmann's county, some placements were almost certainly short term. "Some of them you have for a week. Some of them you have for three years, some you have for six months," says Harvieux, who also served as a foster parent herself. "She makes it sound like she got them at birth and raised them to adulthood, but that's not true."


In the statehouse, Bachmann made opposition to gay marriage her signature issue. Both she and her husband, by all accounts her most trusted political adviser, believe that homosexuality can be cured. Speaking to a Christian radio station about gay teenagers last year, Marcus Bachmann, who treats gay people in his counseling practice, said, "Barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined, and just because someone feels this or thinks this, doesn't mean that we're supposed to go down that road."


In 2004, Bachmann gave a speech warning that gay marriage would lead to schoolchildren being indoctrinated into homosexuality. She wanted everyone to know, though, that she doesn't hate gay people. "Any of you who have members of your family in the lifestyle, we have a member of our family that is," she said. "This is not funny. It's a very sad life. It's part of Satan, I think, to say that this is gay."

She was clearly talking about her 51-year-old stepsister, Helen LaFave, who had lived with her partner, Nia Wronski, for more than 15 years.


In a Star Tribune story headlined "Bachmann, stepsister hold opposing views," Bachmann claimed that she'd polled her siblings and stepsiblings, and that six of the nine agreed with her. Her stepbrother Mike LaFave was horrified. "The reality was she hadn't taken a family vote count, nor would my family ever do such a thing," he says. "I just find it terrible that when Michele was taken by surprise by a question she wasn't prepared for, the first thing she did was throw not only my sister but her whole family under the bus."

Bachmann, then a state senator, had already been caught hiding in the bushes of a gay rights event and campaigned against gay marriage. But she refused to talk about the issue at a constituent forum, and when said ex-nun and lesbian constituent came into the bathroom to politely take it up with her, she lost it:

Suddenly, after less than a minute, Bachmann let out a shriek. "Help!" she screamed. "Help! I'm being held against my will!"

Arnold, who is just over 5 feet tall, was stunned, and hurried to open the door. Bachmann bolted out and fled, crying, to an SUV outside. Then she called the police, saying, according to the police report, that she was "absolutely terrified and has never been that terrorized before as she had no idea what those two women were going to do to her." The Washington County attorney, however, declined to press charges, writing in a memo, "It seems clear from the statements given by both women that they simply wanted to discuss certain issues further with Ms. Bachmann."
Before Republicans or the media start treating Bachmann like a mainstream candidate, though, it's useful to review this handy list of the craziest things she's ever said. Our pick: The time she singled out the Lion King as an opportunity for gay brainwashing. "A teacher might say, ‘Do you know that the music for this movie was written by a gay man?' The message is: I'm better at what I do, because I'm gay."

  1. BACHMANN WARNED ‘THE LION KING’ WAS GAY PROPAGANDA: At the November 2004 EdWatch National Education Conference, Bachmann said the “normalization” of homosexuality would lead to “desensitization”: “Very effective way to do this with a bunch of second graders, is take a picture of ‘The Lion King’ for instance, and a teacher might say, ‘Do you know that the music for this movie was written by a gay man?’ The message is: I’m better at what I do, because I’m gay.”
  2. BACHMANN CLAIMED ABOLISHING THE MINIMUM WAGE WOULD CREATE JOBS: While testifying in front of the Minnesota Senate in 2005, Bachmann said, “Literally, if we took away the minimum wage — if conceivably it was gone — we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level.” This isn’t remotely true. Even simply reducing the minimum wage would, as Paul Krugman noted, “at best do nothing for employment; more likely it would actually be contractionary.”
  3. BACHMANN CLAIMED THAT SCIENTISTS ARE SUPPORTERS OF INTELLIGENT DESIGN: During a 2006 debate, Bachmann said, “There are hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in intelligent design.” This was, and is, not true.
  4. BACHMANN CLAIMED TERRI SCHIAVO WAS ‘HEALTHY’: Not long after Terri Schiavo died, Bachmann said she would have voted for the Palm Sunday Compromise because Schiavo “was healthy. She had brain damage — there was brain damage, there was no question. But from a health point of view, she was not terminally ill.” An autopsy found that Schiavo had suffered irreversible brain damage and her brain, said the medical examiner, was “profoundly atrophied.”
  5. BACHMANN LIKENED VISITING IRAQ TO VISITING MALL OF AMERICA: In 2007, Bachmann returned from a junket to Iraq and told her colleagues, “[T]here’s a commonality with the Mall of America, in that it’s on that proportion. There’s marble everywhere. The other thing I remarked about was there is water everywhere.” As ThinkProgress documented at the time, the comparison was preposterous.
  6. BACHMANN CLAIMED THAT CARBON DIOXIDE IS ‘HARMLESS’: In 2008, a Stanford scientist revealed “direct links” between increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and “increases in human mortality” — globally, he found that as many as “20,000 air-pollution-related deaths per year per degree Celsius may be due to this greenhouse gas.” The next year, Bachmann, who is not a scientist, said that “carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn’t even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas.”
  7. BACHMANN CALLED FOR A CONGRESSIONAL WITCH HUNT: Pivoting off the news of Barack Obama’s alleged relationship to former Weather Underground member William Ayers, and his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Bachmann accused the candidate of having “anti-American views.” She then suggested that Congressional liberals — including Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid — ought to be subject to “an exposé” by the media because of their views. “I think people would love to see like that,” she told a stunned Chris Matthews.
  8. BACHMANN SUGGESTED GAY SINGER SHOULD REPENT AFTER GETTING CANCER: Bachmann saw Melissa Etheridge’s cancer as a teachable moment: “Unfortunately she is now suffering from breast cancer, so keep her in your prayers,” she said in November 2004. “This may be an opportunity for her now to be open to some spiritual things, now that she is suffering with that physical disease. She is a lesbian.”
  9. BACHMANN BOASTED ABOUT BREAKING THE LAW: In advance of the 2010 national Census, Bachmann told The Washington Times that she would break the law by not completing the forms. “I know for my family, the only question we will be answering is how many people are in our home,” she said. “We won’t be answering any information beyond that, because the Constitution doesn’t require any information beyond that.”
  10. BACHMANN CLAIMED THAT GLENN BECK COULD SOLVE THE DEBT CRISIS: During a February trip to South Carolina, Bachmann told a South Carolina audience, “I think if we give Glenn Beck the numbers, he can solve this [the national debt].”

Bachmann, speaking on the floor Wednesday evening:

"[T]he bill orders that these clinics protect patient privacy and student records. What does that mean? It means that parents will never know what kind of counsel and treatment that their children are receiving. And as a matter of fact, the bill goes on to say what's going to go on — comprehensive primary health services, physicals, treatment of minor acute medical conditions, referrals to follow-up for specialty care — is that abortion? Does that mean that someone's 13-year-old daughter could walk into a sex clinic, have a pregnancy test done, be taken away to the local Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, have their abortion, be back and go home on the school bus that night? Mom and Dad are never the wiser."

"Our Peace Prize-winning president is very busy bowing these days to kings. He is bending down to dictators, and he is brown-nosing the elites that are in Europe, and he's babying the jihadists who are following Sharia-compliant terrorism. He is callow and confused and inconsistent in his response to the Egyptian crisis, and to the uprisings in Iran, and to the terrorist threats. And he's accomplishing something nobody thought even possible: He's making Jimmy Carter look like a Rambo tough-guy."

-- Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), quoted by tpartanburg Herald Journal during a visit to South Carolina.

16-year-old high school student says she is facing online threats after calling into question Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann's knowledge of the Constitution.

What started as a harmless -- if cheeky -- way of pointing out Bachmann's historical mistakes has turned darker for New Jersey high school sophomore Amy Meyers.

"I have found quite a few of your statements regarding the Constitution of the United States, the quality of public school education and general U.S. civics matters to be factually incorrect, inaccurately applied or grossly distorted," Myers wrote.

"As one of a handful of women in Congress, you hold a distinct privilege and responsibility to better represent your gender nationally. The statements you make help to serve an injustice to not only the position of Congresswoman, but women everywhere."

Several media outlets reported on Myers' challenge. As a result, she said, people have threatened violence against her and threatened to publish her address online, the Courier Post reports. Myers' high school has also reportedly received inquiries regarding Myers' letter.

"A lot of them are calling me a whore," Myers said of the online remarks against her. Added her father Wayne Myers: "I personally did not think there would be a reaction like actual stalking and the vitriol that's coming out."

Bachmann's office has said it would not respond to the debate challenge.

"But Bachmann was just as wrong with her happy talk that economic or immigration status never mattered, that "we were all the same." Even white men weren't all the same in early U.S. history: Many colonies and states only allowed property-owners to vote; universal white male suffrage wasn't achieved until 1830. Those happy immigrants? Nativists were attacking Catholics, especially Irish Catholics, throughout much of the 19th century, burning down churches, convents and homes. The Chinese exclusion act lasted from 1882 to 1943. We know the history of Japanese internment. Certainly Indians and native Mexicans who were here first weren't "all the same." The story of America is the struggle to expand more rights to more people, and it's required fighting the forces of reaction like Bachmann since its founding. I love my country, but that's our history."

Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann told Chris Matthews on Hardball that she wishes the "American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out if they are pro-America or anti-America," implying that all liberals are some level of anti-American. In the wake of what turned out to be a flood of donations for her opponent, she'd like to take it all back. Actually, she'd like us to know that she never actually said it in the first place and that down is up and back is forth.

Instead of apologizing, she just blames it all on other people. "Despite the way the blogs and the Democratic Party are spinning it, I never called all liberals anti-American, I never questioned Barack Obama’s patriotism, and I never asked for some House Un-American Activities Committee witch hunt into my colleagues in Congress," said Bachmann. We can go back to the tape, but she called his views and associations un-American, implied strongly that all liberals are anti-American (some more than others) and, indeed, called for an "exposé" into which of her Congressional colleagues held un-American views.

And lastly, this...

"Michele Bachmann Glitterbomed" from Jezebel byErin Gloria Ryan

Republican Presidential hopeful/crazy-eyed nutjob Michele Bachmann is the latest conservative to have her life glitterized on Saturday. Bachmann was speaking at a right wing political event when gay rights activist Rachel E. B. Lang flung two fistfuls of the sparkly stuff at the Congresswoman. Undaunted, Bachmann continued walking through the glitter confetti rain toward the people with whom she was going to greet, like an unstoppable robot hell-bent on rights destruction.