Monday, August 08, 2011

Why Michele Bachmann is a Threat

The New Yorker has an excellent piece on Michele Bachmann and the foundation to her beliefs. It is necessary reading for both liberals and conservatives alike. For those of us who have followed Michele's rise from a Tea Party darling to possible Republican Presidential nominee, her litany of bizarre and dangerous beliefs comes as no surprise. What I did learn from the New Yorker piece was the effect "How Should we Then Live?" had on Bachmann's ideology. This documentary series created by right-wing theologian Francis Schaeffer, argues that American civilization began its decline not with FDR and the Great Society programs, but in the Renaissance! The birth of Humanism and the move away from a Biblical-centered life (concepts that have produced the very basis of American government and Capitalism I might add) was at the heart of America's downfall, and the human-centered mindset it fashioned is what needs to be rejected.

Schaeffer's series also produced an influential book in Christian conservative circles under the same name. In 1981 Schaeffer published The Christian Manifesto. In the text, Schaeffer argued that “the humanistic, material-energy, chance world view intolerantly uses every form of force at its disposal to make its world view the exclusive one” (p.113) and sees liberal organizations like the ACLU as acting as “the arm of the humanist consensus” to override majority Christian communities (p.69). Put through this ideological lens, Michele Bachmann’s conspiratorial claims about re-education camps and anti-American congressmen become clearer.

I encourage everyone to watch the series. This trend in American conservatism, that overtly rejects the very foundation of secular and liberal governance, should be feared and combated. It is one thing to believe the US government should spend less money and balance its budget; it is another to adhere to the theocratic and conspiratorial mindset that Bachmann has trumpeted.