Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Michele Bachmann and the End of Days


A while back, it seemed to many of us that Michele Bachmann, surging in the polls and looking more and more like a viable contender for the Republican presidential nomination, was walking back some of her more extreme views, trying to appear less crazy than her (completely justified) reputation and, with extremists in the grassroots on board, trying to appeal more broadly across the party, including to the more moderate establishment, if not quite to independents.

Well, while she did indeed walk back a bit, she also launched full-throttle into the crazy, including by signing that bigoted (and utterly ridiculous) anti-gay, anti-porn pledge and by pushing the generally anti-science agenda of the GOP, particularly so-called "intelligent design."

All of which is nothing new for Bachmann. She has a long record of extremism, particularly with respect to her fundamentalist, theocratic Christianity. And the evidence just keeps piling up. Here's Think Progress:

Slate's Dave Weigel has reported an audio recording of Bachmann praying for the notoriously anti-gay ministry You Can Run But You Can't Hide, run by the radical preacher Bradlee Dean. Bachmann offered the prayer in 2006 (though the recording was uploaded in 2008). In it, Bachmann predicts, "We are in the last days," and says, "The harvest is at hand" — a Biblical allusion to the Rapture when some believe God will take saved Christians from the earth and leave the non-believers to face several years of torment and tribulation before the second coming of Christ.

*****

As Weigel noted, it's not terribly surprising that Bachmann is among those evangelical Christians who believe the end of the world is imminent. But it's still disconcerting that someone campaigning to lead America into the future believes that its days are numbered and millions of its citizens are doomed. Bachmann has toned down her religious rhetoric considerably since hitting the campaign trail.

Also jarring is Bachmann's belief that "nothing is more important than" converting people before the world ends. As she weighs in on critical debates like whether or not to let the U.S. default on its obligations, it's troubling that Bachmann is rooting for the apocalypse.

Disconcerting and troubling indeed. To say the least. Which is yet another reason why, viable contender or not, she shouldn't be let anywhere near the White House.

Ever. (Which may not be a long time, actually, not with the Rapture at hand. Right?)

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