On Saturday, Republican Representative of Minnesota, Michele Bachmann, won the Iowa straw poll.
Though this poll does not have any “official” status (the first primary is not till February), it does indicate how strong a candidate is seen by the Republican electorate. Bachmann won with 29 percent of the over 17,000 ballots cast; with libertarian Ron Paul of Texas right on her heels with 28 percent.
Though many individuals, on both the right and the left, assert that Bachmann is a “show” candidate, and that serious candidates, such as Rick Perry or Mitt Romney, will most likely be the Republican nominee for President, Bachmann’s first place finish at the Ames straw poll is not something to scoff at, and she is certainly a candidate that warrants close scrutiny.
Though she has attempted to whitewash her previous image of a very conservative Christian with theocratic leanings, it is important that the LGBT community not allow this “whitewashing” to take place, for under a Bachmann administration LGBT people would be thrown under the bus in favor of a “Christian Inquisition” in the U.S.
Though this might seem an extreme statement to make, the ideology of those in the Bachmann camp make such a statement very accurate. For example, at the Bachmann tent in Ames, Iowa earlier today, Rick Green of the right-wing revisionist history group Wallbuilders gave a speech on the dangers of moral relativism, saying, “We’re not just gonna say, ‘oooh everybody’s equal and moral relativism for all!”
Wallbuilders, a Christian publishing and “history” organization headquartered in Texas, is not a fringe organization in conservative christian circles. This organization, which advocates for the submission of political authority to the doctrines of the Bible (or at least their interpretation of the Bible), is praised by organizations and individuals such as Focus on the Family and Glenn Beck. Their website, for example, explicitly states this mission,
WallBuilders’ goal is to exert a direct and positive influence in government, education, and the family by (1) educating the nation concerning the Godly foundation of our country; (2) providing information to federal, state, and local officials as they develop public policies which reflect Biblical values; and (3) encouraging Christians to be involved in the civic arena.
Any research on the organizations founder and main spokesperson, David Barton, also reveals a disturbing pattern of purposeful historical misinformation and error. From slavery to immigration, Barton has put a right-wing Christian spin on history; all in an attempt to show how the Founding Fathers of the United States were all “Christian” men who wanted the United States to be a puritan “City On A Hill”.
Bachmanns alliance with an organization like Wallbuilders is not coincidental; for she has been a staunch advocate for the Religious Right since her tenure in the Minnesota Senate. From anti-marriage equality propaganda to her husbands participation in “gay-to-straight” therapy, she has proven herself an advocate for the complete submission of reason and science to a preconceived religious ideology.
Why does her husband (and her) advocate for “changing” homosexuals? Because their religion tells them too.
Why does she oppose even civil unions for gay and lesbian couples? Because her religious beliefs assert that she cannot validate same-sex couples.
Why does she advocate for a strict constructionist interpretation of the Constitution? Because the Founders — as brilliant Christian men — knew best.
Bachmanns rise into the upper echelons of the Republican Party (and her rise as a serious presidential candidate) should give all moderates, independents, and liberals great pause.
Though she might attempt to style herself as a viable and mainstream candidate, her version of government is anything but moderate. Instead, it screams the elevation of one groups religious beliefs above all else, and that groups beliefs codified into law; and this, my friends, is what is known as a theocracy.