Preface: This was written four years ago but is still highly relevant. Except for some specific references you could substitute several of the Republican “leaders” trying to appeal to their Evangelical base by telling them what they believe they want to hear.
A friend and former high school classmate responded to an article I posted about Michelle Bachman titled, “Michelle Bachman Blames God For 9-11 And Benghazi”. http://samuel-warde.com/2013/05/michelle-bachmann-blames-god-for-9-11-and-benghazi/ He inquired if I thought it noble that she and her family provided foster care to children in need? He asked if I thought she was a woman of faith. He wondered if I thought a person of faith had to remain silent about their faith because they decided to become public servants. Does it mandate and “establish” a religion for the constituency just because they are faithful witnesses to their beliefs? He noted his thoughts that much criticism of her could be due to out of context statements and misinterpretation of her positions.
Because I was time constrained, I initially gave her credit for assisting children in need and promised to respond fully later which is now. I’ll add that my friend and I both grew up in Minnesota, I was about 10 miles from the District she represents and came from a completely different demographic. I’m not sure where my friend grew up relative to the district but we each would have at least a vague concept regarding the District she covers.
I’ll respond to one of the last questions first. Michelle Bachman does get misrepresented in the media, statements are exaggerated and positions unfairly characterized as is likely true of every politician with a national profile. I think it amusing but unfair to characterize her as crazy with a “glazed look” because she was looking in the wrong camera in her infamous Tea Party Response speech following a State of The Union speech delivered by the President. I try to limit my criticisms to her actual views and things that truly reflect on her character as opposed to those things with no meaning. I have no sympathy for her though because she goes out of her way to mischaracterize others publicly without concern for the truth or the harm she could cause. She has repeatedly called the President “anti-American” with some half-hearted denials between attacks. She’s associated people with the “Muslim Brotherhood” with no evidence and was denounced by her party for doing so. She makes statements on subjects like global warming and carbon dioxide levels that demonstrate either a lack of the mental capacity to hold public office or a willingness to boldly lie to gain a political advantage. She has repeatedly stated that because carbon dioxide occurs in nature, it cannot be harmful. All those that have died from carbon dioxide poisoning (which is rarer and different than carbon monoxide like released in a car exhaust) will be happy to know they must be still alive.
The first question related to her providing foster care for children. She and her husband have 5 children and have provided short-term care ranging from a few months to a couple years for 23 other children, all teenage girls for which she was paid by the State of Minnesota. Her home was legally classified as a treatment home. The Christian Counseling Center she now operates with her husband receives significant payments from the State and Federal government and has received several Federal grants. My willingness to credit her for her altruism is diminished somewhat by the fact it was a business. I know nothing about the profitability or whether or not she made personal contributions to provide care. I also wonder about what she might be teaching those girls given her penchant to at minimum exaggerate on topics and at worst lie and indoctrinate these girls with false beliefs.
I am not in a position to question her faith or that of anyone else. When she began her Presidential campaign she withdrew from the church she belonged to on paper (while not attending for over two years) and joined a new church closer to home. There are those who question some of her influences but I thought little of the attempt to criticize President Obama because of his relationship with others and won’t attack Michelle Bachman in that manner.
My title which includes the phrase, “On a Mission from God” was not chosen randomly but reflects something she often stated that “God then called me to run” for her House seat in 2006 and of the 3 day fast she and her husband had to “confirm it”. Now I’m all for fasting and praying, but submit that it is possible to draw a wrong conclusion about what one believes they are called by God to do. I believe there are tests that can help reveal whether something is truly God’s will. Is it consistent with His word would be among the primary ones and in my opinion many of the positions she takes have no foundation in the bible or any religion I’m aware of and therefore her statements whether she believes them or not do not appear to be faith-based but much more practical in appealing to a rabid base. Rather than refusing to cast the first stone she comes with an arsenal of attacks without factual basis which I will continue to point out whenever they occur.
To my friend, I would say that I actually weed out attacks on her that are without merit and don’t pass them along. There is no need to make up stuff about Michelle Bachman when the truth will suffice. I confess that I consider her representing a portion of my home state a blot on my record and will do what I can to keep the electorate informed of the facts regarding Michelle Bachman. I will celebrate in 2014 when she’s gone.
I don’t want to gloss over his other questions. A constituent is not bound by the faith of their elected official but neither should that official attempt to mandate that their constituents follow their faith. Michelle has what she claims are faith-based views on abortion and same-sex marriage yet she attempts to persecute those who believe or act differently than what her faith tells her. I don’t think it’s for her to judge (lest she be judged) and what her faith dictates she do need not be legislated to cover the rest of us. A politician can honor their faith and serve in government, I think she’s doing a particularly bad job of it and her faith seems to be quite changeable. A person of faith need not be silent, but to profess loudly your faith while advocating faithless policies just seems hypocritical.