Are Michele Bachmann's Views About 'Christian Submission' Even More Extreme Than She's Letting On?
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Michele Bachmann told a barefaced lie the other day. She was asked in the Republican candidates' debate with the other Republican contenders, “As president, would you be submissive to your husband?"
Bachmann answered: “Marcus and I will be married for 33 years this September 10th. I’m in love with him. I’m so proud of him. And both he and I — what submission means to us, if that’s what your question is, it means respect. I respect my husband. He’s a wonderful, godly man, and a great father. And he respects me as his wife.”
She either lied, has changed her mind, or she says one thing to a national audiance and another to her hard-right evangelical followers.
Here's what she said in answer to the same question in 2006: “The Lord says be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands.”
Back in October 2006, recounting her life journey to an audience at the Living Word Christian Center, Bachmann talked about “receiving Jesus” at 16, studying hard, meeting her future husband at college, and earning a law degree. “My husband said ‘Now you need to go and get a post-doctorate degree in tax law.’ Tax law! I hate taxes—why should I go and do something like that?” she told the audience. “But the Lord says be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands.” Bachmann said she never had taken a tax course, “never had a desire for it,” but “I was going to be faithful to what I felt God was calling me to do through my husband.” Later, when the opportunity to run for Congress arose, “my husband said, ‘You need to do this,’ and I wasn’t so sure.” She became sure two days later, after praying and fasting with her husband.
The real story here is that Bachmann understands just how extreme her part of the evangelical movement is. She also understands that a certain amount of godly lying will be needed to mask that. She understood that the question she was asked the other day was about a biblical teaching that is misogynistic to the core and advocates total submission of a wife to a husband. It is teaching she's signed on to long ago.
The people, churches and groups that shaped Bachmann's thinking are far more anti-woman than most Americans fully comprehend.
There is a background to this.
The issue of wifely submission is at the heart of the entire anti-feminist agenda that shaped Bachmann. I should know. As I describe in my book Sex, Mom and God, the current crop of religious right leaders -- including Michele Bachamnn -- got their ideas and inspiration from my family’s work, books and film series. As the New Yorker correctly noted about my late father and the movies I directed when I was his nepotistic sidekick:
[Bachmann and her husband] experienced a life-altering event: they watched a series of films by the evangelist and theologian Francis Schaeffer called “How Should We Then Live?” Schaeffer, who ran a mission in the Swiss Alps known as L’Abri (“the shelter”), opposed liberal trends in theology. One of the most influential evangelical thinkers of the nineteen-seventies and early eighties, he has been credited with getting a generation of Christians involved in politics. Schaeffer’s film series consists of ten episodes tracing the influence of Christianity on Western art and culture, from ancient Rome to Roe v. Wade… He repeatedly reminds viewers of the “inerrancy” of the Bible and the necessity of a Biblical world view. “There is only one real solution, and that’s right back where the early church was,” Schaeffer tells his audience. “The early church believed that only the Bible was the final authority. What these people really believed and what gave them their whole strength was in the truth of the Bible as the absolute infallible word of God.” …Francis Schaeffer instructed his followers and students at L’Abri that the Bible was not just a book but “the total truth.” He was a major contributor to the school of thought now known as Dominionism, which relies on Genesis 1:26, where man is urged to “have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
Bachmann's Reconstructionist Gurus