Matt Taibbi warns about Michele Bachmann’s holy war in an article at Rolling Stone. In summarizing her life, he notes that she “found Jesus at age 16.” Unfortunately, like most in the religious right, she feels a need to impose her beliefs upon others. She is exactly the sort of politicians that the founding fathers were trying to protect us from in promoting separation of church and state, but Bachmann undoubtedly believes right wing revisionist history which denies this important part of our heritage. There is something very non-conservative about today’s conservatives who promote radical change and reject the principles which this country was founded upon.
Taibbi pointed out the effect of her religious background:
This background is significant considering Bachmann’s leadership role in the Tea Party, a movement ostensibly founded on ideas of limited government. Bachmann says she believes in a limited state, but she was educated in an extremist Christian tradition that rejects the entire notion of a separate, secular legal authority and views earthly law as an instrument for interpreting biblical values. As a legislator, she not only worked to impose a ban on gay marriage, she also endorsed a report that proposed banning anyone who “espoused or supported Shariah law” from immigrating to the U.S. (Bachmann seems so unduly obsessed with Shariah law that, after listening to her frequent pronouncements on the subject, one begins to wonder if her crazed antipathy isn’t born of professional jealousy.)
In her young life, Bachmann demonstrated the usual degree of Tea Party hypocrisy:
Michele took a job as a tax attorney collecting for the IRS and spent the next four years sucking on the tit of the Internal Revenue Service, which makes her Tea Party-leader hypocrisy quotient about average.
Worse problems in her background surfaced when she became involved with actual issues of separation of church and state:
Anyone wanting to understand how President Bachmann might behave should pay close attention to what happened at New Heights. Because the school took government money, like other charter schools, it had to maintain a separation of church and state, and Bachmann was reportedly careful to keep God out of the initial outlines of the school’s curriculum. But before long, parents began to complain that Bachmann and her cronies were trying to bombard the students with Christian dogma — advocating the inclusion of something called the “12 Biblical Principles” into the curriculum, pushing the teaching of creationism and banning the showing of the Disney movie Aladdin because it promoted witchcraft.
“One member of Michele’s entourage talked about how he had visions, and that God spoke to him directly,” recalled Denise Stephens, a parent who was opposed to the religious curriculum at New Heights. “He told us that as Christians we had to lay our lives down for it. I remember getting in the car with my husband afterward and telling him, ‘This is a cult.'”
Under pressure from parents, Bachmann resigned from New Heights. But the experience left her with a hang-up about the role of the state in public education. She was soon mobilizing against an educational-standards program called Profile of Learning, an early precursor to No Child Left Behind. Under the program, state educators and local businesses teamed up to craft a curriculum that would help young people prepare for the work force — but Bachmann saw through their devious scheme. “She thought it was a socialist plot to turn our children into little worker-automatons,” says Bill Prendergast, a Stillwater resident who wrote for the town’s newspaper and has documented every step of Bachmann’s career.
From there, there was a continued “pattern of God-speaks-directly-to-me fundamentalism mixed with pathological, relentless, conscienceless lying.”