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My Take: I could have become Michele Bachmann
Author Alisa Harris, left, and Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann.
August 14th, 2011
01:00 AM ET

My Take: I could have become Michele Bachmann

Editor's Note: Alisa Harris lives in New York City and is the author of the forthcoming Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith From Politics.

By Alisa Harris, Special to CNN

I could have become Michele Bachmann.

Reading a recent Bachmann profile in The New Yorker felt like attending an awkward cocktail party with former best friends whom I now stalk on the internet but haven’t spoken to in years.

The story describes Bachmann’s influences - including figures like Francis Schaeffer and David Noebel, who most Americans have never heard of but who are superstars in conservative Christian circles - and I found them all familiar faces from my childhood as a culture warrior.

Bachmann wins Iowa straw poll

These are people Bachmann admires and people I once admired, too.

Bachmann has protested at abortion clinics. I was attending abortion protests when I was still too young to hold a sign or even walk.

Bachmann began trying to combat the influence of liberals and secular humanists after encountering Francis Schaeffer’s 1970s’-era video series "How Should We Then Live," a plea to reclaim Western institutions from the corruption of secularism.

I watched the series with my parents as a child

Bachmann served on the board of directors for Summit Ministries, which sponsors conferences and institutes aimed at equipping evangelicals with a Christian worldview. I attended Summit Ministries’ Student Worldview Conference as a 15-year-old.

On the first night of the program, I sat rapt through a talk about a Christian dress code that spelled out the width of the shoulder straps I was permitted to wear, which was not a problem for me because I had brought only oversized Republican campaign t-shirts and shorts that were styled for a 35-year-old mom.

They gave us a handy worldview chart that had a vertical column for every area of life - economics, politics, pyschology, law - and a horizontal column that showed how Muslims, humanists, Marxists and New-Agers were wrong on every count.

The program’s leaders said that the Bible calls for limited government, and that God’s law and nature’s law were good foundations for a legal system. The Christian believes the free enterprise system to be more compatible with his worldview than other economic systems, I learned.

One night, the Summit Ministries instructors showed us a film whose central premise was that anal sex spreads awful diseases.

Terrified of all sex, I clenched my fists and closed my eyes and pretended to fall asleep like the boy up the aisle, who nodded off every day.

I developed a trembling crush on the boy I sat next to but squelched the attraction because the Summit speakers told me it was admirable to forgo romance and holding hands until engagement. We played card games instead.

I emerged from Summit finding that my fervor to stop abortion had grown from a disagreeable duty to an outright passion. I bought pro-life t-shirts.

When I came back filled with worldview fervor, I read a book co-authored by David Noebel, the Summit Ministries leader whose writings Bachmann recommended.

It rumbled apocalyptic warnings that humanists, from the NAACP to the Rockefeller Foundation to the National Council of Churches, were conspiring to build a one-world socialist order. I began to secretly find Noebel a little bit kooky.

Still, my family purchased his curriculum and submitted our homeschool speech and debate class to a rigorous worldview training. I took worldview quizzes that graded my ability to reflexively respond to all questions with answers about the Christian worldview of limited government and free enterprise.

I aced the quizzes. I had memorized it all and could spit it back.

Bachmann worked for John Eidsmoe, a man who argued the southern states had a “constitutional right to secede,” and she admired the writing of J. Steven Wilkins, who said that slaves led a “comfortable, though — by modern standards—spare existence.”

Throughout my high school years, I soldiered along with an organization that ran religio-political boot camps populated with ardent Southerners who still possessed Confederate money and auctioned it off - to frenzied bidding - at camp auctions.

The students and staff said the same thing Eidsmoe did. The Civil War wasn’t about racism, they argued, but state’s rights and freedom.

But by the time I heard these arguments, they enraged me. While competing in a home school speech tournament during high school, I wrote a speech that called on public school students to commit acts of civil disobedience by praying in public schools.

In my research I discovered Martin Luther King, Jr., a model of nonviolent resistance and the leader of a movement that seemed to me so just and Christian in the face of laws so clearly evil.

Seeing pictures of Southern police officers using a fire hose to flay the clothes and skin off of teenage civil rights protesters, I became livid at anyone who praised the virtue of the Confederacy or of the Jim Crow South.

Over the years I began to doubt what I’d been taught — that we could find in the Bible the final answers to our questions about the minutiae of 21st century tax policy and the path to economic growth. I saw Christians yell at gay activists, obsess over sex, and enforce ideological purity instead of reducing abortions or helping the poor.

I began to think that our Christian duty was not to make our country’s laws conform to our private morality but to heal the broken-hearted and bind up their wounds.

The political principles I now embrace - human equality, human dignity, and human rights — align less with Schaeffer and more with King, who not only marched for civil rights for African-Americans but also launched the Poor People’s Campaign and fought for the economic rights of all, black and white.

These principles come from a Christian passion for justice but are not, like Bachmann’s worldview, exclusive to Christianity. I have abandoned neither politics nor my Christian faith but the idea of a “worldview” where all spiritual questions have political answers, and all political problems have spiritual solutions.

Newsweek’s latest cover calls Bachmann the “Queen of Rage.” I can testify to the rage her beliefs inspire, a rage that is focused inward - on protecting the sanctity of an iron-clad worldview, battling all the heretics who dare to believe something different, and seeing life from the bunker of a besieged and victimized faith.

I still have some rage, but it’s no longer focused on the secular humanists and tax-collectors. The rage exists on behalf of our wounded world, at the suffering of the poor and the exploitative practices of the rich and powerful. It’s exactly what the Old Testament prophets bellow at me to do.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Alisa Harris.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Michele Bachmann • Opinion • Politics

soundoff (1,502 Responses)
  1. Mark

    Ms. Harris, the "could have been".

    Rep. Bachmann has run the gauntlet of public scrutiny ... in every area of her life.

    Ms. Harris apologizes for her past even though she has never exposed her life and current mores to the fishbowl of public life.

    Ms. Harris is an untested "could have been". Rep. Bachmann holds unapologetically to her conviction and has a public record to prove it.

    I wish Ms. Harris well but, based on her own testimony, the fact is she has little in common with Rep. Bachmann in the areas of life that count.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:37 am |
    • desert voice (troubledgoodangel or Nathanael or Voiceinthedesert)

      Mark, I agree with you in general. I also support Mrs. Bachman, despite not being a politician. But she neds to answe my doubts regarding her true, or not true compassion for the poor! I am not talking about "Democratic" kind of compassion. I am talking about true compassion taught in the Scripture by God! I am talking about zero tolerance for "idle latifundia" and for "hangman's-rope types of debts", on which the capitalists today hang the poor! I am thinking about the money that unlawfully sits idle in the banks, while the rich enjoy themselves in Monaco, and while the poor have no work! This evil, ruthless Capitalism must stop! I want Mrs. Bachman to clarify her position on this! I want to know what will she do, if elected, to force the U.S. corporations like Nike, Google, Caterpillar, McDonald's, to compensate the American people for the jobs they took abroad! The mere talking is cheap. The time is now to speak up!

      August 14, 2011 at 4:49 am |
    • Doris

      desert voice: Perhaps you should do a little more studying of the rich before you babble on. 85% millionaires started their own business and worked exhaustive hours to establish their businesses. Many of the "poor" dropped out of school partied for a few years and then had children they could not afford. You broad brush groups as if they are all the same. There are owners of companies who give 95% of their profits to charity. When you get to that point maybe you ccan get back on your high horse and preach to everyone else. I will follow mother Theresa who did not ask others to give but stepped out herself and picked up the dying off the streets and offered to take any child that was going to be aborted.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:38 am |
    • Bill

      Doris... on judgement day, when you face Jesus, tell him you deserved to be rich because of how hard you worked and how smart you were.... see how that flies. Many poor people are poor because they never had a chance to get beyond poverty because of racism or gender bias or other bias. And many rich inherited wealth and got rubber stamp degrees from ivy league schools because mummy and daddy are big donors.
      No one DESERVES to be rich. God chooses who will be wealthy and he demands generosity and charity from them.

      September 5, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
  2. D. Wilson

    The GOP is just a 4 WHEEL DRIVE JOKE.. SPINNING IT'S WHEELS!!

    August 14, 2011 at 4:35 am |
    • Paulie

      Just what we need more Obama and the status quo (chuckle)....

      August 14, 2011 at 7:55 am |
  3. Mike R

    I only read the first few sentences and here's my reaction: "This isn't a popularity contest or a beauty pagent, so, GET OVER YOURSELF!!"

    August 14, 2011 at 4:33 am |
    • Rex Lutherin

      Amen!

      August 14, 2011 at 4:35 am |
    • JoeB.

      What does that have to do with anything? You might want to finish the article, but what you imply has no connection to what the author's actually saying.

      August 14, 2011 at 4:52 am |
    • Makes Sense...

      Well this is Tea Party logic 101 – "Instead of looking at the whole argument, Take one piece out of context and accept it as fact."

      August 14, 2011 at 7:45 am |
    • Paulie

      I wonder if the Obama administration paid CNN to run this smear story about Michelle Bachmann on page one all weekend?

      August 14, 2011 at 7:56 am |
    • Frogist

      @Mike R: I beg to differ. This is obviously a popularity contest. The most popular candidate wins... Isn't that how it's supposed to work? It's why they are popular that is the very problem. Bachmann is popular because she talks a lot and she is pretty. So I guess it's also a beauty contest. Otherwise how do you explain why the runner up in Iowa,Roan Paul isn't getting ANY airtime.
      Also a pet peeve of mine is people who don't bother to read the whole article then think they are an authority on it. If you don't even have the attention span to read a single article, why should your opinion matter?

      August 16, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • pfeffernusse

      MikeR, read the whole article before commenting. Your comment had nothing to do with what the essay was about. You only end up making yourself look foolish.

      Paulie, how, exactly, is this a smear story? This is a Christian woman who examined what she had been taught all her life (like Michele Bachmann had) and came to the conclusion that the extremism she was taught didn’t fall in line with Christ’s teachings. Or is it just that if every article doesn’t say, “Evangelicals are AWESOME!” you think it’s some kind of conspiracy to make you look bad?

      It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt . - George Eliot

      August 17, 2011 at 11:54 am |
  4. Dennis

    The Moral Majority was the first wake up bell that made me think Republican might be the wrong party for me.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:32 am |
    • Rex Lutherin

      Let me guess... Reagan?

      August 14, 2011 at 4:58 am |
    • elyhim

      No, I teach my kid that there is no god but those that fools create to comfort themselves or create power over others. Baby killing and such just came naturally.

      August 14, 2011 at 8:41 am |
    • John from FL

      Its always about the babies. Yes I too would wish for an alternative, but for the self-righteous birth control is evil to teach, so there you go. But to destroy the rest of the country by dumbing down politics with these right wing idiots is pretty sad.

      August 14, 2011 at 9:10 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Seems like a good place to remind all that 70+% of all abortions in the USA are had by believers. If believers merely actually followed their own tribe's values, the number of abortions would be dramatically reduced without the need for an American Theocracy.

      August 14, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • The Lord

      Religion = hypocrisy. If the baby's muslim or the murderer is in Texas suddenly Jesus takes the day off ? Grow up...he was a MAN. There's no magic, I don't care how many times you pretend to eat his magic flesh. Not only did we come from apes, but apparently we came from the most fearful and clueless apes the earth had !! Church = tax free business...the real goal of churches and the right. Freaking sheep...baaaaaaaa.

      August 14, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
  5. D. Wilson

    It just shows you how SHALLOW the GOP field is in ELECTABLE CANDIDATES! MAN .. there is NO WAY BACHMAN could EVER BE PRESIDENT.. The complete GOP election process is exactly like their CUT CRAP AND BALANCE PLAN... they knew it MEANT NOTHING and WOULD NOT PASS but they WASTED SO MUCH TIME ANYWAYS!!! CUTE LIL REPUBLICAN POPULARITY CONTEST.. NOTHING MORE.. cuz if BACHMAN is what you are bringing.. LET THE FUN BEGIN!! So FAR there isn't ANY REPUBLICAN NEAR THE TICKET that can beat OBAMA.. so the GOP ELECTIONS ARE POINTLESS!

    August 14, 2011 at 4:32 am |
    • Paulie

      I dont know man it doesnt seem like the democrats are running anyone electable for President either if your only choices are Obama, Obama, Obama and Obama. Hitler didnt like people running against him either when he wanted to become fascist dictator for life.

      August 14, 2011 at 7:58 am |
    • elyhim

      Obama a facsist dictator? The guy has been a consensus builder from day one, but ignore the facts just go with your gut and what the voices tell you without thought.

      In fact this article was about just that, a woman growing up taught some very fundamental beliefs that when questioned fell in the light of the very text she had been taught to revere. However, you most likely didn't read the article nor the bible and so just believe what your told to believe.

      Who's the fascist?

      August 14, 2011 at 8:45 am |
    • FightForFreedom

      Obama operates just like a dictator, (1) he brought us into Libya without congressional approval, (2) he passed his health care bill with a simple majority and had to bribe many in his own party to get the votes he needed....

      August 14, 2011 at 9:02 am |
    • Frogist

      I wonder about the state of our country when democracy is in the hands of people as naive and callous as Paulie and FightForFreedom seem to be.

      August 16, 2011 at 10:21 am |
  6. Lawrene

    The Bible does not say to limit Government. Taking Isaiah 33:22 and manipulating to say the bible limits Government is misleading. It is a warning against other nations attacking them, when there are hard times look toward God for he will save them. Late in Isaiah he states that the Lord will punish Israel and give ways for Israel to be saved. When it comes to taxes: Matthew 22:21 ...“Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Pay your taxes and follow God.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:31 am |
    • Rex Lutherin

      Now you're scaring me, stop it!

      August 14, 2011 at 4:34 am |
    • Doris

      The citizens of the United State have the unique aility to vote on our level of taxation. So the scripture you quote is meaningless in this situation. We still have to determine what is a fair amount of tax to charge each person.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:07 am |
    • Doris

      ability*

      August 14, 2011 at 6:08 am |
    • Paulie

      So you would prefer we have a Roman Senate rather than the useless one we have now?

      August 14, 2011 at 8:02 am |
    • Frogist

      I'm not the most versed person, so I'm gonna ask this question: When did people start using the Bible to dictate their political stance on things like the size of govt? It seems like that's the opposite of what the Bible is supposed to be used for. Isn't it for personal revelation on how to behave morally? What does that have to do with the size of govt?

      August 16, 2011 at 10:30 am |
  7. SurRy

    She could have become Michele Bachmann except the writer has a functioning brain.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:30 am |
  8. Vivek Saxena

    You are a brilliant, brilliant writer, and a very, very beautiful woman!

    August 14, 2011 at 4:29 am |
  9. FreedmLvDad

    So let me ask some simple questions: have you met Michele Bachmann? Have you spoken to Michele Bachmann? So, having not met or spoken to her, how then can you project your belief system onto others and tell us what she believes? Or, said from your biased perspective, what exactly did you learn about human equality, human dignity, and human rights when you tell us what someone else is believes without even meeting them? That's no different than telling us what slaves felt during the age of slavery. Perhaps you didn't really understand nearly as much as you thought.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:28 am |
    • Rex Lutherin

      I've never met or personally know Son-of-Bush, now does that mean I should trust him? Same goes for anyone else who uses the words God and President in the same sentence.

      August 14, 2011 at 4:32 am |
    • someGuy

      Bachmann is pretty clear about her stances on these topics. Plus there's the fact that the writer was influenced by the exact same people as Bachmann, that's what this whole piece is about.

      August 14, 2011 at 4:36 am |
    • ComeOn

      The whole point of a political campaign is to tell us, the people, what you believe. If it is impossible to tell what a person believes without meeting them (even though you hear them give speeches, answer questions, go through interviews), then we are all voting completely blind and might as well check the candidate's boxes at random.

      August 14, 2011 at 4:37 am |
    • Rex Lutherin

      Just like in one's workplace or at your local tavern, religion should be left outside of the public office.

      August 14, 2011 at 4:43 am |
    • demetri

      To all those who stated that Ms. Harris assumes to be an expert on Ms. Bachman or that she knows Ms. Bachman, I say read the article again. Those of you who attacke Ms. Harris proves and validates her point regarding her experience with the Christian Ideaoligical right and what steers Ms. Bachmann. I give her credit for he openeness, clarity and her perspective.

      August 14, 2011 at 4:46 am |
    • FreedmLvDad

      We don't need to meet someone to form an opinion – well said. Bashing someone you've never met or spoken to (or their staff, their campaign, how about anyone who's known her after 1990) as a CNN lead story is quite another. Shame on CNN on packaging attacks like this as "news". Try being more fair and balanced.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:05 am |
    • Lucid Citizen

      Very well said. THANK YOU.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:44 am |
    • mb2010a

      Have you ever met Jesus???

      August 14, 2011 at 6:42 am |
    • Henry

      Oh, come on, Bachmann has made her positions quite clear. If we follow your logic, we cannot draw conclusions about anyone, unless we have met them. I am sorry, I should not respond to you because I have not met you so I cannot draw a conclusion what you meant. Rubbish.

      August 14, 2011 at 8:10 am |
  10. miller

    Yeah, I know how she feels. I could have become John Holmes, but I came up about 8 inches short... Life sucks.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:24 am |
    • Rex Lutherin

      Lol! Nice!

      August 14, 2011 at 4:32 am |
  11. susan

    As a Christ-centered progressive, I applaud your article and its sensitivity and intimate sharing.

    You are so right on about the teachings of the prophets and of Christ.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:23 am |
  12. ras in fla

    Looks like CNN gave it a good try. "Lets see, the lead story of the day is that Bachman won a straw pol in Iowa. hmmm How can we turn that into a negative. Ok I have it, Lets trot out a someone who describes Christianity as a cult and can paint Bachman as another nut. Yeah, yeah that's it..."
    Keep trying CNN. Judging by the comments, most people see through this crap and recognize the desperation of the left. I say good for Bachman. I see a successful woman with principles and deep christian beliefs. Our country could do much worse. Obama for example.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:22 am |
    • Rex Lutherin

      I agree. The present state of America's economy is what happens when you hire someone who spent most of their campaign begging for change.

      August 14, 2011 at 4:39 am |
    • Geoffrey

      What a shame, someone doesn't agree with you and has put it in writing. It's.A.Blog. Amazing thing this internet, you should really check it out sometime...

      August 14, 2011 at 4:46 am |
    • Rex Lutherin

      I've heard rumors about these so called "blogs" circulating the Internets.

      August 14, 2011 at 4:49 am |
    • Nicholas

      This story is a wonderful example of how two people can be fed the same information and yet come to two different conclusions. Bachmann continues to spout the hateful, angry message she's been fed. A message that denies the basic dignity of anyone who dares to disagree with it. Ms. Harris has come to a different conclusion. She chooses to embrace the dignity of all humankind, whether or not they share her beliefs. Congrats to Ms. Harris for finding a way to reconcile her faith with her strong basic belief in human dignity.

      August 14, 2011 at 4:50 am |
    • Geoffrey

      Blogs, don't buy into them Rex... Everyday people expressing their thoughts? In writing? So other people can read them, like... comments? God forbid this young lady should have a..... talk show.

      August 14, 2011 at 4:57 am |
    • Rex Lutherin

      @geoffrey: I was using a famous Bush-ism 🙂

      August 14, 2011 at 5:02 am |
    • Geoffrey

      @Rex: Now people will google "Bush-ism".... We are now part of a vast conspiracy of free thinking individuals posting comments to a blog (not a news story mind you, although the blog is about a news story) which makes us.... perish the thought... American! No wonder I cannot sleep at night...

      August 14, 2011 at 5:10 am |
    • Henry

      OK, how about we report nothing about Bachmann or Santorum, or Palin, or Newt or .......?

      Give me a break!

      August 14, 2011 at 8:13 am |
    • elyhim

      Christianity and all religions are cults.

      cult/kəlt/Noun
      1. A system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.
      2. A relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.

      August 14, 2011 at 8:49 am |
  13. Shasta

    With this country economically seizing up, faith based politics will try to take over and blame the trouble on sin or something. Beware. Politicians can manipulate you, because of your faith.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:22 am |
    • buckup

      it worked for Hitler.

      August 14, 2011 at 4:48 am |
    • Rex Lutherin

      Even worse, they can persecute you for your lack of faith in them as your "spiritual" leader.

      August 14, 2011 at 4:55 am |
  14. CdnJim

    The religious right and the tea party are jsut the Americanized version of the Taliban. They desire a system whihc is entrenched in their belief system, much like Sharia law. Neither the Muslim extremist or the Christian extremist can accept facts that don't jibe with their antiquated beliefs. Neither can debate a central issue without referring to their holy book as the final authority, even when the other person in the debate does not believe in the precepts of that book. They both see evil in any view that is not consistent with their own. They are both bent on destroying a free America.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:22 am |
    • Rex Lutherin

      Ultimately, they are bent on not only destroying America as it were, but also anyone who disagrees with them.

      August 14, 2011 at 4:28 am |
  15. Peter

    Religion is the worlds oldest cult and hoax. It was conceived as a way of people retaining power and for humans to try and explain what is around them.. More people have died in the name of religion than you can count.
    And once and for all Religion is man made.. its not God's fault...

    August 14, 2011 at 4:21 am |
    • Rex Lutherin

      Exactly. Faith in a creator and man-made religion are two different things. The former we can prove to ourselves, the latter, unfortunately is drilled into us from a very early age, depending on where on this planet you were born.

      August 14, 2011 at 4:26 am |
    • jimjoe

      No, that would be 'communism' which was helmed by idealists who enforced state atheism. But that’s just going by your incredibly narrow reasoning. To claim that a single thing is to blame for an entirety that you are ignorant to, is as anti intellectual as you can get.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:37 am |
  16. lance

    Alisa Harris- you are intellectually offensive. Seriously, go read on ethics and religion.

    Bachmann ignored- there is a difference between ethics from nihil and ethics from substantia. Atheism can be consistently interpreted as having no reason for ethics, yet a Christianity that is unethical is inconsistent with the gospels.

    Also, this is hardly a quality take on ethics, Bachmann and religion in general (despite how much I dislike her).

    Go read Luther.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:20 am |
    • Head Scatchin

      Try that again, lance. Your post was nothing but several disjointed, incomplete thoughts. The lack of grammar or sentence structure was the final straw to make it incomprehensible. Fail.

      August 14, 2011 at 4:40 am |
  17. David

    While I'm certainly no fan of Michelle Bachmann and I can sympathize with some points the author makes, I don't understand how CNN can fill it home page for news with a link to this opinion piece by an unknown. Packaging opinions as news amounts to propaganda, and I object even to propaganda with which I agree.

    CNN should segregate news from opinion and showcase only opinion from writers with credentials. A nicely written topical piece by an unknown, might appear as a letter to the editor. America has 3 hundred million citizens – not everyone's personal journey counts as news. When Ms. Harris win elective office or runs a national campaign, she'll deserve more space. Or even let her book get published and earn some positive reviews in respected venues. But CNN's pushing her now just screams that somebody called in a favor. So, not respectable journalism.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:19 am |
    • dpb

      WAKE UP AMERICANS!!! This article needs to be in every paper, TV, etc. It is time America wakes up and see how bias the media has become. This person has done NOTHING to deserve to be compared to any presidential candidate on a national news media outlet. If they do a television broadcast, I can hear them at the end saying "scary stuff...now back to you..." I am tired of the mass media (and I mean all of them...not just this one) selling opinions as fact.

      Their licenses to broadcast should be pulled. Their websites shut down.

      News media is suppose to present the facts of a event. Not drum up every nut job they can find to press forward their private agenda.

      August 14, 2011 at 4:42 am |
    • Henry

      Oh, so now you want to dictate which opinion is important to print. That is like saying that we should not cover Bachmann because she is not credible. I personally think that CNN or Fox News or MSNBC should not cover half the stuff that they do because it is not credible. Who am I or who are you to decide whether the author is worth printing. You obviously don't because she does not validate your worldview.

      August 14, 2011 at 9:04 am |
  18. Rex Lutherin

    What is even more scary is when someone as dangerous as Palin says that God told her so, or even worse, speaking FOR God.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:18 am |
  19. namethename

    I was reading for years now accounts of people who died due accident or health problems, saw dead relatives or Jesus and came back. Here is what I figured out after YEARS of following it.
    – 1.Einstein was right- we know less than 1% of knowledge. You can not tell me exactly how all went down 10 billions of years ago with big bang theory etc. Because you were not there, you didn't see it. If you don't believe in God because you never saw him, you can not believe in big bang because you didn't see it either.
    -2. Once again, we don't know much. You , for example don't know for sure if your partner you sleep with every night ever or even last year cheated on you. So how can you be 100% sure of something big as creation of this World if you don't even know something like that. You SEEMED to be in control, but you will be hurt once you find out your partner cheated on you. You will realize, you actually knew nothing what really was going on.
    3. God doesn't hate gays. He actually created us the way we are. He can't hate what he just created. But gays like other people are judged by what they did in this life. It just doesn't matter if you are gay or not. Maybe, that was your assignment to be gay and live between people who hate you and appreciate those who love you, like mom and dad.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:10 am |
    • namethename

      By the way, I am not saying big bang didn't happen. After years of following this thing I came to conclusion that we know almost nothing. That's all. I know, it sounds maybe silly. Some might say- I didn't need years to follow this to come to this conclusion. But that is my conclusion.
      Maybe, big bang somehow coexist with God. I know God exist for sure. I do not know the whole story though.

      August 14, 2011 at 4:16 am |
    • Gracko

      Your first three-word sentence is invalidated by the rest of your diatribe. How do you know Einstein was right? Under your premise that you lay out for the rest, you cannot know that Einstein was right, and so that makes everything else speculative. Welcome to science.

      August 14, 2011 at 4:16 am |
    • Rex Lutherin

      Most people say "prove God exists", but how many of us can prove God doesn't exist?

      August 14, 2011 at 4:20 am |
    • namethename

      Gracko, that is interesting point. I guess I would have to refraze it to "I agree with Einstein"

      August 14, 2011 at 4:21 am |
    • CrownRoyal

      Ya as a Christian who holds the Bible higher than a priest's words, i think the gay bashing is just hypocritical. The sin in question is something called "Lust" and when a straight person criticizes a gay person, he is either ignorant, or assuming he never committed lust. So the whole move the plank out of your eye before you try to take the splinter from your brother's eye really holds true on that.

      August 14, 2011 at 4:24 am |
    • Howard

      If you insist on operating on the level of only what you can "know" from first-hand observation, you're doomed to be among the most ignorant of people. All through our lives we "know things" through the power of logical thinking. Science does the same. No one has ever seen an atom. Nonetheless, we all live in a world of material products and medicinal chemicals derived from assumptions that are based on a logically derived theory of how atoms work. If atomic theory, the basis of modern chemistry, is able to formulate literally hundreds of chemical compounds that can cure ailments and diseases, then it logically follows that atomic theory must be, for the most part, accurate. Yet, still no one has ever seen an atom.

      August 14, 2011 at 4:28 am |
  20. jo an

    Bravo!! Not unlike my story of growing up in the So Baptist Church.....signing pledges to never take a drink. Having HELL preached every Sunday...SCARY...'The minister always closing by saying, "If you walk out of this door without ACCEPTING JESUS and acknowledging you were BORN in SIN and ask FORGIVENESS FOR YOUR SINS, you might die in a car wreck on the way home and burn in HELL FOREVER'!! Very heavy stuff for a 10 year old child. Took much therapy to get me out...sill have scars...I have compassion for Bachman...SHE needs help...not being President.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:09 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.