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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. kite005

    Alisa it would be nice to meet you. Not too many people think that much or think at all.

    August 14, 2011 at 6:35 am |
    • jimjoe

      Its obvious that 'not much, or at all' applies to her for writings so logically unsound.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:59 am |
    • 40acres

      Jimjoe, you prove kite's point very well. Would you mind expanding on and explaining those "illogical" things the writer said?

      August 14, 2011 at 7:55 am |
    • jimjoe

      Well it plays very much with guilt by association fallacy. There aren't facts to back up this hit piece of generalizations on all whom disagree with he author's side. Just alleged personal experiences that she alleges represents everyone in the country on the other side as her.l If you thought there was any logic or intellectual discourse pertaining to this blog, then I recommend you rethink how to access information, and learn how to use objectivity, spot rhetoric, and distinguish facts from spite.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • pfeffernusse

      jimjoe, Ms. Harris never said that her personal experience “represents everyone in the country”. Since this is the OPINION section, she was writing an essay based on her experiences, contrasting them to the rigid, dogmatic stance Michele Bachmann takes, based on her conservative religious background. Ms. Harris recognizes in Ms. Bachmann the dogma she was taught all through childhood. This piece is about how Ms. Harris recognized the hypocrisy is such thinking and how she decided to follow Christ’s teachings. Hardly a “hit job”.

      If you want your expressions to not sound like paranoid, knee-jerk reactionary nonsense, I suggest you learn reading comprehension, critical thinking, and the ability to recognize that just because someone doesn’t bolster your worldview does not make their words and attack on you.

      August 17, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  2. 16MPG

    I can see no purpose for this article other than an opportunity for CNN to bash a conservative Republican. Here we have one no-name writer who suggests she escaped the dark side of evangelical Christianity. Yet, what do we know about the writer and how can we assume her life experience relates to Michelle Bachmann's? Why, the writer could simply be a nutcase or, worse, has a political bias she's wanting to exercise. In any event, this article does not deserve being posted. Shame on you, CNN.

    August 14, 2011 at 6:30 am |
    • mark

      Absolutely true.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:33 am |
    • pitterpatrat

      Shame on you for driving a gas hog!

      August 14, 2011 at 6:37 am |
    • kite005

      yes it is the dark side

      August 14, 2011 at 6:37 am |
    • ChaosUS

      Thats 100% correct. This article in the content of "news" is 100% hot trash. I love how all Christians have this rage thing going and i love the comments that ask how this article was an attack on Christians and Bachmann. Really? I hate Bachmann and i am not religious but even I can see what is happening here. Horrible and irresponsible news reporting.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:39 am |
    • Belfrey

      In the article, she spells out how her life and experiences relate to Bachmann's. That's, um, sort of the point of this opinion piece.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:48 am |
    • 40acres

      That's possible MPG, but what if it's all true? I would never take the writer's word for it, though I will believe she has experienced the indoctrinations she describes at the hands of the same people that Bachman admires. I will say that Bachman's own words and actions certainly lend creedence to the article.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:55 am |
    • ChaosUS

      @Belfrey yes it is an opinion but this is a news station no? So if they are serious about news and informing the viewer please show me the articles that portray the other side of the argument. Without that this is just influence and thus no longer considered news.

      August 14, 2011 at 7:04 am |
    • pfeffernusse

      ChaosUS, this is the OPINION section. There is the news section and then there is the opnion section. You’ll find just about every news site and newspaper has an opinion section (ever heard of an editorial?). In an opinion (editor’s page), providing the other side of the story is not required. With a news story, presenting a balanced view of events is important (don’t I don’t think a lot of news stations completely succeed in this). The opinion section is just that—people’s OPINIONS.

      August 17, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  3. Joe C

    Thank you Ms. Harris for giving us some insight into an indoctrination process few of us were aware of. Who knew we had Christian madrasahs here in this country?

    August 14, 2011 at 6:29 am |
  4. pitterpatrat

    It's nice to occasionally find someone who can think for themselves instead of following a blind heard.

    August 14, 2011 at 6:26 am |
    • pitterpatrat

      HERD.....before some freako spell checker makes a comment 🙂

      August 14, 2011 at 6:28 am |
  5. Stymie99

    Why doesn't CNN ever run these kinds of "let's reveal the 'true person'" opinion pieces - that always seem to paint a negative picture - about liberals? Why is it always conservatives that are subjects of this kind of "investigative" (agenda-driven is probably the better term) journalism?

    August 14, 2011 at 6:24 am |
    • Doris

      That is a great question that will never be answered because according to these blind libs only Fox is slanted.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:28 am |
    • Steve T.

      Because "conservative" is just a guise. Conservative means preserving policies that are already in place. What the MODERN "conservatives" believe in is SCREWED UP, HOSTILE, valueless, greedy, and not worthy of any listener.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:28 am |
    • Stymie99

      You're funny Steve T. To be conservative means: 1) you favor smaller government, 2) you believe in personal responsibility, 3) you believe that people are capable enough to make decisions for themselves, 4) you believe in less taxes, 5) you believe in a balanced budget. If you add anything to this list, you are obvious misguided, or simply trying to demonize conservatives. This would be similar to a conservative saying that all liberals are self-hating, America-hating, morally rudderless socialists.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:36 am |
    • kite005

      One can come up with negative things with either side but I'm sticking with the side of change. It hasn't happened yet but thats only because many like it the way it is.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:42 am |
    • El Kababa

      I'm a Liberal and here's my background. I was raised in the Southern Baptist Church in Ft. Worth Texas. I was taught that only 144,000 people would go to Heaven (Revelation) so I knew that almost everyone was going to Hell, including almost everyone I knew. I had nightmares about Jesus condemning my family to Hell. Whenever I had a nightmare, it was usually about Jesus. Members of my church would occasionally get together and beat up Black men who were in our part of Ft. Worth after sunset. Christianity taught only slavery to God, where we spent our days crouching and groveling on our knees, praising God as if He were a shallow human king whose ego needed constant inflation by means of our meaningless praising of His holy name. When, as a young teenager, I prayed for Jesus to come into my heart so I could join the church – nothing happened. Jesus never came into my heart though He came into the heart of every other kid in the church. Jesus rejected me and me only. I had always thought of myself as a good kid. Everyone said I was a good kid. I was apparently evil in some way that I did not understand. If Jesus hated me, then I was apparently unworthy in some mysterious way. I started to hate myself. I was a political Conservative, like my parents. I was a Goldwater supporter in the eighth grade.

      After years of psythotherapy, I came to realize that it was all nonsense, that Jesus and God existed nowhere but between my ears. I began to read philosophy and history, including the archeaology and history of the Middle East from where the three nutty philosophies of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam sprang.

      I began to understand the liberating thoughts of humanist and secular authors which freed me from the tyranny of religion. I read biographies of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, F. Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, and Carter. I read about the history of Liberalism. I realized that human freedom was an idea that was invented by Liberals. I began to think that the "greatest good for the greatest number" was the worthy goal of government. I began to think that while Christians prayed for the poor, the hungry, the sick, the lame, the young, the old, and the pregnant, Liberalism acually helped those people.

      My journey from Christian Conservatism to enlightened LIberalism has been long and difficult.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:44 am |
    • Steve T.

      Look up conservative in the dictionary. Look up "liberal" in the dictionary. Problem solved, and hostility vanquished. It tears down the Fox News paradigm and makes things simple.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:45 am |
    • Steve T.

      El Kababa
      Thank you for sharing this story, very very humbling and informative.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:48 am |
    • pfeffernusse

      Stymie99, you said, “3) you believe that people are capable enough to make decisions for themselves” but you forgot “except for women”. Conservatives don’t want women to make decisions about their own bodies. Apparently, women can’t be trusted to make decisions for themselves. Oh, “and gay people”. Gay people can’t be trusted to marry the person that they love. It’s funny…conservatives are all for government staying out of people’s lives, except when they don’t like someone and want to legislate their behavior.

      “…self-hating, America-hating, morally rudderless socialists.”

      What a loving, Christian thing to say! Gosh, you sure are the poster child for Jesus’ love here on Earth!

      August 17, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • pfeffernusse

      El Kababa, thank you for your sentiment. I had a similar experience. I spent some years searching for God and never found him. I would beg on my knees, tears rolling down my face, and I never felt God. The years I spent looking for God were the most miserable of my life. You could say that God and I get along a lot better now that I don’t believe He exists.

      August 17, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  6. Mike R

    This isn't a popularity contest or a beauty pagent, so, GET OVER YOURSELF

    August 14, 2011 at 6:23 am |
  7. ChaosUS

    So where is the counter argument from someone that could have been a Pelosi, Reed, or Obama but found Christ and chose a different path? I mean as a news station if you want to call this "news" then dont you have to present both arguments and allow for the reader to make an educated decision? This isnt news if only one side is presented it is influence and I could have sworn news stations werent supposed to influence the reader they were supposed to educate the read on both arguments based in facts, not an opinion of one person, and let the reader make the decision. I could care less about Bachmann, religion, republican, or democrat because they are all full of it but what does concern me is the reporting, lies, and influence all of these stations are displaying. How is this news and how can one person be allowed to voice a smear campaign against an entire religion on the front page of a major network? CNN=influenced and paid off

    August 14, 2011 at 6:23 am |
    • 40acres

      Calm down Chaos, this is one article on the CNN website and there really is no requirement to give an opposing view in the same article. If you want the counter arguments, look around for the dozens of articles where CNN has provided Bachman's side of the story, or Palin's, or Perry's or any number of the conservative right's.

      August 14, 2011 at 7:08 am |
  8. rj

    Sorry CNN but all the yellow dog journalism you can muster is not going to save one of the biggest frauds that has ever been elected.

    You made this your lead story???

    You must be finally starting to realize that this President has mostly been absent when it comes to demonstrating leadership and completely present only when it comes to campaigning.

    2008 was my bad...but it won't happen again.

    August 14, 2011 at 6:22 am |
    • Analogguy

      The term is "yellow journalism"; and "yellow dog" is usually connected to Democrats as in – "I'd vote for yellow dog if the Democrats put him up as their candidate". A true Southernism from the days of Reconstruction and a statement against the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln's day.

      As for this being journalism...well, it is opinion. Nobody has presented it as anything else. You have stated your opinion to this editorial opinion as is your right. Please accept that this is one of the values that makes this country free; everybody has the right to an opinion.

      Opinions can be used to make arguments but facts must be used to substantiate those arguments. If you believe in a particular view, do the research to support that view. Please allow others to express their opinion and continue to express your's. By allowing this and participating in the dialogue we usually come to find the truth.

      August 14, 2011 at 7:06 am |
    • 40acres

      Nice post Analogguy.

      August 14, 2011 at 7:10 am |
  9. jimjoe

    Do long posts not get posted?

    August 14, 2011 at 6:21 am |
  10. efren

    Bachmann is simply rather dumb. In her interviews she has clearly run away when facts have been presented showing her hypocrisy, such as denouncing govt. "hand-outs" yet she as an individual and through business ventures has gladly taken from the "nanny state".

    August 14, 2011 at 6:21 am |
  11. mark

    NO WAY. You are far too self absorbed, arrogant, narrow minded, basically a typical nyc liberal who are impressed with their own bowel movements. You could never EVER raise 5 children and 23 foster children, run and be elected to office.............. The tragic part of this article it does not celebrate Bachmann's incredible achievements, but, simply tries to disregard her life choices, the only thing worse than your arrogance is your jealousy.

    August 14, 2011 at 6:16 am |
    • RAMALDI

      Mother Teresa did more than this, without arrogance, ignorance, nor mascara addiction.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:21 am |
    • Steve T.

      Major agreement with RAMALDI. Unfortunately no one like Mother Theresa would ever be elected here because it's ENTIRELY about greed, no matter how someone wants to reword it.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:25 am |
    • 40acres

      Mark, I would say your opening words show you have also been indoctrinated (to hate). Very Christian of you.....don't you think?

      August 14, 2011 at 7:14 am |
  12. Samantha P.

    I searched World's web site and Harris' name is attached to 857 articles: http://www.worldmag.com/search/?q=Alisa+Harris&submit.x=11&submit.y=9

    I guess she thought mentioning that might make us wonder exactly when this amazing transformation away from the religious right took place. She must have had quite a conversion since yesterday.

    August 14, 2011 at 6:13 am |
  13. Steve T.

    Hahaha as a "young Christian?" Everyone starts as a young Christian. It's like saying you have two lungs.

    August 14, 2011 at 6:12 am |
    • mb2010a

      No, they don't...

      August 14, 2011 at 6:14 am |
    • Steve T.

      Having said that I have great respect for the article and author. No one should feel fear from religion or create hostility. It makes absolutely no sense. And if they're angry at atheists then really they're angry at themselves or the doctrines they have been mistaught. Every organization on "the top" will have control freaks or followers and it's the human condition, partly facilitated by religion, but it's just people. Even a country like China which is forcefully atheist has severe disbenefits

      August 14, 2011 at 6:22 am |
  14. mb2010a

    Jesus would NOT vote for Michelle Bachman...

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

      He's not registered to vote in Iowa, nor do we know what political party he supports!!

      August 14, 2011 at 6:16 am |
    • mark

      glad you cleared that up

      August 14, 2011 at 6:17 am |
    • TheWiz71

      If Jesus were about politics, he would be a liberal. How anyone can read the New Testament, especially the Gospels, and come to any other conclusion, escapes me.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:23 am |
    • David Myers

      Neither would Lincoln (vote for Bachmann nor any of the other Republicans running today). Lincoln would be a Democat today as would Jesus if he was into politics.

      August 14, 2011 at 7:52 am |
  15. Stacy

    CNN, your hate for Christians colors your news as Fox's hate for Obama colors theirs.

    August 14, 2011 at 6:02 am |
    • buckup

      the author is christian. if cnn hates christians, why is she on cnn, or allowing posts from people who claim to be christians?

      madam, I think your inability to critically think colors your tolerance.

      do you hate thinking, or perhaps it is christians who do not think like you, that you really hate as heretics.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:14 am |
    • TheWiz71

      Did you even read the column? This isn't about "hating Christians". This is about one person discovering some of the principles of actual Christianity, and turning away from the perversion of it embodied by Bachman and her ilk.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:14 am |
    • Brian

      I don't think this story presents hatred of Christians, more her personal interpretation of what being a christian is.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:22 am |
    • shawnl

      You are an idiot. A blind fool, as radically stupid as the muslims that preach that suicide bombers go to heaven. The woman who wrote this article is christian, and NOTHING she said was anti-christian. She is anti RADICAL. Radicals of any religion are terrible, dangerous people.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:31 am |
  16. Doug504

    I thought this was a good article that mostly focused on Ms. Harris' journey to find her own religious beliefs. You don't have to agree with her views to find the article a well written and compelling story.

    The article didn't bash Michelle Bachmann. It noted common influences and explained how Harris arrived at a different conclusion.

    August 14, 2011 at 5:59 am |
    • mb2010a

      Agree...since there is no "Like" button.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:11 am |
    • mark

      You are sttttupid if you don't think this bashed.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:20 am |
  17. dewittL.

    CNN is running scared now.... SAVE YOUR BOY OBAMA.... HAHA...

    August 14, 2011 at 5:58 am |
    • mb2010a

      Obama 2012. Clinton 2016 & 2020...

      August 14, 2011 at 6:10 am |
    • BG

      America is disarmed according to UN demands. 2013

      CA, NM, AZ and TX are sold to pay China's demand bill. 2021

      August 14, 2011 at 6:20 am |
    • jmsent

      Trust me, Mr. Obama will not need to be saved from Michele Bachmann. We could all, however, be spared her insane rantings. Btw, nice, not so subtle use of the term "boy". Your agenda is quite clear.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:22 am |
  18. RAMALDI

    China’s Mao Tse Tung committed atrocities in the name of social cleansing, his widow Jiang Qing who followed his beliefs was tried and jailed, and committed suicide.
    Throughout history millions have died on the hands of those who profess Christian values, and yet Jesus Christ never killed, nor censured anyone yet millions followed his faith, while others used it to further their ignorance, and intolerance at what they can’t stand, understand, nor tolerate.

    August 14, 2011 at 5:58 am |
    • TheWiz71

      Many, many more have died at the hands of those professing atheism (Stalin, Mao), and neo-paganism (Hitler), than at the hands of Christians. Not saying it makes any kind of killing right. But, must put things into perspective.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:27 am |
    • RAMALDI

      I was encompassing a larger timeline to include Witch Hunts 15 C-17 C, Spanish Inquisition 16 C-18, Christian Crusades 1095-1272, and decimation of the Aztecs, and Mayan religions by the Spanish Conquistador’s to name a few.
      By the way, when numbers did became an issue on the value of human life. Burning 1,000 heretics at the take is not so bad compared to the gas chambers of Hitler?

      August 14, 2011 at 7:08 am |
  19. cincy

    "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."

    If only every Christian could adopt this mentality. We need to learn to separate our religious beliefs from our social responsibilities to treat all equally and respect each others american rights including gays and those of other religions.

    August 14, 2011 at 5:57 am |
    • TheWiz71

      Ummm...if you knew your history, MLK did not separate his religious beliefs from his social responsibilities. In the international context, neither did Tommy Douglas (and if you don't know that name you should), nor did William Wilberforce, nor did Desmond Tutu, neither did Dietrich Bonhoeffer, or Maximiliam Kolbe, or the countless others I could name. People who are real Christians acknowledge their duty to love their neighbor as themselves (out of love for God), and to imitate Christ in his self-giving even for his enemies. No, what Christians need to do is evangelized the heretical perversion that is Southern Baptist Christianity, which has given birth to these harmful ideologues.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:21 am |
    • JRB

      Please explain to me how someone separates their convictions (whether religious, personal, philisophical or otherwise) from their political choices? That's not how human beings work. The truth is that everyone has opinions. EVERYONE. Those on the left, right and middle. Thanks God that we live in a country where EVERYONE can express those opinions withour fear of jail or censorship by the government.

      There is NOTHING wrong with expressing your opinion in the choices you make in politics. In fact, that's a blessing we have as Americans and is a GREAT thing. The key is NOT to tell people to leave their political opinions at the door. That's crazy. The key is to have people make up their own minds on issues and then exercise their right to vote on issues that reflect their opinions. If their opinion jive with your, great. If not, welcome to America.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:32 am |
    • cincy

      @Wiz71, you said it better. "to imitate Christ in his self-giving even for his enemies" That is what I meant. Christ loved his enemies and gave himself for them. The church today just bashes everyone who doesn't agree with them, including each other. I was merely agreeing with the author when she wrote, " 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."

      August 14, 2011 at 6:42 am |
  20. ed

    Just a biased article. they dug up someone to speak ill of Bachman and created a propaganda piece around her. i respect her views and think they are legitimate. But everyone cries foul if a conservative uses Christian theology as a reason for their decisions, but praise a liberal when they do the same. its pure hypocrisy. I am nothing against this woman, and feel she has her views based on her journey and her beliefs, but that doesn;t make her any better than Bachman or anyone else whose experiences and beliefs shape their views. There has not been a time in US history when people have completely agreed on everything, but CCN's job is just to foment hate to get readers!

    August 14, 2011 at 5:57 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.