August 12th, 2011
12:10 PM ET

Bachmann faces theological question about submissive wives at debate

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)– Thursday night in the Fox News GOP debate in Ames, Iowa, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, was asked by columnist Byron York whether she would be "submissive to her husband" if she were elected president.

Before the congresswoman had a chance to answer, a chorus of boos rang down from the audience.

"Thank you for that question, Byron," Bachmann responded with a wry smile. "Marcus and I will be married for 33 years this September 10. I'm in love with him. I'm so proud of him. What submission means to us, it means respect. I respect my husband. He's a wonderful godly man and great father.

"He respects me as his wife; that's how we operate our marriage," she continued. "We respect each other; we love each other. I've been so grateful we've been able to build a home together. We have wonderful children and 20 foster children. We've built a business and life together, and I'm very proud of him."

"She answered it the most appropriate way in the context it was being asked. She was being asked a deeply theological question in front of millions of Americans," said Gary Marx, the executive director of the Faith and Freedom Coalition. "That's why there was such a strong and visceral booing over the very premise of the question."

Marx, who was in the balcony at the debate Thursday, said that for Iowa evangelicals, this is a nonissue.

"Most evangelicals know it's not easy to teach in a 30-minute sermon on Sunday. It's impossible to answer in a minute sound bite. Her answer about respect is the only one that can be given," he said.

The question of wives being submissive to their husbands comes from a passage in the New Testament in Paul's letter to the Ephesians. The letter was originally written in Greek, and there are various translations of the Greek word Paul uses.

"Whatever someone thinks Paul means of submission of wives to husbands ... it doesn't leave any room for exploitation," said David Matthewson, an associate professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary. "I would say her response was very consistent with the text."

In the New International Version translation of the Bible, the version most preferred by evangelical Christians and nondenominational churches, a camp Bachmann has said she belongs to, Ephesians 5:22-24 are translated as:

"Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything."

The letter goes on to say in verse 25:

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her."

"The English word 'submit' is as good a translation as any without using a bunch of words. The problem, though, is the word 'submit' in English carries connotations for most readers that may not have been there in the Greek," Mathewson said. "In English, we think of forced submission or exploiting. ... I don't think that's in the Ephesians passage."

In the King James Version, the first mass-produced English translation of the Bible, the word is translated as "submit."

In Eugene Peterson's translation of the Bible, "The Message," which aims to use more common English, he translates submissive as "understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ."

Historically, the fifth chapter of Ephesians has been taken in context of Paul's writings to mean Christian spouses should operate as loving equals, though the word "submissive" has long been a divisive one for Christian women.

"It seems it's been, in the 20th century, to have caused a lot of issues in North American Christianity," Mathewson said.

Former Alaska Gov. Sara Palin, another prominent evangelical politician, weighed in on the issue Friday in Iowa.

Palin told CNN's Don Lemon, "That's her opinion, that, to her, submission to her husband means respecting her husband, and I respect my husband, too."

Lemon asked, "If (husband) Todd said don't run, would you not run?"

"I can't imagine my husband ever telling me what to do politically," Palin responded. "He has never told me what to do when it comes to a political step, and I appreciate that. I respect you for that, Todd; thank you."

Bachmann identifies herself as an evangelical Christian. Her congressional office said recently that she has been attending a nondenominational church as her schedule allows.

She has shown over the years that she is fluent in "Christianese," using words and phrases that ring true to evangelical listeners.

She has long been a darling of evangelical voters, serving as keynote speaker at anti-abortion events in Washington and making the rounds at prayer rallies at the Capitol. It is one of the reasons she is expected to do well in Iowa, where the GOP base is filled with evangelical voters.

Her faith has caused a few bumps in the road in the campaign. Her husband's Christian counseling program came under fire by critics for a controversial therapy. She formally pulled her membership in her former church days before she formally announced that she was seeking the White House.

But Marx points out that fielding a question like this in a debate only helps her. "In Iowa, it reiterates that evangelical identity she has."

And, he noted, the last Republican to win the Iowa caucus in 2008, former Southern Baptist preacher Mike Huckabee, got asked a lot of questions about the finer points of his faith, too.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church and state • Michele Bachmann • Politics

soundoff (1,672 Responses)
  1. sortakinda

    What is this "psychologist" doing explaining the Bible? Stupid discussion.

    August 12, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  2. J.W

    She is a nincompoop.

    August 12, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • sortakinda

      J.W., you must be a clinical psychologist. "Nincompoop" is the precise diagnosis, doctor.

      August 12, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • J.W

      Wow I didnt know that. Maybe I should change careers

      August 12, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  3. Civiloutside

    It seems a fair question to me. When push comes to shove, if her husband disagrees with her policy on some issue and told her to change it, would she do so? If so, would the voters really be electing Marcus Bachmann, who won't be undergoing the same level of public scrutiny as Michelle? If she wouldn't submit to his demand, is she really the kin if believer she claims to be?

    Her answer seems to be a roundabout way of saying "it doesn't matter, because he would never do that." Which is nice and all, but it's not really guaranteed.

    August 12, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • Peace2All


      Absolutely a fair question, especially given that the christian right candidates, as part of their platform, are running on my flavor of evangelicalism is better than yours.


      August 12, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      I don't recall the American public being informed of the political tendencies of Ronald Reagan's Astrologer, either...

      August 12, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • NOo..oON

      @Praise the Lard,
      Obviously the stars were not in the proper positions for such questions.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • urouttolunch

      @PraiseTheLard, I don't remember Resgan making a campaign point out of his belief (or not) in astrology. Leaders take input from wherever. Maybe somebody should have asked him about that. But if Ms. Bachmann wants to claim points for the practice of fundamentalist Christianity, she'd better be prepared to embrace and defend all the things that that implies.

      August 12, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • Margot707

      It seems these self-proclaimed biblical scholars can use the argument about "misunderstanding" the original Greek words when translated into English and the standard English understanding of them when it suits their purposes.

      Bachman clearly said wives should be submissive to their husbands when she explained that her husband instructed her to go to law school, that originally it was not her choice to do so.

      "Maybe Michele Bachmann would phrase things differently now, amid a bid for the Republican presidential nomination, than she did in a church setting during her 2006 House race. But YouTube is forever, so we have Bachmann on video saying those words—saying she submitted to her husband when he told her to get a post-doctoral degree in tax law, and agreed to run for Congress after he pushed her in that direction."

      “The Lord says be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands.” – Michele Bachmann, October 2006.


      August 12, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
    • jon

      Margot – do you know Greek? Do you understand the nuances connected with ancient language that cannot neatly be translated into a modern language like English? On what empirical evidence does your claim rest that biblical scholars bend the language to suit their purposes?

      August 13, 2011 at 12:09 am |
    • Dan

      I think that the whole idea of what submission means is getting missed here. My wife is disabled, but when she worked at Lowes, I didn't call her every time I thought of a better way for her to do her job. She submits to me AT HOME as to the Lord. When she was out of the house at work, well then, my authority didn't apply anymore. By the same token, if I wasn't with her and she wanted to buy something that we hadn't discussed earlier, well then she would call me first before getting the item, especially if it was something that we didn't need. Because our finances are so tight, this was important. So, I would have no problem voting for Michele Bachmann because I'm sure that she submits to her husband at home but in the presidential office, she would not.

      August 13, 2011 at 12:30 am |
    • pfeffernusse

      Jon, religion (and Christianity specifically) has a long history of rewriting and rewording the Bible to suit its purposes. Pope Gregory I said that Mary Magdalene was a prosti-tute when the Bible says nothing of the kind. The Bible talks about a sinful woman and then talks about Mary right after. But this became dogma for the Church for hundreds of years.

      Dan, just because that is how YOUR marriage works does not mean that is how all other Christian marriages work. Many Christians interpret the Bible quite literally.

      August 13, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • 21k

      to Dan: the president lives AND works in the white house. so home and office are the same place. re-state your answer with that in mind.

      August 14, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
  4. Jay

    Submission. In Arabic the word for submission is "Islam," though to God/Allah not to one's husband. These evangelicals have got it all wrong. Again.

    August 12, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • jon

      Evangelicals don't look to the Koran for their ideas of submission, but to the Bible – which by the way is not written in Arabic. Your point is not valid. Ultimately, they do believe in loving God first. The passage in question has to do with the way married couples relate.

      August 13, 2011 at 12:03 am |
  5. GodPot

    So do all Christian women "not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God" and believe what Paul said in 1st Corinthians 11:3 "But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. 4 Any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered disgraces his head. 5 But any woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered disgraces her head, for it is one and the same thing as having a shaved head. 6 For if a woman will not cover her head, she should cut off her hair. But if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, she should cover her head. 7 For a man should not have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God. But the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For man did not come from woman, but woman from man. 9 Neither was man created for the sake of woman, but woman for man. 10 For this reason a woman should have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels."

    Just curious, since it seems that Christian womens lib is accepted now, but Christians still try to hold onto fighting against the abominations they still don't like such as gay rights.

    August 12, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Saima Khan

      WOW...more and more the bible and the Quran seem very similiar. But its ok if all these things were said in the bible...just not the Quran.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      It's funny you mention gay rights, because I was just in a debate with someone I know earlier. The scripture you're citing is regarding "modesty" as a whole. Obviously, clothing changes throughout the ages (last time I wore a toga, I was in college. 🙂 ) and what Paul is speaking about here is that people should be modest in church.

      Not all of us Christians hate gays or don't want them to have equal rights. 🙂 As a Christian, I strongly believe in gay marriage, for instance. All of this to say, not all Christians are fundies.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Saima Khan,
      No, all religions are pretty silly actually.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Thinks2010

      Paul got it wrong on many points and especially when he said woman was created for man. Woman is human 2.0–the new and improved version. lol.

      August 12, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  6. Faith

    The Chritian submission to human authorities is con-ditional.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      If you bear yourself as haughtily as you've been doing , The Lord will treat you like he did the daughters of Zion in Isaiah 3:18 and take away all your jewelery,fine clothes, makeup, and mirrors. He'll make you bald and rotten smelling before killing all of the men you care about.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Martin T

      OKAY!!! This just took a turn to the weird in ways even I couldn't imagine... Wow...

      August 12, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Martin T

      Hey Doc, how many bald, rotten smelling women who have had all the men in their lives killed do you know? Personally, I don't think I know any, well except a couple back in South Carolina, maybe.... Not sure god did that to them or just poor hygiene.. LOL

      August 12, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Saima Khan

      So I'm guessing you don't eat pork and do cover your head (or your bald)?

      August 12, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Peace2All

      Gotta' love me that -Doc Vestibule !


      August 12, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Frogist

      LOL@Doc V! You have the best responses to Faith/Adelina/Zelda/FairGarden hands down.

      August 12, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • Isolate

      Yes, that's what the statement "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's," is all about. The separation of Church and State.

      August 12, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
  7. Jair

    Get rid of the troll question and stick to what's actually important. Did Bachmann answer the question truthfully in the debate? If she did, how does that compare with previous comments she has made? I'm sure most first ladies have had some influence on the decisions of their husbands, but would/should "submission" be too much.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Margot707

      The question was directed to elaborate on her previous statements on the subject and really is a valid one. If she launched her legal and political careers solely because her husband told her to do so, and because she was expected to be a good, submissive wife, what makes anyone think her mindset will have changed if she attained the highest office? Who's to say that what she spouts now as a member of Congress are entirely her own thoughts and not those of her husband? This goes beyond pillow talk between POTUS and First Spouse.

      August 13, 2011 at 12:04 am |
  8. pn

    I think she looks as nuts on the Fox screenshot as on the Newsweek cover.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  9. Faith

    Anti-Christian Americans are crazy. Everything contradictry to the founding. How could they exist? Forming a Soviet Union? Poor American grandparents!

    August 12, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      No offense intended, but is this really helpful in bridging the gap between non-believers and believers? Spouting rhetoric and hostilities does not win your case. I recommend a gentler course instead of just trying to stoke the fires of anger against yourself and Christianity as a whole.

      "Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction." – 2nd Timothy 4:2.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • Peace2All


      Well said, Damian.

      Peace brother...

      August 12, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • urouttolunch

      No, no, no, Faith. I'm not anti-Christian, I'm anti-whacko. It's perfectly possible to be Christian and sane. I have lots of friends and relatives who are living proof, and I love them and respect them (but they are not in a category I have to "submit" to).

      August 12, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  10. MiddleOfTheRoad

    Do you want religion (Christianity, of course) in your government?? Just bring the Catholic and Protestant leaders together, and let them run the U.S. Or elect Perry or Bachmann, and have them surround themselves with every born again Christian they can find. You get what you vote for.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  11. Faith

    The literacy was manually made mandatory for all only in Christendom because the Bible scholars wanted every human to be able to read the Bible and think on one's own. In the pagan world, there was no such concept. Christian missionaries brought literacy into all the world.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      Literacy was NOT mandatory in Christian Churches in order to promote free will, it was used to instruct people in the beliefs of their sect/Church. The effect of this attempted indoctrination was to raise the literacy rate. There was no free will in the Puritan colonies of New Englend: on the contracry, there were regular trials and expulsion of dissenters BECAUSE they were literate. The Pagan world, what little we know of it, had varying literacy rates, but we do know that in the so-called Pagan world of Rome, emperors and slaves alike could be viewed as philosophers and scholars. Your comment is a statement on the arrogance of true believers, and it is not a positive statement. The fairness and justice you refer to in one of your other posts has more to do with an intellectual tradition that predates Christianity. Your comments comparing Muslim and Christian traditions of submission have no proof or explanation, as is your comments on secular America. Jamestown was set up as a commercial enterprise, not a religious community, and the states began to abandon state-supported religion by the beginning ogf the 18th century because it inhibited immigration and business. The principles you talk about, if they ever existed, were set aside in favor of cold, hard economics: Capitalism killed it until it became a useful tool to promote assimilation. Read David Hacvkett Fisher's books on the subject of Liberty and Freedom to see how much Christianity really plays a role in the development of those concepts, and the growth of our nation. He is no liberal, so don't think this is leftist propaganda I'm giving you.

      BTW, my parents are from Britain, and Liberty and freedom comes from the Romans and the Celts and Norse: Again, read Liberty and Freedom by David Hackett Fisher

      August 12, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Martin T

      Faith, again you do not realize that the Catholic Church forbade the masses from being able to read, even Martin Luther once said that "the greatest threat to Christianity is education."

      August 12, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Isolate

      That's way off base. Hebrew boys of old were required to be able to read scripture as a condition of bar mitzvah, as they still are today. When the Catholic Church rose to dominance it ushered in the Dark Ages, where learning was limited to the religious aristocracy. The first person to translate the Bible into English, William Tyndale, was burned at the stake. That's part of what the Reformation was all about: Luther thought that, if the Bible was the revealed word of God, then anyone should be able to access it freely instead of having to ask a priest for the Church's interpretation.

      When I was in Catholic schools in the 1940s and '50s we were prohibited from reading the Bible, and if we dared to do it we were restricted to the Douay-Confraternity version, which was heavily biased to the Roman Catholic view. I read the King James version for the first time in the public library, and was astounded at how little of what the Church taught was actually in the Bible. And Catholic missionaries did not spread knowledge, they spread terror. Look at what they did to South America when they arrived in the early 16th century.

      August 12, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • Margot707

      Maybe you really can read words and even spell most of them correctly, but you show absolutely no comprehension of their meaning.

      August 13, 2011 at 12:10 am |
  12. Tina, NC

    Anyone who has ever heard an ounce of what many evangelicals believe know that some take that passage in the bible literally and I believe it was a fair question to ask Bachmann. She was talking about her career and how she really didn't want to be a tax attorney but "submitted" to her husband who wanted her to. Evangelicals have been using that passage as well as the one in Timothy where it says women should not have authority over men to keep women from being pastors in their churches for many, many years. Some evangelicals still don't allow women to be ministers and often sight those passages as the reason why.

    Bachmann, like many Christians who want to force YOU to take the bible literally, is whitewashing what she said and what the bible literally says.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  13. Saima Khan

    I'm confused...so its ok for Michelle bachman to be submissive to her husband as an Evangelican Christian, but its absolutely horrendous for Muslim women to be submissive? Can someone please spell hypocracy?!?

    August 12, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Faith

      Muslims' is blind submission, Christians' is intellectual principles. There is no justice or fairness outside of the Judeo-Christian values.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • BRC

      Noone is actually saying that she should be submissive, the question is meant to highlight the fact that she alligns herself with a particularly conservative sect of christianity that does highlight the concept of the completely male dominated family dynamic. It's something that many are now uncomfortable with or outright against. It was of even greater concern since she is running for the office of President of the US, and if elected she should not be "submissive" to her husband or any other men for that matter. The purpose of the question was to show that staunch conservative beliefs could cause conflict in that office, especially for a woman, while she answered it as well as she could, as long as she identifies herself as deeply involved with that group, her answer doesn't matter, the question is enough.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • schuyler

      You cannot be serious Faith. I am sure there are plenty of Muslim women who intellectualize their submission as their are many Christian women who submit because they are blindly following a book written for Greeks 2000 years ago.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Faith

      Educated Muslim women never do enough to bring human rights to their home countries. A big problem. Non-Christians can never be good enough. They always miss out important things.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Faith

      Most Greeks are Christian. Unlike today's Westerners, Europeans admitted the supremacy of Christianity from the early on.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • alsmeer1

      BRC...you wrote....' completely male dominated family dynamic'.... but apparently you don't understand how a Christian family works.... example.... my husband is 'head of my home' and of me. I am submissive to him in that way. we are equal partners in everything... when there is a decision we both discuss each side but his is final word. if he is wrong, it is up to God to correct him. in whatever sense of the word you are saying... dominated is not part of a true relationship in the Lord.
      @Saima.... the biggest difference between islamic and christian 'submissiveness'... christians do not believe in the beating of a spouse. God (not allah) says to for the husband to love his wife as Christ loves the church.
      @butterfly.....you said....For the second coming to occur, they believe christian rule over the entire earth has tp happen first.
      where does that come from ? the second coming of Christ will happen. in fact when He returns, it will not be under 'christian rule'. the anti-christ will be in control and christians will be persecuted and killed. Read Isaiah, Daniel, Ezekial, Revelation to catch up to what is really in store for the world.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Faith, can you please, -please-, not speak for Christianity. With all due respect, I think you're doing more harm than good.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • BRC

      Thanks for your perspective, but I hope you see that your response doesn't improve her response to the question. For one, what you described is only how YOUR christian family works, it is not necessarily how everyone else does. Second, your family's dynamic would NOT be acceptable if she was the President- her word would have to be final when it came to decisions she made for the White House, and the nation. Third, I would love to know how god tells people whehter or not they've made the right decisions in their lives, because everything I've seen or heard of thus far shows conversations with gods to be pretty one sided. As I said before, even if it was possible, I wouldn't want the "God" of the bible involved in our Nation's politics.
      Again, I appreciate your imput, and yes, the more modern outlook is of the Husband and Wife as partners, but that's not what the scripture describes, nad frankly, not really what you described either.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Jair

      Alsmeer, you pretty much just said he was correct, with reference to 'male domination' You are sumbissive to your husband, therefore you are dominated. Since you are fine with this, that is A-OK. Voters, on the other hand, would not be fine with electing someone who will be told what to do by an un-elected party. Whether this is the case with MB is undetermined, but that is the reason the question was asked.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Nonimus

      "we are equal partners in everything... but his is final word."
      You are equal partners, but he is a more equal partner than you, huh?

      "if he is wrong, it is up to God to correct him."
      Just curious, has he ever been wrong? If so, what correction did God give?

      August 12, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Know What

      Faith, "Europeans admitted the supremacy of Christianity from the early on."

      No, they were conquered... physically, mentally and emotionally by the powerful, tyrannical political machine of the church.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Butterfly

      alsmeer1 I do know that. I was speaking of the beliefes of people like Bachmann, Perry, and Palin. that is what they believe. I know it's wrong. Please read about "Dominionism". I was referring to those beliefs. Google it and read for yourself.

      August 12, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Saima Khan

      let me enlighten you on what the Quran says. It doesn't say that a husband can beat his wife. It says that he can touch her lightly (with something even lighter than a feather) IF she commits something as big as adultry (so if she doesn't cook well, that doesn't count). But let me explain further. Even if she commits adultry, there MUST be FOUR witnesses to that act and ALL 4 of them must be people who have NEVER ever lied and pray liek they are supposed to. NOW please tell me why a someone would commit adultry in front of 4 witnesses? They wouldn't...and also you will never get four witnesses who have never lied. But let me go even further to add that first he should talk to her about it, if she persists, then he can change the room he sleeps in, and even if that doesn't work then and only then can he use something as light or lighter then a feather to touch her with once. This is all AFTER he has found those 4 witnesses. So in actuality it is impossible for him to "beat" his wife. Do not confuse culture or what some idiotic men have interpreted ti suit their own needs with actual religion. I'm sure people will tell me I'm wrong but since I've actually read the Quran and scholars have agreed that this is what it says, then I'm gonna say I'm right. But thanks:)

      August 12, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • urouttolunch

      I think the Sharia law people must have a little different interpretation than you do.

      August 12, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • Margot707

      @ Faith "Muslims' is blind submission, Christians' is intellectual principles. There is no justice or fairness outside of the Judeo-Christian values."


      August 13, 2011 at 12:12 am |
  14. ART

    This religoius flake is not fit to President.Isn't one of the commandments thou shall not lie,everything that come out of her mouth is either gibberish or out right lies

    August 12, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Faith

      Secular Americans lie like breathing. The reason the nation is going down.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • jon

      Art, provide an example of an outright lie

      August 12, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
    • pfeffernusse


      August 13, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
  15. Thomas

    Michele Bachmann will make a truly great Secretary of State !

    2012 Dream Team

    August 12, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Faith

      A terrific idea! How I wish I could vote for my beloved America...!

      August 12, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • MomOf3

      AWW! Do they not let you vote from your padded cell?

      August 12, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Martin T

      Thomas, that's about as likely as Mickey Mouse/Goofy 2012... better ticket and more brains between them.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Jiminy Cricket

      ELECT ME!

      I promise you a special star to wish upon. "No request is too extreme".

      August 12, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Martin, can Peter Pan be head of the Department of Homeland Security Head? I really like him. And he can fly.

      August 12, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • Frogist

      @DamianKnight: Yeah he can keep an eye on those evil terrorists, Aladdin, Jasmine and Jafar, even with their superior flying carpet technology.

      August 12, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • Margot707

      I nominate the Lion King!

      August 13, 2011 at 12:14 am |
    • pfeffernusse

      2012 Dream Team"

      In my nightmares maybe...

      August 13, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • Eric

      Now that's funny, Thomas. Imagine Secretary Bachmann's first trip to Germany: "That's very interesting, Chancellor Merkel. I love the way you talk using those big words. But before I can respond, I have to know: Does your husband share your views on the PIIGS bailout?"

      August 14, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
  16. Where_is_the_NOW_Org


    Which one of the men in the debate, that claim to Christians, were asked if they LORD over their wives or if the make them submit?

    Where is the outrage from N.O.W. group or Code Pink girls?

    Seems the good old boy's club in Rep party is as bad as in Dem party. Recall the attacks on Hillary in 2008?

    What are they worried about with the Q&A on submission? Think hubby willl tell how to do her job? How to deal with moral issues? Make her stay home and take care of his needs before the country needs? How backward are you people in this world who don't really understand the Bible.

    Time to get this national debate on our weak economy, putting people back to work, improvements in housing market, pay down our debt, slow or cap spending, and get our affairs together on the war on terrorism.

    Leadership does not know gender.

    Leadership requires focus urgency.

    Leadership requires factual inputs on decision making.

    Leadership is needed to restore America to his #1 status.

    Where is the leadership right now? On vacation.

    Time for change on Leadership.

    Time to get the nation's business as #1 priority.

    15 months is too long to wait.

    Call your representatives and senators and tell them to get back to work.

    Deal with it, or plan on a new career after 2012 elections.

    Americans are sick and tired of their political mumbo jumbo.

    Time to be real men and women and do the job you are paid to do. We didn't send you to Washington for a vacation or so you could have all the perks. You work for the American people, not the other way around. Work or be fired, and expect changes in your benefits package. No more perks!

    You are not a different class of people, just because you hold a position in Washington. Get over yourselves. You can do better. But, you have to change now.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Jair

      To be fair, whether the men "lord' over their wives is not the issue. They could do just that and still do the job they were elected to do. If she is elected and 'lorded' over, then her husband, un-elected, could actually be in charge.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Where_is_the_NOW_Org


      using your logic, that means Hillary wore the pants during Bill's 8 years in the WH.

      She was an unelected person who drove the 1st health care bill.

      However, on Michele's case -hubby will be just the 1st husband. No politicial asperations. Pardon my spelling fom cell phone keyboard...

      August 12, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • pfeffernusse

      The GOP has ALWAYS been an old boys club. The only reason Michele is up there is because she's attractive and she parrots the party line. She doesn't stray from the talking points and narrative.

      August 13, 2011 at 11:57 am |
  17. BeamMeUpScotty

    Every time we elect a JESUS-FREAK to the White House, bad things happen to us!

    That must mean the real true "God" is mad at us! LMAO

    Folks: never vote for anybody who wears their religion on their sleeves.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Where_is_the_NOW_Org


      Why are you so bent on attacking the Bible, GOD ALMIGHTY, JESUS, or anyone of faith.

      Did you have a tough childhood, bad parents, someone ignord you in a church service, or no one has sat with you to answer your questions about spiritual things you don't understand?

      You seem to hate something you absolutely know nothing about.

      Try limiting your comments to topics you know.

      You'll be respected. If you have questions about GOD, Ask-Seek-Knock, and you will receive.

      I'll be praying for you.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • schuyler

      Actually I think he is listening to Jesus who told us all to be aware of the hypocrites. Those who love to pray only to be seen by men.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • MomOf3

      Where is the NOW org? – wow! you're pretty hateful for a christian! I was raised catholic, went to catholic grade school, high school and college. I think I know something about 'religion'...and I think it sucks! It seems to create people like you, who are small-minded, bigoted and well, hateful! I'm no longer a christian, and with people like you in their ranks, it's surprising you haven't killed yourselves off by now. No more time for you, or you're ilk.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Atheist

      I had a great childhood, awesome parents, and everytime I've been in a church, everyone has been very polite. And I'd say I know about as much about religion as the average christian, maybe more. But I still agree with Beammeupscotty.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Stevie7

      "Did you have a tough childhood, bad parents, someone ignord you in a church service, or no one has sat with you to answer your questions about spiritual things you don't understand?"
      -Some of us just wound up thinking for ourselves, rather than letting an ancient book, our parents, or pastor do it for us.

      "You seem to hate something you absolutely know nothing about."
      -Studies have demonstratred that, on average, atheists know more about Christianity than Christians.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Martin T

      @where – you do realize that most Atheists have a better understanding of the bible and religion than those claiming to be religious, right? The problem with your "ask and we'll tell you" statement is that what you tell us is what you have been fed all your life without so much as a thought or challenge. That's part of the frustration for us atheists, fundamentalists NEVER question anything. Science challenges everything, religion challenges NOTHING... it's that simple.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine


      Have you ever thought its because so many evangelicals fall so miserably short in how they conduct themselves? Worry about upholding your own standards before you arrogantly assume you can help or "improve" another human being. Attempts by evangelicals to legislate morality have been an unqualified disaster ( Prohibition), since the resources needed to achieve the moral status you want for everyone would require us to give up everything we cherish as American, namely, our freedom and liberties. I don't impose on you: why do you impose on me?

      August 12, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Hello

      So, if a Christian calls out an unbeliever, they are the bad guys.

      Double standard. You can bash the Bible, God and Jesus is okay. Bt, we are not suppose to defend our beliefs.

      No one is asking you to believe us. You have free will. Believe or not. Your call.

      Just don't bash us.

      Your type is not unique. And we still love you just as you are.

      Slap us, we will just turn the othe cheek.

      Hate us or say bad things – you don't hurt us. Our faith is bigger than your hatred. Jesus took his punishment saying, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing. Remember, when they you (current Christians), they first hated me (Jesus).

      We are praying for all of you.

      August 12, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • pfeffernusse

      Except you seem to be under the impression that if we disagree with you or point out the hypocrisy in your faith, we are "bashing" you. Disagreement and logic are not bashing. Perhaps your faith is so fragile that you cannot countenence anything that doesn't prop up your belief.

      August 13, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • sevenseas

      Doesn't the current President claim to be Christian?

      August 14, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  18. Geekalot

    I have mixed feelings about this question. On the one hand it was clearly an attempt to cause Bachman to fumble. I dislike that aspect of the question. On the other hand she so clearly has made her faith a part of her social conservative credentials that it cannot be ignored. I thought her answer was about as good as it could have been given the situation. On the other hand, since she claims to be an ardent conservative Christian who clearly takes the Bible seriously, then it is relevant whether or not she as a woman who is a serious contender to be the next POTUS believes she must in any way submit or defer to her husband. After all, we would not be voting for her husband.

    I have to admit that as an atheist I would have a hard time voting for any candidate who is so strongly religious and, in fact, it really bugs me that in this country it is practically impossible to run a successful national campaign without at least some nod to personal religiosity, but in the end I think this question was mostly designed to be a gotcha question.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Colin

      Geekalot, I often wonder just how religious many candidates really are. In the Republican primaries, they all have to pander to the evangelicals. The evangelicals are like a dumb troll on a bridge that the candidate must pay homage to in order to pass. Once they get out of reach, they tend to forget the evangelical simpletons, or at least their influence significantly wanes.

      That said, there are some frightening sky-fairy candidates this time round!!

      August 12, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Geekalot and Colin, since you both are card carrying dry bones, let me explain the truth of God’s plan. After God destroyed the first earth age due to Lucifer’s rebellion (wanting to be bigger and better than God and take His place) which included 1/3 of God’s angels believing Lucifer’s lies to rebel against Him. God was angry (yes, an emotion we ALL have since we are made in His image) He destroyed the first earth age. God then allowed all the souls (angels from the 1st earth age) to be born of woman into this earth age (the 2nd earth age … meaning period of time) so we can love and follow Him (in the human form of Jesus).

      Long story short, all souls are male. God allowed the mentally and spiritually strongest souls to be born as a woman into this earth age so they could be fruitful and multiply. Since the females of this world are spiritually and mentally stronger, God requires that women be man’s helper on this earth with the sole responsibility to ensure His truth be heard, comprehended and obeyed throughout the world.

      Therefore, be careful who you consider strong or weak in this earth age.


      August 12, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      The question was clearly unfair: what would ahve been more to the point is whether or not the other candidates would force their wives " to submit" whatever that actually means. I don't like Bachmann, but I think the media, including FOX, are scared of her: the question is why? Remember Chris Wallace's question? Its worth asking why the conservative media seems to be wary of her as well.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • Jair

      Heaven sent.....huh?

      Tom Paine, I disagree. While it is personally not my belief structure, I don't really have a problem with men and women in a dominant/submissive relationship. My christain parents live this way. I don't find it morally reprehensible. I do, however, think voters have a right to know who they are voting for. Either way, I'm not voting for her, but I do believe it is a fair question.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Long story short, all souls are male.
      Interesting...we are all gay.

      August 12, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Jair: Remember to have a safe word.

      August 12, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      @ Jair,

      WE probably agree on thsi more than you think. I simply found it odd that she was singeled out on this question, and it seemed a little unfair only because the men in the debate were not asked if they would demand that of their wives. Faith has become such a flashpoint for the GOP that it is only fair each candidate be asked that question, either from teh perspecive of a man or woman. That being said, I do think had it been framed to all of them, we would not be having this discussion. I also want to make it clear I think she is a loon, and for a variety of reasons is unfit for the office. I think it odd that a person who has never authored a single piece of legislation in 5 years in Congrss, meaning we have spent over $875,000 in salary on a person who has not produced a single positive outcome. She is paid to produce laws, not to run for POTUS.

      August 12, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Guest

      The Real Tom Paine – You are correct. The liberal media asks questions that are most inflammatory. What ever can cause the most division in people. Case in point, the bashing of the people on this post. If you really want to stir the pot, just ask questions regarding religion. Any religion will do. I am an evangelical Christian, but I very much ascribe to the verse that says "Cast not thy pearl before the swine where it is trampled under foot".

      August 12, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • pfeffernusse

      Guest, this debate was hosted by Fox News. Hardly a bastion of liberal views.

      August 13, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  19. Merrie

    Bachmann fails the honesty test. If "submission" means just "respect," does her husband "submit" to her, too?
    In her campaign liftoff in Iowa she made it very clear that submission means do what you don't want to do, and that she lets her husband's view of God dictate to her. So are we all ready for Marcus Bachmann to dictate, via God, the policies of an America that has learned historically you must have separation of church and state for the common peace.
    Here's a quote from a news item of July 10. It's the same story she told in Iowa:
    "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'.”
    What Bachmann does not respect is the intelligence of the general public. She thinks we all will be fooled by her flipflopping on her past statements.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Yeah! What could possibly give a politician the impression that the general population has a short attention sp... Ooh! Something shiny!

      August 12, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • pfeffernusse

      jon, modern Bible scholars agree by a majority that the gospels accredited to different disciples (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, etc) were not actually written by those men. It has been determined that many of Paul’s writings weren’t his at all. Much of what Tacitus wrote is questionable because he never cited his sources and much of what he wrote turned out not to be true. Josephus’ writings on Jesus were determined to have been changed by a later scribe to lend authenticity to the claims that Jesus was the Messiah. Just like the gospels were later edited to fit the prophesies of the Old Testament to make Christ’s life fit and seem to fulfill said prophesies.

      August 13, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • pfeffernusse


      August 13, 2011 at 11:38 am |
  20. Butterfly

    I am more concerned about her affiliation with dominionism. She and others of this ilk, Plain, Perry, plan to infiltrate 7 key areas of society( Seven Mountains), rule by old testament law over the entire world based on the Garden of Eden instruction to have dominion over the earth. For the second coming to occur, they believe christian rule over the entire earth has tp happen first. Please read as much as you can about this and tell everyone you know. This began with a man named Rousas Rushdoony. Frightening and enlightening!!!!!!! His list under the leadership tab of his "The Response" rally is a who's who of people and organizations associated with this movement.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Merrie

      Please provide an internet site for "Christian Reconstructionism." And please note that it's not Christian. It's worse than Shariah law, and pretending this kind of dictatorship has anything whatsoever to do with Jesus is a SLANDER on everything he taught and died for.
      Hitler was elected. It could happen here, dear friends.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • BeamMeUpScotty


      "Jesus" of the Bible is fake.

      All religions based on the Jewish-God has already been FALSIFIED DIRECTLY with scientific, historical, and archaelogical EVIDENCE.

      Besides that, "God" is not even a logical concept.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • Faith

      Secular America is a fake. America did not exist if it wasn't for Christianity. America would have belonged to China or Russia, not to the English if there was no Bible. America is one of the evidences of Christianity. Its national anthems and the founding do-cu-ments say it all.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Faith

      Furthermore, Britain is impossible without Christianity. America got everything civil from the Bible and from the Christian Britain.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • HeavenSent


      You are so CARNAL. With that said, just because you believe satan’s lies you will never convince a true Christian who reads Jesus’ spiritual truth of what SPEWS out of your mouth onto the keyboard.


      August 12, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • jon

      beam me up scotty – on what "evidence" do you base your claim? Archaeological and historical evidence in particular back up the historicity of Christ. Ancient non-Christian historians (Josephus, Tacitus) write of his existence. There are all kinds of early attestations of the early church in first century Palestine. Name one thing that genuinely debunks Christianity.

      August 13, 2011 at 12:07 am |
    • pfeffernusse

      Unfortunately, jon, modern Bible scholars agree by a majority that the gospels accredited to different disciples (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, etc) were not actually written by those men. It has been determined that many of Paul’s writings weren’t his at all. Much of what Tacitus wrote is questionable because he never cited his sources and much of what he wrote turned out not to be true. Josephus’ writings on Jesus were determined to have been changed by a later scribe to lend authenticity to the claims that Jesus was the Messiah. Just like the gospels were later edited to fit the prophesies of the Old Testament to make Christ’s life fit and seem to fulfill said prophesies.

      August 13, 2011 at 11:38 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.