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. Faith

    I think all American Christians should support the people like Mrs. Bachmann in order to preserve the nation. America is dying from sickness because of lack of Christianity; the liberals just want Christianity to be out from the American life.

    August 15, 2011 at 5:43 am |
    • Howie76

      Do you realizes there are very devout Christians who read the Bible and are what you ignorantly define as Liberal. I mean really. WHAT WOULD JESUS DO??

      August 15, 2011 at 6:16 am |
    • david

      The fundamentalist right wing branch of Christianity fails to recognize that they are only one branch or one kind of belief system that goes by the name of Christian. The young lady who wrote this piece, is a Christian, and in your nomenclature a liberal, does not want to get Christianity out of society. She wants to get racist Christianity out of society. She wants to get mean spirited Christianity out of society. She wants to get illogigal Christianty out of society. There is a way to be against the witch hunts of Salem without being against all the other things in the churches of Salem.

      August 15, 2011 at 7:44 am |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      @ Faith and toward all folks,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, "American Christians" alike 'david' does affirm in his posting just above, have many in-seedednesses and/or unbecoming growths from many variants of socialized and religiosified secularisms' demeanors interfearing with the many volumptous angles of Post-modern Christendom.

      August 15, 2011 at 8:09 am |
  2. irony

    We criticize our government for stalling and disagreeing, yet all we do on these blogs is blame one another and be cynical.


    August 15, 2011 at 5:40 am |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      Don't ya jus luv it !!!!!!!!!!!!!?

      August 15, 2011 at 8:17 am |
  3. Faith

    Some America-grown "Christians" have resentment towards normal Christianity because they never experienced the hell of the absence of the Judeo-Christian values. They should be studying the planet's condition, both past and present, instead of publishing their narrow-experienced, ignorant opinions.

    August 15, 2011 at 5:10 am |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      Christendom oh ye of Faith named and labeled, for your "abilituitousness" is likened to a 52 card deck of poker playing cards;. One card for each concentration of christians bellowing dasdardly demonisms of die-angular conotations regardless their ownliness concerns. 🙁

      August 15, 2011 at 8:25 am |
    • Martin T

      Lionly, are you American? I ask because some of your comments are very hard to follow. I'll give you the benefit of English not being your language before pointing out the flaws in your assertions.

      August 15, 2011 at 8:35 am |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      @ Martin T,,,,,,,,,,,, I am a Christian of the world stage and my affiliations with any nation is to me a mute point! 🙂

      August 15, 2011 at 8:41 am |
    • tallulah13

      I believe the word you're looking for is "moot".

      August 15, 2011 at 10:59 am |
  4. Faith

    Separating the Christian faith and the American politics is detrimental to the American society. Nothing can separate any human or society from his/its major belief system. Separation of church and state has been a clear immoral thing all along. No wonder USA looks what it is now. No Earthling respects USA for moral excellence anymore but rather despises it as a nation of perverts. Something the nation's founders never even imagined. USA will go down just as the ancient Isreal did at the present rate. Guaranteed.

    August 15, 2011 at 5:06 am |
    • jimtanker

      There is a whole lot of opinion there and very little reason.

      August 15, 2011 at 7:51 am |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      Nations rise and they do fall down and are risen once again but in viels of secretiveness and cunningness of the Word in rationalized relativisms hiding that which is of Old Times demeanors, unbecoming the so-called New Age of Enlightenments be it; Post-Modern Secularisms or Religious "Angularisms" for as this world does turn aside its' philosophical advents; the determining affiliates does fracture resulting in the detrimentals of logistics mainframed by the generations' aptness.

      August 15, 2011 at 8:38 am |
    • think for yourself

      The founding fathers wanted separation of church and state. The line between them is shrinking by the day. Our country being run by an imaginary friend is a real (and scary) possibility.

      August 15, 2011 at 9:17 am |
  5. Faith

    Alisa, helping the poor in the land of Sodom or Ninevah is useless; the place is destined for destruction because of perversion. The best thing is calling for national repentance in order to preserve both the poor and the rich or anyone. Christians bring to the society both the humanitarian compassionate acts by charity and decent morality by politics. Neither point should be neglected. You only recall negative memories of being a fundie, but there are a great number of people who were protected by it. Alisa, you lack the balanced knowledge in the Old Testament and on the world history – a typical of liberal Americans.

    August 15, 2011 at 5:00 am |
    • Howie76

      I bet you go to a church with a pastor whose word is as good as gold. Bet he will get caught with his pants down. Stop following him as your false God and read the Bible and follow Jesus if this is what you believe. You don't like what she says because it hits to close to home. You what I call a Cheap Grace Christian the worst type

      August 15, 2011 at 6:19 am |
    • david

      uh who did Jonah preach to ?

      August 15, 2011 at 7:09 am |
  6. LeefromTexas

    Words have meaning, flay is a word that has meaning and it doesn't mean remove skin by being knocked to the ground! And tallulah13 a fire hose is not a car wash wand, the pumps and the wand head are not remotely the same.

    August 15, 2011 at 2:26 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Yeah, I said the same thing just now on the original post. I got hit with the water from a fire hose once. It was more linebacker than Freddy Kruger or Edward Scissor hands.

      If Tallulah took the same car wash wand and aimed it at someone across a parking lot the water would barely reach them and if it did would barely be felt.

      All Alisa did was take a negative image and use it to attempt to sway folks.

      In a way, Alisa pulled a race card. Pretty impressive for a young Caucasian girl to do a Johnny Cochran. 🙂

      August 15, 2011 at 2:37 am |
    • Howie76

      RAcist tea bags rewriting history.

      August 15, 2011 at 6:21 am |
    • tallulah13

      I said nothing about fire hoses. I simply mentioned my own experiences with water pressure. Sheesh.

      August 15, 2011 at 11:00 am |
  7. jmb2fly

    As the president gears up for his re-election campaign, he sees his approval rating sink below 40 percent, according to a newly released Gallup poll.

    August 15, 2011 at 12:45 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Don't worry, MsNBC and quite a few from the Belief Blog writers will be on their game to try to rescue President Obama.

      August 15, 2011 at 2:39 am |
  8. gwats

    Welcome to the real human race, and being honest and forthright about your background and upbringing, and having the Courage to see the World for what it truly is. Good luck to you.

    August 15, 2011 at 12:34 am |
  9. Reality

    Dear A. Harris and M. Bachmann:-----––

    Why the Christian Right no longer matters in presidential elections:

    Once again, all the conservative votes in the country "ain't" going to help a "pro-life" presidential candidate, i.e Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, Ron Paul or Rick Santorum, in 2012 as the "Immoral Majority" rules the country and will be doing so for awhile. The "Immoral Majority" you ask?

    The fastest growing USA voting bloc: In 2008, the 70+ million "Roe vs. Wade mothers and fathers" of aborted womb-babies" whose ranks grow by two million per year i.e. 78+ million "IM" voters in 2012.

    2008 Presidential popular vote results:

    69,456,897 for pro-abortion/choice BO, 59,934,814 for "pro-life" JM.

    And all because many women fail to take the Pill once a day or men fail to use a condom even though in most cases these men have them in their pockets. (maybe it should be called the "Stupid Majority"?)
    (The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions ( one million/yr) and S-TDs (19 million/yr) in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or condoms properly and/or use other safer birth control methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.)

    August 15, 2011 at 12:30 am |
  10. pdn

    What a joke! Who cares what this little brat has to say?

    August 15, 2011 at 12:08 am |
    • Erik


      August 15, 2011 at 12:50 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Well, if you took a picture of a hot young cutie and then take the un-biased Belief Blog Staff and put it next to a hyper image of a older lady so that you can see every wrinkle and crows feet... I guess folks like you would care about what she is saying.

      I wonder if the Belief Blog editors would do the same thing to a Hillary Clinton.

      Truthfully, I see it as the CNN folks are crazy scared of any female or minority that dares to run as a Republican. 🙁

      August 15, 2011 at 2:10 am |
    • david

      a ton of caring compassionate fellow human beings who prefer others to themselves and treat each person as worthy of an audience vare what she has to say. Why did you attack her rather than simply disagree with one of your points? Jesus taught to call no one RACA (a fool or worthless). Disparage an idea if you must but why attack a person you've never met and hurl an epithet?

      August 15, 2011 at 7:26 am |
    • tallulah13

      Mark, you can hardly blame a person for being young or old. You can hardly blame a person for experiencing things. You seem more than willing to express your opinion here, but somehow hers is less important?

      Christ said give to the poor. Christ said don't judge others. Yet here are all these good christians, mocking someone who believes just that. Kinda makes you think.

      August 15, 2011 at 11:31 am |
  11. jimjoe

    2cont.To say that everyone of the apposing mindset as you is somehow under a trance, with the impression that people they appose in a politically two sided system are not; is an incredibly arbitrary and generalizing notion to make. The idea that close to half of Americans are all in the same boat as a seemingly perverted upbringing, isn’t a fair or logical assertion to make at all.

    August 14, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      Jimmie Joe how do things go?

      How many boats then, Jimmie; will it take to keep afloat this iceberg's mass from being wrenched from the highered seas of humanities variances berative incongruencies from dashing along the shorelines of the most prosperous to those ever increasing lowered masses of the icebeg's under-the-seas' body?

      August 15, 2011 at 8:59 am |
    • jimjoe

      Your anology is a mess. To the typical fascist partisan American the other side is a giant evil boogyman. They don't care about their perspective and just want to push misnomers and spite towards them. The idea that all whom disagree with the author of this fundamentally flawed peice would paint all who disagree with her angst as the angry ones, who fell victim to her same perverted childhood, is simply absurd. As you can see that partisanship is a two way streak. The author said she still had rage. Still I would find it absurd to say because of that, all people on the left are spiteful and feel rage due to their idealogy. She is projecting her qualities on all whom disagree with her. As you can see from my previous comment that actually posted, that she is completely ignorant to history as well. There are plenty of churches that preach left wing idealogy, and some quite angrily amoung them. Would it be fair to say that left wingers are left wingers and angry at the opposition, because they were told it in church? This article simply doesn't stand. Regardless of if you are a Republican, Democrat, or Independant. It is just more fascist rage of partisan spite.

      August 18, 2011 at 12:56 am |
  12. jimjoe

    In regars to the author(it wont let me post this all at once.
    This is all interesting seeing that you refer to small government as it’s a Christian perversion and nothing more. Historically the ideals of small government and free enterprise came about during the Enlightenment Era where many renowned minds and prominent philosophers apposed the absolutist and autocratic rule of the monarchs, and leaders based in religious doctrine. Still, they believed in religious tolerance.

    August 14, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
    • jimjoe

      To say that everyone of the apposing mindset as you is somehow under a trance, with the impression that people they appose in a politically two sided system are not; is an incredibly arbitrary and generalizing notion to make. The idea that close to half of Americans are all in the same boat as a seemingly perverted upbringing, isn’t a fair or logical assertion to make at all.

      August 15, 2011 at 12:15 am |
    • jimjoe

      the rest of my post wont show up-_-

      August 15, 2011 at 1:01 am |
  13. jimjoe

    You just show how much of a bigot you are. I am not a southerner, not a christian, not religious, and never touched a banjo. You anti-theistic sheep are quite possibly the dumbest of us all. There is little difference between nuts(you have to be an idiot to listen and agree with) Sam Harris, and the people mentioned in this hit piece. Harris preaches detest for other both idealistically, and for those of religious preference, and ethnicity. He does this using manipulative half truths, a poor understanding of history and the world, and an ignorance to the world. He also preaches his ideology and spite for other views. You have to lack reference on the world and history to agree with this preacher most of the time. Unless you like taking your marching orders from idiots. Just be scared of the evil Mooslums like Harris tells you to because they are like Hitler, and all are evil because of militant groups in third world countries across the world. Just like Harris wants.

    Your reply to me shows how much of a sectarian bigot you are. Just as bad as the people you are rallying against.

    August 14, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
  14. NL

    You could have become Michelle Bachman, but you didn't. And I commend you for it.

    August 14, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Let us look Alisa up when she is 55 years old, and see first how well she has aged and two what her political leanings are.

      Bachmann has helped Foster kids her age, lets see what Alisa does with her life.

      August 15, 2011 at 2:43 am |
    • Anonymous

      I think you could take Michele's picture from when she was teens/20/30/40 or something and Alisa would still be cuter. IJS, man. Oh, and she's smarter, too. Let's see what Michele does with HER life, and if she can can ever form complete sentences.

      August 15, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  15. Joel

    >> 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.

    Rare wisdom. Thank you.

    August 14, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
  16. mike

    no body caaaaaaaaaaaares

    August 14, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
    • A

      I care... a looootttttt. Great article–thank you!

      August 14, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
  17. *frank*

    tallulah for president

    August 14, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
  18. Colin

    As a secular humanist (a/k/a atheist) I subscribe to probably 90% of liberal Christian morality – don't kill, don't steal, do unto others as you would have them do unto you etc. I just don't see the need to invoke the supernatural to underwrite these beliefs. The whole idea that one is duty-bound to believe in an Iron Age Middle Eastern sky-god to be moral is not only flat wrong, it is both repugnant and childish to me.

    August 14, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
  19. tallulah13

    I find it utterly amazing that so many "christians" vilify this woman for turning away from her childhood indoctrination in an attempt to follow the teachings of Christ. It says a great deal about the state of christianity in this country that so many are more interested in calling the author names than they are in considering the value of her words.

    August 14, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • J.W

      The more articles like this the more people will realize how crazy conservatives are. Hopefully

      August 14, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • Guessed right

      hey tallulah, congrats!!! for coming out!!!that closeted muslim...u naughty, naughty....

      August 14, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • J.W

      No tallulah is a hippie. I find her very groovy

      August 14, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Crazy kids. I'm simply a pragmatic atheist who has no problem with the religions of others until they try to legislate their beliefs or claim their faith as fact.

      August 14, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • tallulah13

      By the way, JW, I think you are a highly reasonable person, something that is getting to be pretty rare in this country.

      August 14, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
    • J.W

      Why thank you tallulah. I try to stay educated on everything the best I can. I am a Christian, but I guess I look at the Bible a different way than some.

      August 14, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Tallulah – It surprises you that Christians find vocal disagreement within the community?

      How many denominations and sects? Did you think that all Christians are totally and completely on the same page? 🙂

      August 14, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Not at all Mark. You notice that I never once commented on JWs religion, as I wasn't certain what it was. I know many people of many beliefs, and as I said, I have no problem with that. I would never judge a person by their belief, but I would certainly judge them by their actions in general, and in relation to their stated beliefs.

      August 14, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
    • LeefromTexas

      She had me believing she was speaking from her own experience until she got to the part about how a fire hose was ripping the flesh off of people. If she will tell one lie she will tell many. A fire hose will not rip the flesh from people, period. So now I think she is just someone who doesn't like republicans.

      August 14, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
    • Q

      @LeefromTX – I believe the exact language was, "...to flay the clothes and skin off of teenage civil rights protesters." I honestly don't know what damage human skin will suffer when hit by that pressure though it's clear it can remove clothes and having been knocked down into the street and pushed around by the force, one could imagine losing some skin in the process. Regardless of the actual ability or inability of a fire hose to remove skin, the practice aimed at non-violent teenage civil rights protesters was and remains abhorrent. The point I believe she was making was that those who were arguing in favor of the Confederacy/Jim Crow attempting to justify their positions with a "Christian worldview" didn't appear to express any compassion for southern blacks or any reverence for basic justice. I think in your effort to dismiss the use of fire hoses against non-violent teenage civil rights protesters, you might fall under this absence of compassion/reverence for justice category as well. Particularly so if this was the only point you chose to took away.

      August 14, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I cut my finger on one of those do-it-yourself car wash pressure hoses. I stupidly put my finger in front of the pressure hose to see what would happen. The water sliced my finger. I never underestimated the power of water pressure again.

      August 15, 2011 at 1:30 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>“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.”

      If this poor child gets to spend more time on this Earth actually doing more research, she will see more and more gray in issues such as the Confederacy. With admissions of leaders such as Frederick Douglas that there were free blacks in the South taking up arms against the Union, it will one day let her know that things are not as cut and dry, black and white as she thinks. Right now she is just a angry kid who does not like Bachmann.

      Chances are she will be the next Hillary Clinton, I have seen her younger pictures … wow.

      Shame thing is that the Democrats, will make sure she does not rise any further than victim status.

      I will agree with Tallulah on JUST partially on … the water pressure. I have been hit with a fire water hose, while it can almost disrobe you, there is a big difference between the focused pressure and smaller area of impact of a car wash water pressure.... and a fire hose, which is much wider. Tallulah, you had a small car washer pressure hit you at CLOSE RANGE. If you aimed at someone at the same distance as Civil Rights protesters were hit at, they would not fell it at all. Too small of a volume and pressure. A fire hose hits you like a line backer.... you could not stand that close, and the pressure and larger contact area would not cut you....break a rib maybe, but baring any pre-existing cuts, highly unlikely to shred and flay skin.

      She is going for drama points and using what ever image she can to twist to sway those that are not already swayed by her arguments ...or her looks 😀

      August 15, 2011 at 2:28 am |
    • tallulah13

      Wow, Mark, You must be perfect if you feel so free criticize others. Weren't you commenting earlier about how people shouldn't criticize? Or is it that people shouldn't criticize people you happen to like? You also like pointing out when people are being hypocritical. I guess it's because you are so well versed in hypocrisy yourself.

      August 15, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Q

      @MarkFMR – I'm sorry, but the Confederacy and Jim Crow were rather clear in their intent. You sound like LeeFromTexas looking to excuse inst_tutional racism and oppression by citing anomaly (i.e. a very limited number of actual black confederate soldiers) as if this bore the same weight as hundreds of years of slavery followed by a long and brutal civil rights struggle. I hate to make the analogy, but this argument appears to be on par with claiming WWII atrocities against Jews are really not as straight forward as one might think given the ghettos and camps employed Jewish police. By all means, read Douglas, but then also read about southern blacks like Ed Johnson, what they faced at the hands of former confederates and how this behavior continued right into the middle of the 20th century (and still exists to various extremes in various regions today). I've never understood this desire of some to be apologists for racism.

      August 15, 2011 at 11:38 am |
  20. a person of the Name

    @ jw I fully agree although I'm not too sure how much worse, beside not doing anything, it could have got.

    August 14, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
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.