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. KY

    "When facisim comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

    August 14, 2011 at 5:17 am |
    • BG

      Good name there.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:18 am |
    • buckup

      joe mccarthy, richard nixon, dick cheney, don rumsfeld, carl rove, comes to mind.

      the later three got their start from nixon.
      nixon got his start from "god fearing all american" senator joe, out to kill commies for christ.

      fascism has already come, each time getting a little closer to the ultimate power of being permanent.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:03 am |
    • David Myers

      Ever since I first heard that quote so many years ago, I have feared the bogotry and small mindedness of the Christian fundamentalist fascist movement. They and the Muslim fundamentalist fascists should all move to another planet and leave this one in peace. If Facism comes to power in the US it will dwarf the evilness and uglyness of the Nazi fascist regime. Hows that for a fearful thought? True Christians should denounce all of this hateful bigotry and oppose both religious control of government and the Oligarchy of the Rich(and corporations).

      August 14, 2011 at 6:05 am |
    • jimjoe

      David Myers. There is anti theist fascism as well from those who irrationally hated those of religious preference. Some of the most brutal and murderous tyrants of the twentieth century held that and forced non belief upon believers. Your profound spite doesn't seem far off as the minority sentiment that you seem to project as much of the whole. Which is incredibly small minded and bigoted of you.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:15 am |
  2. Josh Crain

    Alisa, thanks so much for sharing your journey. I'm a pastor and I have a very similar story of gradually coming to a place where I can disentangle the Kingdom of God from the kingdom of this world. As followers of Christ we are called to change the world by sacrificing for it – not by usurping vast amounts of political power.

    Michele Bachmann isn't the hope of the world. For that matter, neither is Barack Obama or Mitt Romney or Harry Reid. The hope of the world is Jesus Christ.

    For anyone interested in this topic, I'd highly recommend Gregory Boyd's book, "The Myth of a Christian Nation."

    August 14, 2011 at 5:16 am |
  3. notashamed

    How very Emergent Church of you Alisa. You fit right in with the new young "christians" apologizing for everything the church is and has been. I dont support Bachmann but I dont see how you have experienced anything in your life that compares to what a grown woman with a life and children have experienced. BTW, Im a 52 year old life-long Christian and I've never heard of any of these so=called mainstream christian teachers/authors.

    August 14, 2011 at 5:15 am |
    • Doris

      I have never heard of them either.

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

      Well, maybe you agree with the author more than you think. If you have not heard of the authors referenced in the story, perhaps you are a true Christian who loves "thy neighbor".

      August 14, 2011 at 9:16 am |
  4. D. Wilson

    HUFF PUFF and SLOBBER BACHMAN... just another REPUBLICAN chanting FAILED IDEAS with no clue OR HOPE of being ELECTED to ANYTHING!! Too funny how every person that saw the debates made fun of BACHMAN.. I HEARD IT WAS A 6 WAY TIE FOR FIRST.. They weren't sure WHICH IDIOT to go with.. GOP is so LAME for PREZ CANDIDATES.. NOT GONNA HAPPEN AGAIN THIS TIME REPUBLICANS... NOT BY A LONG SHOT!! AMERICA is CALLING YOU A JOKE, and YOU DON'T GET IT!

    August 14, 2011 at 5:08 am |
    • Sir Quenn Fonchey

      You should really look into the CapsLock key.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:11 am |
    • D. Wilson

      I know.. i got hung up on using the caps to accent what ive been saying and i rant on ... noted!

      August 14, 2011 at 5:20 am |
  5. Jared Jones

    Hey CNN, I know you are incredibly liberal and have no respect for Republicans, but can you please have the decency to spell Michelle "Bachmann"'s name right on the front page of your website? It's been up there with only 1 "n" for quite a while, and no one has bothered to fix it.

    a lowly republican

    August 14, 2011 at 5:07 am |
    • D. Wilson

      Aw it doesn't matter.. she doesn't have any reason to believe she will be around long enough to spell anything about her correctly... the whole GOP election process is useless this time around.. they will be on the SIDELINES THRU 2016, THE GOP ITSELF GUARANTEES IT!! THEY ARE SO ABSOLUTELY STUPID WITH NO RECOURSE BUT CONTINUED FAILURE.. LOTS OF REPUBLICANS JUMPING SHIP.. BECAUSE OF THE EMBARRASSMENT THE GOP HAS CAUSED THE HARD WORKING REPUBLICAN!

      August 14, 2011 at 5:13 am |
    • jimjoe

      D.Wilson. Are you deliberately trying to discredit yourself as a rambling nut? Its seems you are trying to stereotype people on the left as lunatics by pretending to be one of them.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:41 am |
    • Henry

      Today's Republican deserves no respect. You have proven to be extreme fools who really believe in the drivel you spew. You have made the point for the author rather well.

      August 14, 2011 at 9:18 am |
  6. Sir Quenn Fonchey

    "I could have become Michele Bachmann!"

    ...uh, sure.

    August 14, 2011 at 5:06 am |
  7. Gavin Ford

    Bachmann is another myth-believing moron.

    August 14, 2011 at 5:03 am |
    • Casey

      Your the true moron now shut up

      August 14, 2011 at 5:12 am |
    • Henry

      @ Casey – You shut up, no you shut up, no you shut up. Be quiet and enjoy your life.

      August 14, 2011 at 9:20 am |
  8. Doug

    When you say God, I run.. This is like saying hey !!!!!! I am as honest as god.. Right.. Generally this is when you get ripped off... These are the most disgusting hypocrites on the planet...

    August 14, 2011 at 5:03 am |
  9. Ed

    Dropping fundamentalism and dsicovering Christiantiy...how refreshing!

    August 14, 2011 at 5:01 am |
    • jimmymax

      Uhh I sense sarcasm there. She still hasn't "got it", has she?

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

      Nothing worse than a false sense of enlightenment. Look at the wrinkles on Bachman's face, the wrinkles of a woman struggling with her sanity.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:11 am |
    • Doris

      The false sense of enlightenment seems to surround Mrs. Harris. The wrinkles Bachmann has are called experience and wisdom outside the youth and beauty obsessed realm of the left.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:48 am |
    • mb2010a

      Seriously, now...Bachman needs a facelift.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:59 am |
    • Henry

      @Doris – Bachmann's wrinkled wisdom. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha.

      August 14, 2011 at 9:21 am |
    • Ed

      No sarcasm at all jimmymax, One of the most dangerous and reprehensible things on earth is religious fundamentalism in any of it's forms. Can you spell the word EVIL? You do know it hides under a cloak of respectability dont you?

      August 14, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  10. tictax

    Harris you are getting the wrong message from the old testaments prophets....Jesus came and we dont live under the old testament anymore. Thank goodness or otherwise we would probably no longer exist. God used to open the earth up and shallow up evil nations. Jesus gives us another opportunity to get back on track. Michele Bachmann doesnt appear to a person of rage....you on the other hand...not sure!

    August 14, 2011 at 5:00 am |
    • D. Wilson


      August 14, 2011 at 5:04 am |
  11. Jared Jones

    Alissa Harris is ss pretentious. She writes this article as if she knows more than Michelle Bachmann, and acts as if Michelle is clearly wrong. Newsflash: Michelle Bachmann just won the Iowa straw poll and is on her way to becoming the GOP nominee and possibly the president of the United States. You, Alissa, and just some random author. I'm sure you wish you became Michelle Bachmann.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:59 am |
    • D. Wilson


      August 14, 2011 at 5:00 am |
    • Jared Jones

      Hey D. Wilson, I'll be laughing at you when she wins the presidency, and you're still in your parents' basement.

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

      And Jared knows first hand about parents' basements.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:14 am |
    • D. Wilson

      LOL Too Funny... you haven't a CLUE EITHER DO YOU? Bless your poor misguided REPUBLICAN dmbass heart!!

      August 14, 2011 at 5:15 am |
    • D. Wilson

      Even republicans make fun of BACHMAN... this GOP election process is an exercise in futility .. a pointless effort to which there is no viable outcome.. THE GOP MEANS NOTHING ANYMORE... OBAMA THRU 2016 .. THE USELESS REPUBLICAN GUARANTEES IT!

      August 14, 2011 at 5:17 am |
  12. Mark

    Alisa, thank you.

    We're still backing Bachmann.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:56 am |
    • D. Wilson

      LOL Doesn't sound like you know what to do either!!

      August 14, 2011 at 4:59 am |
    • Doc77

      I am also a Christian, but that does not automatically qualify you to be President. It take a LOT more than Bachman is displaying now. Look for the best total candidate...and as of now, that is NOT Michelle Bachman

      August 14, 2011 at 5:05 am |
    • Marry

      @ Mark, and others that think like he does:
      Why would you vote for Ms. Bachmann or for a Republican at all? If Ms. Harris article does not ring a bell, perhaps you like to read my comment why I could not vote for her or any other republican ever:
      In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus repeated five of the ten commandments (the last is the "second" great commandment) in verses 19:16–19:
      Then someone came to him (Jesus) and said, ‘Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?’ And he said to him, ‘Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.’ He said to him, ‘Which ones?’ And Jesus said, ‘You shall not murder (GOP/TP have no scruple to kill, directly in unjust wars or indirectly in an unjust society at home) ; You shall not commit adultery (well, that is the easiest one to forget); You shall not steal (that is what capitalism is all about: take more out of society than you are willing to put back); You shall not bear false witness (a special talent of the GOP/TP- go after anyone that does not support your crazy goals with slander and distortion of the facts! And if that is not enough, make use of your 2nd amendment rights.....brings us back to point 1); Honor your father and mother (that would include not dumping old people); also, You shall love your neighbor as yourself (perhaps they think only the rich neighbors or people that share all TEIR believes are meant by this. Surprise, all people worldwide are meant by God because ALL are Gods children!)’
      “Father, our heart breaks for America. We see discord at home. We see fear in the marketplace. We see anger in the halls of government and as a nation we have forgotten who made us,” Perry prayed.
      Ah, yes, with a state of mind like the GOP/TP towards their fellow human beings, another big problem arises: Blasphemy = using the name of God and the misappropriation of religious language in order to commit a crime.

      Oh, now I am doing almost the same as these evangelical Christians (among others) live by: Picking out of the holy book just the parts that suit my argument.

      I for my part will leave the book closed and relay on my good character that tells me to feel with my neighbor (world-wide) and to help him and speak up for those that cannot do so for themselves against the ones that take advantage of them: Raw capitalism!

      August 15, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  13. Danny

    Any one who thinks Michele backwoman is really serious is seriously sick!!! I guess America is clamoruing another september 11 by bringing in the female version of George Bush who can only attract enemies rather than than lead and make piece.... Good luck to yall

    August 14, 2011 at 4:54 am |
    • D. Wilson

      Exactly MY POINT ALSO! How can you take her serious with all her baggage and lame ideology .. she is clueless as to how to do the job or GET THE JOB... way out of her league in politics at all.. you can tell SHE doesn't even BELIEVE what SHE IS SAYING.. her FACE TWITCHES THE WHOLE TIME and her eyes dart around the room LOOKING TO SEE WHO IS BUYING INTO THIS BS!! LOL

      August 14, 2011 at 4:58 am |
  14. Stacy Cates

    I am amazed at the similarity of my background and the metamorphosis of my ideologies when compared to yours. It is very gratifying to read such an eloquent description of the same things that I have had a desire to communicate.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:53 am |
    • Shane

      Check out James Fowler's Stages of Faith. His research describes this change of perspective.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:00 am |
  15. D. Wilson

    Americans need to go to Washington in force! Stand in the face of republican rhetoric and tell the republicans NO!!! You can't just make up anything and pretend to be all self righteous and ignorant at the same time! We should do it Bill Clinton's way.. surplus was nice wasn't it.. we all had money back then.. if you make less than 250,000 a year you are a Democrat and don't know it.. republican's agenda cuts your income by 20 to 30 percent! Republicans that make less than 250,000 and support republican agendas, are shooting yourself in the foot, by making less money just being and voting republican. It does no good for the Republican to lay in the road and block progress until they can destroy us some more for their rich corporate interest.. not the average citizen.. who is better off a Democrat.. we should all go there and tell the republicans to help or get out of the way. Until the GOP gets off their butts and stops their childish attacks on our way of life with no ideas for improvement except to get their big business buddies tax cuts so they can finance their ignorant campaigns while lining their pockets, we will never recover. Obama can't fix it if the republicans hold us hostage until they can re-COUP the Whitehouse. The GOP could complete their outfit with a black mask. I feel at war with the republicans.. they have none of the middle and lower class on a plan for anything but slavery to big business. They say they are doing what the American people want.. well I want a show of hands.. who wants to lose medicare and social security and hand that money to Exxon instead so the CEO's and such can get their huge bonuses off my money I pay for gas so I can get to work everyday.. who is telling you to do that GOP?! Who? I don't know anyone that is willing to let you cut their throat, take their money, and then complain that they are making a mess laying in the street.. here big business have more money!!! That is why the republican way destroys us and creates large deficits with people unemployed, and that is why it takes so long for the Democrats and logic to repair it.. so sit back and watch President Obama get another 4 years.. with no doubt since the GOP has no one with any common sense to offer any ideas that can be used to help America.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:52 am |
    • Lauren

      Wow, you're not very good at history, D. Wilson. It was Newt Gingrich and the Republicans who balanced the budget and produced a surplus with Clinton kicking and screaming the whole way until he realized the GOP was fast making him irrelevant (remember his famous rant?). He decided to sign the legislation and liberals and Democrats have been erroneously crediting him with surpluses ever since. Another correction: capitalism is not evil and ruthless. It's fair. Anyone can rise to the level of prosperity they wish because the government and others can't restrict them. Capitalism has produced more wealth and lifted more people out of poverty than any other economic system in the history of the world. It is socialism, communism, fascism, anarchy, oligarchies and dictatorships that have impoverished peopled.

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

      Lauren dont expect a democratic Christian hating ideologue to understand history or politics. They just want to make sure no one requires anything from them and that govt gives them plenty hand outs. They arent even smart enough to understand that the govt will e bankrupt soon and there will be nothing left for them to steal.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:21 am |
    • BG

      @ Lauren

      Well stated.

      Except for maybe that "pre-existing conditions" bugaboo. And the donut hole. And the mysterious disappearing Social Security money... And the tax code... And trickle-down theories...

      Oh, well. Nothing's perfect.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:23 am |
    • D. Wilson

      WOW.. of all the times I've heard the experts describe the difference in the CLINTON SURPLUS AND 23 MILLION JOBS CREATED AND HIGHER WAGES AND BETTER PRICES.. I have never heard your versions young ladies! Even your very own David Gergen knows better... you are doing that thing that republicans do that has thrown your butts from the hill and that is... say anything even if you know it is a lie to make your party seem viable... sorry 8 years of proven bush failures.. we got it... now get out of the way so it can be fixed... can't block and kill the american people waiting to control the whitehouse again... gonna be a very long time before a republican hangs his hat in the whitehouse... unless he's on he TOUR!

      August 14, 2011 at 5:26 am |
    • Lauren

      @BG, I have no idea what you're talking about and I'm certain you don't either. Donut hole? Tax code? If your point is that there is corruption, well, congratulations, you're right. Same problem in all those other economic and government systems, but it causes less trouble in ours because we have a strong system of jurisprudence, and people go to jail when caught. If your point is that we don't have a true free market system in our country due to the ridiculous tax code and burdensome over-regulation by government, you're right again.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:34 am |
    • BG

      @ D. Wilson

      "...8 years of proven bush failures..."

      You mean 11 years. And don't hang your hat on anything David Gergen says. Oh, and the Dems are already talking about Barry's inability to be re-elected if he has one more major stumble.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:36 am |
    • BG

      @ Lauren

      " I have no idea what you're talking about and I'm certain you don't either."
      Great leadoff.. Score yourself a point. 1-0

      "Donut hole? Tax code? If your point is that there is corruption, well, congratulations, you're right."
      Yep. 1-1

      " If your point is that we don't have a true free market system in our country due to the ridiculous tax code and burdensome over-regulation by government, you're right again."

      I win, 1-2.

      Try not to be an antagonistic bítch next time. We could have had a nice conversation.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:41 am |
    • mb2010a

      Obama 2012...

      August 14, 2011 at 7:05 am |
  16. D. Wilson

    WHO CARES IF SHE SUBMITS? SHE HASN'T A SNOWBALL'S CHANCE IN SAUDI ARABIA OF WINNING ANYTHING!! SHE'S like a BUSH that is HANDICAPPED more than normal!!! She would be a GREAT PRESIDENTIAL CHEERLEADER!!! If they ever get those for the OVAL OFFICE... otherwise.. the only way BACKMAN makes it to the WHITEHOUSE is if she TAKES THE TOUR!

    August 14, 2011 at 4:46 am |
  17. D. Wilson


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

      Luckily we elected a President with about the same executive experience as Bachmann (none) and a much poorer understanding of economics and domestic and foreign policy. Oh wait, that wasn't lucky. It sucked. Big time. The good news is there are at least 3 GOP candidates with real executive experience and a solid grasp on economics and policy. Woohoo!

      August 14, 2011 at 4:54 am |
    • BG

      @ Lauren

      Agreed. So why don't they come forth?

      August 14, 2011 at 5:25 am |
  18. buckup

    religious fascism to the rescue.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:41 am |
  19. desert voice (troubledgoodangel or Nathanael or Voiceinthedesert)

    Here is my Catholic theological tip for Mrs. Bachmann, when she is challenged hext time on the "submission" question: Ephesians 5:21 says: "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." As I understand this precept, it means mutual submission to what is beautiful and good! It's not the type of submission as the one that had happened between a hotel maid and the IMF chief. There is no coercion, but trust and consent. The husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the Church. The Church is not enslaved or degraded, by submitting to Christ! On the contrary, that is the only way she is made whole! Take this from a Catholic theologian.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:38 am |
    • jimmymax

      Uhhh sure, now you just keep on taking that medicine like the doctor told you, and you're going to be alright...eventually.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:18 am |
    • Doris

      Catholic: Its like trying to explain chemistry to a kindergartener. They dont have the capacity to understand mutual submission and respect. They cant seem to comprehend that Mr. Bachmann would respect the fact that Michele was the one voted in to office and would not interfere with her job.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:26 am |
    • BG

      @ Doris

      Been sneaking around in the Presidential residence have you? Snooping?

      You don't have any idea if the Presidential spouses have influence or not.... so shhhh...

      August 14, 2011 at 5:30 am |
    • Doris

      BG so when are they going ask Obama if Michelle is going to tell him how to run the country? I dont have to spy because I understand the meaning of the scripture being quoted by Michelle Bachmann. I know that is hard for your little mind to comprehend but keep trying, it might just sink in.

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

      @ Doris

      God help you, girl. Considering Michelle has only been "proud of her country" on two occasions, and can't seem to stay "proud," I hope she's not advising Barry.

      But you know she is. Women can't keep their mouths shut.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:48 am |
    • BG

      Oh, we've got a live one here, folks.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:49 am |
  20. Lauren

    Is Alisa Harris an expert on Michele Bachmann? Probably not. Congratulations to Alisa for ridding herself of her prior distorted world view; one that Bachmann may or may not share–we don't know because this commentary is all about Alisa's path to "enlightenment" and has nothing to do with Bachmann. Unfortunately Alisa has apparently swapped her narrow world view for the more sophisticated but equally narrow-minded distortions of lockstep liberals, like believing she understands Bachmann, that Bachmann is the queen of rage, and best of all, that the poor and downtrodden are victims of the rich. Did you grow up in 20th Century America or Tsarist Russia of the 19th Century? "Exploitative practices of the rich and powerful" indeed. It's disturbing to read profiles of Bachmann written by journalists who by any measure are vastly more liberal than the average American because they can't accurately portray what they don't understand–religious faith, patriotism, traditional values. What you end up with is a terribly distorted picture demonizing a person that doesn't share the bizarre, politically correct, progressive world view of the average journalist. By the way, did you know that the "rich" in America pay most of the taxes allowing you to have such a low tax rate? That they create most of the jobs? That they are far more generous with their philanthropy than you and I and much more generous than any other people on earth? Sure, like the rioters in London and the flash mobs in Philadelphia, there are a few bad apples among them and there is the occasional corporate culture of corruption like Enron, but they are a very small minority. Time for your second wave of enlightenment. Maybe Bachmann is closer to right on most issues than you are.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:38 am |
    • Art

      "...occasional corporate culture of corruption like Enron..."


      Here ya' go:


      And remember that "legal" and "the right thing" are not always the same thing.

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

      Hey Art, you can do better than that. Only 76 corporate scandals? In the whole world? Since, presumably, the dawn of corporations? Okay, maybe not, but you nicely illustrated my point. A whole lot more people commit murder and robbery on any given day in the United States alone. Sure it sucks if you lose your life savings because of a scandal like Enron, but guess what? People go to jail when they break the law, as many did in those corporations.

      And I'm afraid I don't know what you mean by the "right thing" because you're a liberal and the right thing to a liberal is vastly different than the right thing to a conservative. For example, conservatives don't believe it's the right thing to have a large, expensive, burdensome and intrusive government, that it should cost 24% of the economy for the federal government alone. Making the "rich" pay the vast majority of taxes is not the right thing either. The top 1% pay 32% of all income taxes, the top 5% pay 51%, the top 10% pay 63%, and the top 20% pay 78% of all income taxes.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:22 am |
    • BG

      @ Lauren

      The problem is that there isn't a middle ground. Both parties have polarized their platforms as a defensive measure.

      (I'm not picking on you, it's just refreshing to see an articulate Republican for a change.)

      August 14, 2011 at 5:27 am |
    • Doris

      Lauren: What an excellent commentary. Perhaps CNN should hire you.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:30 am |
    • Prince Waleed

      @ Doris


      August 14, 2011 at 5:32 am |
    • Doris

      Prince: Your commentary : not so brilliant.

      August 14, 2011 at 5:40 am |
    • BG

      Doris, are you even aware of who Waleed is, what his relationship to CNN is, and his and CNN's political leanings?

      August 14, 2011 at 5:43 am |
    • pfeffernusse

      “…lockstep liberals…” Oh, my, that made me laugh. Liberals are a lot of things but they do not have one all-powerful dogma they follow. Getting liberals to agree on any one thing is like herding cats. Liberals are open and accepting, which is their strength. It can also be their weakness.

      Lauren, the rich of this country have countless tax shelters and loopholes. Percentage wise, they pay less than the average middle class person. How about they contribute the same percentage of their earnings that you and I do? Wouldn’t that be fair? Also, the rich haven’t been creating any jobs. W gave them tax breaks and unemployment soared. No jobs were being created. Many large corporations don’t pay much (if any) taxes, despite their heavy use of US infrastructure. Over and over, the rich and corporations are protected by Republicans not for their contributions to society but for their contributions to GOP coffers. They use the most resources and the rest of us have to pay for that.

      I assume you were around in 2008 when the financial markets came crashing down. That was a direct result of greed, lack of regulation, and corrupt business practices. Not only was our economy heavily damaged but it affected the entire world. The people who ruled over this disaster committed federal crimes, yet not one has been arrested. So much for the notion that Corporate America is a big, friendly, honest place that truly cares about the average guy.

      I don’t want the rich or corporations to pay more taxes. I want them to pay their fair share. I would like to see American companies that ship jobs overseas have their tax breaks stripped from them. I would like to see our government work smarter instead of harder (larger). I would like the government to make laws that benefit everyone, not just the sensibilities of a self-righteous few. I would like to see the Consti-tution honored and for this country to be as great as it can be. Does that make me a lockstep liberal?

      August 17, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
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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.