October 12th, 2011
11:57 AM ET

Bachmann implies Cain plan could be devil's work

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - A handful of Republican candidates took aim at Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan at Tuesday night’s presidential debate, but only one went so far as to imply it could be the devil's work.

“When you take the 9-9-9 plan and you turn it upside won, the devil is in the details," Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota said during the New Hampshire debate, alluding to the number 666, which is commonly connected to Satan.

The New Testament’s Book of Revelation identifies 666 with the mark of the beast, sometimes referred to as the antichrist or the devil.

According to the popular biblical study site biblestudytools.com, the Book of Revelation refers to two beasts, one of which “forces the worship of the antichrist and brands those who do so with the mark” of 666.

Cain, a former Godfather's Pizza executive who has recently surged in national polls, has proposed a plan to eliminate almost all national taxes and set corporate, sales and income taxes at a flat 9%.

Bachmann, a longtime evangelical Lutheran who recently left her church, is well-known for her professed deep religious convictions.

In an earlier presidential debate, Bachmann was asked about the biblical mandate that wives should submit to their husbands in an exchange that many Republicans called unfair.

"Marcus and I will be married for 33 years this September 10,” she replied. “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."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Herman Cain • Michele Bachmann • Politics

soundoff (226 Responses)
  1. What???

    Just tax the politicians and the wall streeters and call it a day.

    That gets my vote.

    October 12, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Policy


      October 12, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  2. GiveMeABreak

    Oh come on! Just b/c she said the devil's in the details? That is a freaking figure of speech. You are reaching.

    October 12, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  3. GodPot

    By the way, all you have to do is turn that cross Christians love so dearly upside down and shock!! You have an inverted cross which evil devil worshipers bow down to!! Oh No!!

    October 12, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • GodPot

      And if you turn it sideways it looks like a sword!! Oh No!!


      October 12, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Buford

      It's funny how christians take the basic things and turn them into something evil. Also, they say light is good and dark is bad if that is the case then why was light created out of the darkness. hmmmmmmmm. Seems fishy to me.

      October 12, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • Mikey

      Thanks for the laugh – more people should think like you.

      October 12, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  4. David Johnson

    Yep, I want these nuts to run my country.



    October 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  5. David Johnson



    October 12, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  6. David Johnson

    You talk about insanity.


    October 12, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  7. Bo

    I wonder if there would be as many ahteists if the scriptures did not have so many enturtpertions? Six-sixty- six is not the devil. The Bible clearly says: "for it is the number of a man; (Rev 13:18)

    October 12, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • GodPot

      I wonder if there would be as many atheists if religious nut jobs didn't go around asigning evil intent to benign numerical values.

      October 12, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You asked: "I wonder if there would be as many ahteists if the scriptures did not have so many enturtpertions?

      I don't know about the effect on atheists, but notice how many denominations of Christianity there are (~ 38,000 – World Christian Encyclopedia (2001)).

      Each denomination can show you scripture, that "proves" they understand the wants of Jesus/god.
      All of the denominations could not be correctly interpreting the bible. Many are contradictory.
      Many of these denominations believe only their members will be saved.

      If the Christian god exists, and He is all knowing and all powerful and all good, why didn't He provide a bible that could not be misinterpreted? That everyone's comprehension of His wants would be the same?

      The bible says:
      1 Corinthians 14:33 – KJV
      33For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

      Christians believe god's purpose in creating the Bible is to guide human beings towards a knowledge of God, and to help them lead moral lives. If this is so, then Christians must be certain of the meaning of the Bible.

      ambiguity – a word or expression that can be understood in two or more possible ways : an ambiguous word or expression.

      "There are in excess of 1,000 Christian faith groups in North America. They teach diverse beliefs about the nature of Jesus, God, the second coming, Heaven, Hell, the rapture, criteria for salvation, speaking in tongues, the atonement, what happens to persons after death, and dozens of other topics.

      On social controversies, faith groups teach a variety of conflicting beliefs about abortion access, equal rights for ho_mo$exuals and bi$exuals, who should be eligible for marriage, the death penalty, physician assisted suicide, human $exuality topics, origins of the universe, and dozens of other topics.

      The groups all base their theological teachings on the Bible. Generally speaking, the theologians in each of these faith groups are sincere, intelligent, devout, thoughtful and careful in their interpretation of the Bible. But, they come to mutually exclusive conclusions about what it teaches.

      Further, most are absolutely certain that their particular interpretations are correct, and that the many hundreds of faith groups which teach opposing beliefs are in error." Source: Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance

      If the bible is ambiguous, then it cannot be said to be inerrant. If the bible is not without error, then how do we know which parts to accept as truth and which to reject as fiction? Is the will of god, subjective?

      The Christian god is very unlikely to exist.


      October 12, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • fred

      David Johnson

      It is a masterpiece of a great creator. All these different people taking the gifts God has given them and applying them to their hearts desire. Each sees God differently because of who we are or who we have become. God says I knew you before I knit your bones together in the womb. We are all mind, body and soul moving towards something in an existence created for us. Most have a second sense that wonders and observes what appears to be purpose or causation. We are wired to make sense of that, which we do based on all that we are. None are same thus no answers or conclusions are identical.
      The miraculous nature of it all left even Einstein in awe. The written expressions of Jesus whether you believe in Him or not make sense to a lot of individuals. This attraction to both believers and non believers alike cannot be dismissed lightly. Even Mohammed took from His writings 600 years later as other faiths continue to do. What is it that draws to such an extent that Jesus is the most polarizing and notable figure in human history.
      Purpose, Jesus came that we may have life eternal. He came as a reflection of God who no man can comprehend or understand. A glimpse at the creator that knows our purpose, the cause of our existence. Jesus said we each have a purpose then clearly demonstrated and told each of us what the purpose is. Unity through Christ with the creator. .
      David, if you are getting a confused message it is because you are not one with God. You are not in harmony with how your were knit together. You soul can sense it and is telling you that you are confused, getting mixed signals, skeptical to the point of isolation from mainstream.

      October 12, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I'm an atheist for many reasons, but the main one is because there isn't a single shred of evidence that any god ever existed.

      October 13, 2011 at 1:02 am |
    • HellBent

      If god knit us together than he either wasn't paying very close attention or isn't a very good knitter.

      And Einstien didn't find anything miraculous because, as an atheist, he didn't believe in miracles. Marveling at the nature of the universe does not require a deity.

      October 13, 2011 at 1:07 am |
    • fred

      "What separates me from most so-called atheists is a feeling of utter humility toward the unattainable secrets of the harmony of the cosmos. (Albert Einstein to Joseph Lewis, Apr. 18, 1953)

      When the answer is simple, God is speaking. (Albert Einstein)

      October 13, 2011 at 1:17 am |
  8. Uncouth Swain

    If one heard the comments being made...I don't think she was being very serious with her comment.

    October 12, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • HellBent

      I heard the comments and while I totally acknowledge my bias is probably clouding my judgement, I didn't think she was joking.

      October 12, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      Doesn't matter if she was joking or not, she's always going to be laughable...first impressions are lasting.

      October 12, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Anomic Office Drone

      I agree that it was a joke, but it was a joke that reminded us of a truth. Michelle Bachmann is utterly incapable of having any kind of discussion without bringing religion in to it.

      October 12, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  9. Policy

    Where is that policy to tax the 'Greed'?

    October 12, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • GodPot

      That would require a tax on religion, which I am all for.

      October 12, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  10. Doc Vestibule

    In Gematria (the Hebrew practice of equating words to numbers), the numerical value of the Hebrew word ShKBTh ZRGh, meaning sperm or seed, gives 999.
    Ergo, Mr. Cain's tax plan is dirty and Onanistic.

    October 12, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  11. Colin

    This is completely incredible. I can't imagine any other developed nation considering a candidate for its President who believes in such utter garbage. She opposes a tax policy based on the fact that the numbers, if inverted, are the mark of "the beast" from some ranting Bronze Age mythology. Just, wow!

    October 12, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Benyamin

      That woman is f-in nuts.

      October 12, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      Colin, they're looking for another as.sa,ssination...great publicity for their 'poor me' campaigns.

      October 12, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  12. J.W

    But if the 666 is upside down does that mean that Herman Cain's plan is actually the reverse of the devils work? May the 999 is actually working against the devil.

    October 12, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • HellBent

      Oddly enough, that's what I was thinking. In a lot of Christian numerology, 3, 9, and 10 and considered perfect, or holy numbers (think Dante). Having three nines would be a good thing. Bachmann is looking really pathetic lately. It would be sad if the alternative weren't so scary.

      October 12, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  13. Dancing Dave

    Despite the political weakness of the liberals, the conservatives have little hope of winning if they continue their parade of shreiking idiots that they call candidates.

    October 12, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • David Johnson

      I thank the gods that they do keep doing idiotic things. In spite of the economy, Obama makes the Republican candidates look sad. You really want your president to at least be sane. The Republicans are so afraid the economy might improve, they are even voting against the wishes of the voters. I love it!

      Evangelicals, I think your dreams of a Jesus Kingdom on earth are dwindling.

      "Work of the devil", you say? What year is this?

      The Tea Baggers / Christian Right have sh!t for brains. I believe it is a gift from god.

      Please my believers. I know you and I don't always see eye to eye, but stop supporting these religious nuts. The Christian Right wants to rule the nation. The Mormons believe in and wear magic underwear.


      October 12, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
  14. 9

    Something 'bout that 9 is creepy indeed!,

    Make it 10 for Corp, 8 for Individual and 7 for sales.
    Gotta tax that greed too while at it! and make that a 39%

    October 12, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Elementary

      Yeah, the devil is in the numbers, it is lurking behind that 'Greed'

      October 12, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
  15. Jonathan Davis

    Glad she's a politician and not a theologian. The statement is obviously a cheap attempt to drum up the most conservative and religious part of the base. Stupid email forward here we come!

    October 12, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
  16. Tea Party Daily News

    A spokesperson today said candidate Michele Bachmann, having recently left her church behind, is converting to Islam.

    Bachmann is also leaving her latent-gay, flaccid husband Marcuthhh so that she can be free to pursue musician Yousef Islam (Cat Stevens). Bachmann is guoted as saying "I've always liked his music. You know what they say about musical men and their trombones..." and "As a Muslim and POuTUS, I could solve our terrorism problems once and for all. There's no way Al Kaida and his countrymen will attack a country with a Muslim leader. This will help me get elected in other ways too. In fact, it might be the only way I can get more than the teabagger vote and pull in anything from Obama's liberal base."

    Yousef Islam (Stevens) was heard to say "No way, dude, no friggin way. That leathery old haggis wouldn't have made it as my groupie even when she was 20, no matter how good her oratory skills are."

    October 12, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
  17. Andy

    Sadly, some quacks will believe it and use it if it suits their purposes.

    October 12, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
  18. Brother Maynard

    OK Ms Bachmann ... we get it ... you're an evangelical Xtian. Must EVERY statement you make have a biblical reference? Can we PLEASE move on??

    October 12, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
  19. Reality

    How did the Republicans end up with such a group of sorry Christian "rednecks" running for the presidency they cannot possibly win.

    With respect to the Book of Revelation:

    "Nineteenth-century agnostic Robert G. Ingersoll branded Revelation "the insanest of all books".[30] Thomas Jefferson omitted it along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible, and wrote that at one time, he "considered it as merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams." [31]

    Martin Luther "found it an offensive piece of work" and John Calvin "had grave doubts about its value."[32]

    October 12, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • Lee

      @....... Maybe you could learn something from Reality, rather than following him around reporting abuse when there is clearly no abuse to report.

      October 12, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Hasa Diga Eebowai

      Apparently reality is upsetting "........" with facts and truth. Typical theist reaction

      October 12, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Colin

      Keep up the good work reality. I would not listen to any poster who is too gutless to even reveal their name.

      October 12, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Reality- and how do you feel on all this?

      October 12, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Hasa Diga Eebowai- all he did was copy/paste crap other ppl he thinks highly of wrote. Or that which supports his agenda. I wonder if Reality agrees with Martin Luther on his views of the Jews as much as he agrees with Luther on Revelation.

      October 12, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • Reality

      Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      October 12, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      OK, herbie, I reported abuse on your post. Again.

      Hateful little bore you are.

      October 12, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
  20. William Demuth

    She is an idiot, but that was clearly a joke. as this article.

    October 12, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
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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.