Left-wing media outlets are really eating out of former Christian evangelist Frank Schaeffer's hands as he paints Michele Bachmann as the outer fringe of the fringe, and "anti-American." On the radical-left yet taxpayer-subsidized Pacifica Radio show Democracy Now on Wednesday, host Amy Goodman encouraged Schaeffer to unfurl charges that Bachmann was somehow comparable to Ayatollah Khomeini and Kim Jong Il -- two-thirds of Bush's Axis of Evil countries -- and somehow, an outdated believer in Bronze Age mythology.
Pacifica touted his latest article on the lefty site Alternet, titled "Are Michele Bachmann’s Views about 'Christian Submission' Even More Extreme than She’s Letting On?"
Schaeffer began by saying Bachmann "doesn't just come from the far right of evangelical politics. She comes from a fringe even of the fringe, which is the Reconstructionist, Dominionist movement, that honestly, in the best of all worlds, as far as they're concerned, would replace American democracy with a theocracy on a Christian level that would mirror something like modern-day Iran after it fell to the Ayatollah Khomeini."
Goodman played a clip of Bachmann as a state senator warning in 2004 about gay-activist Minnesotans getting married in Massachusetts and then trying to get it recognized in Minnesota, as if that warning was beyond daffy. Schaeffer was better at illustrating daffiness:
SCHAEFFER: Well, look, you know, I spend the whole of my book Sex, Mom, and God basically following several themes, and one of them is that if you believe in the, quote, "inerrancy of Scripture" - in other words, it is without error; everything it says is true, historically, geologically, scientifically, sociologically, scientifically, and every other way - then you have signed onto a Bronze Age myth. And one of the primary tenets of that myth is a misogynistic view of women, and also a view of gay people, which puts them outside of the mainstream of just human existence. And so, you have her husband trying to pray away the gay through his counseling services and so forth.
Again, mainstream U.S. America doesn't understand that people like Michele Bachmann have signed onto Bronze Age mythology, including its misogyny, its homophobia, its racism, and all the rest of it, and that that is the religion they are part of. When it comes to politics, they try to dress that up, downplay certain things, omit other things, and bare-face lie about some things like the submission issue. But the misogyny, the homophobia, that is at the core of the Bible, which they hold up as the, quote, "word of God," which, in their view of politics, coming out of the Reconstructionists, should take over the laws of this country at some point, which is what they're all pushing for when they talk about taking America back, taking America back for God. What they really want to return to is the Bay State colonies under Governor Winthrop, and that's their ideal society, plus maybe modern medicine, so they can live a little longer and get their prostates checked, etc., etc. But essentially, we're looking at people whose best of all worlds is the Bronze Age in the state of Israel, back in the day when someone lost their virginity, so they would be stoned to death in the gates of their father's house. This is the book they've signed onto.
It's unfair for government to subsidize Christianity, but it's somehow completely fair to take taxpayer money from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (remember, Pacifica stations together get about $1 million a year) to trash the Bible as a ridiculous, antiquated book of dangerous mythology. Goodman was loving every sentence of it:
GOODMAN: Talk more about where you come from, because you embraced what your father believed. You, yourself, were a well-known evangelical leader—
GOODMAN: —before you, well, turned against it all.
SCHAEFFER: Well, you know, my own journey is one where I had to confront the fact that we were simply wrong on a whole number of issues. And this began in 1984 when my dad died. And like some North Korean despot, I was becoming his sidekick. You know, evangelicals and the North Korean government have this same idea, and that is that fathers pass on the mantle to their sons or families, or at least the mailing list. I was following in my dad’s footsteps, as someone in my young twenties. But from about 1984 on, and certainly by 1990, I had jumped ship.
And I guess I can just put it this way: it struck me, in many areas, but one principally in terms of politics, that the religious right that I was part of is fundamentally anti-American. They hate this country. They wrap themselves in the flag, but they hate America as it is: the America that embraces gay people, is multicultural, is a homogeneous society that seeks to incorporate all races and ethnic creeds into its culture. The America they love is the, quote, "Christian America" that they keep harping back to, that people like Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, George W. Bush, etc., all want to take us back to. But it’s an America that never existed and certainly doesn’t now. And I think it was just that sense of alienation from my own culture, my own time and place, that began a train of thought that, in the end, took me very, very far away, as I explain in Sex, Mom, and God and give the reasons for my departure there. But in a nutshell, it’s just I happen to not be an anti-American person.