Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Michele Bachmann on the Causes of Natural Disasters -- WTF?

The Chicago Tribune's headline to a story about this video is "VIDEO: Bachmann jokes hurricane a message from God."

Apparently, the writer thought, "She must be joking!" But, later, another headline asked, "Michele Bachmann ties God to quake, hurricane. Was she kidding?"

Then, finally, a damage control story appeared, titled "Candidate Bachmann brushes off hurricane joke." So, how can we ever know whether Bachmann is serious or joking? Her candidacy may be in its last throes.

It's not difficult to imagine a young Miss Bachmann, when asked to write about the causes of the Civil War, handing in a paper that simply said, "The war was God's punishment for slavery." Would she have passed? Would her teacher have challenged her? Would anyone tell her she could believe that if she liked, but would need to explain how an abolitionist died in the war while a slaveholder survived?

Should all evangelical Christians be condemned? Maybe not, considering an article by The New York Times' Nicholas D. Kristoff, "Evangelicals Without Blowhards," in which he writes that not all of them are blowhards. But what about Sarah Palin, who has belonged to an apocalyptic church? Rick Perry, who claims that some problems are "Acts of God?" Rick Santorum? Mitt Romney? Are all of them blowhards? Depending on which, if any, of these people win the Republican nomination, we should have an interesting national discussion about the role of religion in government. These candidates need to be challenged about their beliefs, especially about how their beliefs would affect their performance, if elected. It wasn't long ago that "God told me to invade Iraq, Bush tells Palestinian ministers" appeared in the news (another story here).

The Washington Post's article, "Sarah Palin is wrong about John F. Kennedy, religion and politics," by Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, provides some insight into Sarah Palin's views on the separation of church and state. It is worth reading, because Ms Townsend writes of John Kennedy's statement about his catholicism, when some people doubted whether he could separate church and state, if elected. Sarah Palin's criticism of Kennedy's position is a clear indication that she believes church and state are inseperable. Palin needs to be asked, "Whose church should govern us?"

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