Monday, August 8, 2011

Michelle's Must-Read List

the August 15th issue of the New Yorker contains Ryan Lizza's Leap of Faith: The Making of a Republican Frontrunner, a rather extensive history of how and why and when Michelle Bachmann came to her core beliefs.

Bachmann, a Republican Presidential candidate and Tea Party darling, has stumbled over more than a few facts during her campaign, but has thus far managed a bit more grace in replacing some of the obviously divisive language of her far right-wing Christian beliefs (she got her law degree at Oral Roberts University, her husband gained his "pray the gay away" counseling degree at Pat Robertson's Regents University and the couple just recently withdrew their membership from the Salem Lutheran Church, a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod whose tenets suggest that the Pope is the Anti-Christ) with more inclusive terms like "liberty." you know, kind of like when George Wallace adopted the phrase "states rights" (wink wink).

yes, a more or less successful transformation, as long as you don't believe that anything more than the word liberty is actually inclusive.

according to Lizza, Bachmann's State Senate campaign website (about 10 years ago) contained book recommendations under the heading "Michelle's Must-Read List," and number three on that list was the 1997 biography Call of Duty: The Sterling Nobility of Robert E. Lee by J. Steven Wilkins, a graduate of the University of Alabama, the pastor of the Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church of Monroe, Louisiana since 1989, as well as "the leading proponent of the theory that the South was an orthodox Christian nation unjustly attacked by the godless North."

the Wilkins book, the book listed as number three on Bachmann's posted "must-read list" just about a decade ago, suggests that "Slavery, as it operated in the pervasively Christian society which was the old South, was not an adversarial relationship founded upon racial animosity. In fact, it bred on the whole, not contempt, but, over time, mutual respect. This produced a mutual esteem of the sort that always results when men give themselves to a common cause. The credit for this startling reality must go to the Christian faith. . . . The unity and companionship that existed between the races in the South prior to the war was the fruit of a common faith."

and you probably didn't have to look at the picture of Wilkins above to tell he was a white man, did you?

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