What’s up with the Bachmanns?
We citizens of gay orientation have our detractors, to say the least. There are adversaries who are driven to extremes, calling for the complete elimination of gays from society, to elimination of gays among public offices, or service positions, or public life in general. In every instance of overt antipathy toward gays, the impetus is founded in centuries of religious vilification of gays. In other words, some cultural concerns are an issue only because somebody’s religious creation says it’s so. There are those among the religious who would benevolently convert us gays to conform to their doctrine’s descriptions of how the world should work.
There is ever mounting evidence that one so inclined is born with at least a predisposition toward homosexuality, the nature part of nature v. nurture. There are genetic and evolutionary biological science descriptions on how gayness works on the natural level and is actually advantageous for the perpetuation of the species. [Link one, two, three, four, five]
Marcus Bachmann, husband and campaign aide to Michele Bachman is one such opponent. He claims Christian love and compassion in the context of a married mother and father household adhering to biblical composition is the only acceptable standard. According to him, any deviation is a diabolical threat to children and must not be allowed. Further, he implies that children exposed to, considering and at risk of engaging in homosexuality can be steered, using Biblical precepts, away from choosing such a lifestyle. He practices what he preaches in his Christian counselling business, offering a way out of homosexuality, and formerly in his home with Rep. Michele Bachman with whom he’s fostered, short term, dozens of children.
Penna Dexter, conservative radio host and columnist, interviewed Mr. Bachmann on the “Point of View” radio program.
[Dexter] What do you say when your teenager says she’s gay? What do you say to Christian parents who come up with this?
[Bachmann] What is the understanding of God’s word on homosexuality? This is no mystery that a child or preadolescent, particularly adolescents, will question and wonder about sexuality. That’s nothing new under the sun since the beginning of time. I don’t think we should take that, because we wonder, we think or we question, does that take us down the road of homosexuality?
[Dexter] Could you add the word experiment to that?
[Bachmann] Certainly. There’s that curiosity. But, again, we… we… like… y’know… It is as if we need to understand. Barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined. And, just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn’t mean we’re supposed to go down that road. That’s what called the sinful nature. And, we have a responsibility as parents and authority figures, not to encourage such thoughts and feelings to move into the action steps. And, let’s face it. What is our culture? What is our public school system doing today? They are giving full, wide open doors, to children, not only giving encouragement to think it, but to actually encourage action steps. That’s why when we understand what’s truly the percentage of homosexuals in this country is small. But, by these open doors, I can see, and we are experiencing that it’s starting to increase.
Bachmann’s assessment is no more than a paranoid, paternalistic distortion of reality: Children, specifically ones who may tend toward homosexuality, described as barbarians who must be disciplined and educated to not succumb to their sinful nature merely because it may occur to them. Such inherently corrupt children must be forced, out of “love” and “compassion,” to conform apparently without regard to the effect such bullying has on them in the long run. In Bachmann’s world, what could go wrong with anybody who is compelled to get right with the Lord? The Christian Brothers’ charity and the Magdalena Laundries’ compassion of 20th century Ireland come to mind.
Bachmann’s professional education is entrenched in religion based counselling founded primarily in religious doctrine rather than scientific logic. His master of arts in community counselling was awarded him from CBN University, now Regent University, which was founded by Pat Robertson who also founded the Christian Broadcasting Network. His dissertation included a biblical perspective and scriptural quotes. Bachmann’s doctor of philosophy with a concentration in clinical psychology degree came from what is now the Union Institute and University. His PhD dissertation concentrated on the effects of day care on children four to five years of age. While its conclusions are reportedly unclear, he included suggestions for further study to measure the effects of sibling dynamics, one parent compared with two parent households, and the “spiritual environment” in the home. Neither of Bachmann’s degrees is earned through traditional programs. Neither programs nor degrees are accredited by the American Psychological Association. Marcus Bachmann is not a licensed psychologist. His background is strewn with injecting religion into science, which may be sound if one is measuring the effects of religion within a framework of the scientific method. What’s troubling is the Bachmann Clinic’s practice of conflating religious philosophy and unproven, though well discredited, therapy techniques to change peoples’ lives that are then applied in lieu of science.
It’s inappropriate to label others’ orientation contrary to their self identification It’s no less improper than among rabidly Right opinions that label a President a secret Muslim, socialist, communist, Marxist, possessed of un-American or anti-American sentiments, secretly foreign or whatever the heck other rabbits are regularly pulled out of tin foil hats to malign a favored nemesis. No one can tell definitively but the person himself or herself just how straight or gay
s/he is. However, Bachmann’s conspicuous conduct gives one pause. But, is that fair? So what he’s nellie as hell? Similarly, I think a large number of British men are overtly effeminate regardless of their never ever having had a thought about that other side of the fence. Conversely, some of the most firmly entrenched and solidly self assured gay men I know easily out butch Rambo. Overt behaviour means nothing and the spectrum between butch and nelly is just so much sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Whether Marcus is, or has ever been, overtly or latently homosexual is a matter of conjecture, speculation and idle gossip to anybody but Bachman himself, and those who interact with him with any intimacy on a daily basis. Whether he’s inherently heterosexual or a product of his own recipe of reparative therapy is anybody’s guess. Most anybody choosing to struggle with such issues is guaranteed privacy – as long as they keep it a private matter. On the other hand, if – and that’s a big if — Bachmann is a product of his own reparative retinue, regardless of how successful such conversion would outwardly appear, inwardly he would be exhibiting all the classic self denial, self destruction, and immolation of a textbook, self loathing homophobic homosexual. The more public his positions have become, the more difficult it is for him ever to find a way back.
It’s not for anybody to judge the personal behavioural choices one makes as long as those decisions do not adversely affect others. And that’s just the point. This guy chooses to ignore scientific consensus in favour of Biblical dogma creating his own brand of debunked faux herapy that has no standard, no regulation or basis in scientific research as if it were science and as if it were effective. Choices he makes are in spite of the overwhelming scientific consensus that such “treatment” is harmful and in direct contravention of any professional oaths the practitioner would take as a requirement to licensing. It is because Bachman is not a licensed therapist that he enjoys such latitude.
The fact of the matter is that however well intentioned Bachman is or however much good he thinks he’s doing, he is objectively engages in activity that is proven to harm innocent people who are already in turmoil. His “therapy” paradigm has been proven to cement self destructive psychology — including pointless guilt and gratuitous self condemnation — deepen trauma such as depression and suicidal tendencies, and only effects, at best, overt behaviour without addressing, changing, ameliorating or assuaging the effects of the underlying orientation. Note that the issue is only a problem pursuant to antiquated, anachronistic, politically manufactured traditions –traditions that didn’t exist prior to the Reformation and especially the King James Version of the Bible translation into English
Michele Bachman, Republican candidate for President and leader of the Congressional Tea Party Caucus, has been deflecting questions about partnership in her husband’s practice, reports of so-called pray-away-the-gay, reparative therapy there, receipt of government medical care funds, not to mention campaign finance law violations, years of farm subsidies for the family farm, and other issues. Her position is that it is she who is running for President, not her husband, not her husband’s practice. She feigns those questions are irrelevant and attempts to smear her candidacy.
Interview at the National Press Club
[Interviewer]Recent reporting has revealed the clinic you co-own with your husband engages in the kind of therapy that is meant to help people get over their homosexuality. Do you think reparative therapy can change gay people into being straight and is any Federal funding gone for your clinic?
[Bachmann] Well, I’m extremely proud of my husband and I have tremendous respect and admiration for him. And we’ll celebrate our thirty-third wedding anniversary this coming September. I am running for the Presidency of the United States. My husband is not running for the Presidency. Neither are my children. Neither is our business. Neither is [sic] our foster children. I am more than happy to stand for questions on running for President of the United States.
[Interviewer] You don’t believe your personal finances are something that should be questioned by the American People?
[Bachmann] I am running for the Presidency of the United States and I have no doubt that every jot and tiddle of my life will be fully looked at and inspected prior to November 2012.
But, those issues are up-front-and-center relevant considering Michele Bachman’s pious declarations, just like a good, meek, submissive Christian wife, of submission to her husband according to Biblical law. Submission is not the same thing as respect, but attempts to conflate the two are a gallant effort to walk the issue back. Painting the question as sexist is ‘way off the mark. It has nothing to do with her being female, but has everything to do with how she introduced the issue, making it central to understanding her acquiescence to her flavour of religion and definitive of her character and a qualification for higher office.. Any candidate who makes articles of faith, home life, their spouse or children central to their qualifications for office cannot turn around and declare them off limits. Freedom of religion doesn’t give one a free pass to have it both ways.
Mr. Bachmann is out to convert gays according to scripture. Mrs. Bachmann flails against socialized medicine, but their practice allegedly accepts Medicare payments for delivery of non-scientific, medically debunked, non-certified and unapproved, religion based treatment. These are ethical, professional, statutory and Constitutional issues beside the basic hypocrisy of Michele’s positions and stonewalling against accountability. Marcus Bachmann is a liability to his wife Michele’s candidacy for President and her position as the incumbent Representative to Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District. As a self professed submissive wife, how much of her husband and business partner’s philosophies will effect, color or control her approaches to vital issues effecting millions of Americans were she to become President, Vice-President or Cabinet secretary?
The Bachmanns exhibit the primary flaw in character shared among so many evangelical Christians and others who are taught from an early age that magic is real, that conviction is equal to fact, and assertions are the same as the truth. Contrary to all evidence, they’ve convinced themselves the supernatural promises they’ve been taught to believe all their lives are so real they’re more important than the lives, dreams, desires, needs, expectations and rights of anybody who doesn’t agree with them. Their supernatural authority, in their minds, supersedes the authority of the Constitution of the United States of America. None among Christian assertions about reality have any authority beyond hearsay, tradition, popularity, false conclusions or appeals to ignorance. None among the profuse variations of religious interpretation have any bearing or authority over civil, secular law.
These people are making life decisions based on archaic, anachronistic traditions founded on hearsay, old wives’ tales and superstition. That they even consider such illusory stuff at all undermines their judgement and discernment – the ability to tell fact from fiction and the difference between conviction and truth. Nobody who professes a knowledge and dependence on a magical super hero has any business anywhere near the public piggy bank much less access to the nuclear football.
Gay is a state of being, not a life style or a casual choice. There is nothing wrong with being gay, regardless of what anybody’s false authority says on the subject. Despite all the academic posturing Marcus Bachmann has spent so much energy assembling, he just doesn’t know what he’s talking about. His ignorance of fact and rejection of reality are misguiding gullible people and damaging innocent lives. Mrs. Bachmann would do the same under the authority of law.
The President of the United States must represent all the citizens and residents in the nation. The best way – the only way – to accomplish this is to keep the special interests of one group from trampling the rights of any other group. Only through strict adherence to the Separation of Church and State, keeping one group’s faith from affecting the lives of any other group is that even remotely possible. What could be more barbaric than to deny any their guarantee of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness by granting special rights to any other group, whether by tradition, arbitrary animus, or anachronistic delusions of grandeur? Perhaps the Bachmanns and their sympathetic cohort would do well to follow Marcus Bachmann’s own words: “Just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn’t mean we’re supposed to go down that road.”
© 2011 Nathan Garcia All International Rights Reserved