As GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann (R-MN) surges in the polls, more information is coming to light about her past that reveal the depths of her political and religious extremism. The Bachmanns’ counseling clinic practices discredited and damaging ex-gay therapy to “cure” homosexuality.
Slate’s Dave Weigel has reported an audio recording of Bachmann praying for the notoriously anti-gay ministry You Can Run But You Can’t Hide, run by the radical preacher Bradlee Dean. Bachmann offered the prayer in 2006 (though the recording was uploaded in 2008). In it, Bachmann predicts, “We are in the last days,” and says, “The harvest is at hand” — a Biblical allusion to the Rapture when some believe God will take saved Christians from the earth and leave the non-believers to face several years of torment and tribulation before the second coming of Christ:
BACHMANN: Lord, the day is at hand. We are in the last days. You are a Jehovah God. We know that the times are in your hands. And we give them to you…The day is at hand, Lord, when your return will come nigh. Nothing is more important than bringing sheep into the fold. Than bringing new life into the kingdom…You have weeded that garden. The harvest is at hand.
As Weigel noted, it’s not terribly surprising that Bachmann is among those evangelical Christians who believe the end of the world is imminent. But it’s still disconcerting that someone campaigning to lead America into the future believes that its days are numbered and millions of its citizens are doomed. Bachmann has toned down her religious rhetoric considerably since hitting the campaign trail.
Also jarring is Bachmann’s belief that “nothing is more important than” converting people before the world ends. As she weighs in on critical debates like whether or not to let the U.S. default on its obligations, it’s troubling that Bachmann is rooting for the apocalypse.
During the prayer session Bachmann asked God to expand the anti-gay ministry of Bradlee Dean. Dean has been described as “Bachmann’s Jeremiah Wright” since his radical statements pose a political problem for the candidate. Dean has repeatedly called for gays and lesbians to be put in prison and has said executing gays is “moral.” He also directs his invective at Muslims and Democrats.