Inside Bachmann’s Brain: Non-Christians are Wrong Even if they are Right
You don’t want to invest a lot of time nit-picking the historical inaccuracies here. (For example, John Adams was a Unitarian who rejected the divinity of Christ, Alexander Hamilton avoided church, and while all three genuinely abhorred slavery, only Jay can be said to have worked to end it.) The anecdote is valuable as an illustration of the way in which Bachmann processes information. Lizza found a 2005 interview in which Bachmann was asked about books she liked. She praised two: Ann Coulter’s Treason and Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey. Lizza explains the latter:
[Pearcey] teaches readers how to implement Schaeffer’s idea that a Biblical world view should suffuse every aspect of one’s life. She tells her readers to be extremely cautious with ideas from non-Christians. There may “be occasions when Christians are mis-taken on some point while nonbelievers get it right,” she writes in “Total Truth.” “Nevertheless, the overall systems of thought constructed by nonbelievers will be false—for if the system is not built on Biblical truth, then it will be built on some other ultimate principle. Even individual truths will be seen through the distorting lens of a false world view.
As Lizza points out, Bachmann regards even the most mundane political facts through the prism of a worldview that would probably seem extremely strange to most Americans. One of her first great political causes was to attack federal vocational education programs on the grounds that they promoted:
a “new restructuring of American society,” beginning with “workforce boards” that would tell every student the specific career options he or she could pursue, turning children into “human resources for a centrally planned economy.”
This kind of talk would sound paranoid to most of us. It emerges from a religious philosophy that rejects the federal government as an alien instrument of destruction, ripping apart a Christian society. Bachmann’s religiously grounded rejection of the American state finds a hearing with many more conventional conservatives radicalized by today’s hard economic times.