Michele Bachmann: The End Times are a-comin’!

OMG, I am so embarrassed for my country.  First Scalia avers belief in Beelzebub, and now the reliably loony Michelle Bachmann has gone on the radio, making a false claim about American involvement in Syria and then using that premise to argue that the End Times are near.

From the Atlantic Wire:

Over the weekend, Rep. Michele Bachmann seemed to confirm what the congresswoman has long hinted: that she believes we are all currently living in the end of days, as fortold by the End Times scripture in the Bible. Speaking to “Understanding the Times” host Jan Markell, Bachmann connected the U.S.’s support of Syrian rebels directly to biblical prophecy that she believes outlines the signs of the end. On the show, Bachmann first falsely claims that the U.S. is funding and arming Islamic extremists in Syria, then says that based on that claim, “we are to understand where we are in God’s end times history.”

Here’s part of what Bachmann said in the interview, which you can hear  in its entirety below:

“[the U.S.'s funding of al Qaeda in Syria] happened and as of today the United States is willingly, knowingly, intentionally sending arms to terrorists, now what this says to me, I’m a believer in Jesus Christ, as I look at the End Times scripture, this says to me that the leaf is on the fig tree and we are to understand the signs of the times, which is your ministry, we are to understand where we are in God’s end times history. Rather than seeing this as a negative, we need to rejoice, Maranatha Come Lord Jesus, His day is at hand. When we see up is down and right is called wrong, when this is happening, we were told this; these days would be as the days of Noah.”

In the three-minute recording below, Bachmann’s political lies stop at 1:46, when the religious lies (and the fun) begin:

Imagine a French or Swedish politican (well, an ex-politician) saying something like that!

Want more embarrassment? Here’s some: belief in the End Times is pretty common in the U.S. As the article notes:

In the past month, two Christian groups have attempted to quantify that belief: a recent survey by the Evangelical polling group Barna found that over 40 percent of Americans believe we’re in the End Times — a number that matches up with another recent survey asking a similar question from the Public Religion Research Institute, which has a different worldview from Barna. PRRI’s poll adds that 65 percent of White Evangelical Christians believe that the recent severity of natural disasters is a sign of the end. And LifeWay, associated with the Southern Baptist Convention, found that one in three Americans believe that the Syrian conflict is related to End Times prophecy. The LifeWay researchers believe the apocalyptic interest in Syria has a lot to do with its proximity to Israel.

115 Comments

  1. Posted October 9, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    It is embarrassing to be an American. : /

  2. Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Wow!

    Well, it should come as no surprise to anyone. This is what one would expect from mainstreaming mentally ill people w/o adequate meds.

    She’s a freakin’ delusional ignoramus running about the countryside w/o a straight jacket.

    She needs a lobotomy.

    • Kevin
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Religion is idempotently her lobotomy.

    • brotheryam
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Yes, but the meds should be covered by Obamacare…

      • pulseteresa
        Posted October 10, 2013 at 1:19 am | Permalink

        She would never allow this since Obama is an atheist, Muslim, non-US citizen, the antichrist, blah, blah, blah. I’m fairly certain Bachmann believes most, if not all of the above

  3. Swulf
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    This wackiness is everywhere. In the backwaters of t’intertubes are folks like this lot…

    http://www.fivedoves.com/letters/oct2013/oct.htm

    …who fill servers with day after day of endless chewing over middle-eastern events, the rapture, Obama being the antichrist etc., etc. ad nauseum. Bachmann would be right at home.

    • gluonspring
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      There has always been a sort of grotesque wonder to the way people can use the marvels of actual knowledge, such as makes possible the internet, for example, as an engine for such anti-knowledge.

  4. Tom
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Its a very good thing that whack job is not running for re-election. She is so far to the right she can see her own ass.

    • darrelle
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      “Its a very good thing that whack job is not running for re-election.”

      That is fantastic news! Are you sure? I loathe, and pity, MB.

      • still learning
        Posted October 9, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        Yes, she announced several weeks ago that she wouldn’t seek office again.

  5. worried secularist
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Well, just secularize end times. And never mind Syria and Iran and Somalia. Tim Flannery’s review of a new book about jellyfish is one of the most frightening things I’ve ever read. Apocalyptic indeed.

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/sep/26/jellyfish-theyre-taking-over/?pagination=false

    • boggy
      Posted October 10, 2013 at 5:36 am | Permalink

      I have just seen the light, God did not just create jellyfish (was it on the 5th day?) but God IS a jellyfish.
      And fools like me have been praying to the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

      • Posted October 10, 2013 at 7:54 am | Permalink

        That’s no jellyfish.

        The good news, though, such as it is, is that this means that you’re likely one of the lucky ones who’ll be eaten first.

        Cheers,

        b&

        • E.A. Blair
          Posted October 10, 2013 at 8:37 am | Permalink

          You mean like this?

          • Posted October 11, 2013 at 8:30 am | Permalink

            Yes!

            Ia! Shub Nigguath! Phnglul mghwnafh Cthulhu Rlyeh wgahnagl fhtagn!

            CTHULHU FHTAGN!

            b&

  6. Alex Shuffell
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    “65 percent of White Evangelical Christians believe that the recent severity of natural disasters is a sign of the end.”

    I thought that this belief would be higher in a group like them. Maybe that means there is 35 percent of “White Evangelical Christians” that know of climate change.

  7. Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    It reminds me of that Bill Hicks joke about the Bush Snr era:

    That’s another good thing about Bush being gone, man, cos for the last 12 years with Reagan and Bush, we have had fundamentalist Christians in the White House. Fundamentalist Christians who believe the Bible is the exact word of God, including that wacky fire and brimstone Revelations ending, have had their finger on the fucking button for 12 years.
    [Eyes roll back in head]
    “Tell me when Lord, tell me when. Let me be your servant Lord.”

    • Larry Cook
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Reagan hasn’t been in office in 25 years. There was 12 years of Reagan and Bush, but it was the elder Bush and it was 1980-1992.

      • Posted October 9, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        Not exactly sure of your point, but for the record, Bill Hicks died in 1994.

      • Posted October 9, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        Yes, “Snr” in the original comment indicates the elder Bush.

        “Senior”

        • lee Markham
          Posted October 11, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

          Great first comment I’m in agreement with you about the Reagan/Bush snr era, but what I don’t understand is why the above guy posted what he did!!!
          He was obviously in a rush to correct you so much so he couldn’t have read your post…

  8. Gordon Hill
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Her end time is coming.

    • Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      If only!

      /@

      • gbjames
        Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        Please, Jesus, won’t you just rapture her up already?

        • Merilee
          Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:31 am | Permalink

          Sub

  9. Gasper Sciacca
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Fortunately, her career is over. Unfortunately, the stupid press will keep her in the public eye for years.

  10. Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    //

    • Jesper Both Pedersen
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      ///

  11. Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    From the Borowitz Report today @ http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2013/10/republicans-shut-down-prefrontal-cortex.html?utm_source=tny&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=borowitz&mbid=nl_Borowitz%20(179)

    It’s fits the truth perfectly!

    WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In an escalation of the stalemate gripping Washington, House Republicans voted today to shut down the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that controls reasoning and impulses.

    The resolution, which passed with heavy Tea Party support, calls for a partial shutdown of the brain, leaving the medulla and cerebellum, sometimes referred to as the “reptilian brain,” up and running.

    The Tea Party caucus cheered the passage of the bill, which was sponsored by Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who called the measure “long overdue.”

    House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) offered no timetable for restarting the prefrontal cortex, telling reporters, “It will most certainly remain shut down during any negotiations with the President. That’s the only leverage we have.”

    Representative Bachmann agreed: “The President can go ahead and put a gun to our heads. There’s nothing there.”

    While the G.O.P.’s decision to shut down the prefrontal cortex rattled Wall Street, the neuroscientist Davis Logsdon said it should be seen as little more than a symbolic vote, noting, “It’s actually been shut down since the 2008 election.”

    • Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      +1

      • Merilee
        Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        Love it!

    • Ex Patriot
      Posted October 10, 2013 at 2:50 am | Permalink

      Well said

  12. Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    I hope y’all are all keeping track of the Rapture Index.

  13. Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Also, sometimes I wish I could read words like Bachmann’s and get that “OMG, people actually believe that?!” feeling that normal people get, instead of the “oh, that’s the stuff my pastor used to say” feeling that former evangelical Southern Baptists get.

  14. boggy
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Any fool knows that the world ended last year.
    See http://www.the-end.com for confirmation.

    • Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      But the website is still up and the copyright notice is “© 2013”!

      /@

  15. Richard Olson
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Revelmundo beat me to it. Don’t read the jellyfish book review if you intend to maintain denial in climate change effects.

    • lkr
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      Well, keep in mind that our unsustainable fisheries had a bit to do with this.

      But it’s comforting to know that it seems to take about half a billion years of evolution to go from nerve-net to awareness and then, of course, ecocide. And in half-a-billion years, the sun will expand and put an end to this silliness.

  16. eric
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    [the U.S.'s funding of al Qaeda in Syria] happened and as of today the United States is willingly, knowingly, intentionally sending arms to terrorists, now what this says to me…

    …is that Obama is ‘pulling a Reagan?’

    Now that I think about it, this is a bit of a slap in the face to the old Gipper. Michele, are you saying that Ronnie’s arms deals with terrorists weren’t good enough to trigger the apocalypse? That Obama’s arms trades* are more spiritually significant that Ronnies arms trades? Perish the thought!

    [*I'm running with her premise for amusement value only - not saying its true.]

    • darrelle
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      I was thinking much the same thing. But then I thought if they really are eager for the end times, shouldn’t they be helping Satan in any way they can?

    • freethinkinfranklin
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      Ppsssssstttt, case ya didn’t know ronnie was all white so its ok…. Whosane is half a darkie and nothing he can ever do is good… Its in the scriptures ya know.. I’ve heard just this kind of jibberish in local bars, VFW and moose club and not just from rednecks, but from elderly grandmother types. Every time I open my mouth after hearing this garbage and try to introduce facts, I’m the one pegged as a trouble maker… I’m soooo happy the demographics are in our favor, I just hope I live long enough to be proud of the nation/world we’ve left behind for our grand kids.

      • Posted October 9, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        Hmmm… half-darkies…. sons of Ham…. Ken Ham. Bacon. Bachmann. German. Germs. Pork lips. Apocalypse. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

  17. E.A. Blair
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    I did a post of my own on Michele “Charlie Manson Eyes” Bachmann here: http://mariopiperni.com/idiots/michelle-bachmanns-end-time.php

  18. Gareth Price
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Well, she is certainly right about one thing: we are hearing from too many nutcase politicians who call “up” “down”.

  19. barryleder
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Michele Bachmann is a great argument for a monarchy.

    • darrelle
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      It is not so much MB that is the great argument, it is that a majority of voters in her district voted her into office. Repeatedly. Despite the most pristine clarity with which she has demonstrated her abominable ethics and frighteningly zealous, insane, religious fervortude.

      • Posted October 9, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        If it makes you feel better, said majority only exists because said district has been gerrymandered to make it so.

        Considering we’ve still got the better part of a decade before another census and yet another redraw of district lines, you should be very, very, very concerned, indeed.

        b&

        • JBlilie
          Posted October 9, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

          Ben,

          The MN districts have been drawn up by the state court system for the last several censuses. Her district (I can walk to it from my front door in less than 30 seconds) actually does love her.

          Here aremaps of the MN congressional districts. (They are all pdf downloads, so i can’t link directly.)

          All of her nonsense statements, fiscal malfeasance, her husband’s “gay deprogramming ministry” and all the rest have hurt her a little; but the MN 6th District really is Bachmann country. And it’s a reasonable, contiguous district. There really is a high concentration of tes-bagger types on the fringes of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area.

          Not that I’m happy about it …

          • Posted October 9, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

            I stand corrected, then. Gerrymandering is a huge problem across the country and accounts for a great deal of the Teabaggers’s domination of Congress. I had just assumed that Bachmann fit the mold….

            b&

            • Posted October 9, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

              You aren’t alone. I assumed the same, as well.

            • Dave
              Posted October 9, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

              After the last redistricting, Bachmann no longer even lives in MN6 but she won anyway – a squeaker, but she won. I live next door in MN3. There is collateral damage every time she opens her inane mouth. And, BTW, Jerry, you ask us to actually listen to this woman? How could you!! Listening to disingenuous or lying Bachmann is the most painful thing I’ve ever had to endure. She is a huge embarrassment to MN as well as the US. However, we have to ask just what planet her voters are from, don’t we.

  20. Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    This just in – from the New Yorker:

    WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In an escalation of the stalemate gripping Washington, House Republicans voted today to shut down the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that controls reasoning and impulses.

    The resolution, which passed with heavy Tea Party support, calls for a partial shutdown of the brain, leaving the medulla and cerebellum, sometimes referred to as the “reptilian brain,” up and running.

    The Tea Party caucus cheered the passage of the bill, which was sponsored by Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who called the measure “long overdue.”

    House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) offered no timetable for restarting the prefrontal cortex, telling reporters, “It will most certainly remain shut down during any negotiations with the President. That’s the only leverage we have.”

    Representative Bachmann agreed: “The President can go ahead and put a gun to our heads. There’s nothing there.”

    While the G.O.P.’s decision to shut down the prefrontal cortex rattled Wall Street, the neuroscientist Davis Logsdon said it should be seen as little more than a symbolic vote, noting, “It’s actually been shut down since the 2008 election.”

    Get the Borowitz Report delivered to your inbox.

  21. Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Can we trade that Bachmann for this Bachman? Please?

    KTHXBAI.

    b&

    • Lianne Byram
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      No way! He’s ours. Saw him in concert this year – fantastic. How’s your back BTW?

      • Posted October 9, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        Much better, thanks. After lots of stretching, naproxen, epsom salt soaks, exercise, and ice packs, I’ve finally got full range of motion back today, though there’s still a few lingering twinges and a lot of general discomfort. Hopefully even that’ll be gone by the weekend….

        b&

        • Lianne Byram
          Posted October 9, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

          Glad you’re feeling better.

        • JBlilie
          Posted October 9, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

          Glad you are better Ben. Core exercises … (though I imagine you are already doing them …)

          • Posted October 9, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

            That was actually what took me from “I can bend myself into that position” to “full mobility” late yesterday afternoon — three dozen each two-second-hold swimmers, leg lifts, bicycles, and four-second-hold supermans in an half-hour interval session. And this morning was ostensibly legs, but tabatas of beat-your-boots, lunges, and good-mornings will absolutely smooth out any remaining kinks in the back.

            I’ve also got a brand new balance ball to use as a desk chair. I’m alternating between it and the old desk chair…but, once I can make it through the whole day on that thing, I should never have to worry about back pain again. I hope….

            b&

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted October 9, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

              You should be careful with those ball chairs. You’re not supposed to sit on one all day as it actually stresses you back muscles. I think you are supposed to sit on them only for a short period of time throughout the day.

              • Posted October 9, 2013 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

                Thanks for that — wasn’t aware.

                For what it’s worth, it’s only a couple days a week I’m stuck behind the desk for any length of time…but, on the other hand, those days are looooooong. I’ll be sure to pay attention to muscle strain and not hesitate to take a break when it feels like it’s getting to be a bit much. (I actually only spent a few hours on it today for that very reason.)

                b&

    • David Duncan
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      “You ain’t seen nothing yet”.

  22. Kevin
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    When people meet me they always think I am from Europe, Scandanavia, or anywhere else. Then I tell them, no I am American. Wow! Then they ask, where in America: California? Oregon? I tell them, no, Texas. Cardiac arrest.

    • freethinkinfranklin
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      lol.. insane ain’t it…. we need to let the world know there are sane non-buybull thumpin americans out there,and we are increasing in numbers, but til then keep spitting in the petre dish.

    • Posted October 9, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Ha. Same response I get when I say Louisiana.

  23. Steven Obrebski
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    I used to watch Pat Robertson’s 700 club
    once in a while for the laughs. In one episode he had an artist depict all the nasty beasties that would appear to eat us up or kill us when the End Times happened. Some of them looked like praying mantis’. In another episode he introduced a “man of science” as he called him (a doctor) who claimed he had gone to heaven temporarily after knocking his head in a fall and dying. He noted that heaven was much more beautiful than earth because the light spectrum was much wider there. He (this “man of science”) also said that he fell out a second story door in a house being razed into a dumpster while carrying a box of books, and therefore fell much faster than if it was just him falling, and therefore knocked his head hard enough to die. Galileo and Newton take note!!

    • freethinkinfranklin
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      you sure that was the 700 club and not the Star Trek episode wher Kurk and Spock ate some funky space mushroons?

      • Steven Obrebski
        Posted October 9, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

        Pretty sure it wasn’t. I called it Star
        Drek and maybe watched it a few times. My first encounter with neat alien monsters was
        the movie Alien.

  24. Tom Brucia
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Christians obviously don’t red their Bible… Check out the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 24, verses 36-44….

    • Dermot C
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      …wherein Jesus, rather a-omnisciently, avers that he does not know precisely when the End Times will come. Early Christians spotted the problem and tampered with the pericope.

      Seriously, I think it’s much too early for the End Times. The pseudepigraphical 2 Peter 3:8 tells us in this context that for a patient God a thousand years is as a day. So for God it has only been 2 days since the promise of the End Times. God is far more long-suffering than that. He needs to look to Job for his role-model.

      Slaínte.

  25. Posted October 9, 2013 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    They keep saying jesus is coming, jesus is coming!

    He isn’t even breathing
    hard ;p

    • JBlilie
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      Jesus is coming — LOOK BUSY!

  26. redlivingblue
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    I heard somewhere, if a man is convinced he is going to die, he will find a way to make it so. Apocalyptic politicians might find a way to kill us all.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      Yes these people truly scare me! Fanatics that are horribly ignorant but have influence & power. TERRIFYING!

  27. Posted October 9, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    In addition to M. Bachmann rejoicing in the End Times, the article that is linked to notes that many believers are similarly looking forward to this event. Wow, they are so dark.
    In any case, I was wondering why exactly is this particular possible military action near Israel a sign of the End Times?

    • eric
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Why? Well, given that she made up the entire event (we are not selling arms to Al Qaeda), it’s most likely because Obama is black.

      Had there been a real military event, we would have accepted the answer “because it’s a day ending in y.”

    • Posted October 9, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      They’re dark and they’re delusional – science deniers that reject reason, logic, truth and critical thinking in favor of embracing the half-baked ideas ancient men imagined about a non-existent supernatural realm. There’s no excuse for that kind of lazy “thinking” in this day and age when information is so easily obtainable. Shame on her.

    • Posted October 9, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      Israel is central to End Times theology, so any major military or political action involving or geographically close to Israel will be construed as a Sign of the Times.

  28. Posted October 9, 2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    My mind is tainted on this matter because of my religious upbringing, because as silly as I find her statements (on just about everything) and Scalia’s, I think they are right — as far as believers go (regardless of what position in society they hold).

    The bible teaches there is an adversary we call Satan, so of course he exists. The bible teaches there will be an end of days. And in the believers’ minds it easy to see signs of it: gay marriage, natural disasters, coarse culture — whatever they want to view as a hardening of hearts until Armageddon and eventual liberation by Jesus’s comeback. It’s in Revelation, people! (Simpsons reference)

    What I mean is I would be surprised to hear from a believer who denied these things: no, no Devil. Jesus, yes, but the devil is silly. End of days? Oh, I don’t think so.

    I’d ask for scriptural evidence to support their disbelief in such things — but I was raised in a church (Mormons) with a tight interpretation of scripture. In fact, as a youth, my fear is that the world would end before I got to live my life.

    • eric
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      The bible’s teachings on Satan are at best ambivalent and at worst contradictory. The genesis snake doesn’t really do anything except talk to Eve, and is not even referred to as Satan, so it might not even be the same character. The Job Satan does do some pretty evil stuff, but he’s also evidently on good conversational terms with God. He seems to be more like an opposing lawyer or literal devil’s advocate, rather than a spiritual arch-enemy.

      Then you’ve got your Gospel Satan, who tempts Jesus to work a visible miracle…which is decidedly odd, since Jesus works visible miracles elsewhere, so why this would be a big sin is beyond me. The Gospel Satan also wants worship, with neither of the OT Satans seem interested in.

      And then you’ve got your Revelation satan, who appears to be a necessary part of God’s plan, which is yet a third or fourth different view of the character and certainly seems to be at odds with the earlier versions. Unless you want to believe that the fall was God’s plan, the snake-version and the revelation-version are decidedly at odds.

      I’d ask for scriptural evidence to support their disbelief in such things

      The evidence is in the discrepancies of the various stories about him. These discrepancies support (but don’t prove) the notion that the character is a plot foil, a stand-in the human author uses to represent whatever force or bad thing the author is railing against at the time. They also support the conclusion that the stories are untrustworthy. So disbelief seems pretty reasonably warranted to me.

      • Daryl
        Posted October 9, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        I actually feel that Satan in the gospel temptation narratives has pretty much the same function as in the Book of Job: he puts prospective holy men through their paces to see if they will make the grade. In neither is Satan portrayed as evil. He’s basically Yahweh’s government enforcer No 1.

      • E.A. Blair
        Posted October 9, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        The creature that tempted Eve was not a snake, but a serpent, which was some king of undefined, possibly spiritual, intelligence. It was only after the temptation that the serpent was condemned to “crawl on his belly”. In Medieval art, the serpent was sometimes depicted as a woman, and in John Huston’s 60s movie The Bible: In The Beginning it was depicted as a man up to the temptation and as a snake after. A friend who studied the bible intensively told me to think of it as being somewhat similar to to a Chinese-style dragon in character.

        The identification of the serpent with Satan comes about because both stood in opposition to the deity’s intent.

        • E.A. Blair
          Posted October 9, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

          Typo apology: “some king of undefined” should have been “some kind of undefined”

      • Posted October 10, 2013 at 9:49 am | Permalink

        Yes, as a non-believer I agree. I didn’t want to extend my post by bringing up that mostly what believers know about the bible is through tradition and traditional interpretation (especially by the Midrash), not what the text actually says — but the main interpretation of which seems to be there is a Satan (who has many names, I think ‘satan’ just means tempter), and he’s as real and as singularly defined as Jesus the Christ. Meaning all your examples talk about the same guy, according to the religious tradition I know. Is there a denomination that teaches Satan isn’t real?

        But of all the religious people I know (again, mostly Mormon, where it’s the same Devil to them in all the passages you refer to), I don’t know anyone who knows the bible well enough to say what you’ve said — “I don’t believe in Satan because of my textual analysis of the various books of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament,” not to mention extra-biblical theology which presents Satan as the primary antagonist in the battle for our souls. To me it’s like denying Adam and Eve existed and “fell” — which you could use textual analysis and common sense to say there was no Eden and no Fall. If that’s your belief, why hold onto Jesus and his expiation? Is there a church that teaches Eden is allegory but Christ’s salvation is real?

        So that is why I would present the challenge to any believer who says Satan isn’t real, but Jesus is (and, as you point out, the NT Satan is a real enough dude, indeed, he’s the one Scalia seems to mention). I would ask, show me in the scriptures — scriptures that you believe — where it says he’s not real. If they were so savvy with textual analysis and Higher Criticism, they’d also know how the gospels came to be, how the bible came to be, that it’s etiology, etc., and then my next question would be, why have any faith at all? At least faith rooted in scripture.

  29. freethinkinfranklin
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    The ongoing campaign finance investigation will be her apocalypse. This is what gerrymandering gets ya don’t ya know…but if you were to ask her she would say and has said that “god wanted her to run”…. Sadly the dimwits in her district voted this bat shit crazy bigot into congress and nobody has confronted her about her bold faced lies. Its time the media that most claim to be “liberal”, do their job and present facts and expose lies.

  30. Brad
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    I absolutely love all Christians, except the scary ones.

  31. Posted October 9, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Well this proves 1 in 3 Americans should not be allowed to vote…or educate children…or tie their own shoes…

  32. freethinkinfranklin
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    what blows my mind is that nobody jumps up and tells her and the world NO you’re batshit crazy and a liar, you know there are people at these events that know shes whacked, yet nobody says nothing, some even encourage her.
    watch, she’ll end up with a show on murdocks right wing nut job entertainment networks promoting their jibberish as news…

    • Dave
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      No kidding. Why don’t the interviewers just call them out on their crap? Wouldn’t want the studio switchboard to light up, would we.

  33. Posted October 9, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on hitchens67 Atheism WOW!! Campaign and commented:
    This is fucking pathetic AND funny!

  34. Owen Recognizance
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Along with the sublime egocentricity which goes along with believing that your magic sky daddy created the entire huge universe just so you can declare Jay-EE-zuss
    to be your lord & saviour, there is this additional bit of arrogance surrounding end-times belief. Even though Jay-EE-zuss himself is supposed to have promised his
    followers that he would return within their lifetimes, we haven’t seen hide nor hair of him for 2000 years. But now that Ms. Bachmann is on the scene, it’s time to ring
    down the curtain.
    She’s very humble, isn’t she?

  35. frank43
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    If the alleged evangelical divinity would simply rapture Michele Bachmann, thereby removing her from the planet, I would seriously consider converting.

  36. still learning
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    She’s embarrassing enough to most Americans but even more so for us here in Minnesota.

    Is there a psychological term for people who are enthralled by alleged impending doom?

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      Maybe Münchausen by proxy? :)

    • Dave
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      Christians.

  37. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    One of the most profound moments in Bill Maher’s film “Religulous” is the part where he discusses how apocalyptic beliefs can be self-fulfilling prophecies. Belief in them can bring about the very conflagrations they fear.

    • E.A. Blair
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      The true believers don’t fear the end times – they are supposed to welcome them and do whatever they can to help bring them about. That’s why they’re so dangerous. They care more about the imaginary next world than this one.

      Some of us may remember Reagan’s Secretary of the Interior, James Watt, who maintained that the environment didn’t need protecting because the End Times were upon us anyway.

    • Jesper Both Pedersen
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      It’s almost as if some of those folks who really believe they’re going to heaven aren’t that worried about end times. In fact it seems as if they can hardly stand to wait in sheer exited anticipation about the forthcoming judgement day.

      I sometimes wish they were right and we’d then get at least a few months of heathen party time while they bugger off to the skies.

  38. JBlilie
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    If I lived 50 meters further north than I do, I’d be in Bachmann’s district.

    Gives me the shivers if I think about it.

    She really does fit her district: Snowmobiles, jacked up pickups, 4-wheelers, beer cans, trailer houses, mullets, guns, and bibles. Down-home, baby.

  39. Posted October 9, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Ms. Bachmann should read this: American Bible scholar claims ancient ‘confessions’ prove story of Jesus Christ was entirely fabricated by Roman aristocrats

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2451087/American-Bible-scholar-claims-ancient-confessions-prove-story-Jesus-Christ-entirely-fabricated-Roman-aristocrats.html?offset=300&max=100#comment-39478139

    • Posted October 9, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Atwill, sadly, takes the very easy to reach conclusion that Jesus is every bit as mythical as every other Mediterranean demigod of the time…and then makes a hard right turn into lala land by making it all into a great grand conspiracy theory.

      The facts he cites are generally sound. It’s the conclusions that he draws from them that’re bonkers.

      If you’d like a much more realistic portrait of the founding of Christianity, read Lucian of Samosata’s wonderful short little satire about the Passing of Peregrinus. For corroborating evidence from the earliest of Christian apologists, read one of Justin Martyr’s seemingly-endless rants about the “sons of Jupiter.”

      Cheers,

      b&

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted October 9, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, I was a bit embarrassed at that Atwill bit…the whole “The Romans invented Jesus” was a bit much….I know Augustus was a master media manipulator but that is just a bit much, even for Augustus.

        • Posted October 9, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

          It also makes it seem like the Jews / Christians were a hell of a lot more important than they clearly really were. The Roman army had no trouble wiping the Jews out in 70 CE, and the Christians were rarely noticed for a century more and even then uniformly regarded the same way we do the Raelians today. There simply wasn’t any need to go through the trouble of inventing a religion for them — especially considering that everybody and his brother was inventing new religions constantly anyway.

          As with all conspiracy nutjobs, Atwill’s entire thesis boils down to a bunch of coincidences “That can’t be explained!” (except, of course, they were bog-standard literary devices) with a heaping helping of “You can’t 100% prove me worng!”

          Cheers,

          b&

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted October 9, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

            Yes, that as well. The Christians & Jews really weren’t all that much more than a nuisance to Romans. They were no Hannibal & they didn’t try to hoodwink Hannibal.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted October 9, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

              Stupid last sentence – the Xians/Jews were no Hannibal and the Romans didn’t try to hoodwink Hannibal.

            • Posted October 9, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

              Yup. Not their style.

              All Atwill is doing, really, is playing to the egos of the Jews and the Christians. “All y’all were such a threat to the Romans that they constructed this elaborate deception just to bring you down.” Erm…no. Just…no.

              b&

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted October 9, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

                I really hope this whole thing doesn’t catch on. I just find it embarrassing for some reason; maybe because it’s bad Classics scholarship.

                Yeah he’s appealing to egos & the bizarre compunction to grasp at conspiracy theories.

              • Posted October 9, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

                In a way, it already has. I keep stumbling across fans of his. Not many, but they’re definitely out there.

                <sigh />

                b&

  40. Marta
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Oh, come now. Perhaps you’re being unreasonable picky? After all, Bachmann also said:

    “I’ve never done twerking in my life and I don’t intend to take it up,” she said.

    Pity.

  41. Edward Hessler
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    I live fairly close to Bachmann’s district ( US House Minnesota District 66). In the last election which was close (Bachmann 51%, Graves 49%), I’d say she fit a majority of her district but certainly not all of it. Of course, I am embarrassed by her and Justice Scalia (and many more).

    Someone commented on her as dangerous. This is my worry. There are many more than it seems we are prepared to admit, who endanger our democracy. She is but one who feeds anxieties about differences, have no regard for facts, prefer a narrowly defined religious state and contribute in every way they can think of to further and deepen divisions.

    I wish she did twerk most of the time but….

  42. Diane G.
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    sub

  43. Richard Olson
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Whatever else may be said about Atwill’s scholarship and book, I can’t disagree with this statement he makes quoted in the article:

    ‘Although Christianity can be a comfort to some, it can also be very damaging and repressive, an insidious form of mind control that has led to blind acceptance of serfdom, poverty, and war throughout history.
    ‘To this day, especially in the United States, it is used to create support for war in the Middle East.’

  44. Mark Joseph
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    As Cathy pointed out (#13 above), this is pretty straightforward stuff for us ex-baptists. I used to believe it, and teach it (yes, I still have a hard time believing that I used to believe that). If any of you want the full Monty, read Hal Lindsey’s “The Late Great Planet Earth.” If only to know what the 65% who are crazy believe.

    But, as others have pointed out, MB in particular is past loony, past crazy, past batshit insane, and into the realm of really, really dangerous. Here’s a christian’s(!) take (if this URL does not work, just Google “Frankie Schaeffer Michelle Bachmann” and click on the hit at AlterNet):

    http://www.alternet.org/story/151960/michele_bachmann_was_inspired_by_my_dad_and_his_christian_reconstructionist_friends_–_here%27s_why_that%27s_terrifying

    I hope people on this list have read books like Michelle Goldberg’s “Kingdom Coming” and Chris Hedges’ “American Fascists” and know just how diabolical (word consciously chosen) the christian right-wing is.

  45. Nick Evans
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    I wonder if a belief that the “End Times” are imminent is in some way to be expected. After all, each of us will die at some point in the future. And, compared with the expanse of history, we will each die in the near future. As it makes little sense to contemplate the world continuing without us when, to the best of our perception, that world is simply what our senses tell us it is and our senses will have ceased to function, perhaps it is natural to think of the world ending when we do. So, as our ending is imminent, the world’s should be too?

    See also, climate change being somebody else’s problem.

  46. stevenjohnson
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    The commentary has largely overlooked the way that Bachmann believes that Islam is inherently violent, a factually dubious proposition. Shouldn’t it give one pause to hear a thinker like her making this claim?

    Worse, the larger point that it is Christianity that is promoting a chiliastic approach to the Middle East is also overlooked. It certainly isn’t as popular as claiming that the Muslims are the only threat.

    Worst of all, the fact that the US is indeed funding groups following “al Qaeda” policies is flatly denied. The al Nusra Front flaunts their allegiance, but the others are merely more diplomatic. And, no, the tardy arrest of some guy who lived for years in the UK, free from threat of arrest apparently, doesn’t change that.

  47. Mark Joseph
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    When this bit of Bachmann lunacy was posted over at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unreasonablefaith/2013/10/michelle-bachmann-unhinged/ one commentator opined “so much crazy, so little time.”


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