There’s a new Bachmann smear slouching toward CNN to be born, and last night, Anderson Cooper delivered the baby.
Bachmann and her husband, Dr. Marcus Bachmann, own a clinic that, among other services, counsels gay patients to pray and study the Bible in an effort to overcome homosexual attractions. Participation in this program is voluntary, and as an “undercover” gay-rights activist thoughtfully documented with an “expose” of the practice, it is clearly spelled out to participants at the outset. No one is being kidnapped and forced into deprogramming, or sandbagged with unexpected “pray the gay away” sermons.
Nevertheless, the Bachmann clinic is being savaged by the same people who have absolutely no problem with Planned Parenthood receiving millions of taxpayer dollars to support clinics that evangelize in favor of performing profitable abortions, with such fervor and efficiency that “more than 95% of pregnant women who enter Planned Parenthood centers receive abortions as opposed to prenatal care or adoption referrals,” according to their own statistics.
They’ve also been caught on tape showing pimps with underage illegal-alien prostitutes how to evade the law in order to obtain abortions. I’m not a regular Anderson Cooper 360 viewer, so maybe someone can let me know if he ran any big, overheated stories about the bombshell Live Action exposes.
It seems clear that Dr. Marcus Bachmann believes homosexuality is a matter of choice, rather than biological determination, at least for some individuals. He’s hardly alone in that belief, and he has plenty of company from gay scientists, although obviously they approve of that choice, while Dr. Bachmann rather strongly disapproves. Personally, I think biology plays a stronger role than he apparently does, but it’s a scientific debate in progress, not a doctrine opposed solely by anti-science heretics.
There has been a concerted attempt to paint Dr. Bachmann as a “liar” because he denied that his clinic engages in “reparative therapy.” That term has a very specific meaning – it treats homosexuality as a psychological disorder to be “cured” through clinical therapy. That is very different from treating it as a sin – an act of free will that can be overcome through religious devotion. One can disagree with both approaches without pretending they are the same thing.
On the other hand, it seems like we’re coming close to treating “homophobia” as a psychological disorder that can be cured through clinical therapy. A lot of straight people dislike homosexuality, which is not the same thing as disliking individual gay people. Some choose this disapproval as an act of free will, or accept it as a religious teaching. Some of it is probably a biological response. Pretending those people are sick, abnormal, or non-existent gets us no closer to achieving “tolerance” – which is also an act of free will. That’s what makes it virtuous.
The press has taken to attacking Bachmann for refusing to discuss his beliefs in the center ring of a media circus, so if he talks he’s crazy, and if he bites his tongue he’s sinister. Too bad the press never takes that approach with prominent Democrats who spend decades listening to racist hate preachers and domestic terrorists!
Of course, Marcus Bachmann is not the target of all this hysteria – his wife is. He’s said to be fair game because he is a “close adviser” to presidential candidate Michele Bachmann. Is he “closer” than Michelle Obama is to Barack, and if Mrs. Bachmann wins, will her husband be given power and money comparable to what has been delegated to Mrs. Obama’s “food police” crusade? Or what Bill Clinton gave to “co-president” Hillary during the first great attempt to nationalize health care in the 90s?
What does any of this have to do with Michele Bachmann’s potential performance as President of the United States? Are we supposed to believe she’ll make an exception to her loudly and repeatedly stated budget-cutting agenda to fund some kind of huge Anti-Gay Secret Religious Police force that will abduct gays and drag them into Marcus Bachmann’s hidden laboratory, where they’ll end up strapped to “Clockwork Orange” machines that force them to watch video of Mila Kunis until they turn straight?
There is nothing surprising or unusual about religious beliefs that paint homosexuality in a negative light. Most of them do, especially those with a history stretching back for centuries. One can strenuously disagree with such beliefs without designating them as an Orwellian thoughtcrime. Beliefs can be wrong or debatable without being invalid. If certain beliefs utterly disqualify someone from holding high office, shouldn’t the government publish a list of them, so we can avoid confusion during the early stages of political primaries?
If you want to hold Michele Bachmann’s religious beliefs against her, you should pause to reflect that the vast majority of political candidates, from both parties, claim to belong to churches that espouse roughly comparable beliefs about homosexuality.
Personally, I’m much less interested in what a candidate claims to believe, than in what they plan on forcing me to do. I can’t get terribly worked up about a religion that my next President has no intention, or capability, to force upon me. I think that attitude can fairly be described as “tolerance,” which I believe the gay community can join me in celebrating as a virtue.
I wouldn’t send my gay friends to the Bachmann clinic, but if one of them said he wanted to go, I wouldn’t talk him out of it, either. It would be his choice. I would, however, recommend he vote against the people who are keenly interested in taking a wide variety of other choices away from him.