Bachmann staffer: Perry is Saul and Bachmann is David

The visibility of veteran GOP political organizer Peter Waldron has risen a good bit since The Atlantic broke a story today about Waldron’s 2006 detention in Uganda on allegations of illegal gun possession. Waldron has a lengthy resume but now includes work for GOP Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann. Specifically, the campaign acknowledged that Waldron helped deliver the Iowa straw poll win last weekend.
According to The Atlantic’s Garance Franke-Ruta, Alice Stewart, Bachmann’s press secretary, said about Waldron: “Michele’s faith is an important part of her life and Peter did a tremendous job with our faith outreach in Iowa. We are fortunate to have him on our team and look forward to having him expanding his efforts in several states.”
Apparently the next state is South Carolina. In a comment on his Facebook page, Waldron said he would soon be in Columbia and cover the state. We get a hint in one comment about what he might tell evangelicals he hopes to win over to Bachmann. In one comment, Waldron compared Rick Perry to King Saul and Bachmann to King David. If you have been to Sunday School, you know that Saul was a tall, good looking guy who eventually had a bad end because he fell out of God’s favor. God placed His blessing on King David instead.  Here is the comment:

In another comment on his page, he says Bachmann “fights with the anointing of God upon her.” Waldron has some ties to the Christian Reconstruction movement, having co-authored a bookwith Reconstructionist George Grant. In the above comment, he seems to see America as a covenant nation with God much in the same way the Old Testament depicts the Jewish people as having a special covenant with God.
I posted first on this here and then have a three part video interview from YouTube here.

Bachmann staffer Peter Waldron tells stories of arrest and high level connections

He says President Bush got him out of a Ugandan jail with a call to Yowari Museveni. The man at the middle of Michele Bachmann’s victory in Iowa Saturday has lots of stories to tell. Here is an interview in three parts from the Herman and Sharron Bailey Show.

Part 2

Part 3

In this video, among many other things, he accuses Museveni and his wife of maintaining death squads to eliminate enemies. Then he says they are born again Christians and good friends?! I am quite interested in the views of my Ugandan readers on this interview.
UPDATE: Richard Bartholomew has a lengthy background piece on Mr. Waldron – What do Christian Reconstructionists and Moonies have in common?

Bachmann staffer has history of arrest in Uganda

This is a strange story but one worth watching.
An staffer for Michele Bachmann is an international man of mystery according to the Atlantic. The same Peter Waldron who helped Michele Bachmann win the Iowa straw poll on Saturday was arrested in Uganda in 2006 for illegal possession of rifles. And he boasted a familiar Ugandan pastor as a friend:

Mugenyi could not say what Waldron’s Contact America Group is involved in or whether it is registered in Uganda. “We suspect that it could be either an NGO or a lobby group,” he said. Despite Mugenyi’s attempt to link Waldron to Besigye, Waldron says he has close relations with State House.
In an article titled Evangelicals v. Muslims in Africa: Enemy’s Enemy and published in the US news magazine The New Republic in August 2004, Waldron says he had met President Yoweri Museveni. The American doctor also says he is a friend of the first family and a friend of Pastor Martin Sempa, according to the article, written by one Stuart Price.

Waldron liked Uganda according to a New Republic report because it was so conservative and Christian:

“They embrace Americans here,” he said enthusiastically. Indeed, as we sat together, a steady stream of young admirers who had seen Waldron in church came up to greet him. They made complicated handshakes, the way Ugandans do, and Waldron boasted to me that he had met privately with President Museveni and his born-again wife.”
“It struck me that, for many Americans of faith, Uganda – a country where homosexuality and abortion are outlawed, where politicians freely mix church and state, and where outward displays of religious devotion are the norm – represents a kind of haven.” Waldron is said to have talked to several high-ranking government officials on arrest including some powerful ministers.

Quite an interesting guy, perhaps he is the inspiration for the man in the Dos Equis commercials.
Stay thirsty, my friends.
UPDATE: Andrew Rice, the author of the New Republic article mentioned in the Uganda paper, brings us all up to date on his contacts with Waldron. He also reminds us that as recently as 2004, Ssempa was a hot deal for US evangelicals.
UPDATE: Peter Waldron says on his Facebook wall that Michele Bachmann has the annointing of God on her.

HOW CAN ANYONE STAND ON THE SIDELINE? I am simply amazed that some folks are waiting for Saul-like characters who look everything like a king while Michele fights with the anointing of God upon her. She is fearless, fierce in battle, and focused on winning the nomination and securing the White House. Thinking about running, waiting to throw their hat in the ring – foolishness. The battle rages now and Michele needs an army.

Bachmann says potential First Gentleman off limits but current First Lady fair game

I noted earlier that Michele Bachmann declared today that her husband and their business were not running for President and thus, she would not answer questions about his policies or practices.
However, earlier this year, Bachmann thought Michelle Obama’s views were fair game. Mrs. Bachmann criticized Mrs. Obama about Obama’s recommendations that women should breastfeed their babies as one means of preventing childhood obesity. Bachmann accused the First Lady of promoting a “nanny state.”
As an aside, since nannies bottle feed, wouldn’t that be a “mommy state?”

Bachmann avoids ex-gay therapy questions again

Today, at the National Press Club, Michele Bachmann was asked about her husband’s clinic. She avoided the question again.

This time there was no shoving or tossing mics, but she again dodged the issue.
Of course, these are fair questions for people to ask. She will get these questions until she can come up with some narrative about the clinic that will satisfy the media. Obama had to deal with his church, his business dealings (Bachmann is co-owner of the clinic), his family, his birthplace, etc., etc., and so will she. When he didn’t answer questions, his opponents insinuated he had something to hide. None of this is strange or new. What is remarkable to me is that after three weeks she still has no coherent reply.

Bachmann keeps the ex-gay story alive

Why won’t Michele Bachmann discuss her counseling clinic?
Nearly three weeks after The Nation and Truth Wins Out published separate accounts of sexual orientation change efforts at their Minneapolis-area clinic, Bachmann continues to avoid media questions about the matter. As was demonstrated by her response to questions Sunday at a campaign event in Davenport, IA, her inability to handle the issue has allowed the story to live on.
Late yesterday, WQAD reported that they were snubbed by Bachmann over a prior interview during which a reporter asked about the Bachmann counseling center. Photojournalist Chuck McClurg said he was blocked from filming Bachmann speaking and was told “’due to the interview last week WQAD would not have an interview’” by the Bachmann campaign.
According to McClurg, a reporter from another station then raised questions about the Bachmann’s clinic. At that point, a campaign staffer took the microphone from the candidate, and “tossed it to the reporter,” ending the interview. Despite being promised an interview, Bachmann never emerged from her campaign bus. According to the WQAD report, McClurg said, I’ve been a photojournalist since 1988 and I have logged some 3,000 items. I’ve never been snubbed like I was (here) yesterday.”
Surely, the Bachmann campaign could find something to say about a clinic she once touted as an example of small business creating jobs. Initially, I thought the story might help her with socially conservative Iowa voters. However, now I think the issue serves to expose significant weaknesses in Bachmann as a candidate which the Obama campaign will easily exploit.
Obama will point to her indecision, her lack of transparency, and avoidance of public scrutiny. Never mind that such could also be said for the President. Heavy handed tactics might have worked for the Obama campaign in 2008, but they will alienate GOP voters in 2012. This issue should be a relatively easy one for Bachmann. Bachmann’s stonewalling leave her open to speculation that the clinic is engaged in unprofessional activities or worse. The issue lives on and she has mostly herself to blame for that.

Marcus Bachmann defends his clinic

Speaking to the Minnesota Star-Tribune, Marcus Bachmann defended his clinic, protested that a recording of him was doctored, and defended the option to seek change of orientation.
Bachmann said a 2010 Point of View radio show was edited to make it appear he considered gays to be barbarians. He said he was speaking about teens in general and not gays specifically.
Bachmann also told the Star-Tribune that his clinic does not specialize in change therapy but would pursue it, at “the client’s discretion.”
Bachmann’s clinic has received $137,000 in Medicaid payments but defended this sum as helping low income clients.
I did not think Bachmann was a big player in gay change circles. While I was more involved in that world, I never heard of him or anyone in his clinic. To my knowledge, he has had no involvement at NARTH.
Sounds like his clinic needs an inservice in the SIT Framework.
If the radio program has been edited to create a false impression, then some red faces need to speak up. Someone surely has the original program and should make it available to the public today.
Update: The fellow who posted the audio of Bachmann referring to gay teens as barbarians says he did not doctor the audio and challenged the radio program to release the full podcast.

The fuss over Michele Bachmann and reparative therapy

Been writing away on my book while current events come and go. One big story which I posted about here is about whether or not reparative therapy is conducted at Michele and Marcus Bachmann’s therapy clinic.
I am writing about same-sex attracted people who marry heterosexually. In addition to clinical experience, I conducted several in depth interviews of men and women in what are termed, “mixed orientation marriages,” and I surveyed over 300 same-sex attracted men and women who are or have been married to someone of the opposite sex.
The survey was not a pre and post examination of therapy or even change efforts. However, many people disclosed change efforts and many of the participants were involved in member ministries of Exodus. I figure if change in orientation happens a lot, I would find it in this group.
That is not what I found. On the whole, the group assessed themselves as more gay in their attractions and fantasies than when they were 18 and when they were married. Most of the people were still married, but it would not be accurate to say that their orientation had changed.
The therapist quoted in the hidden camera report appeared to say that it was possible to change orientation completely. Saying this is not consistent with research and clinical experience, nor is it consistent with the APA’s recent task force report. It is also is not of necessity an indicator that reparative therapy is taking place. Reparative therapy is a subtype of sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) which acts on the premise that being gay is the result of poor parenting. Find some way to address the parenting problems and with time and effort, the same-sex attractions fade a lot or a little.
As I have discussed here many times before, there is little evidence for the reparative drive theory and even less that such approaches actually have potency for orientation change.
On the other hand, some (many?) people who are evangelical find ways to maintain commitments to their marriages or to remain chaste to the degree that they feel loyal to their faith. A recent New York Times magazine article provided an in depth look at that approach to situations when religious belief and sexual attractions seem to conflict.
Nuance often goes out the window when a political, especially presidential, campaign is a part of the mix. In this case, that seems to be happening. Given the reporting about the Bachmann’s statements about homosexuality, there seems to be little doubt that they have aligned with the political side of the ex-gay movement. On the other hand, I doubt that Marcus Bachmann and his associates operate like Joe Nicolosi’s Thomas Aquinas Clinic, as a reparative therapy office, subjecting large numbers of patients to fables about how the past and present relate. I suspect the Bachmann’s interest in ex-gays is because the change is possible narrative reinforce their biases about homosexuality in general. Let me add that I am pretty sure I am right about that last statement, although I could be wrong about the one before it.
Politically, the matter is unlikely to hurt Michele Bachmann in Iowa or among rank and file religious conservatives. It may however, help illustrate why she cannot win the nomination. Whatever they are doing at Bachmann and Associates, it is not transparent, nor state of the art. Trust is not inspired by incompetence or a lack of transparency. The Bachmanns will need to face the issues deliberately, spell out their beliefs and let people decide what it means for their support. It may not need to be before the Iowa caucus, but it will be some time after that.

Iowa Family Leader calls for theonomy

A group tied to GOP Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann is calling for Iowa legislators to base law on Christian teaching.  On their website, the group urges Iowa ministers to sign a letter which says

Because God is God of all, there is no structural difference between religious and civil marriage. The essence of marriage remains the same in both the religious and civil realms. (Col. 1:15-19) The acknowledgement (sic) of, and reference to, marriage in the laws of our state and nation does not create a second realm of marriage that is somehow divorced from the only definition determined by God.

By saying that there is no difference between the civil and religious realms, the Iowa Family Policy Council advocates for what Christian reconstructionists call a theonomy. Most opponents of same-sex marriage propose that negative consequences will occur if such marriages are legally recognized. However, here the Family Leader advances what is primarily a theological argument. In essence, they hope pastors will write their legislators and tell them that the laws of Iowa must be the same as the teachings of the Bible since God is over both.
In the second clause of the letter, the Family Leader casts aside the 14th Amendment.

Keeping in mind that the concept of fairness is subjective, it should never be used as a mechanism to overturn the plain truth of the Scriptures. The laws of Iowa can never be “fair” to everyone, but instead ought to be designed to promote justice.

In other words, the Family Leader wants Iowa legislators to place the Bible over the 14th Amendment and equal treatment under the law. According the Family Leader, the law cannot be fair to all Iowans, just those who believe the right things. In a theonomy, the Bible is the law of the land. Apparently, the Family Leader wants Iowa to be a theonomy, never allowing fairness to citizens “to used as a mechanism to overturn the plain truth of the Scriptures.”
In the fourth clause, the rights of some Iowa citizens to advocate for their viewpoint is considered more important than other citizens.

Freedom of conscience is not the issue. We acknowledge that everyone has a right to their own beliefs. The issue is whether or not certain citizens have the right to use their beliefs to redefine that which God has already defined, and then force the rest of society to accept that redefinition. We submit that they do not.

Apparently, some citizens cannot “use their beliefs” in ways that others can. The Family Leader can use their beliefs to write letters to legislators, urge Iowans to toss out unpopular judges and advocate for candidates that promote their theonomic views. Other Iowans, who don’t believe in the same God or interpret His will in the same manner must not be allowed the same right.
What if the Family Leader used such thinking to other matters such as church or family? Since the New Testament is interpreted by some as requiring women to “keep silent” in church, shouldn’t the Family Leader petition the Iowa legislature for gag laws on mouthy women in their churches, and probably by extension any other situation where a woman might exercise authority over a man? Give a suffragette an inch and she’ll take a mile.
By their reasoning, since God is the God of all, shouldn’t all areas of life be considered a part of the civil realm?  Theonomists would answer in the affirmative. Rousas J. Rushdoony, the dean of modern reconstructionism, said in his Institutes of Biblical Law

Neither positive law nor natural law can reflect more than the sin and apostasy of man: revealed law is the need and privilege of Christian society. It is the only means whereby man can fulfill his creation mandate of exercising dominion under God. Apart from revealed law, man cannot claim to be under God but only in rebellion against God

A review of the Family Leader’s letter to Iowa legislators indicates harmony with Rushdoony’s statement that “revealed law is the need and privilege of a Christian society.” According the Family Leader, there is “no structural difference” between the religious and civil realms.
The ready endorsement of Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum to
the materials and pledges of this group exposes them to questions about the role of religion in civil society. Do they want a theonomy?

Marriage pledge authors backtrack on slavery reference

The Family Leader organization removed a reference to slavery in their “marriage pledge” in the midst of complaints and negative media scrutiny. According to Politico:

A social conservative Iowa group has retracted language regarding slavery from the opening of a presidential candidates’  pledge, amid a growing controversy over the document that Michele Bachmann had signed and Rick Santorum committed to.
The original “marriage vow” from the Family Leader, unveiled last week, included a line at the opening of its preamble, which suggested that black children born into slavery were better off in terms of family life than African-American kids born today.

Given the spokesperson’s explanation, I don’t think the group really gets why they were wrong:

“We came up with the pledge and so we had no idea that people would misconstrue that,” she said. “It was not meant to be racist or anything. it was just a fact that back in the days of slavery there was usually a husband and a wife…we were not saying at all that things are better for African-American children in slavery days than today.”

A husband and a wife who may not live together, with one on one plantation and the other on another.
The Bachmann campaign said Michele Bachmann only meant that she agreed with the pledge part, but not the rest of it. Really? You mean you don’t read what you sign?

A Bachmann spokeswoman said earlier Saturday that reports the congresswoman had signed a vow that contained the slavery language was wrong, noting it was not in the “vow” portion.
“She signed the ‘candidate vow,’ ” campaign spokeswoman Alice Stewart said, and distanced Bachmann from the preamble language, saying, “In no uncertain terms, Congresswoman Bachmann believes that slavery was horrible and economic enslavement is also horrible.”