Michele Bachmann and Christian Taqiyya

by A. Jay Adler on August 16, 2011
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Much has been made in recent years of the Islamic doctrine of Taqiyya, which permits and even promotes, according to some, religious concealment and dissimulation in certain contexts and in confronting non-Muslims.

What is it that Michele Bachmann did on Meet the Press this Sunday but engage in her own form of Taqiyya on behalf of her Christian beliefs? We are so inured to the dishonesty of political campaigns that we tend these days to accept and dismiss it with jaded shrugs. Beyond the now common run, every extremist seeking office in a moderate, but often ignorant and impressionable society will inevitably attempt the necessary dissimulation. Whenever the carrot of national power looms surprisingly large, he begins in interviews to conceal his real beliefs,  and the more honest expressions of the extremist’s past, coming back potentially to haunt, he now evades and dissembles.

The entire Republican Party dissimulates, pretending that it seeks to “reform” Medicare and Medicaid and to “improve” Social Security, when the truth, of course, is that the GOP seeks to eliminate them, by so transforming and minimizing what the programs have been that they are no longer what was intended. The GOP pretends, too, that it believes reducing federal revenues and cutting the budget will – against the judgment of even many conservative economists and financiers – revive business and grow the economy: the politically sophisticated and knowledgeble (like those who believe they’ve got Islam’s number on Taqiyya) know that the true intent is to shrink government, however possible, at whatever cost, even three decades of exploding national debt.

Without diminishing the nature of this dissimulation, Bachmann’s needs to be recognized in a harsher light, as does that of Rick Perry when it soon enough comes, when he thinks he can actually taste the White House, but his army of god becomes a problem. This is not ordinary human deceit, the kind that everyday masks personal ambition; it is programmatic and socially intolerant.

Here is Bachmann lying about the meaning of “submissive” and what she as a Christian fundamentalist really believes about a wife’s submission to her husband.

MR. GREGORY: From the economy, I want to move on to another topic that’s deeply meaningful and important to you, and that’s your faith in God. This is something that not only motivates you as a person, inspires you as you try to live a virtuous life, but it’s also been very important to your political identity as well. And I want to ask you about, not only the role God plays in, in your life but to what extent he’s a motivator for decisions that you make. One example that’s gotten some attention is some remarks you made back in 2006 about your career path, which you’ve talked about here, and I want to play a brief clip of those remarks.

REP. BACHMANN: My husband said, “Now you need to go and get a post-doctorate degree in tax law.” Tax law! I hate taxes. Why should I go and do something like that? But the Lord says, “Be submissive, wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands.”

(End audiotape)

MR. GREGORY: Is that your view for women in America? Is that your vision for them?

REP. BACHMANN: Well, I–during the debate I was asked a question about this, and my response was is that submission, that word, means respect. It means that I respect my husband and he respects me.

MR. GREGORY: Right. Congresswoman, I didn’t even have to check with my wife and I know those two things aren’t, aren’t equal.

REP. BACHMANN: What’s that?

MR. GREGORY: Submission and respect.

REP. BACHMANN: Well, in our house it is.

MR. GREGORY: OK.

REP. BACHMANN: We’ve been married almost 33 years and I have a great deal of respect for my husband. He’s a wonderful, wonderful man and a great father to our children. And he’s also filled with good advice. He…

MR. GREGORY: But so his word goes?

REP. BACHMANN: …he leads–pardon?

MR. GREGORY: His word goes?

REP. BACHMANN: Well, both of our words go. We respect each other. We have a mutual partnership in our marriage, and that’s the only way that we could accomplish what we’ve done in life is to be a good team. We’re a good team together.

In Michele Bachmann’s house, they get to alter the meanings of words, and “submission” and “respect” are synonyms. And are submission to the Christian faith and democracy and freedom synonyms, too, “in our house”? Why not? The principle of redefinition would be the same.

And here, now, below, is Bachmann lying about her attitudes toward homosexuality – because you know that ascribing “honor and dignity” to homosexuals and not judging them, even though their lives are “part of Satan,” she will not pursue policies that limit their rights.

 

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