Michele Bachmann’s campaign is trying to laugh away her suggestion that Hurricane Irene and the recent East Coast earthquake were a message from God designed to get Washington’s attention.Bachmann’s campaign spokesperson says “obviously, she was saying it in jest.”
And in the video of the remarks, she is certainly saying it in a faux-exasperated, smiling/laughing tone designed to get a big laugh out of the audience—which it did.
So it seems that, in at least some respects, Bachmann was saying this “in jest”—or at least lightly, as a laugh-line.
But given that Michele Bachmann might be President of the United States, we’d like some additional clarification on what she does and doesn’t believe.
- Does Michele Bachmann believe that God caused the hurricane? (As in, deliberately caused it, now and here—not as in “created a world in which hurricanes exist.” We’re going to assume she believes the latter.)
- Does Michele Bachmann believe that God sent the hurricane to deliver a message of some sort (whether or not the message was directed at Washington)? Was the hurricane “punishment” of some sort? If so, for what?
- Does Michele Bachmann believe that the fact that the hurricane was aimed at generally Democratic New England was no accident—or did God not mess around with the hurricane’s trajectory once he created it?
- Does Michele Bachmann believe that God initially made the hurricane look a lot more terrifying than it turned out to be (except in Vermont and upstate New York) as a way of saying “You have been warned—there’s more where that came from?” If so, what does God want from us, exactly?
- Does Michele Bachmann believe that if she is President and the country gets back on the right track, God will not send so many hurricanes?
These questions may sound ridiculous, but they aren’t.
As voters, we want to know—and we think we are entitled to know—how much of what happens in this world our Presidents will attribute to God versus how much they will attribute to, well, “shit happens.”
And if they attribute everything to God, how much of a micro-manager and micro-communicator do they think God is? Do they attribute train wrecks and market crashes to God, too—or just weather? Do they view negative events such as these as “messages” that should be interpreted? What about events that could be construed as positive messages? Do they believe that God helps good people and punishes bad ones?
Do they believe that God supports all their decisions? Or if God is displeased with some of their decisions will He send a message and make His displeasure known?
And while we’re at it, is God a man, in Michele Bachmann’s view? Or a non-sexual being?
Does God favour evangelical Lutherans when He intervenes in the world—or is He an equal-opportunity divinity? Is Michele Bachmann’s God the same god that Muslims pray to, or is that a different god? Does Michele Bachmann think Muslims are praying to the wrong god—or, worse (from the perspective of the Muslims), a god who doesn’t exist?
The next President of the United States is going to have to make a boatload of critical decisions, many of which will directly affect us. If Michele Bachmann was indeed joking about Hurricane Irene being a message to Washington from God, we’d be grateful if she could take this opportunity to share some of her other specific theories and feelings about God.
Because it’s obvious that the God Michele Bachmann thinks of when she thinks of God is very important in her life and in the lives of many of her supporters. And we just want to figure out what that means for everyone He isn’t so important to—at least not this particular Him.