In a recent interview with the Christian Post, Rep. Michele Bachmann identified two spiritual influences, Francis Schaeffer and Ravi Zacharias.
CP: Are there any ministries, authors, or individuals who have contributed to your spiritual growth?
Bachmann: First of all, I would point to the teachings of Jesus Christ and to the Old and New Testaments. Furthermore, when my husband and I were in college we were influenced by Dr. Francis Schaeffer’s “How Should We Then Live?” He was one of the greatest philosophers of the last century. I also enjoy listening to Ravi Zacharias.
Francis Schaeffer was an evangelical Christian theologian whose ideas helped spark the rise of the Christian Right. His writings have been cited as an influence by radical Christian Right leaders Tim LaHaye and Randall Terry. In A Christian Manifesto, Schaeffer calls for Christians to use civil disobedience to restore Biblical morality.
In A Christian Manifesto, Schaeffer’s argument is simple. The United States began as a nation rooted in Biblical principles. But as society became more pluralistic, with each new wave of immigrants, proponents of a new philosophy of secular humanism gradually came to dominate debate on policy issues. Since humanists place human progress, not God, at the center of their considerations, they pushed American culture in all manner of ungodly directions, the most visible results of which included legalized abortion and the secularization of the public schools.
A Christian Manifesto provided the theological justification for extremists in the anti-abortion movement. Randall Terry, the founder of Operation Rescue, was explicit in explaining, “You have to read Schaeffer’s Christian Manifesto if you want to understand Operation Rescue.”
Ravi Zacharias is an evangelical Christian apologist who has argued ardently against the theory of evolution. In November 2009, Zacharias signed the Manhattan Declaration, which endorsed civil disobedience against laws that conflict with their religious convictions including abortion, stem cell research and same-sex marriage.
Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family.
Given these extreme influences, it’s fair for New Hampshire voters to ask Bachmann to expound on her theological philosophy and how it would inform her governing a pluralistic, multicultural society.