Friday, October 27, 2006

God Wants Me to Run for Congress

The ineffable Michele Bachmann, a Republican running for the open seat in the U.S. Congress from Minnesota's Sixth District, has prompted a thought, and I wonder if anyone in the woodwork can help me figure it out.

Bachmann had this to say to a Minnesota church congregation recently, speaking about her spiritual development:
And in the midst of that calling, God then called on me to run for the United States Congress. And I thought, "What in the world would that be for?" And my husband said, "You need to do this," and I wasn't so sure. And we took three days, and we fasted, and we prayed, and we said, "Lord, is this what you want? Is this your will?" And along about the afternoon of Day Two, he made that calling sure. And it's been now twenty-two months that I've been running for the United States Congress...
(You can watch the video at YouTube -- but be warned: it's pretty excruciating.)

Now, you can say all you like about the Sin of Pride oozing out of the foregoing. My own secular upbringing may have left me bereft of God's Love and irrevocably doomed to the Lake of Fire, but I do recall from what little religious schooling I received that to claim to know God's will is frowned upon in the politer circles. Be all that as it may, what interests me -- and what I'm hoping to get a little enlightenment on -- is the mechanism by which these citizens are informed of the Almighty's divine will.

That is to say, exactly what form did Old Nobodaddy's bidding take? How was it clarified to Michele that, for example, the Sixth District -- and no other -- was the seat for which she should throw her hat in the ring? From her testimony above, the divine commission came as a complete surprise: Sorry, what? You want me to do what now, Lord?

Now, as far as my poor atheist brain can figure, there are only two possible ways that information of such specificity can be transmitted. First, an unexpected apparition, perhaps accompanied with some pyrotechnics (one's tempted to imagine a flaming rhododendron) but one in which the exchange is largely verbal:



Really, Lord? Is that Thy divine will?




Forgive my denseness, O Lord -- I am but a poor, humble sinner. The United States Congress is a mighty big organization... Wherein shall I fit?



The only other possibility that I can encompass involves some sort of divine affirmation that a decision taken after some consideration is the right one. In other words, you have to have some inkling of running for Congress in Minnesota's Sixth District, and your prayer and fasting while considering the question results in some kind of sign -- a vision of behaloed blastocysts, perhaps, or maybe just a nice warm, fuzzy feeling like you've just peed your pants. In the non-batshit-loony world, this might be thought of as "going away and thinking really hard about it, coming to a decision, and being happy with it."

To boil it down further, you can either testify that:

1) "God wants me to run for Congress";

or

2) "I want to run for Congress, and I think/hope/pray that God's good with that."

Is there any third way? I certainly can't see one.

Quite clearly, Bachmann's testimonial makes Claim 1) above. I would certainly never accuse her of cloaking the second claim with the first -- that is, of claiming that God directed her to run for the open Sixth District seat when in fact the decision to do so was made by her alone. Heavens, that would be lying! In church, no less!

Hence, my interest in the mechanism by which the Lord of Hosts -- who, I might point out, hasn't actually dusted off the Burning Bush act in quite some years, and whose public appearances in the last few millennia are mighty sparse on the ground -- lets a Midwestern
lawyer know that He would smile upon an old-fashioned barn-burner of a campaign in the Sixth.

Anybody?

(I'm also really amused by the three-day fast thing. If, on the second day of your fast, Old Smokey pops in with a choir of angels, trailing glory and hosannahs, and directs you to run for Congress, do you really continue your fast for another day? Haven't you, you know, got your answer? Others have pointed out that it's never a good idea to make important decisions on an empty stomach, and I heartily concur.)

17 comments:

cleek said...

I'm not sure about X.
I think about X for a bit.
I ask Jaqaieko to give me a sign.
I think about it some more and then I...
Come to a conclusion!
I feel good about myself because I don't have to decide anymore.

The fact that I came to a conclusion is the sign I was looking for. I've set it up so Jaqaieko gets credit for any choice I make. Jaqaieko is good.

IOZ said...

There was an X-files episode that we used to show in the ol' English 342: Paranoia and Conspiracy in Contemporary American Fiction called José Chung is From Outer Space. I was never much of an X-phile myself, but I loved this episode. The intrepid pair get involved in an elaborate alien abduction plot that may be a hoax, may be a delusion, the standard affair, all told in a very Rashomon sort of multiple-telling manner. One of the people they encounter is a utility worker named Rocky, who gives them his account of the incident in screenplay format!

There was a line I recall very clearly: the "inner-earth" alien, named "Lord Kinbote," utters his first words in that telling: "Rocky! Be thou not afraid!"

Hilarity ensues, including a resurrected soul sex orgy.

So I'm imagining it goes something like that. With the Congress thing, I mean

roxtar said...

I learned two things in Catholic school. First, God loves me, but He's perfectly content to roast me in Hell for eternity. Second, sex is the most awful, dirty thing on the face of the earth and you should save it for someone you love.

I shoved my invisible friend under an invisible bus in 7th grade and never looked back.

Bobby Lightfoot said...

Oh, fuckin' christ is it good after a day in the trenches to reacquaint oneself with the smart and funny amongst us.

I'm giving you all honorary big brother status for th' week.

Except Ned who has to deal with it permanently.

Th' only revelation I've ever had after a two- or three- day fast is that maybe we should all chip in on some more crank.

And bury that cop already.

Will Divide said...

Neddie, Ned, Ned... for a lad who went to a former Episcopal college (a religion major too, n'est pas?) your levity smells of the Devil's putwillies.
Pffah...

Though I firmly believe that religions exist merely to terrify and enslave mankind, I also believe one can hear the great spirit calling.

How do you know it is the real thing? You do everything you can to stop it and it still reaches you. You ignore it for years, but it never goes away. It also tells you shit you do not want to hear.

You don't hold the equivalent of a Tupperware party, without the food, to coax a statement or two from your reptile brain viz: your chances in the upcoming primary. You husband has no say in the matter either.

Dolts. Stooges. Minnesota is crawling with them.

treepeony said...

Our Michele, who lives to make homosexuals suffer, announced at a gathering, "I'm a fool for Jesus."

Jayzus. She's half right.

Sorry your hip isn't mending better and faster. Tuesday, eight weeks will have passed since I had a total knee replacement. It has been a hellacious couple of months, but today was a gorgeous blue and yellow day, and I was able to walk a mile to visit the big waterfall in my neighborhood. At last things are looking groovier than they have in some time. They say hip replacements are considerably less painful. If you have to go there, morphine and its derivatives would almost make an atheist like me believe in a merciful god.

treepeony said...

Our Michele, who lives to make homosexuals suffer, announced at a gathering, "I'm a fool for Jesus."

Jayzus. She's half right.

Sorry your hip isn't mending better and faster. Tuesday, eight weeks will have passed since I had a total knee replacement. It has been a hellacious couple of months, but today was a gorgeous blue and yellow day, and I was able to walk a mile to visit the big waterfall in my neighborhood. At last things are looking groovier than they have in some time. The PTs say hip replacements are considerably less painful. If you have to go there, morphine and its derivatives would almost make an atheist like me believe in a merciful god.

Neddie said...

TreeP: The goddamned hip. Doc looked at an X-ray and actually saw signs of improvement, but you wouldn't know it by the way the thing barks and woofs with every step. I'm now affecting a sexy, sexy cane and working on my Hugh-Laurie-as-Greg-House impression. It's gotten pretty good -- go ahead and ask me about the differential diagnosis of complications from tapeworm infestation; I'll do it while balancing a tennis ball in the crook of my cane.

Good to hear about your knee. Glad *somebody's* walking a mile to visit a waterfall. Poor thing must get lonely.

JD said...

You forgot the "She's a schizo who's gone off her meds and is having auditory hallucinations" theory.

chunkyStu said...

I always tell my kids...a man’s civility is measured by his actions on an empty stomach, and god packs a wicked cool suitcase of calligraphic fonts!

Kevin Wolf said...

I was gonna post some ex-Catholic snark about this clueless woman.

But instead, I'll offer my one bit of wisdom re canes. I never got past the industrial adjustable ultra-non sexy version after my accident. I wanted to leave the whole experience in the rear view.

But if you're stuck with it, forget House and affect a Jonathan Frid / Barnabas Collins thing. Shit: If you have to have a cane make it work for you.

casalina said...

Perhaps facility paid her a visit.

roxtar said...

My brother makes shillelaghs. I can hook you up if you're interested.

Akatabi said...

The cane will be appropriate when you are elected and feel motivated to perform a proper caning on the Senate floor. I'm sure you can think of as many deserving recipients as I.

H. Rumbold, Master Barber

treepeony said...

The hind end of the frog on my cane fits nicely in the palm of my hand. If you have to use a cane, make it say fuck you oncoming runners, bikers, dobermans and giggling teenaged sirens who think they will never be old.

Tom said...

God's voice is surprisingly unimpressive; it's high and a bit whiny, much like Abraham Lincoln's was said to be. When he speaks, he has Paul Robeson do the voice-over.

His son's voice, on the other hand, could charm the habits off an entire convent's worth of nuns, just by asking the time of day.

Don't ask me how I know this.

cleek said...

José Chung is From Outer Space

loved that one. so many great lines:

"One of them was disguised as a woman, but wasn't pulling it off. Like, her hair was red... but it was a little TOO red, you know."

"Yeah, that's a bleepin' dead alien body if I ever bleepin' saw one."

that show rocked, back in the day.

i blame Bush