Michele Bachmann, Rick Warren telling lies for Jesus that hurt poor women

“Let’s love people,” Rep. Michele Bachmann said, “let’s care about people.”

The Minnesota Republican said this, perversely, in support of the 39th attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Igor Volsky of Think Progress provides a fuller context for Bachmann’s odd remarks:

While the main coverage expansion provisions will go into effect in 2014, the ACA has so far saved seniors over $6 billion on prescription drugs, reduced administrative overhead, deterred private insurers from requesting double digit premium increaseskept millions of young people on their parents’ health care plans, and provided 34.1 million people with Medicare preventive services without additional cost-sharing.

Moments after calling for the complete repeal of a law that will extend health care coverage to 30 million Americans, Bachmann claimed that her belief in Christ inspires her to care “for the least of those who are in our midst.”

Bachmann, in other words, is arguing that we should “love” seniors by transferring $6 billion from their pockets into the coffers of pharmaceutical companies and by denying 34.1 million of them access to preventive health care. She wants us to “love” working people by charging them higher premiums for health insurance. And she wants us to “love” millions of young adults by kicking them off of their parents insurance plans.

Can’t you just feel the love?

Bachmann went on to argue that increased access to affordable health insurance “literally kills women, kills children, kills senior citizens.”

But perhaps the weirdest moment in Bachmann’s speech — amidst the blasphemous misquotations of scripture and the whole-cloth fabrications of bogus statistics and “death panel” lies — was the moment when she asked, “Where are poor women supposed to go?” for health care.

I’m glad she’s at least asking that question, even if she’s not interested in finding out the answer. For tens of millions of poor women, that question will have a new answer once the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented, but for millions more the answer will remain the same as it has been for years now in America. Poor women will go to the one place poor women have always gone for affordable, reliable access to the health care that is otherwise denied them because they are poor and because they are women: They will go to Planned Parenthood.

This is not a secret. Planned Parenthood has more than 750 centers throughout the United States that serve more than three million people every year. One in five American women has gotten medical care from Planned Parenthood at some point in their lives.

And most of that has nothing to do with abortion. Abortion services account for only 3 percent of what Planned Parenthood does. But then it’s not really accurate to say that the other 97 percent of the care they provide has nothing to do with abortion — that care, from family planning to prenatal care to preventive and nutritional care for pregnant women and their children, means that Planned Parenthood does more to prevent abortion than any “pro-life” organization, maybe even more than all of them put together.

So how is it that someone like Michele Bachmann doesn’t know this?

She doesn’t know this because she doesn’t want to know this.

Neither does the Rev. Rick Warren, who recently tweeted this bit of pastoral malpractice:

Planned Parenthood is the McDonalds of abortion. It’s the #1 baby killing franchise.

No need to play “stupid or evil?” with that one. It’s both. The stupid and the evil are mutually reinforcing.

Warren is supposed to be the pastor to a congregation of 25,000 people. About half of his “flock” are women. Granted, Warren’s Saddleback church isn’t a working-class congregation, and many of its members are wealthy enough that they never have to worry about relying on any place with the word “clinic” in the title (unless it’s the Mayo Clinic). But it’s still a statistical certainty that the congregation of Saddleback Church includes hundreds of women who rely on Planned Parenthood for health care they cannot afford to get elsewhere. And that congregation likely includes thousands of women who have relied on it in the past.

But if punching down at the less-wealthy women in his congregation is the price of indulging in smug self-congratulation, that’s a price Rick Warren is happy to pay.

If telling himself that he’s a good person requires him to treat others badly, then he’ll enthusiastically play the role of anti-pastor to hundreds of members of his flock.

After all, what’s more important? To do good and be good? Or to reassure himself that he’s better than the Satanic baby-killers?

Warren, like Bachmann, chooses the latter every time. That’s evil. And it makes Warren stupid in that it causes him to be more ignorant than he otherwise would be or could be or should be. It guarantees that hundreds of women in his congregation who know things he does not know — things he ought to know and needs to know — will never share that knowledge with him. He’s made it clear he doesn’t want to hear it.

He’s made it clear that it would not be safe for them to tell him the truth they know. And thus it guarantees that he will never learn from them.

I’m sure that Warren’s first reaction to all of this would be to deny that any woman who attends Saddleback would ever go to Planned Parenthood and to assert that the women of his congregation surely all agree with his flippant dismissal and condemnation of that vital lifeline for poor women. After all, he likely thinks, no one has ever told him otherwise. And I doubt he can be made to understand why that is. I doubt he will ever realize how he has made it impossible for anyone to ever be honest with him, or to ever tell him anything he clearly doesn’t want to know.

That is not a good place to be. You have to take quite a few wrong turns to end up in the situation Rick Warren has created for himself — a situation in which being cruel to others boosts his self-esteem, a situation in which ignorantly condemning hundreds of people in his own congregation makes him feel like he’s being a better pastor.

“Where are poor women supposed to go” for pastoral care at Saddleback? Not to their pastor. He’s made it crystal clear that he’d rather shame them than listen to them. He’s made it abundantly clear that he isn’t interested in understanding them, in learning about their lives or learning from their lives. He’s made it clear that if they ask for bread he will give them a stone, if they ask for a fish he will give them a snake.

“Pastor” Warren offers them only condemnation — and not even because of anything they have actually done wrong, but only because condemning them is his preferred shorthand for praising himself and his own presumed righteousness.

Not good. Not smart. Not something any decent pastor should ever do.

The better way, the most excellent way, would be instead to love and care for people. And I’d say exactly that — I’d say, “Let’s love people, let’s care about people.” But thanks to folks like Michele Bachmann and Rick Warren, those words have become much harder to understand.


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  • Mark Z.

    I just don’t know what the word is that has the consensus meaning of ‘born with penis’ or ‘born with uterus’, since ‘sex’ ain’t it.

    “Sex” absolutely is it. Whoever complained to you about not being “female-bodied” despite having a female body just doesn’t understand that, and is probably having a kneejerk reaction to being called “female” in any way. “Genderqueer” is a category of gender, not sex.

    Now, “sex” is a tricky concept too, because while there is a single genetic switch (the SRY gene) for the mechanism of sex differentiation, the mechanism isn’t perfect, and there are a bunch of ways to end up with a penis and a uterus, or other combinations.

    What there is not is any defensible way to say “I’m 46XX and have ovaries and a uterus and a vulva but dammit my sex is not female.”

  • I think I’ll pass, then. I didn’t grow up in a fire-and-brimstone church; I grew up in one that preached – and did – brother-and-sisterhood.

  • Carstonio

    I’m also leery of using “sex” to denote biological differences, because the world also denotes sexual pleasure. The wording of the old Equal Rights Amendment could be interpreted as meaning that rights cannot be denied to people who refuse a request for intercourse.

  • AnonaMiss

    This sort of shit makes me want to register for Disqus just so I can downvote it.

  • AnonaMiss

    Eh, I’ve seen it answered plenty of times. Usually the answer is “Whatever the penalty for murder or conspiracy to murder is in that state.” or “That’s for the judge/legislators to decide.” Which are fair answers.

    It was a good question when it was new and forced people to think about it – especially the ones who had the intuition that it shouldn’t be treated the same as actual murder – but now that it’s been around for a couple years it’s either ignored, or answered with the above. Neither of which is particularly productive.

    (Not that you shouldn’t ask it, by all means do; I’m just musing.)

  • For that matter, what about chimera? Is Lydia Fairchild’s sister alive and well? (And if so, is she guilty of kidnapping?)

  • AnonaMiss

    Personally I draw the personhood line at ~2-3 months, when language learning begins. There’s no behavior that distinguishes a human as more person-y than any other animal before that point. Actually there’s a fair possibility that this aligns fairly well with earlier Homo birth-age, since part of our species’ adaptation to our gigantic skulls was pushing birth earlier and earlier.

    That’s a purely academic tangent however.

  • pastorboy

    Sister, you are right. I cannot judge anybody. It is God who says there is nobody righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10) That there is none good – Have you ever lied? I have. God’s word says that lying lips are an abomination (Prov 12:22) and all liars will have their part in a lake of fire (Rev 21:18). One sin, one transgression is enough to make you a lawbreaker and deserving of the punishment of a holy, holy God. Since I am a liar (thats just the beginning…I am a thief because I have stolen, an adulterer because I have looked with lust (MT 5:25), and an idolater because I have had a false view of God) I deserve Hell, and I need a Savior. Thats why I had to repent, I had to turn- even my good works could not please God. I needed an alien righteousness. And we are all in the same boat- we need a Savior. http://www.needgod.com

  • Someone’s played Soul Reaver 2, I take it! And if not, that’s almost a word for word quote from the game. “Do not test my patience, Raziel. I made you — and I will unmake you if I become so inclined!” Here’s a video of that scene, skipped to the exact quote.

    I’ve always suspected that the design and dialogue fo the Elder God was intended to be one part Lovecraftian horror, one part subversion of Christian fundamentalism. Now that I’m more aware of such things, I can see meaningful levels to the script of that game. (Then again, religious subtext in a game where one of the primary characters is named Kain? Nawww.)

  • AnonaMiss

    So you choose an arbitrary line, the point at which sperm and egg hit, as the point at which they suddenly deserve protection. Sperm aren’t people until they’ve met a partner? How sexist.

    Think of the potential babies! Think of all the potential babies that die every time you masturbate – and also every time you go long enough without that they are recycled back into your body!

    Think of all the babies you’re killing by preventing those sperm from implanting in an egg! It’s far more babies than are killed by preventing an egg from implanting in an endometrium, say via an IUD.

    Won’t someone think of the children!? Outlaw masturbation and non-masturbation and require every male to report to a sperm bank every 3-5 days for extraction and cryogenic storage! With modern technology, we can save those babies.

  • I can direct you to the part of the Bible which speaks to abortion (as opposed to an incident which causes a miscarriage). Unfortunately, it’s in reference to forcing a woman suspected of adultery to have one, begins on the premise of “you are guilty until God proves you otherwise” and is obviously designed with failure in mind.

  • So God wrote a rule which he knows no one can keep, and gave it a punishment as severe and non-proportionate to the crime as can be imagined, and he lies in wait for an opportunity to spring the trap and punish someone.

    Is it just me, or does God exhibit the exact same sort of behavior one would expect of an abusive lover?


  • This turns out not to be the case.

  • P J Evans

    Fine. That’s YOUR sins. God has no business punishing US for what YOU do or don’t do. Don’t condemn others, because it comes back and lands on YOU.

  • P J Evans

    That’s the only reason I ever log in.

  • P J Evans

    And at the same time, he’d be denying he was involved with it.

  • dj_pomegranate

    For someone who claims you cannot judge anyone, you sure are doing a whollllle lotta judging up in this comment thread.

    I thin it’s safe to say that many of us in this neighborhood of the Internet are very familiar with this version of boilerplate “testimony” and “witness,” the kind that “proves” that “even the smallest sin casts us out from God’s presence, and that’s why Jesus matters…etc.” I’m pretty sure I spent a few years on my high horse saying this exact same thing to a lot of people. What you’re saying is not new to many (most?) of us, it is not thoughtful, and it does not even attempt to answer the very good questions that people here are asking.

  • The_L1985

    It was yet another jab at her not being a normal woman and not having maternal instincts. Jabs like that were on almost every page.

  • JustoneK

    A good and loving God would not have inflicted me on my family.

    You’re still an asshole in your own little asshole bubble blissfully unaware of what an asshole you are to other folks.

  • SisterCoyote

    I cannot judge anybody. It is God who says there is nobody righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10)

    Although I understand what you’re trying to say, the fact remains that what I have seen from you is an attempt to pass what you believe to be God’s judgement on the rest of us. You’re a flawed human being, as you say, like all humanity – what gives you that right? Jesus was very, very clear in telling us not to try to – I believe the phrasing was separate the wheat from the chaff – was he not? Wasn’t there something about how no one can pass judgement, here on Earth? Why are you acting as though it is your place to tell people whether they are saved or condemned? Where does Christ say that his sacrifice was only for people who voted anti-choice pro-life?

    The weird part is, I agree with your external words, to some extent. There is none righteous, no, not one – yes. That’s true, we’ve all fucked up and hurt people. I even, as a Christian, believe that Christ’s sacrifice is the reason why we are all redeemed. Which also means that you have NO RIGHT to go around telling people they are not redeemed. You have no right to tell others to repent, for things that you have decided are a sin. Again – tell me, please, where in the Bible it says that abortion is a sin. And then tell me where it says that it is the responsibility of Christians to demand repentance for that sin.

  • SisterCoyote

    I miss the pie threads. Does anyone else miss the pie threads? …because I miss the pie threads.

  • cyllan

    I had an amazing pear pie this past weekend.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Oo, recipe?

  • Then how are we to interpret the fact that this “good and loving” God allows Ursula to live despite”blaspheming His holy name,” but chose to kill her grandmother who did nothing more than attempt to give her husband the son he wanted?

    Fuck you and your obscene death-god. Yours isn’t the God of the christianity I know.

  • That shouldn’t be too surprising; I think I’ve made it clear that I believe most Catholic moral teaching gets like 3/4 of the way to right, and just makes a massive wrong turn right at the end, usually due to their nasty neoplatonist authoritarian streak.

  • P J Evans

    I have the makings of grape-pie filling in my freezer. (Concord grapes: slip the skin, cook the insides enough to run them through a sieve, then put the skins back in. It’s *purple*.)

  • AnonaMiss

    Did everyone remember to celebrate Pi Day on the 14th?

    Only two more years until Ultra Pi Day! I’m super excited!

  • cyllan

    I didn’t make it, alas, but I believe they soaked the pears in dark rum, and spiced it with cardamon. I’ll try and dig up the recipe.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Oo. Hm. Thanks!

  • Lori

    I did. I had a slice of chocolate silk (which I did not personally make) and it was pretty yummy.

    One of these days I want to make a pie for Pi Day and cut the crust the top crust into the numbers and decimal point.

  • Like this? ^_^

  • SisterCoyote

    Oh man, that sounds amazing!

  • Lori

    No, although that’s cool too. I can’t find a picture of the one I mean, but it has the actual numbers & the decimal cut out of dough. The number of digits would obviously depend on how big your numbers were.

  • Or cannibalism…

  • banancat

    I guess you’ll be first in the lake then.

  • The_L1985

    Yes, pretty much. Only cranked up to 11.

  • AnonaMiss

    It’s doubly stupid because it doesn’t even address your question

  • The_L1985

    Fuck you. I am a human being, not a punishment for my mother daring to have sex with her husband. Any children I have will also be human beings, not “punishments.”

  • Weird, yesterday Richard’s comment was showing up under “smrnda”, not “Richard”. Another vagary of Disqus?

  • Probably. I saw an unregistered user’s name change a bit ago after the major upgrade, too.

  • Ursula L

    Because what they do is refer women to clinics that actually provide them, in the states that still have those clinics.

    It depends on where you are.

    Where I am, all of the local PP clinics provide medical (pill) abortion care, but only one does surgical (D&C) abortions. At least according to their web page the last time I checked it (a few months back.)

    I suppose that PP and others interested in providing comprehensive gynecological care organize according to what is practical wherever they are.

  • Victor Savard

    (((What will you do on that day?)))

    With all due respect pastorboy, I do agree with a lot of what you said but after I took the test you provided, I must tell you and these creaters to go back to the drawing board cause when you tell any “ONE” that GOD will be sending them to hell, that’s where I draw the line.

    Long story short, GOD (Good Old Dad) does not send any “ONE” to hell and longer story short, all of U>S (usual sinners) send ourselves to where ever our Backward Lived Live will take U>S so please don’t get me started.

    I got UP this morning to shave and the face clothed that I used turned to what seemed like red blood after I put HOT Water on “IT” so please pray for me.

    God Bless,



  • Famous last words of many a mad scientist: “I am your creator! You will obey- urk”

  • I log in with openid and I can downvote.

  • The_L1985

    So married people who can’t afford vasectomies or babies should just not have sex with their own spouses? Are you really going to argue that married couples who are poor should be denied one of the main “perks” of marriage altogether?

  • You might do well to educate YOURSELF on Planned Parenthood by watching a powerful documentary on their history called Maafa21 http://www.maafa21.com and then look at a study which proves they set up in minority community’s called “Racial Targeting” here http://www.prolifeamerica.com

  • The_L1985

    I think I’ll play the donation game! The more you post, the more money I give to PP.

  • Victor Savard

    John putting the bible ass hide, would YA not say that Kathleen Battle has a great voice in this little rendition of “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord”? http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=l-94UqqyeGg

    Go Figure! :)

  • This is not a possibility. For one thing the descendant of Eston Hemings has the same Y chromosome as Thomas Jefferson’s uncle Field. Sally Hemings did not have a Y chromosome at all, since she was female. The chromosome would have to have come from Eston’s father. So unless Thomas’s grandmother had been fooling around, Thomas’s Y chromosome should match Eston’s as well.

    Additionally, there is no way that the matching DNA other than the Y-chromosome could have derived from a rape from a previous generation. Sally Hemings’s grandmother didn’t belong to the Jeffersons. Sally’s grandmother, Susanna, probably came from Africa and was most likely owned by Martha Jefferson’s mother’s family, the Eppeses.

    Sally’s mother, Elizabeth, was most likely the daughter of John Hemings, a white man. Sally (n.b. — I’m using the name “Sally” here to reduce confusion since I am referencing four Hemingses in this comment) herself was fathered by John Wayles, who was also the father of Thomas’s late wife, Martha.

    Elizabeth did not go to Monticello until Sally was around three years old. Therefore, Sally Hemings cannot share a common ancestor with Thomas Jefferson.