but jesus already saved the planet

Representative Michele Bachmann, a Republican from Minnesota, in an interview yesterday, said that the environment didn’t need advocates in the House, or anywhere for that matter, because – duh – Jesus had already saved the Earth. Here’s her quote:

[Pelosi] is committed to her global warming fanaticism to the point where she has said that she’s just trying to save the planet. … We all know that someone did that over 2,000 years ago, they saved the planet — we didn’t need Nancy Pelosi to do that.

She was also overheard saying, “Feed the poor? Didn’t Jesus already do that.”

OK, I’m just kidding about the last part… The first quote, however, is unfortunately true.

Bachmann, by the way, is a proud recipient of the prestigious Defender of Economic Freedom Award…. Oh, and then there’s the thing about her thinking that the Pope is the Anti-Christ… Here, if you don’t believe me, is the proof from Wikipedia:

…During a debate televised by WCCO on October 28, 2006, news reporter Pat Kessler quoted a story that appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune and asked Bachmann whether it was true that the church she belonged to taught that the Pope was the Anti-Christ. Bachmann answered that her “church does not believe that the Pope is the Anti-Christ, that’s absolutely false… I’m very grateful that my pastor has come out and been very clear on this matter, and I think it’s patently absurd and it’s a false statement.” Bachmann is a member of a church that is part of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, whose doctrine teaches that the Roman Catholic papacy is the Anti-Christ identified in Scripture…

I know, it’s not nearly as bad as when Obama’s pastor said that white men rule our country, but it’s still pretty bad, right?

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  1. Posted August 14, 2008 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    What’s wrong with Obama’s pastor making a truthful statement? Look at the percentages Presidents, Senators, US Representatives, Supreme Court Justices, and business leaders who are/were white men. It’s pretty undeniable.

  2. Alice who isn't an Alice
    Posted August 14, 2008 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    I think Mark was using a rhetorical device known as sarcasm.

  3. publius
    Posted August 14, 2008 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Pride comes before a fall.

  4. Steph
    Posted August 14, 2008 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    I want a “Jesus Already Fed the Poor” t-shirt!

  5. Dirtgrain
    Posted August 14, 2008 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    I’m starting to think that sarcasm and satire don’t work on the internet.

  6. heronblue
    Posted August 14, 2008 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Jesus apparently needs to also go and save a pit bull – just wanted to give people a heads up.

    Our park has always been a friendly tolerant park with people with reasonably well behaved dogs often going off leash, but a young lady was there yesterday with her english bulldog who is a real sweetie, and it was attacked by an off leash pit bull, who’s owner fled with it when the police were called. The attacked dog (Sol) had to be rushed to the animal hospital – and was badly injured — so please be careful and on the look out while using the park as this dog apparently is problematic.

    it would be sad if this dog ruined the situation for other folks who’ve been fairly responsible with their dogs who’ve enjoyed the freedom of getting to play off leash.

  7. Leigh
    Posted August 14, 2008 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    I’m trying to understand the “pride comes before a fall” comment. Are you suggesting that it’s prideful to be attempting to save the planet, and that God will smite those down who attempt it?

  8. Dirtgrain
    Posted August 14, 2008 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    What park? I’m scared.

  9. Posted August 14, 2008 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    The worst part is that the are millions of people who will agree with Bachman.

  10. heronblue
    Posted August 14, 2008 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Park: Riverside – dog was escorted by a young man who owned it.

  11. Dirtgrain
    Posted August 14, 2008 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Dang, I better buy some pepper spray. Does that actually work on pitbulls?

  12. Robert
    Posted August 15, 2008 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Good luck, Leigh. I haven’t been able to get publius, or ytown for that matter, to explain any of their enigmatic four and five word comments. I’m beginning to think it’s because they are geniuses, in the same way our president is, and they understand things on a level beyond the rest of us. They are men of few words, but those they do share are packed with greater meaning than we could ever know.

  13. Robert
    Posted August 15, 2008 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Is it really that difficult for people to remember that it is human souls that Jesus saves? What is with everybody?

  14. publius
    Posted August 15, 2008 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    There is word for the idea that mankind can destroy the earth that God created by running our air conditioners. Hubris.

    There is also a name of a political party that people who mock Christianity probably subscribe to. It starts with a D and ends with a crat. And they wonder “What’s wrong with Kansas?”

  15. Ol' E Cross
    Posted August 16, 2008 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    I think the whole Jeremiah Wright thing was silly, and this is too.

    It’s entirely comparable.

    If nobody’s figured it out by now, my nomenclature, Ol’ E Cross, sounds like Holy Cross. It fit with my first post on this site.

    What Bachmann said was theologically stupid on several levels. But, other than Jimmy Carter, politicians are deliberately stupid theologians, on both sides.

    Politicians co-opt whatever language they can to their advantage. Personally, I like church too much to mix it with state. But, if ya’ll want to mix church with state keep obsessing about various churchish associations each side makes. And, do the same whenever one side references Nazis.

    I think Mark is totally on target with his “Feed the poor” comment. My point is that picking at Bachmann is, theologically, exactly the same as picking at Obama/Wright.

    Sure, it’s a good corrective to remind folk that repubs are no less theologically orthodox than dems, but, by enlarge, they’re on par. From my bully pulpit, the old-timey Jesus just won’t be completely had by either party. Thank God.

  16. Robert
    Posted August 19, 2008 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Ol’ E Cross, do you really think Representative Bachmann’s stupidity is deliberate? I truly believe her mind is so deluded that, even in the midst of trying to portray herself as some sort of Christian, she proves she really doesn’t even know what it is that Jesus saves precisely. I’m not sure the rest of you are too clear on it either. It’s SOULS people! SOULS!!! Not ‘THE PLANET!’ Hasn’t all that drumming you subject yourselves to gotten that into your thick skulls?

    This whole thing is so incredibly idiotic it’s almost beyond comprehension. When someone says something that makes absolutely no sense right on the face of it, why don’t people just speak up about it? Is it some sort of bizarre misguided form of politeness? It’s something I see so many self proclaimed liberals do so often. It looks like confusion to me. Many people don’t seem to be able to distinguish between statements which they simply do not agree with from statements which make absolutely no sense. Obviously, the former should be listened to and debated respectfully. The latter should be treated as what it is…the nonsensical ramblings of a lunatic.

    By the way, the ‘Holy Cross’ thing never occurred to me.

  17. EoS
    Posted August 19, 2008 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    I was going to ignore your nonsensical ramblings, but since you explicitly asked for people to speak up, then I will comply with a brief explanation that I’m sure you’ll find incomprehensible as well. Read the final chapter, the last book of the Bible: revelation. When Jesus returns, the second coming, he has promised to create heaven on earth – a “new earth”. He will do what he has promised, the earth must continue to exist if he said he would return and establish his kingdom here. Therefore – don’t worry, be happy – the planet is saved!

  18. Robert
    Posted August 19, 2008 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    EoS, of course we are already far beyond any logical discussion at this point, but still I must say that what you are suggesting is absolutely insane and a complete offense to what Jesus taught. What an incredible stretch it is…even by the usual standards you folks put out there. And please, I don’t need to read the final chapter of the Bible to know Jesus promised to create heaven on Earth. Even by your supposed ‘explanation’ you could only go as far as saying “He WILL save the planet” not “He ALREADY saved the planet.” Either way, what you are suggesting is a complete offense to that which Jesus taught. In your scenario its ok for us to ignore everything Jesus taught us of how to live in this life, and instead just tear the hell out of all creation here on Earth. It’s all ok because he’s going to fix it for us. Your ‘interpretation’, and wow do I use that word loosely, is nothing but a shockingly blatant attempt to avoid the difficult work and choices confronted when actually heeding the things Jesus asked of his followers. So you try to give yourself a shortcut, something that requires nothing of you really. How incredibly offensive after what He was put through, and how little he asked of others in comparison.

  19. Robert
    Posted August 19, 2008 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Here are a few more quotes from Representative Bachmann:

    “Literally, if we took away the minimum wage… if conceivably it was gone… we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level.” -Michele Bachmann, 1/26/05

    “I was wondering, if most employers are already doing this anyway, isn’t minimum wage really just superfluous? Why do we even have one?” -Michele Bachmann, 1/26/05

    “If raising the minimum wage to $7.00 an hour is a good idea, that why don’t we just raise it to $20.00 an hour, that must be even better.” -Michele Bachmann, 1/26/05

    “Iran is the troublemaker trying to tip over apple carts all over Baghdad right now because they want America to pull out. And you know why? It’s because they’ve already decided, that they’re going to territory, they’re- they’re going to partition Iraq and half of Iraq, the western northern portion of Iraq is going to be called, the United, uh, uh, the, the uh, -oh, I’m sorry, I can’t remember the actual name of it now, but it’s going to be called, um, uh, the, the, uh, uh the Iraq State of Islam, something like that. And I-I’m sorry, I-I don’t have the official name, but it is meant to be the training ground for the terrorists. There’s already an agreement made; they’re going to get half of Iraq and that is going to be – a terrorist free – a terrorist safe haven zone.” -Michele Bachmann, 2/9/2007

    “I look at the Scripture and I read it and I take it for what it is. I give more credence in the Scripture as being kind of a timeless word of God to mankind, and I take it for what it is. And I don’t think I give as much credence to my own mind, because I see myself as being very limited and very flawed, and lacking in knowledge, and wisdom and understanding. So, I just take the Bible for what it is, I guess, and recognize that I am not a scientist, not trained to be a scientist. I’m not a deep thinker on all of this. I wish I was. I wish I was more knowledgeable, but I’m not a scientist.” -Michele Bachmann, 9/29/2003

    I’m pretty certain her stupidity isn’t deliberate. Do you honestly believe a person of this wit was not just matching the word ‘saves’ in the two proclamations, “Jesus saves” and “save the planet” in her ridiculous statement? Because that’s the explanation which most closely matches the level of thought on which she regularly operates.

  20. mark
    Posted August 19, 2008 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    But Mark already left a witty comment.

  21. EoS
    Posted August 20, 2008 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    What is it that Jesus taught that I am ignoring? What book of the Bible contains his environmental sermons? Where does He say, “Please don’t multiply – the earth I have given you is insufficient to sustain the population that I didn’t have the foresight to consider?”

    Your view elevates man above God and that’s definitely against everything Jesus taught. To think that we need to fix what God has created is hubris.

  22. Paw
    Posted August 20, 2008 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    And where exactly in the Bible does it say that we should drive cars, use petrochemical fertilizers to grow our crops and live in suburbs? Your argument that since environmentalism wasn’t mentioned in the Bible we shouldn’t take care of our planet is about the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.

  23. EoS
    Posted August 20, 2008 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Paw, Please don’t put words in my mouth. Robert said I was ignoring everything Jesus taught us of how to live in this life. I was merely asking for the reference.

  24. Robert
    Posted August 20, 2008 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Don’t put words in my mouth either, EoS. I never said you were “ignoring everything Jesus taught us of how to live in this life.” In fact, I can see clearly in your responses that you don’t ignore everything he taught. What I do say is that you trade the difficult work of living a life as Jesus asked us all to live in favor of something which can only be described as waiting for Him to return and fix our mess, and as though simply stating that he will return is somehow heeding His teachings. It’s not…not at all. Carelessly and thoughtlessly running roughshod over God’s creation while all the time suggesting it’s ok because He will be back, or as you put it, “don’t worry, be happy – the planet is saved!” but in the future of course (accurately stated as “The planet WILL be saved”).

    I will say that I respect you far more than I respect Representative Bachmann and most others who would share the ‘explanation’ you gave. In fact, I have no doubt that the vast majority of these people would have not been able to give anything near the response you have, and generally rely on more thoughtful individuals such as yourself to give rationalization their abhorrent behavior. I suspect you know that. You were the one who stepped up to comment – no one else. You’re responses to my attacks of you were thoughtful and not filled with hate. For this I can see you DO attempt to take seriously the messages in Jesus’ teaching.

    For that I will tone down my provocative and aggressive rhetoric toward you. But that is only out of respect for you, and not at all for the position you defended. I still suggest that the ‘wait ’til Jesus returns and saves everything’ mentality is a cop out. It’s simply an attempt to short cut past the often extremely difficult task of taking Jesus’ teachings to heart in our daily lives.

    By the way, though I am certain it should be very obvious to anyone who’s read any of my posts, I still feel the need to say that I do not claim to be a Christian. I feel that fact may not be as clear to everyone here as it should be, mostly because of the incredibly hypocritical and unchristian behavior displayed by the majority of folks who call themselves Christians.

  25. Robert
    Posted August 20, 2008 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Now for the edits:

    I’ll complete this incomplete sentense in my previous post:
    “It is an offense to Jesus’s teachings to carelessly and thoughtlessly running roughshod over God’s creation while all the time suggesting it’s ok because He will be back, or as you put it, “don’t worry, be happy – the planet is saved!” (but in the future tense of course – accurately stated as “The planet WILL be saved”)

    And in the second paragraph I forgot a “to” and the sentense should have read, “to give rationalization TO their abhorrent behavior.”

    Maybe Mark can continue correcting my terrible writing and just make these changes for me, and bring me down from looking like a completely illiterate ass, to just a complete ass.

  26. mark
    Posted August 20, 2008 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    That would be cheating.

  27. Brackache
    Posted August 21, 2008 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    I see a lot of assumptions being made on both sides regarding each other’s human and/or earth destructive views that probably aren’t accurate.

    Not to take this opportunity to point out the hyperbole used by competing political parties to villify their opponents in order to motivate their bases via fear and anger or anything…

    Just saying.

  28. Posted August 21, 2008 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Kmart Christians love to use Revelations to justify being an asshole but forget that many in Christian history do not consider Revelations to be canon. It almost got axed as it should have been. The entire section is a disgrace to Christs teachings of forgiveness and brotherly love.

  29. EoS
    Posted August 21, 2008 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    That was a really kind and generous post and really inflated my ego for about two seconds until I acknowledged that I am a perfect example of one of those hypocritical persons who call themselves Christian. As dozens of persons on this site can readily attest to, I am often way too negative, argumentative and snarky. Christians worship a God who commands us to be holy, as He is holy, and requires perfection. And on a typical day, I fall short of the objective within five minutes of waking up. But thankfully, perfection isn’t a requirement to get into heaven, but a constant reminder of our need for a Savior. Ten years ago I was a confirmed atheist of more than 25 years, who valued scientific reasoning over blind faith and who pointed to stupid, hypocritical Christians and abusive churches as the reason why I had no use for religion. I’ve spent the last 10 years shopping churches for the one that teaches exactly what is explicitly stated in the Bible and whose members model perfect Christ-like behavior. I haven’t found one yet, but in the process have come to realize that if I did find the perfect church, that it would be a place that wouldn’t allow a person like me to join.

    My argument that we are promised heaven on earth in the future may very well entail Christ returning and repairing the damage of nuclear holocaust that we might stupidly engage in. That Christians might say the planet has been saved is a form of linguistic gymnastics that we (Christians) collectively engage in. In a likewise manner, we say that Jesus has defeated Satan by hanging on the cross, but Satan is still free to roam the earth today and his ultimate destruction will occur at some time in the future.

    I wasn’t really defending Bachmann in my posts and I do agree with you that we are to care for the earth and the environment as good stewards of the gifts we have been given. Still, I don’t believe global warming is a crisis and I think we should carefully consider the total cost and impact of proposed environmental solutions. Michael Crichton’s book, “State of Fear” describes a number of well meaning attempts at correcting an environmental problem where the result was worse than the original problem. Eliminating DDT has increased the total bird population but resulted in millions of humans dying from malaria worldwide. Eliminating the cutting down of trees in forests has resulted in larger forest fires, fueled by the underbrush, and decreased the size and number of forests overall. Today, we do a far better job of collecting recyclables than we have done in finding uses for these materials. It costs more to segregate and store recyclables, and at a greater cost to the environment in doing so, and in the end they are disposed of in landfills. These are difficult, multi-faceted issues that need scientific study, but until environmental science reduces its political science bias, we may never solve the problems.

  30. Posted August 21, 2008 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    God, you are gullible. Do some more research.

  31. Ol' E Cross
    Posted August 21, 2008 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    dude. Revelation is the shit. Do some more reading. Not only is it the coolest blood and guts book, it is the fullest of peace and love and all things bright and beautiful. Mystery and metaphor and a big warm happy ending. Rivers, trees, whiskey trickling down the rocks and a lake of stew you can paddle around in a big canoe. Any good book needs an end. Some of the best images are in Rev. The Bible would kinda suck without it.

    EoS. I’d love to hear how you went from athiest to fundamentalist someday. Seriously. And, obviously, I don’t always love my neighbor very well either. I’m glad you think it’s okay to protect the environment and if your questions are on how best to do that, good. Personally, I’m still recalling the “I love my car, whatever the consequences” stuff I thought I’d heard in old posts.

    Theologically, I just note that there are two ways church doctrine is derived. One is explicit (e.g., love your neighbor) the other is implicit (e.g., the doctrine of the Trinity). So, not being able to point to a single, definitive passage that says “protect the environment” makes that no less an orthodox truth than not being able to point to a single, definitive passage that defines the concept of Trinity.

    Along those lines, there are a number of ways God is traditionally understood to be revealed to human folk: scripture, the incarnation and creation being the biggies. The creation is said to reveal God’s nature and character. Creation is God’s self-expression. Destruction of nature, therefore, is akin to ripping pages out of the Bible. Smog clouding stars equals loss of revelation. I’d simply suggest that Christians should protect the creation with the same fervor they protect the scriptures or name of Jesus. It’s bizarre to me that many Christians are lacksidasical about environmental issues when they claim to worship the God who made the environment.

    (BTW: I’m not real web-accessible right now. I apologize if I respond slowly.)

  32. Posted August 22, 2008 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    “Eliminating DDT has increased the total bird population but resulted in millions of humans dying from malaria worldwide. Eliminating the cutting down of trees in forests has resulted in larger forest fires, fueled by the underbrush, and decreased the size and number of forests overall. Today, we do a far better job of collecting recyclables than we have done in finding uses for these materials.” EoS make a good argument for why REDUCE is the top of the hierarchy of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Bandaid solutions often result in cures that are worse than the sickness.

    The best book I have read on this is “In the Absence of the Sacred” by Jerry Mander (who also appears in The 11th Hour video and wrote Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television). He points out that technology like DDT, television and computers are often adopted without examination, based solely on the claims of those who stand to profit the most. Nanotechnology & GMOs are a couple of up & coming technologies that needs perhaps a little examination before adoption.

    However, I’m not buying that middle sentence that underbrush fires have eliminated more trees than logging — hogwash. Forests are adapted to fire and regenerate strongly. It’s human overpopulation and residential sprawl spreading into fire-prone areas that make forest fires “a problem.”

  33. Posted August 22, 2008 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    No way! I think Revelations is a completely awesome part of the Bible. However, it plays no role in my spiritual life since it’s pretty much political psychobabble. An awesome read, but people who take it seriously need to seriously reconsider their spiritual lives.

    I like how folks are quick to point out failures in environmental policy but are never willing to point out it’s successes.

    Should I start to point out the numerous failures of Christian political policy?

  34. Posted August 22, 2008 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    I read this article recently (by an evangelical) which said that Christians do not need to worry about the environment since the earth is merely a temporary place. Environmentalists want to make the earth a permanent place, which is not in God’s plan.

    So basically, God builds you a house and says that one day he’ll build you another. Therefore you have total rights to trash the place and fuck it up beyond repair since daddy is just going to get you a new one.

    It sounds to me like a spoiled teenager with a 23 IQ.

  35. doosh
    Posted August 23, 2008 at 1:10 am | Permalink


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