Remember the "no religious test" clause of the United States Constitution that guarantees everyone the right to hold government office regardless of faith? I'm beginning to wonder if it's time to repeal it. Maybe it's time to ban people who are religious extremists from holding federal office! Michelle Bachmann comes to mind...
A couple days ago while driving down the road enjoying a bright, sunny Southern California morning, I spotted a beautiful old classic 1958 Pontiac. "What a beautiful machine!" I thought. "Back in those days, you could actually tune the car yourself. No computers, hand-crank windows that always worked, and if it had seat belts, it was your choice to use them or not. Those were the days!"
It almost made me have some compassion for Michelle Bachmann's desire to turn back the clock to a simpler time.
Then I pulled in behind it to get a better look at it ... and was assaulted by a terrible stink, something I hadn't smelled in quite a while. It was unburned gasoline, partially burned motor oil, nitrous oxide, thousands of different carcinogenic hydrocarbons, and no doubt a good dose of odorless carbon monoxide. If this had been 1958 when this car came off the showroom floor, the car would have been burning leaded gasoline and its brakes would have been giving off asbestos dust.
And it wouldn't have been just that one beautiful old Pontiac. It would have been every one of the cars surrounding me.
Now Michelle Bachmann wants to shut down the EPA. Completely. "We will turn out the lights and we'll lock the doors." She wants to roll back the agenda of "radical environmentalists." She doesn't believe in global warming, and wants to drill, baby, drill for more oil and natural gas, and dig, baby, dig for coal. "We are the king daddy dogs when it comes to energy," she says, and it's a scandal in her mind that we have to import energy. Never mind that those billions of pounds of carbon we'll dig out of the ground will all end up in our atmosphere... God will save us!
If Bachmann has her way, every car on the road will be belching toxic pollutants like that old Pontiac. Cancer and heart disease will soar. Every major city in America will be blanketed in deadly smog. Gobal warming will accelerate dramatically. Industry will spew chemicals into the environment indiscriminately. Water won't be safe to drink.
Bachmann and her ilk are a strange new breed of evangelical politician. In order to embrace their religion's own contradictions and absurdities, they've had to train their brains to reject logical thought and fact-based thinking. They're taught that faith trumps reason in all things.
And they carry this way of thinking out of their churches into all aspects of their lives. They reject science completely when it interferes with their religious views or political goals (unless they need medical treatment).
I've always thought the men who wrote the "no religious test" clause of our Constitution were very wise indeed. But Michelle Bachmann is making me wonder. If she somehow gets elected President of the United States, she could ruin the country completely.