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Enslaved by absurdity

July 12, 2010, 6:11 pm | Posted by Dan Nejfelt

Faithful America’s “Driven by Faith, Not by Fear” campaign this summer is mobilizing people of faith across the country to stand up to hateful rhetoric that distorts and inflames our public dialogue. An example of this kind of speech came up at a political rally in Colorado this weekend, where Rep. Michele Bachmann said America has moved toward a return to slavery since President Obama took office. From the Colorado Independent:

In a room of 600 conservative voters brought together by former Colorado Senate president John Andrews’ Centennial Institute, along with Liberty on the Rocks and Colorado Christian University, Bachmann brought the crowd to its feet more than once as she called for an end to the progressive agenda she said has taken over Washington.

“‘We are determined to live free or not at all. And we are resolved that posterity shall never reproach us with having brought slaves into the world,’” Bachmann read from founding father John Jay , ending her reading with the statement, “We will talk a little bit about what has transpired in the last 18 months and would we count what has transpired into turning our country into a nation of slaves.”

Seriously, a nation of slaves? Show me the chains, the lashes, the sale of human beings, the captivity, the brutal working conditions, the denial of basic personal freedom. We have Constitutional amendments ensuring that this never happens again. Suggesting that America is on its way back to slavery couldn’t be more misleading. People of faith need to stand up and declare that this kind of rhetoric has no place in public discourse. It’s antithetical to our values. To join Faithful America’s summer campaign to counter misleading fearmongering such as Bachmann’s, visit Faithfulamerica.org.

Also, Colorado Christian University, which participated in the event, lists among its strategic objectives “be seekers of truth” and “debunk ‘spent ideas’ and those who traffic in them.” I hope they execute these objectives in the wake of Bachmann’s remarks. The most cursory search for truth would reveal her accusations to be groundless. Furthermore, conservative arguments that progressive policies will lead to the demise of freedom – accusations made about Social Security, Medicare and now health care reform – have repeatedly not come true. How long until such rhetoric gets classified as a “spent idea”?

3 Responses to “Enslaved by absurdity”

  1. James Clark says:

    As much as I disagree with Rep. Bachmann, I also want to remind the writer that slavery is alive and well in the United States and around the world in the form of sexual slavery, human trafficking, and exploitation of undocumented workers.

    Perhaps the most frustrating aspect to Rep. Bachmann’s spiel is not that she suggests that we’re moving toward slavery, but that she likens it to the “progressive agenda.” Doing so profoundly dishonors the victims of real slavery, past AND PRESENT.

  2. Dan says:

    Excellent point, James.

  3. Donald Martens says:

    You don’t call it slavery, you call it social justice, Obama calls it redistribution of wealth. The denial of basic personal freedom comes when you take property from one person in order to give it to another. The chains/bars come when the person with the property refuses to give you his wealth for redistribution. When one man is bound in servitude, forced to pay another mans way, since when would that not be slavery? What, because a man works hard enough that you can take enough from him to pay the way of 100 men and he still has some left over, you can’t see that you’ve enslaved him? I don’t have much so I’m much closer to a slaveholder than a slave, but its a simple concept to grasp.