I recently spent a few days at an Alliance Defense Fund conference. Largely evangelical, there was a lot of God talk. What struck me during one of their morning worship services — which sounded a little like a Rick Perry prayer rally — was: These people are really trying to make sure their daily life reflects who they say they are.
Pia, I found that Meet the Press segment alarming, too. But I was not convinced Gregory, even with a laugh, was mocking her or believers more generally. He seemed as if he were delivering what he believes to be fact: That religion is a nice inspirational motivator, a safe harbor during hard times. And then I wondered: Does he believe that because religious people give that impression? That we live our lives as if our faith is nothing but a little positive mental attitude?
And Bachmann’s response was wonderful. She is not backing down on who she is and what she believes. And she presents herself as an integrated whole, not compartmentalized.
I think Michele Bachmann had a little reverse JFK-Houston Baptist University moment in Iowa on Meet the Press there. At a time when religious freedom is being challenged — see Obamacare and contraception — Gregory’s “safe harbor” question was alarming on more than a media-bias level. It was a challenge to be who we say we are, always. A political call is not an excuse to put religion aside or exploit it but to be a true witness. In that segment yesterday, it was hard not to have the sense that she was trying to do just that last one.
More thoughts on Bachmann’s “JFK Moment” here.