Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Jul/11

9

Bachmann’s Pledge

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It’s probably inevitable that Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin find themselves getting compared with each other but this piece of news reminds me that, for all her, uh, foibles, the former Alaska governor comes far closer to representing a live-and-let-live “western” conservatism than does the congresswoman from Minnesota:

Michele Bachmann became the first presidential candidate to sign a pledge, vowing to support a constitutional amendment that defines marriage between a man and a woman, and which calls for a ban on all pornography.

“The Marriage Vow – A Declaration of Dependence upon Marriage and Family,” sponsored by the Family Leader, an Iowa-based conservative organization, equates same-sex marriage with bigamy and polygamy and calls on candidates to promise to be faithful to their spouses.

The two-page pledge includes a “Declaration of Dependence on Marriage and Family” that blames several factors for the deterioration of traditional marriage including “quickie divorce” and unmarried couples living together. The pledge also describes homosexuality as a choice and not genetic.

A choice? Interesting.

You can see the whole thing here and judge for yourself, but Bachmann’s decision to sign what is, to put it at its kindest, a somewhat clumsily worded pledge has proved more than a little controversial.

As for the attack on “quickie” divorce (to the extent that there is really such a thing), it is idiotic, an example of the pursuit of unhappiness that would serve mainly to enrich lawyers and flimflam counselors.

Then there is this:

[support for] Humane protection of women and the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy – our next generation of American children – from human trafficking, sexual slavery, seduction into promiscuity, and all forms of pornography and prostitution, infanticide, abortion and other types of coercion or stolen innocence.

The clause is poorly written (I had to add that “support for”) and much of it is relatively standard GOP fare, but the inclusion of pornography stands out. If Bachmann is opposed to child pornography and, more generally, coerced participation in pornography, then (quite obviously) fair enough. But it is also possible to read this clause in the way that ABC (inevitably) chose to do – as a declaration of support for a broad taxpayer-funded jihad against what the likes of the Family Leader might consider to be porn. On that topic, I note that the pledge of marital fidelity set out elsewhere in the pledge includes a vow “to resist the lure of pornography destructive to marital intimacy.”

TMI

Needless to say, Rick Santorum has also signed.

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18 comments

  • Matt Foss · July 9, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    And she’s considered a Tea Party favorite? Here I thought the Tea Party movement was started by libertarians.

  • Marco · July 10, 2011 at 10:20 am

    An irrelevant aside, perhaps, but are we supposed to recognize the woman in the accompanying photograph, or is this simply meant to illustrate a type?

  • Don Kenner · July 11, 2011 at 3:24 am

    Good grief that was horrible! I knew the GOP crop of candidates was pretty thin, but I thought Bachman was a little better than most.

    What happened to the idea that your strong disapproval of something does not necessarily mean that it should be made illegal?

    Very dispiriting.

    Santorum is a moron.

    Rick Perry should run. What the hell.

  • Author comment by David Hume · July 11, 2011 at 4:28 am

    Here I thought the Tea Party movement was started by libertarians.

    it was. but libertarians are too small of a demographic, so it expanded out to economic conservatives with more conventional social conservative views.

  • Susan · July 11, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    I’m still trying to figure out what constitutes “seduction into promiscuity”.

  • Polichinello · July 11, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    As for the attack on “quickie” divorce (to the extent that there is really such a thing), it is idiotic, an example of the pursuit of unhappiness that would serve mainly to enrich lawyers and flimflam counselors.

    Because, with the advent of no-fault divorce, both professions have been reduced to a state of utterly abject and deserved penury.

  • CJColucci · July 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Who is the person in the photo?

  • Author comment by Andrew Stuttaford · July 13, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Marco, CJ, the woman in the picture is Mary Whitehouse, the most prominent ‘anti-porn’ campaigner in Britain in the 1960s and 1970s…

  • Susan · July 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Now I know where Saturday Night Live got the physical prototype for the Church Lady.

  • Polichinello · July 13, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    Ah, yes, those atavistic anti-porn campaigners from the 70s, so unhip, so very uncool, and so easy to satirize. Compared to the REAL threats to free speech coming from the many of the same people who once mocked poor Mary, I rather miss the old gals. I may not agree with the policies of someone who wants to keep naughty pictures out of their neighborhood, but I can sympathize with them. I can’t say the same for the modern day puritans, whose totalitarian ambitions would shock even the most prudish of Victorians.

  • Nemo · July 14, 2011 at 12:35 am

    Romney and Pawlenty have declined to sign the pledge. Romney’s spokesperson even said: “Mitt Romney strongly supports traditional marriage but he felt this pledge contained references and provisions that were undignified and inappropriate for a presidential campaign,”

    “Undignified and inappropriate” I love it!

    On “easy divorce”: Social conservatives have laid a huge egg in recent years with “Covenant Marriage”. This is a marriage that is harder to get out of than a regular marriage. Covenant marriage is now available in Lousiana, Arkansas, Arizona and Kansas. According to Wikipedia only 1 to 3 percent of marrying couples choose Covenant marriage in those states that have it. Another source I found online said that in Arizona only a truly risible one-quarter of one percent choose it.

    What social conservatives don’t seem to realize is that making divorce more difficult will almost certianly make cohabitation and out-of- wedlock birth more attractive than they already are. Once you’ve crossed the line that having a child out of wedlock is no longer unthinkable (and, for better or worse, that line has been crossed in this society) making marriage more difficult to get out of creates a perverse incentive not to marry in the first place.

  • Polichinello · July 14, 2011 at 1:55 am

    What social conservatives don’t seem to realize is that making divorce more difficult will almost certianly make cohabitation and out-of- wedlock birth more attractive than they already are.

    Dogs will return to their vomit, yes.

  • John · July 14, 2011 at 3:33 am

    “What social conservatives don’t seem to realize is that making divorce more difficult will almost certianly make cohabitation and out-of- wedlock birth more attractive than they already are.”

    I agree. Just as laws making it too hard to fire an employee leads to higher unemployment rates because companies will refuse to hire, laws making it too hard to divorce will reduce marriage rates.

  • Wade Nichols · July 14, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    the woman in the picture is Mary Whitehouse, the most prominent ‘anti-porn’ campaigner in Britain in the 1960s and 1970s

    And she also campaigned against………Doctor Who!

    I know that from watching the DVD extras on some Tom Baker era episodes!

  • Polichinello · July 14, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    And she also campaigned against………Doctor Who!

    See, she wasn’t all bad.

  • Susan · July 14, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Palin probably is more live-and-let-live than Bachmann; when she was governor of Alaska she vetoed a bill denying benefits to domestic partners, and as far as I know, her only public statement on DADT was that we had bigger things about which to worry.

    But here’s the thing with Palin: She doesn’t have to concern herself with making her positions on various social conservative issues explicit, because her socially conservative followers believe that she believes whatever they believe. If it’s important to them, she embodies it.

  • James · July 16, 2011 at 2:47 am

    You don’t have to believe in the supernatural to be in favor of restrictions on porn shops and titty bars. They attract the most degenerate and criminal elements in society and restricting their existence to well policed red light districts makes good civic sense.

  • Liberal Hysteria · July 18, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Seems like another case of liberal hysteria and misinterpretation. They make up stories about Beck and Limbaugh being “intolerant, regressive, extremists!” too. If I counted the times far-leftists in their insanity have characterized liberal ‘conservatives’, libertarians and neoconservatives such as Beck and Palin as part of the “evil, religious far-right” and these counts translated into money I’d be a VERY rich woman. It’s kind of funny seeing liberals make up stories about how a Tea Party chick like Bachmann is “far-right!”. Oh please.

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