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VIDEO: Frank Schaeffer says Bachmann’s religious beliefs are a liability

Author Frank Schaeffer told MSNBC on Wednesday that Michele Bachmann’s beliefs will be a liability for her with the general public if she gets the GOP nomination in 2012. And Schaeffer knows something about where Bachmann stands: His father, Dr. Francis Schaeffer, was the founder of the modern religious right, and both Bachmann and her husband Marcus count Schaeffer as a top influence on their worldview and political ideology.

“The part of Christianity she comes from is radical even for evangelical Bible believers,” Schaeffer told MSNBC. “I think gradually, it will become apparent to American voters that she could not win the general election. And Republicans are going to have to make a choice to either be a normal political party or, really, theocracy in waiting with people like Michele Bachmann, who in the best of all possible worlds, as far as she would see it, would produce a theocracy in the country where the Bible would be paramount and no longer the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.”

He continued, “Look, they love a fictional, Christian America that wouldn’t include gay people, would not have choice and abortion rights for women and all the rest of this. But in terms of the real America, inclusive, diverse, sustaining of gay people as well as heterosexuals and so forth, this is an America they despise and that’s why they talk in terms of taking it back. Well from whom? That would be from the rest of us, ordinary American citizens under the rule of law.”

Bachmann has certainly tempered her language around culture war issues in recent years, opting to spotlight fiscal issues like her opposition to raising the debt ceiling and repealing “Obamacare,” but as her star rises in the GOP, bloggers are uncovering the statements she made at the beginning of her career.

In 2004, for instance, she said that abortion is a huge issue for social conservative, but same-sex marriage was “even more of a higher trembler on the earthquake scale, if you will, in the cultural war.”

She said:

“In the gay marriage issue, legalizing a new status — if you will, redefining in a sense what it is to be man, woman, what it is to be human, what it is to be a family — by doing that, in essence, that does not just impact the 1% of the population that is homosexual: That will impact 100% of our population. And in some ways, an argument could be made that abortion doesn’t necessarily penetrate 100% of the population –it does, on one sense — but in this sense, with total sexual anarchy, which I believe we are now on the verge of going into, when the culture takes sexual anarchy and legalizes it, raises that to the level of legal protection, that is when governments can come in with wholesale discrimination…And this is the alarm that I am trying to sound to our church community to recognize this isn’t a small issue, this is a big issue. And it’s not about a few people that are, quote, being discriminated against. We need to recognize that yes, there is the moral issues, the issues to our children, the financial issue, the rest. But the gospel of Jesus Christ is imperiled because our 501c3 organizations could lose their tax-exempt status.”

Also in 2004, she told the members of EdWatch, a conservative education group in Minnesota, “If you’re involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement.”

And in 2006, she said God told her to run for Congress and that she was a “fool for Christ.”

“And we said ‘Lord, is this what you want, are You sure? Is this Your will?’ And after, along about the afternoon of day two, He made that calling sure,” Bachmann said at Living Word Christian Center just before she won her first term in Congress. “And it’s been now 22 months that I’ve been running for United States Congress. Who in their right mind would spend two years to run for a job that lasts for two years? You’d have to be absolutely a fool to do that. You are now looking at a fool for Christ. This is a fool for Christ.”

Bachmann has frequently listed Dr. Schaeffer as an inspiration. Schaeffer is the author of the Christian Manifesto, his 1981 work that called on the fundamentalist Christian subculture to take over mainstream culture. The work is often cited by religious right leaders as an inspiration for their movement.

Bachmann and her husband were Democrats campaigning for President Carter in the late 70s when they saw Schaeffer’s “How Should We Then Live,” a film series that riled up the fundamentalist Christian subculture on the issue of abortion. Bachmann shifted from an evangelical Carter Democrat to a fundamentalist Christian Republican.

Frank Schaeffer told the Daily Beast that her conversion, and the sometimes outlandish things she says, are part of the subculture.

“Michele Bachmann says certain things that sound crazy to the general public,” said Schaeffer. “But to anybody raised in the environment of the evangelical right wing, what she says makes perfect sense.”

Watch it:

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