Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
This article can be found at:
Latest Posts

Nobody Pays Attention To Preambles Anyway

Jim Burroway

July 11th, 2011

When the Iowa-based Family Leader began asking GOP presidential candidates to sign its anti-gay “Marriage Vow,” it originally contained this statement in the pledge’s preamble:

Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.

Never mind the abject ignorance of that statement — slave marriages weren’t legally recognized in the south and families were routinely split up and sold, making the likelihood of actually being raised by a mother and a father rather shaky — that part of the preamble was criticized by the left and right alike for its suggestion that African-American children were better off under slavery. Late Saturday night, Family Leader bowed to criticism and quietly removed that statement from its preamble. But by then, Rep. Michele Bachmann had already raced to put her signature on the document, only to be followed a very short time later in a photo finish by Sen. Rick Santorum.

Bachmann’s campaign has been fending off criticisms for signing the racially-offensive document ever since.

A Bachmann spokeswoman said earlier Saturday that reports the congresswoman had signed a vow that contained the slavery language was wrong, noting it was not in the “vow” portion.

“She signed the ‘candidate vow,’ ” campaign spokeswoman Alice Stewart said, and distanced Bachmann from the preamble language, saying, “In no uncertain terms, Congresswoman Bachmann believes that slavery was horrible and economic enslavement is also horrible.”

Totally understandable when you think about it. I bet almost none of our founding fathers like John Quincy Adams paid much attention to the Preamble to the Constitution before they signed it either.



July 11th, 2011 | LINK

This troll with a bad hair day knew what she was endorsing if she where in that period of time she would have a camp full of slaves peeling grapes for her and a few male sex slaves for her “husband”.

July 11th, 2011 | LINK

What people need to hammer on is the fact that a lady who doesn’t read carefully wants to be president!

Lindoro Almaviva
July 11th, 2011 | LINK

I’m sorry but it just makes me giddy to think that she might have kissed her hopes of being president good by months before the caucuses. This is not going to leave her and i hope her opponents, both republican and democrats will not allow her to forget that her bigotry was stronger than her common sense.

July 11th, 2011 | LINK

If Bachmann believes that economic slavery is horrible, why does she support actions designed to bring it about?

Mark F.
July 11th, 2011 | LINK

I’d like to know who kept statistics on slave families in 1860.

July 11th, 2011 | LINK

What the hell is with Fundamentalist Christians acting as apologists for slavery in the last few years??

My dad was a Civil War buff (and re-enactor) I was educated in Christian schools until the 8th Grade. I’M a history nut myself. I served in the military, and counter-acting at least some of that…I was a moderately conservative Christian for a lot of my life…

…and I STILL pretty much understood that the general consensus was that racism is wrong and Slavery was basically the Original Sin of this country and that many people (including Abraham Lincoln himself) believed that the Civil War was God’s punishment for it.

It disgusts me (and I’m no longer a Christian for other reasons) that “conservative” and “Fundamentalist” Christianity seem to be the last refuge for bigotry of ALL kinds these days.

This kind of crap is NOT what I was taught!

Mark F.
July 11th, 2011 | LINK

In defense of Bachmann, she was not defending slavery, just claiming that black families were more intact under slavery (a dubious claim, probably pulled out of her butt).

It would not be defending slavery to point out that some slaves were well fed by their owners and not beaten, which is a fact.

July 11th, 2011 | LINK

I think most of the claims Michelle Bachmann makes are pulled out of her butt, she has enough of a history of not knowing what she is talking about that I’m surprised she didn’t get laughed out of the presidential race straight up.

Also, I’ve heard she claims to “submit” to her husband. Has anyone on the Republican side possibly considered if by some off chance she were to win the nomination they would be having to contend with an un-chosen, un-voted-for co-presidential cantidate??

I honestly don’t think she’d have a prayer of getting elected, or even winning the nomination. However, I’m rather concerned about the proliferation of radical nuts (religious and otherwise) and the just plain stupid on the Republican side and I think the Republican leadership would do well to be worried too.

July 11th, 2011 | LINK

I agree, Mark – where are the statistics from?

Still, I don’t find this to be a terrible statement. It’s insensitive but it’s not pro-slavery. Personally I would prefer to have two active parents rather than one.

Gay people can be for the idea that families should seek to be of a quality and purpose that nurtures and is productive and intact.

Neil H
July 12th, 2011 | LINK

I think this is more evidence of fumbling attempts by white Evangelical Fundamentalists to try and win over black Christian voters through appealing to their social conservatism. The goal is to try to convince black people that the current liberal policies towards black people are just as damaging if not more so than slavery. There are more than a few white social conservatives who actually believe this. One of them was on the advisory board of NARTH before he shot his mouth off, wasn’t he?

See also: an anti-abortion ad campaign a while back stating something to the effect of “the most dangerous place for a black child in America today is is in the womb”, trying to make abortion into a racial issue.

July 12th, 2011 | LINK

“In no uncertain terms, Congresswoman Bachmann believes that slavery was horrible and economic enslavement is also horrible.”

Am I the only one to notice that Bachmann feels the need to offset her condemnation of slavery with a separate condemnation of “economic enslavement”? It reminds me of when some homophobe condemns anti-gay violence but feels the need to balance that with a condemnation of sinful lifestyles, or when in 2001 left wingers condemned the 9-11 attacks but felt the need to tack on some further condemnation of US policy. It’s as if a straight-forward denunciation would be ideologically suspect without the balancing language.

What does she mean by “economic enslavement”? My guess, based on the theme of her campaign, is that she is referring to high taxes and/or the mandate in the health care reform law. If that is what she means, then her explanation is just as dumb and offensive as the pledge she originally signed.

Virginia Stephenson
July 14th, 2011 | LINK

Jim said: “Totally understandable when you think about it. I bet almost none of our founding fathers like John Quincy Adams paid much attention to the Preamble to the Constitution before they signed it either.”

Your sarcasm here is so totally justified that I actually shouted out load when I read it. Thank you

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.