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Hardball Confirms Bachmann’s Barbarian Comments Weren’t “Doctored”

Jim Burroway

July 15th, 2011
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Meanwhile, there has been considerable controversy over whether Bachmann called gay kids “barbarians” needing discipline, or if he was talking about children in general. Given the context of the interview — which was about gay kids and not kids generally — I think the transcript speaks for itself. Others see it differently, including Ken Avidor, who posted the audio originally:

Avidor does, however, somewhat defend Bachmann against the accusation that he explicitly called gays “barbarians.” Avidor says he’s listened to “a lot of Marcus Bachmann audio,” and he’s heard him say before that “children are barbarians, and somehow they have this innate desire to do, I think in his point of view, wild and crazy things, very un-Christian things in his point of view,” and these things need to be “civilized out of them.” So Bachmann wasn’t really calling gay children barbarians, necessarily — he was merely calling homosexuality one of the many barbaric traits children sometimes exhibit. Not much better.

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Tim Stewart
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

Barbarian and Savage are pejorative terms used to refer to a person who is perceived to be uncivilized. The word is often used either in a general reference to a member of a nation or ethnos, typically a tribal society as seen by an urban civilization either viewed as inferior, or admired as a noble savage. In idiomatic or figurative usage, a “barbarian” may also be an individual reference to a brutal, cruel, warlike, insensitive person.[1]
The term originates in the Greek civilization, meaning “anyone who is not Greek”, and thus was often used to refer to other people, that might or might not have been considered inferior. In ancient times, Greeks used it for the people of the Persian Empire; in the early modern period and sometimes later, they used it for the Turks, in a clearly pejorative way.[2][3] Comparable notions are found in non-European civilizations.

From Wikipedia. In any case, the word itself implies inferior. I have a sense, though, that his reference to the word was in a much more negative sense.

It’s almost comical to watch him try to wiggle out of this.

luiz
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

Curiously the fundie couple doesn’t have the courage of their convictions.

Seems that, for them, sinning (lying) is OK as long as it advances their political interests. Serious evangelical Christians should start to question how pious the Bachmanns really are.

Tim Stewart
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

Luiz,

My experience with ECs is different. They do have the courage of their convictions. It is courage so blind, and conviction so overpowering, that they actually believe themselves. When challenged, they seek and accept any argument which supports their position. The fear of being proven wrong is overwhelming, and they will go to great lengths to avoid it. Ultimately, they have the knowledge that their God is real, and that their King James Bible is his inarguable word. Given that absolute knowledge, any degree of hair splitting in the course of a debate is acceptable, but in the end, even failing the most hair splitting of hair splitting argument, they go to bed at night and pray to that God. Because to them, he is real, and to them, he affirms their position, which is all they really need to believe that everyone else is wrong.

luiz
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

I wasn’t talking about all Evangelical Christians. I was talking about the Bachmanns. And it does seem to me that their recent statements regarding their clinic is driven by serious, Machiavellian calculations aimed at reducing any sort of negative impact the issue is likely to bring to Mrs Bachmann’s presidential aspirations. I have trouble believing they’re just delusional.

Jutta
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

After reading the transcript I believe that it can indeed be understood as him referring to children, who need to be disciplined. But that does not make things better.

As Tim Stewart above writes, “barbarian” has the meaning of inferior, of persons or peoples that you may not only “educate” or “discipline” but also subdue and kill, because they are somehow less human.

It brings up the spirit of the 16th, 17th centuries, when European conquerors travelled to exotic countries and not only taught the natives European habits that were often detrimental to them, but also used them as slaves and killed them.

I find it very troublesome to apply the word barbarians to any group of poeple.

Tim Stewart
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

Eh, I’ve known enough of them. Lived among them. I’ve no trouble believing they are just delusional. They get so good at deception, and so deluded in their faith, that reality eludes them. Their delusion becomes their reality.

BlackDog
July 16th, 2011 | LINK

In my experience the main form of deception that Evangelicals of that sort are really good at, is self-deception.

Most of the time, they’re not really very good liars or manipulators, except inside of their own subculture, but I know from personal experience that’s not too hard.

John
July 16th, 2011 | LINK

What doesn’t get mentioned is that the question that lead up to this answer was what he would say if one of his children told him he/she was gay. This was his response to that question.

CPT_Doom
July 16th, 2011 | LINK

Like Jutta, I heard the entire tape and have no doubt believing “Dr” Bachmann was generally referring to children as the “barbarians who must be disciplined,” and the parent’s role is to direct that education and discipline to an orthodox Christian life.

However he is still a lying POS, because it is also clear he was including homosexuality in the spectrum of desires and urges that must be halted in order to raise “good” children – good again being defined as orthodox Christian.

Jim Burroway
July 16th, 2011 | LINK

I have my doubts. If the subject of the conversation had been about children who gave their lives over to Christ or who had done some exemplary work in a youth group, the word “barbarian” would not have been raised once in the entire conversation.

But that’s not what the conversation was about, was it? All you have to ask is what was the conversation about, and you have the answer to the question of what was Bachmann referring to. Frankly, I really can’t see it being any simpler than that.

Priya Lynn
July 16th, 2011 | LINK

Bachmann’s later adamant claim that he said “NOTHING, NOTHING whatsoever” about gayness makes it clear he was referring to gay teenagers as barbarians or he wouldn’t have felt the need to tell such a painfully obvious lie when asked about it.

David Blakeslee
July 16th, 2011 | LINK

Bachmann wrongly applies the word barbarians…for a variety of reasons. Unmentioned is the fact that “Barbarians” who sacked and burned Rome were likely Heterosexual, triumphant rapists.

Rome, which tolerated expression of Same Sex Attractions, was the “civilized” group.

Raised in a fundamentalist church; I quite frequently felt as if I was being treated as “a barbarian being civilized.” As I complied by facilitating church activities I was considered more spiritual (civilized).

Scott L.
July 16th, 2011 | LINK

David, I have to correct you. At the time of Rome’s various sackings (Huns, Visigoths etc.) it was Christian and same-sex relationships were not allowed.

DJ
July 16th, 2011 | LINK

The Latin word for beard is “barba.” Hence, the shavecream, “Barbasol.” The ancient Romans were clean-shaven. Men invading the Roman Empire from the north had beards. Hence, they were referred to by the term barbarians — men with beards.

charzie
July 16th, 2011 | LINK

Even if he was not referring to gays directly, I find his characterization of children in general as barbarians disturbing. Twenty-three troubled teenagers passed through the Bachmann home (not counting their own). I wonder how those ‘barbarians’ were disciplined, and why no one seemingly has attempted to find these young women to ask them.

kelly
July 16th, 2011 | LINK

Yes, Jim, you can make it mush simpler: Bachmann never called homosexuals barbarians.

“I find his characterization of children in general as barbarians disturbing”

That’s probably because you’re using you’re own definition of “barbarian” and/or biased. In this context, Bachmann is probably meaning “unrefined” or “primitive”, both common definitions. The gay agenda would like you to believe much worse but you don’t have to.

The “doctoring” simply has to do with the most common audio and transcripts beginning with the sentence containing “barbarians”. So most listeners and readers did not hear the immediately preceding discussion about adolescents in general experimenting sexually.

Priya Lynn
July 16th, 2011 | LINK

Bachman was asked about a gay teenager, he responded “Barbarians need to be educated”. There is no room for debate, he called gay teenagers barbarians. His later adamant claim that he said “NOTHING, NOTHING whatsoever” is so painfully blatantly dishonest its clear he desperately wants to deny what he knows he said.

kelly
July 17th, 2011 | LINK

Prya, since he did not say “gays/homosexuals/gay-leaning-kids/etc are barbarians” we have to infer.
In the minute or so leading up to the famous quote, they are clearly talking generally about adolescents experimenting with sexuality, including homosexual.

If you asked parents about the things kids do like drugs, bad grades, tattoos or what have you, it is more than reasonable to answer in a general way. An answer like “they need to be educated and disciplined” can clearly be general.

And I will reiterate, no matter what you say, he never, ever said “gays/homosexuals/gay-leaning-kids/etc are barbarians” or ANY variation. That’s an indisputable fact.

Stephen
July 17th, 2011 | LINK

And David B. Rome did not ‘tolerate’ homosexuality. Roman society embraced it enthusiastically till the Christians took over.

charzie
July 17th, 2011 | LINK

“The gay agenda would like you to believe much worse but you don’t have to.”

There is plentiful documentation of how the Bachmanns view gay people. I lived in her district when she was first elected locally. ( I moved, quickly). I remember clearly the bizarre and disgusting things she said and continues to say about gay people. The “gay agenda” is very simple: the demand to be treated with the same respect as straights. The Bachmann agenda, OTOH, clearly includes an obsession with and terror of gays, and they have no compunction against consistently lying about, demonizing, and sanctimoniously refusing to see gay people as happy, healthy, ethical, productive human beings. I find that despicable.

Priya Lynn
July 17th, 2011 | LINK

Kelly/Elsa/evil Becky/Omar/Tom said “Prya, since he did not say “gays/homosexuals/gay-leaning-kids/etc are barbarians” we have to infer.
In the minute or so leading up to the famous quote, they are clearly talking generally about adolescents experimenting with sexuality, including homosexual.”.

No, we don’t have to infer. He was asked about a gay teenager, was talking specifically about gayness and said “Barbarians need to be eductated”. The transcript speaks for itself, he clearly was calling gay teenagers barbarians.
Kelly/Elsa/Evil Becky/Omar/Tom said “If you asked parents about the things kids do like drugs, bad grades, tattoos or what have you, it is more than reasonable to answer in a general way. An answer like “they need to be educated and disciplined” can clearly be general.”.

Trouble for you is that wasn’t what he was talking about, he was talking about a gay teenager and responded “Barbarians need to be educated” – there is no room for interpretation.

Kelly/Elsa/evil Becky/Omar/Tom said “And I will reiterate, no matter what you say, he never, ever said “gays/homosexuals/gay-leaning-kids/etc are barbarians” or ANY variation. That’s an indisputable fact.”.

Your claim is just like Bachmann’s claim adamant claim that in this portion of the interview he said “NOTHING, NOTHING whatsoever about gayness”. Its painfully apparent you’re both lying in a desperate attempt to deny the obvious – Bachman not only was taking about a gay teenager and gayness, he said gay teenagers were barbarians. But of course for both you and him, any lie for the sake of Jesus is moral and right.

Jim Burroway
July 18th, 2011 | LINK

“Kelly”, whoever he or she is, is now on moderation for multiple abuses to our comments policy. Furthermore, “Kelly” provides a fake email address with his/her comments, which indicates that he/she wishes not to be held accountable for his/her actions.

If “Kelly” wishes to post comments which comply with our comments policy — regardless of whether her comments agree or disagree with the posts or with others — we will release those comments from the moderatio queue. Trolling behavior however is not allowed.

Furthermore, by his/her own admission, he/she was also been banned from other web sites for engaging in similar actions and has actively tried various tactics to work around those bans. Attempts to do so here will not be tolerated, and will result in reporting his/her i.p. address to his/her internet service provider for harassment.

Fed Up
July 19th, 2011 | LINK

May I state, for the record, that the only thing of interest about Michelle Bachmann is her proposals on matters of public policy.

Her husband’s views on, well, anything, are just so much noise — that is they are a distraction from what properly concerns a citizen: what Mrs. Bachmann would and wouldn’t do if elected president.

Donny D.
July 19th, 2011 | LINK

It was clear to me after first reading his remarks in full context (including the text before the “barbarians” sentence), and confirmed after hearing the audio clip, that Marcus Bachmann was referring to young people in general, so I think he was telling the truth there. But he was absolutely lying when he said it had nothing to do with homosexuality, since he was explicitly talking about LGBT tendencies as things to be trained out of children.

Seeing children this way, as already in the wrong before they’ve done anything, is very much the fundamentalist viewpoint in childrearing, where a “strong-willed child”, especially a female one, is considered a terrible burden for a parent. I’ve heard “Christian” radio, on a program devoted to the subject, say you have to “break the will of a young girl”! This is their mentality toward children, especially female ones: you have to break their wills.

Given that children destined to be LGBT would tend, of necessity, to be more resistant to parental direction, they would more often be considered “willful”, therefore (even more) evil, and therefore the enemy. No wonder so many of those LGBT minors thrown out of their homes had Protestant fundamentalist parents. It’s easy to be hard-hearted and cruel to “the enemy”.

I can’t recall the legal term for it, “alienation” or something else, but it is something that some LGBT activists are working on, to make it easier for young LGBT people to legally divorce themselves from abusive, bigoted families. I’m all for it.

Donny D.
July 19th, 2011 | LINK

Fed Up wrote,

May I state, for the record, that the only thing of interest about Michelle Bachmann is her proposals on matters of public policy.

Her husband’s views on, well, anything, are just so much noise — that is they are a distraction from what properly concerns a citizen: what Mrs. Bachmann would and wouldn’t do if elected president.

The problem is, they’re not. Bachmann is a hardcore fundamentalist, just like her husband is. She is married to him because he thinks her way. Hardcore fundies like her don’t believe in being “unequally yoked” to a marriage partner who isn’t also a hardcore fundie. What he thinks will be a good indicator of what she really thinks.

Timothy Kincaid
July 19th, 2011 | LINK

Fed Up,

The best measure of what a person is likely to do is what they have done, not what they say.

So the actions that the Bachmanns have taken – such as the establishment of a counseling service that focuses on providing advice based on his brand of ‘Christian’ positioning (including reorientation therapy) rather than what scientific research in the field has found – tells us far more about what Mrs. Bachmann would and wouldn’t do if elected president than ever her campaign statements about matters of public policy could.

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