It's becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of all of Michele and Marcus Bachmann's anti-gay remarks and beliefs, but unfortunately, today brings with it yet another twist. A couple of weeks ago, the internet rediscovered audio of totally straight person Marcus Bachmann's May 12, 2010, appearance on Point of View, a Christian talk radio show, in which Bachmann referred to gay adolescents as "barbarians." Now Bachmann is alleging that the audio was doctored. From the Minnesota Star Tribune:
Bachmann said that someone must have doctored the recording of the interview, in which he addressed child discipline as well as homosexuality and sex education....
"I was talking in reference to children. Nothing, nothing to do with homosexuality. That's not my mindset. That's not my belief system. That's not the way I would talk," Bachmann said.
Here's the audio recording in question. It was posted online by the blog dumpbachmann.com, which, as you might suspect, is not a huge fan of Michele Bachmann. (The interview is edited down, which is different from being misleadingly doctored. A record-scratching sound indicates a jump in the conversation, and there is no such sound during the relevant portion of the audio, which is between 2:16 and 4:01).
And here are Bachmann's remarks, in full context:
Question: Today The Wall Street Journal came out with an article, "What do you say when your teenager is gay?" What do you say to Christian parents who come up with this?
Bachmann: Well, I think you clearly say, what is the understanding of God's word on homosexuality. And I think that this is no mystery that a child or pre-adolescent, particularly adolescents, will question and wonder about sexuality. That's nothing new under the sun since the beginning of time. But I don't think we should take that as, because we wonder or we think or we question, does that take us down the road of homosexuality
Question: Could you add the word experiment to that?
Bachmann: Well, certainly, there's that curiosity. But again, we, like, you know, it is as if we have to understand: Barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined. And just because someone feels it or thinks it, doesn’t mean that we're supposed to go down that road. That’s what's called the sinful nature. And we have a responsibility as parents and as authority figures not to encourage such thoughts and feelings from moving into the action steps.
So, assuming that this recording wasn't doctored, it seems clear that Bachmann is referring to gays as barbarians. And it doesn't sound doctored; the conversation seems to flow naturally. But there's no real way to verify the veracity of the audio for certain unless Point of View releases the original recording, which doesn't appear to be available anywhere online. The Star Tribune didn't hear back from the show, and when we called this morning, their voice mail was full. We've sent them an e-mail request for the original audio, but we're not holding our breath.
We were, however, able to talk to the Dump Bachmann blogger who originally posted the audio online in May of 2010. "Flat out, I didn't doctor a damn thing," Ken Avidor tells us. "If I did doctor it, why would I have a link to the original podcast, which is no longer up?" Avidor suggests a simple solution to the, uh, mystery. "Marcus could get a hold of that original podcast," Avidor suggests. "Just call up his friends at the station."
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.
Marcus Bachmann says his clinics not anti-gay [Star Tribune]