Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who is known as a Tea Party favorite and the founder of the Tea Party Caucus, will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming faith-based Ascend Women’s Conference October 10 – 12 in Los Angeles. The theme for this year’s conference is “Forever Free – What’s the Battle You’re Ready to Win?”
Ascend Director Kathleen Cooke says, “She was chosen as the keynote speaker because Michele Bachman is a woman of faith and courage who sees a need and is willing to do something about it. She exemplifies the qualities of integrity, responsibility, and leadership not just professionally, but as a wife and mother of five children and 23 foster children. She stands up for what she believes to be right at the risk of criticism, slander, and personal sacrifice.”
Early Life of Bachmann
Michele Bachmann was born in Waterloo, Iowa into a family of Democrats. After high school graduation, she spent one summer working on a Kibbutz in Israel near the Gaza Strip. Her love for the Constitution was solidified during her days at Oral Roberts University Law School when she worked as a research assistant on John Eidsmoe’s Christianity and the Constitution.
Michele Marie Amble met Marcus Bachmann during her college days. They shared the same faith and beliefs and were married in 1978. Their marriage of approximately 36 years has produced five children and a haven for 23 foster children.
The Bachmanns also share the same political views, which included changing from Democrat to Republican in their college days. Marcus serves as Michele’s chief political strategist and greatest supporter. Some view Michele as a kind of “superwoman,” but together this couple serves as “a dynamic duo.”
Political and Legal Career
Michele Bachmann graduated with two law degrees in 1986 and 1988. From 1988 to 1993 she worked as an attorney for the IRS. Then after the birth of her fourth child, she altered her career to devote her undivided attention to the raising of her five children. After this break from law, she was elected in 2000 to the state senate where she served for six years.
Bachmann was the first woman elected to Congress to serve Minnesota in 2006. She has consistently stood for freedom, fiscal responsibility, limited government, and the Constitution. Dubbed as the “Queen of the Tea Party,” her influence has grown internationally. In 2011 she was listed in TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People,” and Forbes Magazine’s “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.”
She announced her candidacy for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination on June 27, 2011. Although she was the first woman ever to win the Ames Straw Poll, when the actual caucuses were held on January 3, 2012, she finished sixth in Iowa and decided to suspend her campaign.
Sonoma Contributor Ginny Dent Brant allows us to look into the amazing life, faith, and career of Michele Bachmann.
SCH: As a wife and mother, how did you balance your career raising five children and providing support to 23 foster children?
MB: I always say, “You can have it all, but you can’t have it all at once.” I decided to leave my career as an IRS tax attorney after our fourth child was born. I did not go into politics until our youngest child was well into school. At that time I was in the state senate, which was part-time.
Coverage was provided for my children between my husband and me primarily, and sometimes by a Christian friend and neighbor. My husband and I tag-teamed a lot. All of our children (now ages 21 – 32) and foster children are well launched. Our biological children all know the Lord and serve him. They are our legacy.
SCH: What motivated you to work in a kibbutz in Israel in 1974, and how has that influenced your foreign policy regarding Israel?
MB: I went with a group of high school kids and at that time, Israel was a third world nation. I felt honored that I had a very tiny part in helping to build up the Jewish state. I picked weeds in the garden from 4 am to 12 am. I’ve been a big supporter of Israel since that time.
SCH: As a conservative woman running for president in the 2012 elections, did you feel the media treated you differently from the other male Republican candidates?
MB: Yes, but the bias came because I was a conservative woman. I was very deliberate in how I looked because I knew I would be on display. I did not want my physical appearance to be a distraction. I wanted my appearance to convey the message that I could be presidential. The Washington Post later said, “I raised the bar for women in politics.” If my physical appearance was a distraction, that would have been the story.
SCH: What caused you to change parties from Democrat to Republican during your college years?
MB: I grew up a Democrat, yet my parents were not overtly political. In college, I worked for Jimmy Carter in his 1976 presidential campaign because he claimed to be a born again Christian. His Presidential Inaugural Ball was my first venture into Washington, DC. But I changed when I saw what his policies yielded.
I’ll never forget hearing the results of the task force he put together on the family. They concluded, “We cannot determine or give a definition of what the family is.” I thought to myself, “Even a three-year-old can tell you what a family is.”
Carter refused to stand up for the family. I was so disgusted and I thought, “This does not sound like a born again Christian!” Add to that his economic, foreign policy, and national security issues that left us in shambles. The rise of the Islamic Jihad lies in the lap of Jimmy Carter because he did nothing when the Shah of Iran needed our help. In 1980, I decided to support Ronald Reagan, became a Republican, and never looked back.
SCH: As a follower of Christ, which theologians have influenced your life the most?
MB: Francis Schaeffer influenced my thinking greatly in college about the Biblical worldview. I also love to read Watchman Nee, Ravi Zacharias, and commentaries such as Matthew Henry’s classic. I love spending time in the Word of God as well.
SCH: What motivated you to run for political office?
MB: It was my foster children. We either homeschooled or had all of our biological and foster children in Christian schools. When we began doing foster care, we only had the choice of public schools, and I was not pleased with our educational system. That caused me to get involved, and I saw how politics impacts our everyday lives. I went from there to the Minnesota State Senate and eventually to the US Congress.
SCH: When did you commit your life to Christ and how has your faith impacted your political career?
MB: November 1, 1972, at age 16, my whole life was turned around. I had no idea what Christianity was all about. I thought I was going to Heaven because I was a Lutheran. When I realized that I was a sinner in need of salvation and Christ had died to pay for my sins, I cried out to God, and He saved me.
When I came to the Lord, it was like my life went from black and white to Technicolor (like the Wizard of Oz). I hungered to read and learn the Bible. I joined Christian groups such as Young Life, and I was discipled by a number of people.
I’m grateful He saved me when He did. It kept me from making a lot of mistakes. I learned to understand life through the lens of a Biblical worldview and that shaped my view of politics. God’s Word is about every part of life. He is the author of politics and the author of law. While studying in college, I realized it was God who created politics, history, science and all the rest. What a difference that has made.
SCH: Many pastors such as David Platt are teaching their congregations to be salt and light through adoption and foster care. What motivated your husband and you to foster 23 teenage girls in the 1990’s?
MB: We saw a couple from our church who had taken in a foster girl as a ministry. She was a pregnant teenager, and they helped her through her pregnancy, birth, and parenting of that child. We are committed to the pro-life movement, and we saw this as something we could do. That began our journey.
SCH: You announced on May 29, 2013, that you would not be seeking re-election to your congressional seat for 2014. What are your plans for the future?
MB: My philosophy is that life is not a dress rehearsal; it’s the main event. I want to continue my voice in the national arena through speaking and the media, and working for causes I hold dear such as the family and marriage, the pro-life movement, American support of Israel, Biblical principles, strong national security, and American sovereignty. I’ve been thrilled to be involved in these issues, and I want to continue this calling in my life.
SCH: What concerns you the most about our country?
MB: My number one concern is the threat of violence from the Islamic Jihads. I believe they intend to bring Jihad here to the US. I sit on the Intelligence Committee, and I don’t see that our President has a proper policy to thwart those attacks. That is why I voted against the President’s proposal to give aid to the Syrian Rebels.
The Islamic State has declared war on us, and I believe we need to declare war on them, take them out and send them a message. I‘ve also proposed a bill that would take away the passports of those Americans who’ve joined this Islamic State against us, so they could not re-enter our country.
I’m also concerned about our economic policies and what’s happening to the family.
SCH: Can you give us some insight into your message at the Ascend Conference this year?
MB: It will be about freedom – especially freedom for children. As the chair of the Adoption Caucus in the House of Representatives, I went to Haiti in August to speak about foster care and sex trafficking. So I will be focusing on adoption, foster care, and sex trafficking through experiences on my recent visit to Haiti in August and my work here in the US.
God is calling you to ASCEND! “What’t the battle you’re ready to win?”
The Ascend Conference
Other speakers at the 2014 Ascend Conference are Isik Abla, an ex-Muslim who converted to Christianity serving our Lord as a speaker and TV host; Brenda Epperson-Moore, an actress from The Young and the Restless; and Kathleen Cooke of Cooke Pictures, who is the coordinator for this event. Musical guests include Linda McCrary-Fisher and Christy Ebenhoch. Also joining the stage will be artist Robyn Hanley.
The theme for this year’s conference, “Forever Free”, is about breaking the chains and discovering the keys that can set you free. The conference will be held at Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, CA on October 11-12th. For more information and to register, go to www.ascendconference.org
Sonoma Christian Home Online Magazine is proud to be an Official Sponsor for the Ascend Conference. We’re here to give you more insight into the passion and heart of these gifted speakers. Stay tuned! SCH is a Christian Women’s Magazine created for the online community of faith.
To learn more about Ginny visit www.ginnybrant.com