Bachmann to CBS News: ‘I’m Not Ashamed to Say I Believe In God’

By Terence P. Jeffrey | September 6, 2011 | 11:02 AM EDT

( - Rep. Michele Bachmann, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, said on CBS News’s “Face the Nation” yesterday: “I’m not ashamed to say I believe in God.”

The declaration came in response to a question, asked twice by moderator Bob Schieffer, about whether Bachmann believes “God uses the weather to send people messages.”

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The question was predicated on a remark Bachmann made at a recent campaign even where she said to a laughing audience: “I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We've had an earthquake. We've had a hurricane. He said, are you going to start listening to me here? Listen to the American people, because the American people are roaring right now.”

Bachmann initially responded to Schieffer’s inquiry about whether this remark meant she believed “God uses the weather to send people messages” by indicating she had not been saying that the earthquake and hurricane that recently hit the East Coast of the United States were messages from God.

“Obviously, I was speaking metaphorically,” Bachmann said. “That was clear to the audience. It was clear to me. Because the American people have been desperately trying to get the president's attention. He's not paying attention.

“That's why I'm running for president, Bob,” Bachmann said. “I want to bring the voice of the American people and their concerns into the White House, where their voice hasn't been heard for a long time. They're trying to get the president's attention, and that was the metaphor that I was making.”
Schieffer was not satisfied with this answer, so he asked again: “Do you believe that God uses the weather to send people messages?”

“Well, I believe in God,” Bachmann responded. “I'm not ashamed to say that I believe in God. I'm a woman of faith and a woman of prayer. But the comment that I made right then was a metaphor. That was very simply what I was doing.”

It would be one thing, of course, for someone to claim they know that a particular meteorological or geological event was intended by God to send mankind or a nation a specific message. It would be another thing, however, for someone who is not an atheist to answer Schieffer’s generic question—“Do you believe that God uses the weather to send people messages?”—with a categorical no, thus claiming to know that God never has and never would use weather to send people messages.

Both the Old and New Testaments show God sending messages through meteorological and geological phenomenon.

In Exodus 19-20, when God handed down the Ten Commandments, he wrapped Mount Sinai in a lightning-and-thunder storm, made smoke billow from the summit, and made the mountain itself tremble.
“The LORD said to Moses, ‘I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you,” says Exodus.

“On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast,” it says. “Everyone in the camp trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently.”

When Christ was crucified, as related in the Gospel of Matthew, the sky turned dark in the middle of the afternoon and Christ’s death was marked by an earthquake.

“From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land,” says the Gospel of Matthew.
“And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit,” says the Gospel.

“At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open,” says the Gospel. “The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, ‘Surely he was the Son of God!’”

Will CBS News now ask President Barack Obama and other presidential candidates the generic question Bob Schieffer asked Michele Bachmann: “Do you believe that God uses the weather to send people messages?”