Michelle Bachman as Education Reformer

Slightly off-topic: check out Ryan Lizza’s New Yorker profile of GOP presidential candidate Michelle Bachman as he probes her fundamentalist Christian belief system. While raising her children in Minnesota and taking in 23 teenage foster children (girls with eating disorders), Bachman founded the New Heights Charter School. The charter agreement mandated that that “the publicly funded school 'is and will be non-sectarian in all programs, admission policies, employment practices and all other operations.'”

However, Bachman and the CEO of New Heights, an evangelical Christian activist named Dennis Meyer, “repeatedly violated that rule.” According to Lizza, board minutes document that a meeting in 1993 “opened with a prayer: ‘If we stay focused God will keep being glorified by the things He does through us.’ At the August 4th meeting, the board agreed to rent space at the school to a Minnesota church and heard from Dr. Robert Weaver, of Bethel University, an evangelical school in St. Paul. They discussed a 'possible Bethel connection.' At the August 11th meeting, Meyer read from Deuteronomy: “Do not go out and strike rock; move by faith.”

Eventually other parents complained after students reported that “creationism was being advocated” and that they were barred from watching the Disney movie “Aladdin” because “it involved magic and paganism.” Bachman (and Meyer) resigned, although Bachman “often describes her and [husband] Marcus’s work at New Heights as a major accomplishment.”