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This Week in God

Associated Press

First up from the God Machine this week is a special kind of elected member of Congress who is convinced that President Obama may be ushering in a Biblical apocalypse. You get one guess as to which member of Congress is espousing this theory.

If you said, "Hey, that sounds like the sort of madness we might hear from Michele Bachmann," give yourself a prize.

In an interview with Understanding the Times host Jan Markell on Saturday, Rep. Michele Bachmann accused President Obama of giving aid to Al Qaeda, which she said is proof that we are living in the Last Days. Of course, on the same day Bachmann gave the interview, a Delta Force operation approved by Obama nabbed a key Al Qaeda figure in Libya.

But according to Bachmann, Obama is now championing the terrorist group.

The Minnesota congresswoman referred to a decision by the Obama administration to allow vetted Syrian rebels not affiliated with terrorist organizations to help them resist chemical weapons attacks, which was spurred by the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons on civilians.

The right-wing Minnesotan said the president unilaterally "waived a ban on arming terrorists" -- a development that did not occur in this reality -- in order to "give arms" to al Qaeda, which also did not occur. Based on these imaginary events, which Bachmann perceives as real, the congresswoman openly speculated about the End of Days.

"[W]hat this says to me, I'm a believer in Jesus Christ, as I look at the End Times scripture, this says to me that the leaf is on the fig tree and we are to understand the signs of the times, which is your ministry, we are to understand where we are in God's end times history," Bachmann said. "Rather than seeing this as a negative, we need to rejoice, Maranatha Come Lord Jesus, His day is at hand. When we see up is down and right is called wrong, when this is happening, we were told this; these days would be as the days of Noah."

It's worth noting that House Republican leaders gave Bachmann a position on the House Intelligence Committee, giving her access to the nation's most sensitive and highly classified materials, despite her apparent instabilities.

Indeed, as tempting as it may be to chuckle at Bachmann's more fanciful delusions, let's not forget that she's an elected federal lawmakers who, for a brief while, was considered a competitive Republican presidential candidate.

Also from the God Machine this week:

* As Salon's Katie McDonough noted the other day, Internet TV host Glenn Beck told his audience this week that parents should use verbal abuse and physical intimidation to teach their children that their rights "come from God" by getting "in their face" and making them cry. That sounds delightful and inspirational, doesn't it?

* I don't even know where to start with this story out of New Jersey: "In a bizarre case involving threats of kidnapping, beatings and physical torture -- including the use of an electric cattle prod -- two rabbis were charged in New Jersey on Wednesday in a scheme to force men to grant their wives religious divorces. Two others were also charged in the case, which grew out of an undercover sting operation involving a female FBI agent who posed as a member of the Orthodox community seeking a divorce" (thanks to reader R.P. for the tip).

* And radical TV preacher Pat Robertson told his viewers this week that they may unknowingly have demonic household items that will cause headaches. "What is important is: were these objects actually used in some kind of Satanic ritual? Some occult practice? If that's the case, then there might be some demonic force that attaches to that which was used in pagan worship," Robertson said. Good to know.