American-style (Republican) Christianity
Stupid or Evil?
The wrong side of history
Allen Quist is the crazypants political mentor to MN Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. The two teamed up as Minnesota state representatives in the late 1990s to fight the onslaught of the atheistic, permissive, Marxist totalitarianism society encroaching upon our “freedoms”—or something like that—and to successfully beat back a state school curriculum that would have taught some scientific ungodly stuff they didn’t like.
Now the 67-year-old Quist, an anti-gay crusader and soybean farmer who believes in dragons, that females are “genetically predisposed” to subservience to men and that humans and dinosaurs coexisted on Earth (possibly as late as the 11th century), is running for the US Congress to join his former partner in Washington, DC.
“Thanks” in large part to the, uh, zany supporters of Congressman Ron Paul, the Minnesota GOP’s nominating convention, held in April, ended in a stalemate after 14 hours and 23 ballots failed to select a clear winner in District One, meaning that the top two candidates (incredibly, one was Quist, which says a lot about whoever came in third!) will now have to face one another in front of voters in an August primary race. Mother Jones has the story:
As a Minnesota state representative in the 1980s, Quist staked out a position on his party’s far-right wing. At the time, the state’s GOP was undergoing a rightward shift from a party known for its mild-mannered moderates to one populated by family values firebrands. Quist was the tip of the spear.
During his time as a state representative, Quist slammed a gay counseling clinic at Mankato State University by comparing it to the Ku Klux Klan (both would be breeding grounds for evil—AIDS, in this case) and went undercover at an adult bookstore and a gay bathhouse in an effort to prove to a local newspaper reporter that they had become a “haven for anal intercourse.” (A decade later, Bachmann would bring groups of supporters onto the Capitol floor to pray over the desk of a gay colleague.)
Quist’s almost singular focus on sexuality didn’t go unnoticed. “At one point,” the St. Petersburg Times reported in 1994, “a Senate leader suggested he had an unhealthy preoccupation with sex, having devoted 30 hours to it in a single session.”
Quist was a staunch pro-lifer who once argued that abortion should be classified as a first-degree homicide. When his pregnant wife died in a car accident in 1986, Quist had the six-and-a-half-month-old fetus placed in his wife’s arms in an open casket at the funeral. A year later, he married Julie Morse, a former pro-choice feminist who had been reborn as a Republican activist. (Morse had cofounded Minneapolis’ first feminist bookstore, Amazon Books; originally based on the front porch of a women’s collective, it soon migrated to the city’s Lesbian Community Center.)
“When he ran, obviously we looked him up—a very bizarre record. I mean really bizarre,” says Minnesota’s former GOP Gov. Arne Carlson.
Ya think? In 1993 Quist challenged Governor Carlson in the GOP primary on a platform of mandatory AIDS tests for couples wishing to marry and against gay rights:
In one memorable interview, Quist told a Minnesota reporter he believed women were “genetically predisposed” to be subservient to men, pointing to, among other things, the behavior of wild animals.
Quist’s candidacy quickly became a national story—one that sent the state’s moderate party establishment scrambling to avert disaster. Mike Triggs, a former Carlson aide, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, “Mr. and Mrs. Gopher are going to think [the Quists] are damn weird.” He dismissed Quist supporters as “zombies.” The governor himself played up his opponent’s under-the-covers ops. “Instead of prowling through dirty bookstores, why didn’t he go out and change state spending policy?” the governor asked the Associated Press.
Carlson, who went on to beat Quist by 20 points, is still sore. “Wonderful, wonderful guy—one of the great intellectuals of the 21st century,” he deadpanned when asked about Quist recently. “He’ll do a lot to improve the IQ of Congress. If we can get a Bachmann-Quist team together, they could probably take over the world. Talk about a dynamic duo!”
When Quist and his wife founded the nonprofit Maple River Education Coalition (MREC), to push for the repeal of the Profile of Learning, a state plan to raise educational standards, they got Michele Bachmann to front the group.
With Quist providing much of the intellectual grist, the MREC argued that the Profile was a step toward a United Nations takeover of Minnesota. International Baccalaureate, the global Advanced Placement program, was brainwashing by another name. “Sustainability” was a euphemism for a future dystopia in which humans would be confined to public-transit-oriented urban cores. Schools would be breeding grounds for “homosexual indoctrination.” Even math was under assault by the forces of moral relativism.
In 2000, Bachmann won election to the state Senate with help from the MREC and the Quists. When Bachmann ascended to Congress six years later, Julie Quist joined her, serving as the congresswoman’s district director until 2011.
If Quist can best his opponent, Republican state Sen. Mike Parry—which is entirely possible, Quist has the edge in fundraising—he’ll square off against Democrat Rep. Tim Wirtz, who must be praying he’ll be running against this crazy motherfucker come November:
“Unfortunately,” [former Governor] Carlson added, “what was bizarre in the ‘90s is becoming the centerpiece of this new Republican party.”
Read the whole thing at Mother Jones.