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Marcus Bachmann, husband to former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and proprietor of several Christian counseling clinics, appeared on religious right radio recently to talk about what he perceives as unfair treatment from the LGBTQ community. In the hour long interview with AM 980 KKMS host Paul Ridgeway, Bachmann gave his defense of his clinics’ handling of LGBTQ issues, gave his take on why people turn gay, and asserted that being gay has “consequences.”

In the first section of the interview, Bachmann lodged a series of complaints that his counseling clinics got unfair treatment by LGBTQ people including flash mobs outside his clinic lampooning his assertion that LGBTQ people are “barbarians,” and the undercover work done by Truth Wins Out.

Ridgeway: Hey Marcus give us a background on your Christian psychologist — you’re a Christian psychologist, Bachmann and Associates now Counseling Care — how your counseling agency become involved and targeted with the same-sex attraction debate. What happened?
Bachmann: Well you know I have to give a little credit to my wife Congresswoman Michele Bachmann who was the original author when she was in Minnesota State Senate before she launched her congressional and then presidential career. She was the author of the traditional marriage which of course is marriage between a man and a woman
Ridgeway: Still God says that.
Bachmann: Amen. Isn’t that true? And at the time years ago, as the author of that bill here in Minnesota we found ourselves very innocently to become involved as a Christian counseling agency now just think about this Paul, Christian counseling agency,
Ridgeway: It’s a target I never expected.
Bachmann: In the target, yes.
Ridge: I don’t mean the Target that I’m boycotting because I’m boycotting that…
Bachmann: Well, that’s what happened was the far left decided you know we can’t keep a business like that going and so we’ll do anything in our power to shut it down. And we had everything from demonstrations to…
Ridgeway: Outside your Christian counseling…
Bachmann: Outside of the clinic and they came in droves they came several times. They also came with video recorders. They came with people who lied and said they were a believer and had same-sex attraction and needed help and wanted to catch us on video tape doing or saying something unethical. Now again, keep this…
Ridgeway: So they had the hidden tape on them…
Bachmann: They did. They were hid in their backpacks and their purses…
Ridgeway: Were they meeting in the inside your office them?
Bachmann: Yes they were.
Ridgeway: Well if you got paid by them and you didn’t do anything bad at least you made some money!
Bachmann: That’s another story. They never paid their bills.
Ridgeway: Of course not. They are liberals.
Bachmann: But they did their best and it was on national television.
Ridgeway: To embarrass you
Bachmann: Attempting to and I remember one of the counselors. It was a relatively new counselor and I thought afterwards “Oh, oh, no. What might he have spoken…” You know there isn’t anything that he said that was unethical, questionable, but of course you can take a conversation and put one line in and I remember he said something to the person who was struggling with same-sex — again believing this was a Christian — said that God’s design for marriage is truly between a man and a wife, and there is an attraction. For instance, he was talking about as a male toward the female body and it was just like, what would be wrong with that line? And that’s the line that they tried to attempt to make us look like we were incompetent or what a strange misleading of someone who has same-sex attraction. You see, they couldn’t bear the fact that there would be a safe place for people who are struggling. First of all, they shouldn’t be struggling. We should tell them fully, “What ever you feel, whatever you desire, there is no right or wrong and we should be this blank slate.” Well the truth of the matter is — wait a minute we’re not to be a blank slate when it comes to the counsel of people who are in sin. And of course that’s another word that was highly criticized that there would be such a thing of same-sex attraction, the word sin would be connected with it.

Bachmann said that Christians are being discriminated against by LGBTQ people and that Christian counseling clinics like his are actually “safe spaces”:

Bachmann: But I agree with you Paul. There is this change that’s happening that there isn’t so much of a sense of well wait now in some ways they’ve won their side of the battle. By having same-sex marriage and many of their others rights and you know Target opening up and so forth.
Ridgeway: Transgender bathrooms everywhere.
Bachmann: Really, when you think of it, really, now we are being discriminated. But the truth of the matter is, you know, people are really seeing that if they come to a Christian counseling agency, I don’t know of a Christian counseling agency that isn’t accepting, isn’t a safe place.
Ridgeway: It’s loving
Bachmann: It’s a place that — really in all fairness, why wouldn’t a person who has same-sex attraction be able to share their story? Be heard? Be understood? And if they do have — if it is against their value system, then why wouldn’t we be able to talk about that from a biblical point of view? That it is — there is a battle going on?

Bachmann then took issue with the term “pray away the gay”:

Ridgeway: What was this “pray the gay away” that you got accused of? What was that all about? Talking to Dr. Marcus Bachmann, Christian psychologist, if you have any questions or comment for him, 651-289-4499. He’s with me in studio here, 651-289-4499. He and his wife Michele have had their experiences and their share of attacks because they are conservative, they are Christians and well-known, very respected, very experienced, but Marcus is a good man, loves the Lord and bases his psychological clinic on biblical values and you’ve got questions you’ve got concerns yourself you are experiencing depression or same-sex attraction give us a call if you want to be anonymous that’s okay 651-289-4499, 651-289-4499.
So pray the gay away…
Bachmann: Let’s talk about that. Well, isn’t that interesting of all places the ability to come to a Christian counseling agency and within a session have the opportunity to pray? Well, I certainly would hope and believe that whether in church or whether in a Christian counseling clinic, we would have the freedom to pray, and you know they made the story up. They made the slogan up because they thought it was real cute on national television that Bachmann and Associates would pray away someone’s gayness.
Ridgeway: That is just a lie.
Bachmann: It’s a lie. We would — first of all that’s a real negative in the belief that we’re minimizing someone’s struggle and the fact is it sounds really cute and it’s very derogatory, so you know we never did it, never moved in that direction, but you know the truth of the matter is, Paul, we do pray and we do believe in the power of prayer, and that prayer changes lives so for that matter, they combined the slogan of pray the gay away just to really make fun out of an organization that believes in prayer.
Ridgeway: Well you know Marcus? You said the Bible says Satan is the father of all lies, so why wouldn’t his children who are not saved, don’t know Christ, use lies to accuse you? They do it all the time. That’s what Satan’s children do, and I say that truthfully because that is what it is.

Bachmann then related what he thought caused people to be gay, bisexual, or lesbian

Ridgeway: Let me ask you a question, what causes same-sex attraction?
Bachmann: Well I think there’s… you know I don’t believe in the genetic belief that there is a different brain or there’s a different, you know, chemistry. I don’t believe that’s true at all. I believe that God has made us, you and I Paul, distinctly men, and distinctly women, women, and there is not a mistake. There’s not a… but there are some elements that I do believe, so there has not… that has not been proven that there is a genetic or chemistry makeup that is different for people with same-sex attractions. There’s been some studies that have kind of leaned toward that but nothing has been proven, but I think the truth of the matter is our sense of identity, our whole sense of who we are and a sense of identity comes from as we form our younger years, who the role model is — who our father is, who the strength of our parents are– trauma, a person involved in a young sexual experience. Let’s face it: children should never be exposed to a sexual experience.
Ridgeway: And they are saying right now that porn — kids… a lot of them starting 8 years old are seeing it.
Bachmann: Yes, I was on a trip with Josh McDonald in the last month, Josh McDowell is known for his studies on pornography and his work on that, and it is frightening if you look at the statistics at what is happening at a younger and younger age. And the trauma that can be involved in children and how that affects them in later life. I don’t think we can minimize the effects of a sexual experience at a young age. What that does to their identity.
Ridgeway: Both sexual and visually.
Bachmann: Just from a psychological point of view, from a sense of identity, of saying this is who I am, well, wait a minute. If I’m introduced, if I’m experiencing something that I should never as an innocent child — a young boy or girl experience — what will that do to my belief system, to my understanding of what I would be attracted to later on? And if we can just say it, confusion with sexual identity. It isn’t that hard to understand why there might be a conflict. That isn’t always the case. There are people that will say never had a trauma, never had that experience, but always had a same-sex attraction. Paul, I think then the question even in that case, well, what would I do as a believer if I still without any explanation that I can come up with even if I’m looking at what could have happened and nothing comes up in my understanding. I think that’s a really important question to answer.
Ridgeway: Well, it’s a profound question, somebody, I don’t know if this is trite or not, somebody said, “Well you know? If you have a proclivity to steal, does that allow you to go steal? Or if you have a proclivity to whatever. Just because you have a same-sex attraction, scripture is very clear: man and man no, man and women. In fact it also speaks to: Jesus said, “I’ll never forget.” Wow! This is holiness! If you look at… a man looks at a woman with lust, he’s already committed adultery, whether it’s heterosexual sin or homosexual sin, whether it’s pornography or anything. These things God is warning against us not to do because they destroy you.
Bachmann: And that’s why the church should not cave in.
Ridgeway: I saw gay pride flags all over…
Bachmann: The rainbow flag is very disturbing within the Christian community. It has nothing to do with having us accept and love people who are battling with this, and even for those who have an intelligent discussion about… they believe biblically there is really no such standard or scriptural stand that warns anything against same-sex attraction. Well, the truth of the matter is, Paul, God’s word is very clear. God has determined the purpose of man and woman and marriage and it’s his design and there are consequences to sin including the same-sex attraction. When you follow through, the fallout that happens in a person’s life — and I’m the one that has heard multiple stories of people who have at an early age started with going against God’s word in following their same-sex attraction what those consequences are. It is very concerning what happens in a person’s life.

Here’s the full interview:

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Andy Birkey

Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, Vita.mn and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.

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