It should come as no surprise that Michele Bachmann, the beady-eyed Tea Party pin-up, hates the art, science, literature, politics and humanist philosophy that burgeoned in Florence during the Renaissance since it destroyed the religious stranglehold of fundamentalism and ignorance we call the Dark Ages, something she's desperately trying to revive. While the modern world may have resulted from the brilliance and enlightened inquiry of da Vinci, Michelangelo and their gifted peers, Bachmann seems to have descended from their devoted enemy, fundamentalist Savonarola, a nasty monk who became quite popular among conservative, reactionary elements by urging the destruction of all art, poetry and free thought that wasn't sufficiently "religiously correct." Savonarola burned books, artistic masterpieces and heretics in the Piazza della Signoria. Armed with Fox News, he might have won the battle against modernity, but alas he could only preach to a relatively small mob, those within earshot. He was eventually burned on the same spot.
The details: An article in the New Yorker and a piece in the Los Angeles Times blog, Culture Monster, explain that Michele Bachmann has serious concerns that the Renaissance took us away from God. She's also not crazy about The Enlightenment. Basically, she misses the Dark Ages.
According to Ryan Lizza, who interviewed Bachmann over the course of several days for the New Yorker, she "belongs to a generation of Christian conservatives whose views have been shaped by institutions, tracts, and leaders not commonly known to secular Americans, or even to most Christians." According to Lizza, she's a big fan of the late Presbyterian Pastor Francis Schaeffer, who is credited with being a key catalyst of the Christian Right revival of the 1970s. She's also a fan of Schaeffer follower Nancy Pearcey, who wrote,"Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, and Meaning."
According to the LA Times blog, Culture Monster, in Pearcey's 2004 book book, "Total Truth: Liberating Christianity From Its Cultural Captivity," she "lauds Schaeffer's empathy for artists who are 'caught in the trap of false and harmful worldviews' -- specifically, those that have trickled down from wicked Renaissance humanism. 'As the medieval period merged into the Renaissance (beginning roughly in the 1300s),' she wrote, 'a drumbeat began to sound for the complete emancipation of reason from revelation -- a crescendo that burst into full force in the Enlightenment (beginning in the 1700s).'"