Congresswoman Michele Bachmann said today that God wants the U.S. Government to default on its debt.
In an interview on American Family Radio (AFR), the conservative Republican explained her belief that the resulting economic crisis would ultimately lead to the second coming of Christ.
"Republicans appear to be divided on the issue of raising the debt ceiling," started host Bryan Fischer. "Some say that a default would bring about economic catastrophe, others say the threat is exaggerated. Where do you stand on this issue?"
"I think a debt default would be a catastrophe on an unprecedented scale," Bachmann responded, "and that's exactly why I think America should do it.
"I have a close personal relationship with Jesus. And I have it on good authority that allowing the United States to default on its debt is part of a divine plan to bring about a Kingdom of God on Earth.
"The Gospel of Luke tells us that economic and political turmoil is the first sign of the end times. Before volcanoes and earthquakes consume the heavens and Earth, nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. We're only days away from paradise, I can't wait."
End of Days
The so-called debt ceiling is an unusual funding mechanism in which Congress must authorize the U.S. treasury to raise funds to cover spending it has already mandated.
The current ceiling expires on Oct. 17, after which the Treasury will have to fund itself entirely from tax receipts. Deprived of financing, the federal government would have to choose, for example, between making Social Security payments and paying interest on the national debt.
If debt payments are missed it could cause a meltdown in financial markets because U.S. Treasuries play a central role as "risk-free assets" in the global financial system. In order to prevent such an outcome, experts at the International Monetary Fund have implored the United States to take "urgent action" over the debt ceiling.
For Bachmann, however, the prospect of a complete global meltdown of the existing economic and political order is part of a default's appeal.
"When Jesus spoke to me last night he told me not to fear the chaos and the fury," she explained. "There will be rioting in the streets, there will be indiscriminate pillaging and possibly some minor instances of mass starvation.
"But this extraordinary suffering will only last a few days. Once the volcanoes vaporize all the water in the Earth's oceans, thick clouds of acid will dissolve our bodies and send our souls into the afterlife. It's going to be wonderful."
Bachmann has represented Minnesota's 6th district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2007. She has announced that she will not seek reelection next year and will thus retire in 2015.