Yesterday Politico reported that the Obama campaign was planning to destroy Mitt Romney, should he win the Republican nomination, by portraying him as "weird". So much for "hope" and "change". None of those quoted in the piece say it, but such a strategy would obviously play on America's perception of Mr Romney's Mormonism. And that got me thinking, what if Michele Bachmann wins the nomination?
In next week's New Yorker, Ryan Lizza has a dispassionate profile of Mrs Bachmann that explores, among other things, the candidate's religious beliefs. She recommends Christian books and films that suggest non-Christians are trouble, that the government may be poisoning the water supply, and that America's civil war was a theological battle that pitted the victimised Christian South against the godless North. She is a fan of Nancy Pearcey's book, "Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity", which argues that only systems built on "Biblical truth" are correct. She says she was profoundly affected by Francis Schaeffer's film series "How Should We Then Live?", which again promotes the idea that the inerrant bible is the final authority, while also condemning the influence of the Italian Renaissance, the Enlightenment, Darwin, secular humanism, and postmodernism. In Mr Lizza's piece Sara Diamond, an author who has studied evangelical movements, sums up the thinking of Schaeffer, whom Mrs Bachmann calls "a tremendous philosopher", as follows: “Christians, and Christians alone, are Biblically mandated to occupy all secular institutions until Christ returns.”