Colleen sent around this Wall Street Journal column examining one of Sen. McCain’s latest ads titled “The One.” Waldman does a good job of breaking down the methodology and ideas behind the campaign’s tactical approach. He also questions whether lightheartedly toying with a concept such as the antichrist, even meant in good humor, is an appropriate course of action for McCain’s campaign.

If the McCain campaign’s strategy is to solidify its base of support among Evangelical Christian voters in any way possible, they just may be paying attention to the polls. An August 11 report from The Barna Group states it more explicitly:

Among the 19 faith segments that The Barna Group tracks, evangelicals were the only segment to throw its support to Sen. McCain. Among the larger faith niches to support Sen. Obama are non-evangelical born again Christians (43% to 31%); notional Christians (44% to 28%); people aligned with faiths other than Christianity (56% to 24%); atheists and agnostics (55% to 17%); Catholics (39% vs. 29%); and Protestants (43% to 34%). In fact, if the current preferences stand pat, this would mark the first time in more than two decades that the born again vote has swung toward the Democratic candidate.

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I suggest deleting 'or' from the above question. Fearmongering is an incredibly effective tool to coerce support for irrational actions. Why else would we invest not only billions of dollars but also our most valuable resource, our sons and daughters, in fighting an unwinable war rather than maintaining and improving our infrastructure? If an X-Prize (and immunity) were offered for circumventing our Homeland Security devices, we'd soon see how pathetically misdirected, and probably blatantly deceitful, are the efforts of the current administration to protect us. The true enemy is within and it feasts on our fear.

If we are going to make any reference to religion or faith as an instrument to compel action we'd be well advised to remember that every time an angel spoke to a human, the first words were, "Fear not,...".