It’s likely you have already seen this latest ad from the McCain campaign. It seeks to vilify Obama by playing on Christians’ fear of “The Antichrist.” A smidgen of reasonable deniability is inserted by the closing question, “Is he ready to lead?” — allowing one to argue that the ad is about experince, you know, like the kind of experience Moses had when he lead the Jews out of Egypt. Laced as this ad is in religious language — “blessed,” “anointed,” “see the light” — it is a clear entanglement of politics, religion, and one of religion’s greatest allies, fear.
This ad seeks to create the perception of an arrogance so extreme, so hubristic, it can only be rendered in terms of divinity. You may share this perception or you may not, but the intentional and flagrant co-mingling of political and religious themes will say much more about our society if it is effective than if it is not.