Watching Beliefnet’s exclusive John McCain video, God-o-Meter finds it perplexing that the Arizona senator has long been a scourge of the Religious Right. After all, McCain told Beliefnet that the “Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation,” that he’s in talks with his pastor about undergoing a full-immersion baptism to become a full-blown evangelical, and that the prospect a Muslim presidential candidate makes him queasy because he wants someone who shares a “solid grounding in my faith.” That certainly checks some big boxes on the Christian Right’s presidential prerequisite list. (Not to mention that it offers a stark contrast to some of former Christian Right golden boy Fred Thompson’s recent stumbles on matters religious.)
Yes, God-o-Meter realizes that McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform and McCain’s “agents of intolerance” characterization of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson in 2000 have forever branded him an infidel in the eyes of Christian Right leaders. Can his new openness on faith appeal to Christian conservatives in Iowa and South Carolina, offering hope for his moribund campaign? God-o-Meter thinks it unlikely, but that McCain is making the right noises to make it happen.


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