Karl Rove made religion sexy for every politician and political strategist. More than any other person in the past generation Karl Rove is responsible for the faith-based politics we see around us. His influence is greater than Robertson or Dobson or anyone on the religious left because he didn’t simply preach a religious gospel to a particular group of people. Instead he preached to politicians about the political power of religious manipulation. And it isn’t just Republicans who heard the call. It was Democrats too – Hillary Clinton heard it and so did John Edwards. Barack Obama certainly heard it.
So every time that we find ourselves debating theology – was Obama’s pastor too much into liberation theology? Is Romney’s Mormon faith sufficiently Christian in orientation? – we should think of Karl and his strategy for turning George W. Bush’s religious conversion into George W. Bush’s number one political asset for wining conservative Christians to his side.