"For God's Sake," a Commentary by Paul Krugman

April 13, 2007


Source: The New York Times


In 1981, Gary North, a leader of the Christian Reconstructionist movement -- the openly theocratic wing of the Christian right -- suggested that the movement could achieve power by stealth. ''Christians must begin to organize politically within the present party structure,'' he wrote, ''and they must begin to infiltrate the existing institutional order.''

Today, Regent University, founded by the televangelist Pat Robertson to provide ''Christian leadership to change the world,'' boasts that it has 150 graduates working in the Bush administration.

Unfortunately for the image of the school, where Mr. Robertson is chancellor and president, the most famous of those graduates is Monica Goodling, a product of the university's law school. She's the former top aide to Alberto Gonzales who appears central to the scandal of the fired U.S. attorneys and has declared that she will take the Fifth rather than testify to Congress on the matter.

The infiltration of the federal government by large numbers of people seeking to impose a religious agenda -- which is very different from simply being people of faith -- is one of the most important stories of the last six years. It's also a story that tends to go underreported, perhaps because journalists are afraid of sounding like conspiracy theorists.