http://select.nytimes.com/gst/tsc.h...ugman.html&OQ=_rQ3D1Q26hp&OP=4a90cdefQ2FtQ7Ew)tQ27Q5E2jjQ27thPP5tPyt@HtjBSpSjpt@HQ512Q3AaQ3DQ2ApQ2B1Q27Q3D0 OP-ED COLUMNIST For Godâs Sake By PAUL KRUGMAN Published: April 13, 2007 In 1981, Gary North, a leader of the Christian Reconstructionist movement â the openly theocratic wing of the Christian right â suggested that the movement could achieve power by stealth. âChristians must begin to organize politically within the present party structure,â he wrote, âand they must begin to infiltrate the existing institutional order.â Today, Regent University, founded by the televangelist Pat Robertson to provide âChristian leadership to change the world,â 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 universityâs law school. Sheâs 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 â which is very different from simply being people of faith â is one of the most important stories of the last six years. Itâs also a story that tends to go underreported, perhaps because journalists are afraid of sounding like conspiracy theorists. But this conspiracy is no theory. The official platform of the Texas Republican Party pledges to âdispel the myth of the separation of church and state.â And the Texas Republicans now running the country are doing their best to fulfill that pledge. Kay Cole James, who had extensive connections to the religious right and was the dean of Regentâs government school, was the federal governmentâs chief personnel officer from 2001 to 2005. (Curious fact: she then took a job with Mitchell Wade, the businessman who bribed Representative Randy âDukeâ Cunningham.) And itâs clear that unqualified people were hired throughout the administration because of their religious connections. For example, The Boston Globe reports on one Regent law school graduate who was interviewed by the Justice Departmentâs civil rights division. Asked what Supreme Court decision of the past 20 years he most disagreed with, he named the decision to strike down a Texas anti-sodomy law. When he was hired, it was his only job offer. Or consider George Deutsch, the presidential appointee at NASA who told a Web site designer to add the word âtheoryâ after every mention of the Big Bang, to leave open the possibility of âintelligent design by a creator.â He turned out not to have, as he claimed, a degree from Texas A&M. One measure of just how many Bushies were appointed to promote a religious agenda is how often a Christian right connection surfaces when we learn about a Bush administration scandal. Thereâs Ms. Goodling, of course. But did you know that Rachel Paulose, the U.S. attorney in Minnesota â three of whose deputies recently stepped down, reportedly in protest over her management style â is, according to a local news report, in the habit of quoting Bible verses in the office? Or thereâs the case of Claude Allen, the presidential aide and former deputy secretary of health and human services, who stepped down after being investigated for petty theft. Most press reports, though they mentioned Mr. Allenâs faith, failed to convey the fact that he built his career as a man of the hard-line Christian right. And thereâs another thing most reporting fails to convey: the sheer extremism of these people. You see, Regent isnât a religious university the way Loyola or Yeshiva are religious universities. Itâs run by someone whose first reaction to 9/11 was to brand it Godâs punishment for Americaâs sins. Two days after the terrorist attacks, Mr. Robertson held a conversation with Jerry Falwell on Mr. Robertsonâs TV show âThe 700 Club.â Mr. Falwell laid blame for the attack at the feet of âthe pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians,â not to mention the A.C.L.U. and People for the American Way. âWell, I totally concur,â said Mr. Robertson. The Bush administrationâs implosion clearly represents a setback for the Christian rightâs strategy of infiltration. But it would be wildly premature to declare the danger over. This is a movement that has shown great resilience over the years. It will surely find new champions.