There is a way to blunt this coming tidal wave of anti-evangelical bigotry. Bachmann and Perry -- and any other Republican who wishes to join in -- should not play on the territory of their opponents. Instead, they should focus on what works and whose lives have been transformed by embracing similar faith and similar attitudes.
Each time a liberal wants to raise taxes to pay for more programs, Republican candidates should introduce to the public people who liberated themselves from government, as examples for others to follow. Some will have experienced a spiritual conversion. Others will have simply "gotten their act together" and decided they can do more for themselves than government.
In the tradition of Horatio Alger, a story about people who have overcome is better than a story about those still wallowing in self-pity, low expectations and welfare dependency. A positive message beats whining and class envy every time.
Growing numbers of people are addicted to government and need help getting "clean." Bachmann and Perry could respond to the bigotry by announcing a joint project to be continued no matter who wins the nomination and election. People who want to escape poverty would be introduced to local churches and synagogues, or secular organizations that operate on similar principles.
Scriptures command outreach to the poor, which most religious institutions used to do a lot more of before many ceded that role to government. Helping to transform a life is one of the greatest pleasures on Earth.
The bigots, like the poor, will be with us always, but this is one way they might be shamed into silence.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Cal Thomas' column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.
Tragedy: Murdered NYPD Police Officers Taken From Wives, Child Days Before Christmas | Katie Pavlich
Louie Zamperini's Son on "Unbroken": "It’s Terrible and Beautiful at the Same Time” | Daniel Doherty