Barack Obama has taken flack for the Christian cross that suddenly appeared on his campaign literature in Kentucky. But the Illinois Senator is hardly the only pol tacking religion to his sleeve. Do voters want politicians to flaunt their faith for votes? 68% told Interfaith Alliance pollsters not. But just about every Democratic consultant says Democrats should ignore the secularists in their base. Austin Dacey thinks there is a way for non-believers to compete.

Also in this interview: in a media environment that flees from criticizing anyone’s religion (however sick), why was Jeremiah Wright fair game when John McCain’s “War on Islam” cleric Rod Parsley was not? Wright’s problem, Dacey says, is that he violated secular/political protocol by talking about US empire and white supremacy.

Austin Dacey is on the editorial staff of Skeptical Inquirer and Free Inquiry Magazines, and is the author of the new book: The Secular Conscience: Why Belief Belongs in Public Life. I spoke with him in the GRITtv studio today.