Religious groups join fight against national IDs

Critics of federal legislation to establish nationwide identification standards are tapping into religious groups to galvanize resistance to the statute.

The authors of a New Hampshire bill to make the Granite State the first to reject the so-called REAL ID Act have cited financial and constitutional concerns about its implementation. But several conservative Christian groups that have endorsed the New Hampshire proposal are largely motivated by their belief that the law is a sign of the apocalypse.

According to leaders of the movement against the statute, the cause has benefited immensely from the active participation of groups that view the law as the fulfillment of a biblical prophecy. Such groups refer to scripture that predicts that humans will be numbered by marks on their foreheads and hands before the arrival of the antichrist.

Katherine Albrecht, the founder of Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering, has lobbied extensively on behalf of the New Hampshire bill. She said religious groups have been valuable because they are highly mobile and well-organized.

Ervin (Butch) Paugh, a preacher and radio host in West Virginia who is running for governor on the Constitutionalist Party ticket, has been urging lawmakers in his state to follow New Hampshire’s lead. Joe Cicchirillo, a commissioner at West Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles, said he was impressed by Paugh’s knowledge of the issue when he met with him this month.

Read full article by Michael Martinez here.

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