I expect we’ll be hearing more about this soon. Harold Ford says that Republicans only fear the Lord. (That’s “God” to the confused out there.) Democrats fear and love the Lord. (Props: Hot Air)

Ford also recently unleashed an ad shot inside a church.

He is trying to out-church Bob Corker!

For those of you who weren’t raised in the Church and have no idea what Harold is trying to tell you about fearing and loving Jesus, please allow me to translate. To merely fear the Lord is to fear getting caught or having to account for your sins. To fear and love the Lord means that you are a positive person who wishes to serve God in your daily life. To do right in His eyes.

This is clever. Before you pooh-pooh, liberal non-religious folks, have a care. The Republicans can no longer claim the moral high ground. Their appeals to those who connect their religion with a strong moral sense now look hollow in the wake of Limbaugh’s ridicule of a sick man, inadequate body armor and pay for our soldiers, cover-ups of a pedophile on Capitol Hill, the deterioration of our national healthcare and educational systems even as we pursue a bloody and unnecessary war in Iraq. The failure to raise the minimum wage even as the rich get richer. And so on.

On his website, Ford has an article My Faith as My Guide:

This desire to serve and to put my faith and beliefs into action is why I ran for Congress and why I have been privileged to represent the people of Memphis in Washington for the last nine years. It is also why I am running for Senate to represent the state of Tennessee. I want to help make the lives of all Tennesseans better.

Harold Ford is planting a flag. It is a flag of faith. The majority of Americans worship in a church or a temple. Faith is important to so many of us. To be able to use the images and cadences of faith — as both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush did effectively — is to tell the majority of Americans that you understand them and are like them. Voters, for some reason, seem to like that. How does Ford’s faith guide him specifically on the issues? My Faith as My Guide has the answer:

• I will continue to work to improve the lot of the least among us because I believe that economic security, access to healthcare, and educational opportunity for all are moral imperatives.

• I will continue to promote personal responsibility and strong moral values, including the teaching of character education in all of our schools.

• I will continue to be pro-family, including supporting a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, without taking away the civil rights of gays and lesbians.

• I will continue to work to eliminate abortions in our country without criminalizing what is undoubtedly one of the most tormenting and difficult decisions a woman will ever have to make.

Faith inspires so many to do so much. That is why I am proud to serve as chair of the Community Solutions and Initiatives Caucus in Congress, which is a group of lawmakers dedicated to finding ways to help community and church groups who want to improve the lives of their members through solutions that work, not the polarization of ideology.

The challenges facing our state and our nation–domestic security, economic independence, health care and educational opportunity–demand leaders who can look past our differences and devise solutions.

Uh, right. (?) You can call it cynical. You can call it manipulative and false. Don’t get me wrong: I think Ford tries to walk a narrow tightrope in his positions and I don’t agree with his anti-civil rights stance on gay marriage. You can’t please all of the people all of the time, Harold.

But if the positive response of evangelicals such as these folks are any indication, this may be where Ford finally outpaces Corker in swinging a few swing voters in his direction.

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