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Inside the Right-Wing Christian Law School That Brought Us Michele Bachmann

When Oral Roberts University sought to set up a law school, it called in Christian Reconstructionist Herb Titus. Michele Bachmann is the law school's most famous graduate.

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Titus was quick to point out that not all of the students of his preferred pedagogy are “cookie-cutter” types who fall into an identical ideological line. On foreign policy matters, for example, he said he’d be more aligned with the non-interventionism of Ron Paul than with Bachmann.

But it’s clear, nonetheless, that he’s confident that her Christian beliefs pass muster. He doesn’t consider either Mitt Romney or Jon Huntsman, both Mormons, to be Christians; said he didn’t know whether Tim Pawlenty was a Christian (even though his pastor is the president of the National Association of Evangelicals); and defended Texas Governor Rick Perry’s hosting of a prayer rally.

Though he isn’t even running, Titus took a dig at Mike Huckabee, saying that host of Fox News’ Huckabee show “doesn’t understand the difference between the state’s business and the church’s business,” because he believes in “welfare taking care of the poor, which is contrary to Jesus’ teaching.” Again, that’s a reflection of the Christian Reconstructionist view of God-granted authority—i.e., it’s not within the government’s “authority” to take care of the poor.

I asked Titus whether it would be a big moment for him to see Bachmann, a product of the law school he helped found, ascend to the GOP presidential nomination. He replied, “It’s the kind of thing that we believe was one of our major purposes, which was to train people in such a way so as to make an impact in the leadership of the country.”

Sarah Posner is associate editor of Religion Dispatches and author of God's Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters . Read her blog or follow her on Twitter.