Last week I read a story about Virginia delegates passing a bill limiting the use of implanted chips in human beings. Much of the motivation behind this bill came from worries that such a chip could lead to what apocalyptic biblical prophecy calls the "mark of the beast". I don't want to give too deep of a lesson in eschatology so let me allow one of the Virginia delegates to explain it simply:
"My understanding – I'm not a theologian – but there's a prophecy in the Bible that says you'll have to receive a mark, or you can neither buy nor sell things in the end times. Some people think these computer chips might be that mark." -Virginia Delegate Mark Cole
This story reminded me that Tommy Thompson served on the board for a leading producer of these kinds of implanted chips - Florida-based, VeriChip Corp. Some report that Tommy had quite a lucrative arrangement while serving on VeriChip's Board of Directors. This is certainly not a surprise since we already know that he has been making a sweet dime serving special interests. His work for VeriChip was only one of many lucrative arrangements that he had following his tenure with the Bush administration.
The implant was approved by the Bush Administration's FDA in 2004. Tommy was on the board for VeriChip until he took a leave of absence in 2007 to run his failed presidential campaign. While he was on the board of the company he promoted the implantation of the chip on several national news outlets like the one posted below.
Conservative evangelical Christians make up a huge part of the Republican base. Those numbers have only grown since Tommy last ran for public office. Many of those conservative evangelical Christians believe that we are living in the end times and they are very sensitive to various events such as the development of this technology. I just have to wonder how they would view a candidate like Tommy in a Republican primary. Would they forget about his past role in marketing VeriChip? I seriously doubt it. Tommy and others may think that these beliefs are crazy, but like it or not they are a political reality for him. Can Tommy win even a primary if the evangelical Christian vote refuses to support him?
Fiscal conservatives may be willing to overlook Tommy's big spending/government tendencies for mere political convenience, but this chip issue is an entirely different matter. I highly doubt that passionate believers are going to just excuse Tommy's promotion of a technology that they believe might lead to the "mark of the beast". You don't think that people are taking this "mark of the beast" thing seriously? Tell that to the delegates in Virginia, where they are trying to pass state laws to protect specifically from it.