LAPSING INTO PAGANISM…. The National Review‘s Michael Novak assesses Barack Obama’s first six days in office, and is concerned about the implications of the president’s decisions.

From these announcements we learn that President Obama recognizes no difference between the Jewish-Christian covenant between a woman and a man (a covenant that they will have and nurture children, if they are so blessed), and a civil contract between two persons of any sex, in order to set up a household of affection and sexual favors.

This is a relapse into paganism.

Got that? Because the president believes in treating people equally, he’s not just wrong, he’s leading the nation towards paganism.

Isaac Chotiner notes, “The real surprise here, at least for those of us who have long followed Novak’s career, is his apparent belief that America had not ‘relapsed’ into paganism a long time ago. Who knew that he had previously been so sanguine?”

Indeed, while Novak’s argument is mind-numbing on its face, I’m also struck by his use of the word “relapse.” The new president, after just six days in the Oval Office, and years after he expressed his support for legal recognition of gay couples, has brought on a “relapse into paganism.”

As Damon Linker put it, “I’d heard Obama was a talented politician, but this is truly impressive. Just think of all that we pagan-Americans will be able to accomplish over the next four years!”

I’ll be especially curious to see if this becomes a new trend for far-right rhetoric. Last month, WorldNetDaily ran a piece equating liberalism with “Baal worship.” Now, we’re sliding into “paganism.”

I can’t wait to see what we’ll be called next.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.