WHAT SHARRON ANGLE CONSIDERS ‘WICKED’…. In some uses of slang, I suppose “wicked” could be flattering. If Chuckie Sullivan says, “My friend Will Hunting is wicked smart,” it’s intended as praise.

When extremist Senate candidate Sharron Angle characterizes Social Security as “wicked,” the Nevadan has a very different meaning in mind.

Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle called welfare, Medicare and Social Security symptoms of the nation’s “wicked ways” in comments to a church group earlier this month, even as she was publicly vowing to preserve Social Security, according to audio of the remarks obtained by POLITICO.

“We as a nation have been walking away from our constitutional freedom and relying on government instead to take care of the widow and the orphan,” Angle said during the Oct. 10 appearance in the northern Nevada town of Gardnerville. She lists government safety-net programs, along with abortion, divorce and gay marriage, among the “wicked ways that we can confess as a church.”

Angle campaign spokesman Jarrod Agen said it was a “ridiculous leap” to read Angle’s words as advocating the elimination of the government social safety net.

No, it’s actually a “ridiculous leap” to defend Angle’s bizarre nonsense.

The notion of “wicked ways” has a fairly specific meaning. In Second Chronicles 7:14, the Bible reads, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” When Angle refers to “wicked ways,” she’s referring to activities that are, in effect, ungodly.

This, by the way, the same unhinged candidate who believes much of the federal government is at odds with the First Commandment.

Also keep in mind, Angle has been trying to convince Nevadans that she actually wants to preserve Social Security, despite having already committed herself to trying to “phase out” the bedrock American safety-net program. What we have, then, is a borderline-deranged Senate hopeful telling reporters she supports Social Security, while quietly telling supporters she considers Social Security — along with Medicare, abortion, divorce, and gay marriage — to be “wicked.”

Despite this, and the bigotry, ignorance, extremism, and talk of violence that has come from the Republican campaign, of the last five polls out of Nevada, conducted over the last two weeks, Angle is ahead in all five.

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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.