But it's a particular problem for McCain because he's faking it. I'm not saying that McCain's an atheist like I am, but McCain appears "uneasy — even forced" when he is called upon to discuss his Christian beliefs because his faith tank is on "E" and he's unwilling to fill up.
McCain's religion is all about politics.
After killing off his 2000 campaign when he said that Falwell and Robertson were "agents of intolerance," McCain wasn't going to get burned by religion again.
So McCain did a 180 degree turn. Just as George Wallace promised that he wouldn't be "outsegged" after a gubernatorial defeat in Alabama, McCain decided that he wouldn't be "out Jesused" the next time he ran for president.
McCain announced his affiliation with the more evangelical Baptists. He also started to make promises to the Christian right in terms of judicial appointments, made his peace with Falwell, and sought the support of megachurch ministers like John Hagee.
It was all calculated. It was all phony. And it's all been successful so far.
The religious right knew that McCain was not being sincere but McCain showed them enough obeisance that the right also accepted that McCain would not be an enemy.
At that point, they could rally around McCain as the "anybody but a Democrat" choice.
And McCain got bonus points from the national media for his insincere pandering. McCain was so utterly unconvincing in his reconciliation with the Christian right that his media friends viewed McCain's discomfort as a sign of his basic integrity.
In other words, McCain's lying became a symbol of his honesty.
I'm not sure that will work for Rick Warren's made for television event tonight.
Obama is up to his eyeballs in religion and much of his success as a speaker comes from his being so immersed in the traditions of the black church (yes, the creepy Jeremiah Wright's black church).
There's a good chance that McCain's cynicism and insincerity will look poorly in comparison.