Secular privacy advocates in the United States are trying to reach out to conservative Christian groups, *Wired *reports.

A bridge-builder in that effort seems to be Katherine Albrecht, the veteran opponant of supermarket loyalty cards and Radio-Frequency Indentification (RFID) tags:

…one aspect of Albrecht’s anti-RFID crusade has been attracting a lot of attention from other privacy groups: her religious beliefs.

Albrecht does not often discuss her religious views with reporters. But she believes that RFID technology may be part of the fulfillment of the Mark of the Beast prophesied in the Book of Revelation.

Bill Scannell, a privacy advocate, and Lee Tien, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, are among those who have talked to Albrecht about reaching out to Christians who take parts of the Bible literally.

“Many of us in the mainstream privacy community,” said Tien, “don’t know how to reach out to (the Christian community).”

With a Bible-thumper in the White House, and the popular success of the Left Behind series of Christian-themed novels, American culture may be ready to hear Albrechtrsquo;s message that RFID tags, such as the rather bizarre VeriChip implant, may become the must-have gadget for any servant of Satan.

Perhaps. But the political efficacy of this unusual alliance may be limited. That “Bible-thumper” also has friends in the RFID industry. Tommy Thompson, President Bush’s former Health and Human Services Secretary, just joined the board of the company that makes VeriChip, and plans to have one implanted under his skin.

Update: More significantly, perhaps, former Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge has also joined the board of an RFID firm.

Hat tip to SpyBlog, who comments in an e-mail:

Obviously the forthcoming massive RFID chip and reader contract for the new US Biometric Passport, to be awarded by the Department of Homeland Security, must be just a coincidence