What Fresh Hell Is This?

March 17, 2011

More On Rick Santorum's Historiography

A few days ago the OPJ brought up the subject of ex-Senator Rick Santorum's lack of knowledge of history.

Her post linked back to Spork (hey, Spork! How's it going?) and Spork linked back to this piece at TPM:
Rick Santorum told about 50 members of the group Catholic Citizenship that he was "frankly appalled" that America's first Catholic president, John F. Kennedy, once said "I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute."

"That was a radical statement," Santorum said, and did "great damage."
TPM's piece itself linked back to this report in the Boston Globe:
It may seem an odd way to appeal to a crowd of Massachusetts voters: First, attack Mitt Romney, the last Republican to hold the governor's office. Then, go after President Kennedy, arguably the state's most revered Democrat.

But Rick Santorum, a former US Senator from Pennsylvania who is courting conservatives as he weighs a presidential run, came to Massachusetts and did just that today, blaming Kennedy for marginalizing religion in public life and Romney for signing the Massachusetts health care law.
It's the Kennedy/Religion part I want to focus on. The Globe continues:
"We're seeing how Catholic politicians, following the first Catholic president, have followed his lead, and have divorced faith not just from the public square, but from their own decision-making process," Santorum said.

"Jefferson is spinning in his grave," he added.

The crowd responded with nods and applause.

Santorum also criticized Catholic parishes for their "lukewarm faith" and urged the crowd not to donate to Catholic schools that stray from church teachings.

"You're feeding the beast," he said, sparking applause. "The heresy that goes in Catholic schools in America is amazing."
Lil Ricky is making the general point that more religion (in this case more Catholicism) is needed in the public square and in the "decision making process" of individual Catholic politicians. Unlike John Kennedy who said in his speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association:
I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute; where no Catholic prelate would tell the President -- should he be Catholic -- how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference, and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him, or the people who might elect him.

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accept instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials, and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.
Is that what Rick Santorum finds appalling? Seems to be. Or perhaps it was Kennedy's next two paragraphs:
For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been -- and may someday be again -- a Jew, or a Quaker, or a Unitarian, or a Baptist. It was Virginia's harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that led to Jefferson's statute of religious freedom. Today, I may be the victim, but tomorrow it may be you -- until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped apart at a time of great national peril.

Finally, I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end, where all men and all churches are treated as equals, where every man has the same right to attend or not to attend the church of his choice, where there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind, and where Catholics, Protestants, and Jews, at both the lay and the pastoral levels, will refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division which have so often marred their works in the past, and promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood.
What radical statements! Oh the great great damage to the fabric of American society! That religious intolerance should end! That the people should be free to worship (or not worship) as they choose! That no "religious code" becomes commingled with law - for that will only lead to trouble.

Who said that last part?

Rick Santorum. On the dangers of Sharia law:
Rick Santorum on Friday asserted that Sharia law has no place in America.
Santorum added, “Sharia law is not just a religious code. It is also a governmental code. It happens to be both religious in nature an origin, but it is a civil code. And it is incompatible with the civil code of the United States.”
So mixing religion and the state is evil - but only just sometimes.

It's only OK when the certain acceptable religions are being mixed in with The State. But who decides when that happens? Politicians like Rick Santorum.

If Jefferson is spinning in his grave, it's because self-righteous politicians like Rick Santorum want more religion, but only their religion, in the public sphere.


spork_incident said...


I spend far too much time wondering if this conservative is stupid or that conservative is evil. Ricky, I think, is probably rock-stupid.

(Let me note here that having an advanced degree merely shows you've figured out how to work within a system, not how much you know or that you possess sound judgment.)

A guy like Bill Kristol, on the other hand, I think knows exactly what he's doing.


Heir to the Throne said...

Odd People like who bash ALL Catholic priests as pedophiles will defend social workers with a worst record.
Note that in the United States, 10,667 people made allegations of child sexual abuse between 1950 and 2002 against 4,392 priests. This represented around 4 percent of the 109,694 priests who were ordained and active during that time. Given that there were 13,000 allegations of abuse in one state representing one-fifteenth of the U.S. population in 2009 alone, this indicates that state social workers are 951 times more likely to abuse a disabled person under their supervision than a Catholic priest was to sexually abuse a child

Ol' Froth said...


Edward said...

Somebody on this blog defended teachers who abuse kids? Somebody on this blog defended state employees (who work at group homes) who abuse the mentally challenged?

Why don't Republicans talk about getting people jobs any more? Don't they care about voters?