Enough of Rick Santorum’s sermons
By Richard Cohen, Published: February 27
“Mullah Rick has spoken.
He wants religion returned to “the public square,” is opposed to contraception, premarital sex and abortion under any circumstances, wants children educated in what amounts to little red schoolhouses and called President Obama a “snob” for extolling college or some other kind of post-high school education. This is not a political platform. It’s a fatwa.”
It’s a College, Not a Cloister
By FRANK BRUNI
Published: February 27, 2012
“What good are ideas formed and fortified in a protective cocoon, without exposure to other ways of thinking? Or convictions that haven’t been tested by, and defended against, competing ones?
Not much, I’d submit. And in this, as in so much else, I apparently part company with Rick Santorum.”
I recall the 1960 election very well. The fear of a Catholic in the presidency was quite real and quite un-necessary. JFK understood what all rational Americans did. The government of the United States had to be composed of men and women who placed and maintained their nation in a position superior to their religion. Kennedy made his awareness and acceptance of that quite clear. As a result, enough people overcame their fears of the Vatican to allow an election based upon political matters instead of how who prayed.
That issue should have been settled for good in 1960. However, the professional evangelicals, mostly Protestants who considered Catholics and Mormons to be idolatrous non-Christians, discovered that they had no problem with a de facto state church as long as it was bringing in fortunes to the front men. Therefore, they’ve spent decades building up organizations that are nominally churches but are little more than political parties clothed in choir robes, ready to rise up and vote as directed from the pulpit.
The Roman Catholic Church has always been about controlling government. The current American branch is willing to lock arms with the evangelicals in order to circumvent the 1st Amendment. Thus, we find our election campaigns bringing up questions that were politically and ethically determined and settled decades ago in order to stir up a voter base that is suddenly more afraid of a black man in the presidency than it is of the Vatican’s insistence upon restoring divine right government.
Such vehemently argued campaign issues should be allowed to burn out in rational discussions between qualified and logical candidates for office. But this cycle the number of religious fanatics, candidates who have no clear platform beyond their desire to push their creation mythos and religious codes of misconduct onto everyone else, is far higher than usual.
Palin believes that humans and dinosaurs co-existed. Perry held official prayer events that failed to produce rain. Bachmann does not accept evolution but believes that a supreme being told her husband what she should study. Gingrich shift religions as often as he shifts wives. Romney and Huntsman both wear magic Mormon underwear, and Santorum is the favored candidate to head up the next inquisition. Collectively they all wish to roll back the social, political, and cultural calendar to the 7th century or earlier.
Santorum now claims that Kennedy’s pronouncement concerning the place of religion in American politics makes him vomit. Dan Quayle was once brutally put down by Lloyd Benson, being told that he was not qualified to follow on in JFK’s footsteps.
It is too bad that Benson is here to stand one against one with Santorum. The fight would be quick, bloody, and Santorum would be sent packing. He’s not only no Jack Kennedy, he’s not even a Dan Quayle.