That’s the thing: I literally cannot explain why someone who believes the things that Rick Santorum believes and says the things that Rick Santorum says can be a leading contender for a major party’s Presidential nomination this late in a campaign in the 21st Century. I can’t explain it because I genuinely can’t understand it.
I know that I keep saying the same thing, but I truly am embarrassed for my country. It hurts my heart to recognize that there is a large part of the population that agrees with Santorum and finds him appealing. He is a disgraceful, hate-filled, ignorant man. A religious extremist like Santorum should not be able to get as deep into the Presidential election process in a country like the United States. And I don’t use “religious extremist” lightly. The man as much of an extremist for Christianity as the proponents of Sharia law are extremists for Islam.
Everything begins and ends with religion for Rick Santorum, and his faith is a narrow-minded faith of exclusion that is completely absent of reason. As I have previously noted, Santorum is a man who said, “Intelligent design is a legitimate scientific theory that should be taught in science class.”
An even more frightening quote from Santorum is his argument last February that our “national religion” or “national faith” is rooted in Christianity:
“The idea that the Crusades and the fight of Christendom against Islam is somehow an aggression on our part is absolutely anti-historical. And that is what the perception is by the American left who hates Christendom. They hate Western civilization at the core. That’s the problem.
What I’m talking about is onward American soldiers. What we’re talking about are core American values. ‘All men are created equal’ — that’s a Christian value, but it’s an American value. It’s become part of our national religion, if you will. The point I was trying to make was that the national faith, the national ideal, is rooted in the Christian ideal — in the Judeo-Christian concept of the person.”
These are the words of a serious contender for the Presidency, and these are words that scare the shit out of me. I’m all for freedom of religion and I respect everyone’s faith or spiritual belief or choice to not believe. But when I start hearing things like “national religion”, my palms start sweating, the hair stands up on the back of my neck, and I wonder when the extremists are going to start acting like the Taliban and destroying cultural icons that don’t jive with their particular faith, or commanding that we start living our lives in the manner that their Bible says we should.
As Presidential campaigns continue and grow, the normal, sane candidate usually takes time to clarify remarks which may seem controversial or extreme, and that’s where we really are seeing proof of who Rick Santorum actually is. It was just Sunday morning when Santorum told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that John F. Kennedy’s 1960 speech to ministers in Houston makes him want to throw up. That speech was inspirational. It crossed religious, racial, and political party lines. It was a testament to the grand experiment in liberty which this nation was created from as JFK noted that his religion had nothing to do with his ability to protect and preserve the Constitution. Yet, that sentiment from Kennedy makes Santorum want to vomit.
That’s one of our leading contenders for the Presidency, my friends. That’s a man who made sure to add “I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.” I guess we’re from different Americas. Rick Santorum’s extreme religious ideology isn’t what the Founders intended for the President of a democratic republic; it’s more in line with being the Supreme Ayatollah of a theocracy. I am adamantly opposed to Rick Santorum not just because of his extremism or his ignorance or his boorish beliefs or his complete lack of understanding of people who are different than those who he sees at Church. My opposition is focused on the fact that people like him are dangerous and I am frightened for my country.