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"Santorum Exposes the Real Republican Party"


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#1 BklnScott

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 10:08 PM

http://andrewsulliva...f-santorum.html

I don't much like Andrew Sullivan but he writes insightfully on what fuels far-right wing Catholic theocrats like Santorum and generally on right-wing theoconservatism.  (And he has been saying this stuff for years.)  This is well worth the read.

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What's fascinating to me about Santorum's outburst yesterday was not its content, but its candor. In fact, one of Santorum's advantages in this race, especially against Romney, is that we can see exactly where he stands. There can be no absolute separation of church and state, let alone a desire to keep it so; and in their necessary interactions, the church must always prevail, or it is a violation of the First Amendment, and an attack on religious freedom. The church's teachings are also, according to theoconservatism, integral to the founding of the United States. Since constitutional rights are endowed from the Creator, and the Creator is the Judeo-Christian one, the notion of a neutral public square, embraced by liberals and those once called conservatives, is an attack on America. America is a special nation because of this unique founding on the Judeo-Christian God. It must therefore always be guided by God's will, and that will is self-evident to anyone, Catholic or Protestant, atheist or Mormon, Jew or Muslim, from natural law.

Hence the notion that America could countenance abortion or same-sex marriage is anathema to Santorum and to theoconservatism. It can only be explained as the work of Satan, so alien is it to the principles of Judeo-Christian America. Hence the resort to constitutional amendments to ban both: total resolutions of these issues for ever must reflect what theocons believe was in the Founders' hearts and minds.

This has long been the theocon argument ...

For Santorum, as for Ratzinger, if your conscience says one thing, and the Pope says another, you obey the Pope, not your conscience. And for the Christianists, if your conscience or intelligence says one thing, and the Bible says another, you obey the Bible, not your conscience, and certainly not your intelligence. Because beneath Christianism is a deep fear of the human mind - as if they actually believe that reason is stronger than religion and therefore must be restrained. As if the human mind can will God out of existence.

This is Santorum's fear-laden vision. Which is why he is not a man of questioning, sincere faith and should not be flattered as such. He is a man of the kind of fear that leads to fundamentalist faith, a faith without doubt and in complete subservience to external authority. There is a reason he doesn't want many kids to go to college. I mean: when we already know the truth, why bother to keep seeking it? And if we already know the truth, why are we not enforcing it as a matter of law in a country founded on Christian principles? It is not religious oppression if it is "the way things are supposed to be", by natural law. In fact, a neutral public square, in his mind, is itself religious oppression.

...

I am relieved he is at least candid. For now we can see in plain view the religious fanaticism that has destroyed one of the major parties in this country, a destruction that is perilous for any workable politics. It must be defeated - and not by electing a plastic liar and panderer like Romney. But by nominating Santorum and defeating him by such a margin that this theo-political Frankenstein, which threatens both genuine faith and civil politics, is dispatched once and for all.

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#2 offworlder

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 10:31 PM

wait, which church?
' The church's teachings are also, according to theoconservatism, integral to the founding of the United States. Since constitutional rights are endowed from the Creator, and the Creator is the Judeo-Christian one, the notion of a neutral public square, embraced by liberals and those once called conservatives, is an attack on America.
'

but beside that, I usually have a problem with one person telling me where someone else stands, or means;

he should use quotes to tell it from the subject himself eh?
"(Do you read what they say online?) I check out all these scandalous rumours about me and Elijah Wood having beautiful sex with each other ... (are they true?) About Elijah and me being boyfriend and boyfriend? Absolutely true. We've been together for about nine years. I wooed him. No I just like a lot of stuff - I like that someone says one thing and it becomes fact. It's kind of fun." --Dominic Monaghan in a phone interview with Newsweek while buying DVDs at the store. :D

#3 QueenTiye

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 10:35 PM

No, if he put it in quotes, it would mean that Santorum actually said those things.  Putting it in quotes would just about be slander.  Andrew Sullivan is writing an opinion piece articulating his understanding of Santorum, based on Santorum's public statements.  He cannot call it a quote, and he is entitled to his view of where Santorum is coming from.  If there are other views contra that, by all means, bring them forth.

I read this piece earlier today, and thought it was pretty accurate - at least in Santorum's current strategy.  
QT

Edited by QueenTiye, 27 February 2012 - 10:35 PM.

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#4 Christopher

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:11 PM

Santorum scares me.  The attitude voiced in his campaign is basically identical to that of the Taliban and other Wahhabist fundamentalists: that a profoundly restrictive, reactionary interpretation of religion should control the state and dictate how people are allowed to lead their lives, that plurality of views and modernity should be rejected wholesale, and that any freedoms not compatible with their narrow beliefs should be eliminated.  They differ in which religion they want to impose on everyone, but the mentality is otherwise the same.

Or no, what scares me isn't Santorum himself so much as the fact that there's apparently an audience out there that he's pandering to with these professed views (because, really, Republican candidates these days are so prepackaged and marketed that the things they say on the campaign trail are more likely to represent what their handlers think their constituency wants to hear than what they personally believe).  The idea that there's a faction in this country that wants to turn it into an intolerant theocratic state is rather terrifying.  What if they, like their counterparts in the Islamic world, come to the conclusion that they need to impose God's will by force?

Anyway, what's ironic, and perhaps disturbing, is that while I was reading this thread about how profoundly far to the right Santorum is, on my TV there was an ad from Romney savaging Santorum for being too liberal.  Which is the whole reason the Republican Party has gone so far astray; everyone's pushing so hard to be further to the right of everyone else that ideas that used to be standard conservative doctrine are now condemned as too leftist.  Conservative has given way to reactionary, and yet they still keep striving to be even more and more to the right, even closer to toppling off the edge of reality altogether.  It's like the political equivalent of severe dysmorphic disorder.

Edited by Christopher, 27 February 2012 - 11:18 PM.

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#5 DarthMarley

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:48 PM

I agree.
As a more conservative leaning person, Santorum pisses me off to the point of turning me off to the GOP as a whole.
I don't get livid about it, but I think people who are inclined to support him as a candidate totally miss the point of what is good and noble about conservative thought.

Odds are that every little amusing dig a liberal tosses up reminds me of some feature of Santorum's message that isn't so offputting though.
If a liberal complains about home schooling, I think of relatives who were home schooled (with mixed results, and for different motives).

So, while I find Santorum unacceptable, I also find so much of the intolerant complaints about him, or his supporters, also unworthy of leadership.
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#6 QueenTiye

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 07:04 AM

I just read an article that stated that a very large and growing number of homeschooled kids are growing up in liberal households, so you can always throw that up at anyone who undiscriminately slams homeschooling. My only problem with homeschooling is when it's done to duck science. I wanted very much to homeschool my son, because I felt I could give him a richer experience, more steeped in black history, and more holistic. Financial picture prevented me from actually doing so.

QT

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#7 Christopher

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:46 AM

I don't understand why a liberal would be against home schooling, and I've never heard that opinion expressed before.  I'm a staunch liberal myself and I think home schooling is a great idea.  Heck, in a lot of ways I learned more from my own independent curiosity than I did from the standard school curriculum, which is outdated and badly in need of fundamental reform.

After all, the very meaning of the word "liberal" is open-minded and tolerant.  Any true liberal respects people's right to make their own choices; the reason liberals support a strong state is because we believe it's the only way to reliably ensure that everyone's rights and freedoms are uniformly defended, regardless of how rich or powerful they are.  So naturally we'd support people's right to choose home schooling.

From what QT says, it sounds like some people are using home schooling to keep their children from learning science, which I assume is so they can be indoctrinated with creationist beliefs.  I can understand people raising objections to that practice, to deliberately keeping children handicapped by denying them the kind of education that will let them function in the high-tech, postindustrial world; but anyone who's opposed to all home schooling because of that one single use of it is reacting most irrationally, throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
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#8 psycaz

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 09:28 AM

Like him or hate him, at least Santorum is being upfront on what he believes in and stands for.

I actually appreciate that. I won't vote for him, but acknowledge and appreciate the honesty.

#9 BklnScott

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 09:44 AM

View PostDarthMarley, on 27 February 2012 - 11:48 PM, said:

I agree.
As a more conservative leaning person, Santorum pisses me off to the point of turning me off to the GOP as a whole.
I don't get livid about it, but I think people who are inclined to support him as a candidate totally miss the point of what is good and noble about conservative thought.

Odds are that every little amusing dig a liberal tosses up reminds me of some feature of Santorum's message that isn't so offputting though.
If a liberal complains about home schooling, I think of relatives who were home schooled (with mixed results, and for different motives).

So, while I find Santorum unacceptable, I also find so much of the intolerant complaints about him, or his supporters, also unworthy of leadership.

While I can understand the impulse to defend the team, I can't imagine any but the most extreme theocratic right defending Santorum's broadsides against the separation of church and state ("...makes me want to throw up...")  and women's health (especially saying he would use the bully pulpit of the presidency to rail against use of contraceptives).

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#10 Omega

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 09:45 AM

These people desperately need to read more history. All they say in school is that the pilgrims left England due to religious persecution. The exact nature of that persecution is almost never addressed, at least in my hearing. They left because one group of Christians got their particular brand of Christianity enshrined in law, and were using that power to kill other groups of Christians. The same had been going on all over Europe for well over a hundred years by that point. Avoiding that kind of thing is exactly why we have separation of church and state!
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#11 Balderdash

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:51 AM

View PostOmega, on 28 February 2012 - 09:45 AM, said:

These people desperately need to read more history. All they say in school is that the pilgrims left England due to religious persecution. The exact nature of that persecution is almost never addressed, at least in my hearing. They left because one group of Christians got their particular brand of Christianity enshrined in law, and were using that power to kill other groups of Christians. The same had been going on all over Europe for well over a hundred years by that point. Avoiding that kind of thing is exactly why we have separation of church and state!


Exactly, thank you.   :)

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#12 Mark

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:53 AM

Mark: I agree with Christopher. Santorum is scary.
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#13 Omega

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 11:01 AM

You can't legislate Christianity because that leaves the very important question: whose Christianity? Mine? Santorum's? Gingrich's? Romney's? Obama's? Bush's? Clinton's? Westboro's?
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#14 DarthMarley

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 04:31 PM

View PostBklnScott, on 28 February 2012 - 09:44 AM, said:


While I can understand the impulse to defend the team, I can't imagine any but the most extreme theocratic right defending Santorum's broadsides against the separation of church and state ("...makes me want to throw up...")  and women's health (especially saying he would use the bully pulpit of the presidency to rail against use of contraceptives).

Indeed, it is an emotional impulse to react to the "other side" gaining some legitimate traction.

I can support Gingrich, but he gets separation of C&S wrong as well. I just don't think he is so off base, and is pandering more than a little.

Santorum should be unelectable.
In one of my RSS readings a few days ago, I ran in to this:

http://www.nytimes.c...ated-party.html

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“Republicans being against sex is not good,” the G.O.P. strategist Alex Castellanos told me mournfully. “Sex is popular.”

And there were a few right wing blog articles on the controversy of some prude complaining about conservative women wearing short skirts and such things.

http://www.frugal-ca...rvatives-video/

The deeper links document the stupidity.

http://pjmedia.com/t...up-a-few-fleas/

There are amusing articles on the CPAC matter that are not covered in the deep links there though.

And this is what will push the conservative argument very far aside.
I have reconciled myself to the republic surviving 4 more years of Obama.
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#15 Orpheus

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 11:27 AM

I'll take a major theocratic candidate seriously when they reject the rights of artificial persons (corporations) because they have no soul, and therefore no basis for moral action/decision or the rights endowed by The Creator.

I'm not saying I'd support a theocrat then. I'm just saying that until that day, they're just pseudo-pious opportunists

(And where does it say "Judeo-Christian" Creator? Nowhere. I've always considered the use of 'Creator' instead of 'God' a deliberate dodge. We know some Founding Fathers didn't believe in the common conception of God at that time, but recognized, as rulers in most times have, the necessity of making a bow to prevailing beliefs)

Though Santorum's ilk may have considered Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, etc. (the majority of the world) weirdo outliers in their myopic vanilla world until recently, those traditions were well-known exemplars to the 18th cent. Founding Fathers -- the world at large was still a foreign place, outside the small "civilized" core of [one's own personal version of] Christendom; the colonies themselves faced an outnumbering non-Christian native population daily! Santorum's Catholics were widely distrusted/disparaged as not Christians but "Papists" in the Protestant colonies.

The logic presented relies on unspoken assumptions that are not just unsupported, but contradicted in he historical literature


#16 offworlder

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 01:59 PM

View PostOmega, on 28 February 2012 - 09:45 AM, said:

These people desperately need to read more history. All they say in school is that the pilgrims left England due to religious persecution. The exact nature of that persecution is almost never addressed, at least in my hearing. They left because one group of Christians got their particular brand of Christianity enshrined in law, and were using that power to kill other groups of Christians. The same had been going on all over Europe for well over a hundred years by that point. Avoiding that kind of thing is exactly why we have separation of church and state!
yes the Irish had that same damn problem in the early 19th century and so so many had to leave, because of that
gov enshrined thing, laws against them, could not buy or own land, could not hold any office, and etc, so they
came over to Aus and NZ and Canada and USA and many other places- what would happen if a Santorum type gov in
USA enshrined against whole populations?
"(Do you read what they say online?) I check out all these scandalous rumours about me and Elijah Wood having beautiful sex with each other ... (are they true?) About Elijah and me being boyfriend and boyfriend? Absolutely true. We've been together for about nine years. I wooed him. No I just like a lot of stuff - I like that someone says one thing and it becomes fact. It's kind of fun." --Dominic Monaghan in a phone interview with Newsweek while buying DVDs at the store. :D

#17 Cardie

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 04:46 PM

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The attitude voiced in his campaign is basically identical to that of the Taliban and other Wahhabist fundamentalists: that a profoundly restrictive, reactionary interpretation of religion should control the state and dictate how people are allowed to lead their lives, that plurality of views and modernity should be rejected wholesale, and that any freedoms not compatible with their narrow beliefs should be eliminated. They differ in which religion they want to impose on everyone, but the mentality is otherwise the same.


This is why theocracies are so dangerous. Their beliefs may counter those of other faiths but their mentalities about how nations should be governed are the same.

It reminds me of the time we interviewed a job candidate for a position in Renaissance lit and were worried because he was a committed atheist-Marxist and one particularly cantankerous prof on the interview committee was a fervent evangelical Protestant. It turned out that they got along famously, although disagreeing on about everything, because they were both fanatics and didn't get riled by the rigid orthodoxy of the other: that was what a true ideologue was supposed to do, in their eyes--forget the wishy-washy compromisers.i

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#18 Bad Wolf

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 01:29 PM

This is a great article.  I especially appreciate his insight on the difference between a man being informed by his religious beliefs but having public policy be dictated by secular edicts.  That's it, in a nutshell.  One can be religious.  But the separation is an institutional one.
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