Slander From Santorum: Former Senator Once Again Proves That He's No Jack Kennedy
Rob Boston printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 09:42:59 AM EST
I've criticized former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum previously for his poor understanding of church-state separation.

Santorum believes President John F. Kennedy was wrong when, in a famous 1960 speech, Kennedy vowed to be the president of all people and make his policy decisions not on the basis of what his Roman Catholic faith demanded but on the grounds of what was good for the country.

Here in part is what Kennedy said in his Sept. 12, 1960, address in Houston:

"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 accepts 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."

Good stuff, that.

Santorum disagrees. During a recent speech in Newton, Mass., Santorum said he was "frankly appalled" by Kennedy's statement, adding, "That was a radical statement [that did] great damage."

Continued Santorum, "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. Jefferson is spinning in his grave."

To Santorum, I can only say: Look, it's bad enough that you run around talking trash about Kennedy, but adding Jefferson to your Festival of Ignorance is just too much. Leave the man out of it.  You apparently know nothing about him.

Jefferson spent his entire life opposing government-mandated religion and fought every member of the clergy who supported that foul idea. Here's a famous example: During the election of 1800, presidential candidate Jefferson knew that many New England preachers were yearning to win favoritism for their faith from the federal government. He also knew that they hated him because they realized he would never let that happen. That's why they spread wild tales about Jefferson being a libertine who, if elected, would burn Bibles.

Wrote Jefferson to Benjamin Rush, "The returning good sense of our country threatens abortion to their hopes, & they believe that any portion of power confided to me will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." (Those words might sound familiar; they're carved on the Jefferson Memorial here in Washington, D.C.)

If anything is causing Jefferson to spin in his grave, it would be the machinations of people like Santorum, who want to mix church and state into a poisonous theocratic gumbo and force-feed it to the American people.

No thanks, Rick. We know all about the theocracies you admire so much. They don't work because they crush human freedom. We found a better way: separation of church and state. Supporting that good old American concept is hardly "radical." In fact, I'd say the real radicals are the ones who want to tear it down.

Believe what you want about religion, Rick. Pray, go to mass and engage in other religious activities of your choosing. But don't think you can turn this country into a modern version of medieval Spain with iPods and Twitter. We won't have it.

In his famous speech, JFK eloquently laid out a vision of freedom of religion for all in a country that did not presume to aid or hinder faith. The choice of whether to take part in a faith community is always yours. Santorum has made his vision clear as well. It's one that crushes freedom under the heavy heel of government-sponsored religion.

I think I know which vision the American people prefer.




Display:
I think I know which vision the American people prefer.

I hope you're right, and that they prefer freedom.  So far, everything I've seen (in the last few years) suggests that a majority of the American people prefer that their favorite church gets government support and there is no freedom for anyone else.

They express it in terms of "reducing government and lowering taxes", but when pushed, the reality comes out.  We also see the reality because the end result of the moves being made now will achieve the goals that the dominionists/religious right laid out decades ago.

The sorts of things I've been hearing in the last few months suggest that freedom is being redefined to the public as "freedom to enjoy life at your expense", and if I'm right, this is being done to give freedom a bad name.  The P/D/F churches I attended preached "Freedom in Christ", but you were only free in their eyes when you gave up your freedom and became completely obedient (especially to their preachers).  They've had experience redefining freedom into something totally opposite, and so the idea that they would do it again wouldn't surprise me.

The sad thing is that the people as I perceive them achieve their goal of having freedom for their form of religion only, they will learn to their eventual horror and surprise that they aren't free either.

(I admit that it may be because of the area in which we live, but the moves I read about in other states suggest that this area isn't that much worse than any other.)


by ArchaeoBob on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 10:05:24 AM EST


...  is the idea that burdensome government could be eradicated if society would adhere to biblical principles.  I think Rob Boston is right when he says Americans don't want theocracy, but theocratic libertarianism has become a slickly marketed and appealing package, at least on the surface.

Supposedly there is going to be unprecedented freedom in America when you tear down the bureaucratic structure, eradicate regulation and end social safety nets.  I wonder how many people realize that if you follow the ideology being promoted by the Religious Right to its fruition, the void is then filled with adherence to biblical law?

Whether the Tea Parties acknowledge it or not, the ideology of theocratic libertarianism can also be found throughout their media which is heavily saturated with narratives from: 1) Christian Reconstruction and other variants of Christian Dominionism, 2) the John Birch Society, and 3) the Ludwig von Mises Institute which blends anti-statism with right wing religion.  

No, Americans don't want theocracy, but theocracy camouflaged as freedom from government is currently a bestseller.

by Rachel Tabachnick on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 11:25:37 AM EST


-- but Santorum's comments on JFK remind me of a frequent confusion of deities in the popular press. Each of us exists in some relationship with the Universe -- let's call that our individual spirituality. Of that, many of not most of us give particular respect and or devotion to God in some form or function. The means by which we relate to God we often call our religion -- a tool we use to manifest our spirituality. Santorum mistakes the tool for the Deity and condemns JFK for not making the same mistake.

by Khalila RedBird on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 12:14:39 PM EST
-- to cut the rest of us off from our toolboxes?

by Khalila RedBird on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 12:16:57 PM EST
Parent


I've never forgotten how Santorum, while a Senator debating additional restrictions on abortion, made the claim that women who are "really" raped secrete a hormone that keeps them from getting pregnant. Thus he didn't think an exception in the case of rape was necessary, because if the woman got pregnant, it proved she wasn't "really" raped. I've tried to find some archive of reporting on this on the internet with no success, so if anyone locates a site, I'd appreciate knowing.

by MLouise on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 01:58:19 PM EST
The Religious Right seems to be trying to come up with any sort of reason whatsoever to totally ban abortions, and it seems that they're coming up with them and 'throwing them against the wall to see if any stick', so to speak.

A bill was recently released in Florida to ban any abortion which is funded even partially by public dollars - essentially eliminating poor women from getting the help they might need.

http://floridaindependent.com/24276/state-house-panel-approves-bi ll-restricting-abortion-access

One of the politicians said that any "health of the woman" provision let an "amorphous exception" where people could get "elective" abortions, so they couldn't have any provisions whatsoever that made an abortion possible.

by ArchaeoBob on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 12:12:17 PM EST
Parent




WWW Talk To Action


American Renewal Project
On my journey to the American Renewal Project in Austin, Texas, I listened to hard right talk radio out of Houston.  There was an......
By wilkyjr (4 comments)
`Just Go Somewhere Else!': A Cavalier Dismissal Of A Serious Concern
A few years ago, I took part in a panel discussion on church-state issues at a Seventh-day Adventist church in Takoma Park, Md. During......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
John Dorhauer Puts Christian Right on Notice
Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer was a front pager here at Talk to Action years before he was elected General Minister and President of the......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Father Of Falsehoods: Why Ted Cruz's Dad Is Wrong About Prayer In Schools
Many misconceptions abound about the issue of prayer in schools, and some people persist in believing a lot of myths. One of the most......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
A Texas Size Conspiracy
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has recently been indicted by a grand jury for an illegal investment scheme.  He faces felony charges. Word has......
By wilkyjr (1 comment)
Are the Anti-Planned Parenthood Smear Videos... Investigative Journalism?
I have been glad to see journalism catching up with the anti-Planned Parenthood scam videos. From The Huffington Post to the New England Journal......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Liberty's Latest Ploy: What's Up With The Sanders Invite?
The announcement that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will speak at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., Sept. 14 has left a lot of people......
By Rob Boston (4 comments)
Creeping Christian Rightism in the Democratic Party
The executive director of a DC group with deep roots in the Democratic faith outreach schemes of a decade ago, has a regular column......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Ghosts Over Mississippi
     Clinton, Mississippi is home to historic Mississippi College.  The Southern Baptist school is owned by the state Baptist convention in the Magnolia......
By wilkyjr (0 comments)
The Cardinal's Gasbag: Catholic League Leader Rushes To Defend Dolan From AU Criticism
There is a thing called Godwin's Law on the internet. It holds that if an online argument goes on long enough, someone will drag......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
The Theocratic Politics of Raphael Cruz
"There's a relationship there that's unlike any in American history to my knowledge. We've just never seen anything remotely like this...   I believe......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
An Assassin's Motivation?
On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof quietly sat in the prayer meeting at African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina before he shot......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
Christian Right Turns to Nullification to Counter Marriage Equality
Last year in The Public Eye magazine, Rachel Tabachnick and Frank L. Cocozzelli warned of the trend on the religious and political Right toward......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Historian Gerald Horne on Charleston, Church, & Slave Resistance
Professor Gerald Horne of the University of Houston notes the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church was at the center of Black resistance to slavery......
By Chip Berlet (1 comment)
The Zealots Strike Back: Latest Religious Right Sputtering Over Marriage Equality Is More Weak Tea
I've been monitoring the Religious Right's response to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on marriage equality, and I'm not impressed.So far, the reaction of......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)

Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (2 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (2 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (0 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (0 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (10 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (4 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (2 comments)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (1 comment)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (5 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (4 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (4 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (4 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.