Rick Santorum’s pronouncements from 2008 are coming back to bite him, now that he’s a serious contender for the GOP’s nomination. His statements that “The theory of evolution… is used to promote to a worldview that is anti-theist, that is atheist” and that Satan “attacks all of us and he attacks all of our institutions” – including not just academia and politics but also the entire protestant religion – are rightly coming under scrutiny.
But, as Ed Kilgore writes today, a lot of the scrutiny is missing the point. Santorum isn’t just indulging in superstition over logic and science, he’s using that superstition to drive a narrative about holy war in a secular setting.
Largely missing in the discussion of Santorum’s subscription to a supernatural cosmology is the fact that he views American history as essentially a struggle between ”œtrue Christians” like himself on the one hand, and Beelzebub on the other, in which the latter has already conquered academia and mainline Protestantism, and is by inference exercising his infernal control via the policies of that noted former academic and mainline Protestant, the President of the United States. Much of what Santorum has to say about current events is heavily colored by this ”œworldview,” most notably the belief that the president and his devilish supporters are laboring to wipe out ”œtrue” Christianity by forcing its staunch defenders, from the U.S. Conference of Bishops to innocent job-creators, to become complicit in such idolatrous practices as the slaughter of zygotes and the worship of the false idols of reproductive rights and the Environmental Earth-Goddess.
By ignoring all this and simply mocking Santorum as someone too unsophisticated to understand the supernatural as a fairy tale for rubes, his MSM tormenters are not only letting him off the hook for his sinister interpretation of politics as holy war, but are doing him the signal service of reinforcing his manichean vision of America torn between humble believers and derisive, self-satisfied elites.
The original speech that caused all the furore was delivered at Ave Maria University in Florida, an institution run by the conservative Catholic group Opus Dei. While Santorum has consistently denied being a member of Opus Dei, despite travelling to Rome in 2002 to deliver a speech at the centenary celebration for the group’s founder, his beliefs are generally consistent with Opus Dei’s rather than mainstream Catholicism. As one senior prelate told Time in 2006, “their approach is preconciliar. They originated prior to the Second Vatican Council, and they don’t want to dialogue with society as they find it.” It’s not about dialogue – it’s about “my way or the highway to Hell”. The danger of slipping down that highway is plenty reason, for Santorum, to advocate ending the seperation of Church and State – as long as the Church part conforms to his own beliefs, not just Catholic beliefs but Santorum’s conservative, preconciliar version of them.
Tolerance is not in Santorum’s lexicon, and he doesn’t think it should be in any Christian’s.
And so when you say, ”œYou’ve got to be more like us. You’ve got to be religiously tolerant.” That means introducing an element into society, which I would argue is not what Christendom is all about, is not what Christianity is all about.
In fact, he seems to have more sympathy with the likes of Al Qaeda and other fundementalists.
I think a lot of Muslims legitimately look at Christendom and say, ”œThey are hedonistic and secular. This tolerance has resulted in an abandonment of faith.”
And they aren’t willing to sacrifice what they think, and I think, is a much more important thing ”“ which is your eternal soul ”” for modern political reforms.
So not only a Holy War at home to bring Santorum’s vision of the catholic church into your homes, but also a war of Civilizations? That’s a feature, not a bug.
And of course, Christianity always flowers when it’s persecuted. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church. And so, we will reach a point ”“ I think it’s gonna be unfortunate ”“ but I think we will reach a point with the blood of the martyrs in Europe, it will start to happen. And it will be the fertile ground in which the Church will regrow.
See, I didn’t mean “Holy War” in some wishy-washy sense, and neither does Santorum. He has a calling.
you asked that question about my faith. I’ve been led blindly, in some cases, by the conviction that I’m here to do something.
A calling to wage war for your very soul.