Steve Klingaman

Steve Klingaman
Location
Minneapolis, Minnesota,
Birthday
January 01
Title
Consultant/Writer
Bio
Steve Klingaman is a nonprofit development consultant and nonfiction writer specializing in personal finance and public policy. His music reviews can be found at minor7th.com.

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 15, 2012 8:25AM

Rick Santorum and the Politicization of Religion

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Rick Santorum, children’s advocate.

media.knoxnews.com.com 

March is Rick Santorum’s moment to strut the stage like a minor Shakespearean buffoon, who mortifies but entertains the crowd before he is yanked behind the curtain.  Much of his message is old news, but he also represents a movement to insert the most conservative brand of Catholic theology into secular political discourse.  But Catholic voters reject this guy.  Why?  Despite the church’s rightward drift under Pope Benedict, the church has had an at times uneasy relationship with Opus Dei and Regnum Christi, two branches of Catholic lay practice that Santorum endorses and that have been highly suspect to many within the church.

            Of the two groups, Regnum Christi is the more virulent.  It is the lay branch of the Legion of Christ order founded by child rapist and bigamist Father Marcial Maciel.  According to the New York Times, Santorum has long been a supporter of the group and in 2003 was the keynote speaker at a Regnum Christi event in Chicago.  Though this occurred a decade ago, Maciel, who had been under investigation since the 70s, was already well on his way to repudiation by the church.

            According to a 1997 Hartford Courant article, Maciel was accused of serial sexual abuse including young children. Maciel's accusers included “a priest, a guidance counselor, a professor, an engineer, a lawyer, and a former priest who became a university professor,” according to a Wikipedia summary of the article.  Maciel was investigated by no less that by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVIl, who presumably spurred Maciel’s removal from his leadership position of the Legion.  By 2010, the church referred to Maciel thusly:

  • an "immoral" double life "devoid of scruples and authentic religious sentiment."
  • “the very serious and objectively immoral acts"
  • "true crimes and manifest a life without scruples or authentic religious sentiment"

            Anyone vaguely familiar with the church’s agonizingly slow response to the preponderance of evidence concerning its decades-long priestly sex scandal has to find the straightforward nature of this condemnation rather striking.  And yet Maciel’s legacy, Regnum Christi, is a pet project of Santorum.

“The Culture Did It”

            Rick Santorum has followed the lead of many apologists for the Catholic sex scandal, which cost the U.S. church $2.6 billion in settlements from 1950 to 2009; he blamed the culture. He said:

It is startling that those in the media and academia appear most disturbed by this aberrant behavior, since they have zealously promoted moral relativism by sanctioning "private" moral matters such as alternative lifestyles. Priests, like all of us, are affected by culture. When the culture is sick, every element in it becomes infected. While it is no excuse for this scandal, it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm.

In fact, by 1957, Catholic cleric Gerald Fitzgerald, who established church treatment centers for offending priests in the U.S. wrote:

If I were a bishop, I would tremble when I failed to report them [sexual offenders] to Rome for involuntary laicization.  Experience has taught us these men are too dangerous to the children of the parish and the neighborhood for us to be justified in receiving them here....They should ipso facto be reduced to lay men when they act thus.

That sounds to me like the observations of a man who has experienced interactions with sexual offenders on a systemic basis.

            The truth is, the Catholic sex scandal is about cheating, not permissive culture or moral relativism.  It is about cheating on vows, on common decency, and the law.  To believers, it is about cheating on God.  But most of all, it’s about cheating children.  It’s about cheating them out of their lives, and the disease runs in the priestly culture of the church to a far greater extent than the culture as a whole.

            If the separation of church and state makes Santorum want to “throw up,” it’s up to us to grasp the true meaning of his reliance on Catholicism’s more cultish offshoots to understand what he has in mind for the nation.  If he wants to bring religion front and center onto the national stage, we really ought to look at the historical and cultural antecedents he represents.

            His recent biography, which includes a private audience with the Pope in 2000, aligns his personal actions and beliefs very closely with the strictures of Opus Dei. The group had been widely criticized for its misogyny, secrecy, and rightwing ideology.  Santorum is strutting the stage proclaiming his soul-on-sleeve religiosity, but I think there exists a great deal more that we might want to know about his grand plans for a saintlier society.  Despite his strutting, he remains a pig in a poke when it comes to contemplating him as Confessor-in-Chief.

 

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Yes, Santorum is a scary guy with repressive ideas. And it is disturbing to me how many red state voters like him for being "a good, upstanding Christian man." Of course, many of them also believe in creationism...
This is an excellent post and I hope to see more about it if his road to power is increased. He has a very bold approach to religion and it has no place in our modern world. He is in denial himself about the intensity of his beliefs but he will be ousted out when it is all put out in the air to dry. Thank you so much for this and I hope to read more as we see him twist and turn in the glare of the public eye. Bring him down.
Yes, Regnum Christi fits his vision of a world where the wealthy have their place and the poor theirs, even in matters of faith! He is a sanctimonious jerk who is so very dangerous! R
Some pundit this morning opined that Sant won't win this time, but he might get VP and be in position to go for prez more strongly next time.

One can only hope that the liberal/conservative pendulum will have gone back the other way by then...but I doubt it. I don't see an end to Hard Times, and society tends to retreat into Traditional mode in hard times. (Or, hey, explode into New&Different...)

Hmm. The acceptance of a Catholic by far-right Protestants is most unfortunate. When they despised each other, we secularists were safer...
"While it is no excuse for this scandal", I'm going to us it anyway.
Pope Rick I

That this man is being taken seriously by a substantial portion of the electorate is far more chilling than even he is.
You know, I've kind of thought that Santorum was out there on the fringes but I had no idea that he was this scary and worrisome (that's putting it mildly and politely).
@Baltimore
Like many who lack an in depth knowledge of the Bible -- including most self-proclaimed devout Christians, you are mistaken about the true meaning of "spill your seed upon the ground". That passage is not about masturbation, it's about withdrawal. Onan usied his dead brother's wife for sexual pleasure without fulfilling his brotherly duty to try and impregnate her, and thus provide her with children to care and provide for her in her old age.

The story of Onan is a cautionary tale about the consequences of failing to live up to tribal strictures intended to mitigate the abject poverty widows and orphans would otherwise be subject to. Thus, were young men warned that God will slay them for failing to fulfill that obligation.

Somehow, this got translated to mean masturbate and you'll go blind. That shows yet again how screwed up religion has become about sex. Another example? With seven billion people on the planet, idiots are still harking to their duty to "be fruitful and multiply".

God save us from your followers.
The curious thing about Stigmata Santorum is he's losing the Catholic vote. Curious to many, but not surprising to Catholics. I long ago observed their schools will fill many with enough knowledge to eloquently question every element of Catholic dogma. There has always been a dual-Catholicism conflict between strict dogma and ground-level realism. In Resurrection Rick's case, they know he's a demagogue, so most are willing to throw him to the Protestants. His problem there is he's merely a default candidate, so the support is not-Mormon instead of pro-Rick.
His significant accomplishment in his quest for the Holy Grail is to inflict immeasurable damage on the GOP, mostly with women.
Yet he will go full-term, until the convention, prompting GOP strategists to reconsider the Party's objection to abortion.
One can speculate, not knowing for sure, that the reason this blob of used lube for a brain is so vehement is the full knowledge that his wife was, for years, living with an Abortion Doctor 40+ her senior in sin when she first met the young, bearded, pipe-smoking, wish he were a Bohemian Dick Santeria the college man. Unable to reconcile her past, which she had every right to, and, when she broke things off with Grandpa, er, her boyfriend the abortion doctor, she told him of her new beau, "He's a Humanist!"

Truth hits everybody and thanks to the web you can't hide it anymore. The South supports Santorum when only a few years ago they reviled anything Catholic, and flocked before that to the Pope fearing Know Nothings.

"I Know Nothing." The greeting of the past for the rabid, the policy of today for the GOP.
I offer a play on your title: the religionization of politics -- religion has always been, first and foremost, a political entity. When respect demands stupidity, nobody wins. Such is the current state of affairs in America.
From the beginning of the GOP primary battle it was openly discussed that the Bible Belt evangelicals would vehemently reject Romney. Santorum is the most overtly religious "Christian" in the race, therefore he is receiving the support of the southern red states. This is no embrace of Catholicism, it is merely a knee jerk rejection of Mormonism. Catholics rejecting Santorum are not voting "for" or "against" religion. They are actually looking at the candidate's platforms.
I repeat myself, but ... I will be more than mildly surprised if the GOP ticket doesn't end up Romney/Santorum. That will allow Mitt to do his flopping-fish walk back to the center. The electorate -- which can't be misunderestimated -- will swallow the Kool-Aid, and the election will be thisclose, tho I am at present unable to predict a winner.

But even a narrow Obama victory isn't really a victory -- not for sanity, at any rate. By rights, this election should be a cakewalk, an 80-20 victory would reflect rationality. But alas, we will be "blessed" yet again with a 50.5 to 49.5 victory by one side or the other, and the Moral Abhority will be even more determined to turn this into a theocracy practicing Christian Sharia.

Where's my proof? Wait for it ... wait for it ... wheeeeeeere's Johnny?
Tom,
Once Romney gets the nod, he and the Party will put as much distance between the ticket and Ricket as can be had without loading Your Abusive Ex-Husband into a rocket bound for the sun.

The religious right will vote GOP anyway, and because their leaders are in it to make a back as much as anything, they'll come up with the justification.

If Santorum ends up on the ticket it will be because nobody else is foolish enough to book passage on the Titanic as the bow rises towards the heavens.
or make a buck back. :)
This piece is unbelievable. You bash Santorum for this religion and beliefs. Then Chris Matthews goes on Ed Schultz show and calls the GOP contenders "three cultists" referring to two being Catholic and one being Mormon. They to add insult to injury Matthews argued that Americans are “willing to outsource it [the election] to a Mormon.”

But wait there is more. Never did I hear the writer, or other people here, get on President Obama's case about going to the church of Rev. Wright. Yes, let's have our president believe in "god damn America". Let's have the president of all sit for 20 years and listen to how all white people are the devil. Okay, that one may fly here because of some of the racist, anti-white, stuff that makes EP's here.

Anyway, it's time to let religion in politics die. The world didn't come to an end when JFK was elected. It didn't end with Obama and it won't end with "three cultists".
Great. He's scarier than I thought.
Cat,
You may not have noticed, but this post is about Santorum.
I don't recall Wright running for president, but if he did, the GOP would give him his best shot. The lame attempt at equivocation is cute. As cute as a baby when its face gets all twisted up just before it cries, and every bit the same expression of intelligence.

Now, go write the Rev Wright is the same as Santorum post. Put your moan-y where your mouth is...after removing the pacifier, of course.
"Let's have the president of all sit for 20 years and listen to how all white people are the devil" ... and still the retarded Right will call him a Muslim. Do I really need to cite a recent poll that showed 80% of Repugnant voters in AL and MS believed or suspected Obama was a Muslim? But then that's always the way of the Right -- wanting it both ways -- say maybe that explains their homophobia.
Good post and is something that cannot be highlighted enough. My own belief is that what we are seeing is a massive effort by social and religious conservatives across the globe to turn back the hands of time and re-establish male-dominated traditionalist cultures on the rubble of the modern, secular, democratic cultures these groups hope to destroy. That is the real "war on women" since women's social and political rights are always the canary in the coal mine that separates a modern society from a traditionalist one.

Therefore, Santorum is just one more foot soldier in a new spring offensive against modernity being fought by an army that includes our suddenly aggressive Catholic bishops with their birth control issue and those Orthodox rabbis who are spitting on provocatively dressed young girls and forcing others to the back of the bus in their own "war on women" in Israel

As a practicing Catholic who is also active in my Church, I have no trouble separating the Church as a religious and educational institution from the Church as a political one. And so to call my attacks on the bishops "anti-Catholic" makes no more sense than to call me anti-Democrat or anti-Republican.

And to those attracted to Opus Dei, the authoritarian hierarchy it represents is all that stands between civilization and global chaos. That is how the Church hierarchy was able to rationalize its refusal to protect the innocent children under its care from the predition of certain priests if doing so meant exposing the Church itself to hostility and outrage. To have done more, says Church apologists, would have been to undermine Church authority at a time when self-serving Church leaders had convinced themselves their unquestioned authority was needed most.
Rated and liked. Strong post. It's important to understand a politicians full life story, what motivates them, where they derive their beliefs and ideology. All fair things to bring up.
He didn't say separation of church and state made him want to puke, he said JFK's speech did. (And by the way, I don't agree.)

All supporters of Regnum Christi are not responsible for the acts of one man, who, by the way, if guilty, I hope is found so and sentenced to the harshest penalty possible. When he dies, I hope he rots in hell.

Opus Dei is a conservative group. So what? Life's tough. There is no evidence that Santorum wants to impose it on the culture via legislation.

He, by the way, HAS said that 'unlike the left' he doesn't believe in imposing his personal, religious views on (in the case in which he was speaking, birth control) the culture via laws.

And inserting 'the most conservative brand of Catholic theology into secular political discourse' is hardly a crime. We do still get to have discourse in this country and even conservative religious people get to participate. Sorry, but there you have it.
Go Catnlion - and his point (the Cat's) IS that only members of the right have their religions scrutinized like this. Obama DID get a pass for his attendance of a rather radical church. Let's be honest here. He didn't get the scrutiny Santorum is getting for his, Santorum's, private religious beliefs.
@Barbara Joanne, Santorum has largely made his entire platform around social issues. He has been open about being against gay marriage for religious reasons. Separation of church and state is certainly at play. It always comes down to potential nominees to the Supreme Court when you are looking at the Presidency.
Barbara Joanne, Marcial Maciel died in 2008. Kennedy's statement, in part, read: "Church and state are, and must remain, separate. All are free to believe or not believe, all are free to practice a faith or not, and those who believe are free, and should be free, to speak of and act on their belief.” So you are wrong here also. To react against the language is to react against the idea per se. There is no in-between, no wiggle room.
You're quite the investigative blogger Steve. Yet more reasons not to vote for that wacko. It would be one thing to pay little heed to his religious views if he demonstrated a grasp of separation of church and state. But his utter misreading of Kennedy's speech makes me all the more nervous.
Many people seem to think that the Republican candidates are just running on the idea that the president should care about religion. That in itself doesn't offend me. But their extreme posturing doesn't just end at making the United States more "godly". All of their campaigns seem to focus on debunking the concept of honoring diversity, a value we have had for several decades, of promoting equality to all. In fact, they seem to express contempt at the whole idea of social justice. Read page one of any textbook about social work, and you will find a statement that the primary goal of the profession is to remedy social injustices, where ever they may exist. To say that the Church performed this function in times past is to ignore history, and to ignore the changes that were made to the Catholic Church by the French Revolution. (They stood idly by, and protected their own heads). The most glaring amnesia is to ignore the outstanding successes of the government of the United States, in helping its own populace. If people are poor now, it is the end product of corporate welfare and tax breaks for the rich, slowly eroding away at the what should be owned by all.
Well, I guess this guy has found the creaky tenet of what we are, supposedly, in his view, as not that discerning of a people as we'd like to think ourselves. Not to stray from the circus that we have thus far seen, but people like this are taking advantage of the vacuum that has found such opportunists' reaching, jumping right in, as though they own the very moment. What the former Senator has found is the galling act of wrapping himself in our flag, all the while appealing to the righteous religious right, which is a deeper shade of red, a dour magenta-tinged sentiment ,with blatant holier than thou logistics. There is no good that can come from this marriage in Hell. He will be found out as wanting ... having wanted something for the wrong reason, with the wrong people -- at the absolute worst time. If he is nominated, there will be people that will not really like him -- but will cast their vote against Obama. This is a very tenuous situation that bring challenges that we can not afford. We need solutions, not posers.
All true enough. However I doubt Sen Sanitarium has any chance at the White House and all this is bit of tempest in tea pot. This is a dog and pony show - bought and paid for. I doubt the majority are so stupid. Of course, I could be wrong. But there is a sound reason why he was voted "the most stupid member of Congress."

And even if he did get into the White House the proposal (like his definition of marriage nonsense) would require a constitutional amendment (the standard political staple of wing nuts) and anyone who knows the amusing history of that process can only laugh at the suggestion a sufficient number of states could agree to anything so important in this climate. Secularists have over 200 years of well-settled jurisprudence on our side and this is why we have an independent judiciary the delicate balance of which is all the more reason Obama should get his second term. Still, on this issue, even they are bound be stare decisis. The conservative Catholic Roberts is no fool.

Frankly I love to see this modern day Torquemada squander all his political capital trying to void the First Amendment. Not a chance. As Andrew Sullivan recently wrote, “to make the Republican rhetoric even more absurd, the pre-compromise version of the Obama insurance rule was already the law in two of the biggest states, New York and California.” Please notice that Catholic Charities, one of the states largest contractors dispensing faith-based tax dollars, has posed absolutely no objections. This is Kabuki Theater. Moreover, as Nick Baumann has documented in Mother Jones, contraception has already been legally required in all health-insurance plans since the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled in 2000 that omitting it was unconstitutional sex discrimination. (The Bush administration did nothing to oppose the ruling.) And, as Sullivan points out, “yet Pastor Rick Warren said a couple week ago that he would be prepared to go to jail over the Obama rule (making one wonder why, as a resident of California, he isn't sitting in a cell already).” Touche Andrew!

American (Cafeteria) Catholics are a different breed. Over the past decade, for example, we have seen a dramatic increase in support for gay marriage—to the point where it is supported by a majority of Americans. And the most supportive of religious groups—after Jews—are Catholics, with 56 percent of white Catholics and 53 percent of Latino Catholics supporting full marriage rights for gay couples. Only on abortion do Catholics come remotely close to agreeing with their leaders. They are not going to pull the lever for Santorum.

For years now no less than 28 states already make it the law that religious institutions providing health insurance must also provide birth control. And no religious institution has ever made a stink about it. Why all of a sudden to they cry foul to a rule they NEVER complained of before? Hypocrisy. Kabuki Theater. Exactly what we have come to expect of the religious tub-thumping right. "Religion poisons everything."

And American Catholics sure as hell are not taking to tainted bait about birth control from a decrepit clericy that has for decades secretly molested their children. When it comes to their private lives the Pope's dictates mean as much his disingenuous apologies. They will do as they please. These are AMERICAN Catholics. They don't do infallibility.

Revering our republic I'm always cautious to argue for bald majority rule of the democratic mob but perhaps the pendulum has finally swung and the bullies and the religious right will soon get a taste of their own majority tyranny– what a poetic justice! For decades the pews have steadily vacated by the exodus of a continued secular diaspora. This is why they are hysterical. Witness the death-rattle of a dying order rich in propaganda dollars. For Mormons their claims of ‘conversions’ are in part due to baptism if dead many of them holocaust Jews. No kidding.

The fact is that the majority of Americans (even Catholics) are fed up with the dogma-dictating bullies with testicles who require that women and gays suffer the consequences of doctrinal poisons and sins of scripture. It is indeed time for people of ‘good-faith' to get angry.

Still, if the religious right keeps on pushing and complaining about being persecuted they might invite some long-overdue secular backlash. Does anyone remember Gibbon's famous argument in Rise and Fall (originally banned, of course, by the Church) that the only reason Christians were persecuted under the Roman empire (which tolerated all religions) was simply because of their bigoted and fanatical intolerance towards others. As the Empire crumbled under imperial overreach the Christians under Constantine's sword, fraudulently expropriated the State and held it captive till the eighteenth century Enlightenment at which time America, following Voltaire's warnings, enacted the worlds first secular constitution with a Bill of Rights that built "a wall of separation between church and state.” While the religious insinuation of dogma into secular government is an ongoing struggle I think Americans are not quite the stupid sheep the religious propagandists presume.

The current rhetoric only proves Diderot's famous line that, Et ses mains ourdiraient les entrailles du prêtre, Au défaut d'un cordon pour étrangler les rois. While there are many variations, loosely translated into modern American English it means: Mankind will never be free until the last politician is strangled by the entrails of the last preacher.’

Meanwhile we should keep alive Voltaire's cry of Ecrasez l'infame!
Santorum should be vetted with all the zeal displayed here as that is vitally important. The scary thing is that our current President was protected and propped up like no other in history. Dorn,Ayers, Rev WRight,Bell,Chicagoland, .........

The Left including the media is so invested in a guy who never had to release his transcripts and has never had a real job in the private sector or governed. He go a pass from all and the media ran interference for him.
You bet the rest of the country is angry. When we hold only some up to the light, those in the dark are going to lash out.
Obama will continue to be attacked because the dialogue contained her regarding Santorum was ignored since 04 for BO.
Obama is an empty vessel that the left can fill up with whatever "Hope and Dreams" they choose. Even when he doesn't do as he promised (Guant BA, Afghan pullout) he is untouched.
One trillion thrown way on green energy-his heart was in the right place!!! Doesn't matter that he had donors walking away with tensof millions. Bad Santorum Bad!!!
Santorum is an ass. A rather tight ass at that. We are to blame for the current state of political affairs in the U.S., we allow the erosion of our rights in the name of get those other guys and forget that we are opening a door to have those repressive laws applied to ourselves once they are signed. For some reason, the whole of politics is afraid of offending the hardcore of radical religion. To me Santorum, and the views he represents are no different than what the Taliban wants. Of course, as always, this will be ignored by people who support him since they have had only one goal as stated by Mitch McConnell, "to make sure Obama is a one term president"
I shudder to think that the USA could become a powerful copy of what we have here in Italy: an invasion of religion (the catholic one in our case) into the private and the public realm...you should check and see if the churches are not donating to his superpacs :)
Roberto-no need to put on that sweater, the only religion we need to worry about is Political Correctness at this point. Here in America we laugh and dismiss those with faith as foolish and intellectually lazy. The only Altars being erected these day are to those that wink at the intellectuals about faith and hold a bible while talking to the the latinos and blacks. Yes, the game needs to be played. Amen
Klingaman either has to start researching his articles or stick to the arena of personal finance. Cherry-picked quotes, logical fallacies, and patent falsehoods don't reflect very well on him or his editor.
Santorum wants to join the Christian religion with government in the US, but I bet he doesn't like the fact that the Muslim religion is joined with several Mideast countries. He should realize that people in the US would face the same loss of freedoms, and the intimidation and fear that comes when government pressures citizens to conform to a particular set of religious beliefs.

And isn't he one of those guys who repeats "small government" all of the time? So why would he tolerate a "big government" that would now take on the function of promoting a particular religion that he has selected for everyone?

I'm an atheist, as many people are, and I don't want my government to promote ANY religion. People should have the freedom to choose a religion, or NO religion at all, without any government involvement whatsoever.
Rashid, My editor, I understand, is sufficiently pleased with my work, as are my fact checkers. Thanks for joining Open Salon just to comment for this piece.
As someone who came of political age in the time of JFK, it's hard to believe that JFK and Santorum are members of the same church. Had JFK run for president with Santorum's current beliefs, there would be no doubt in anybody's mind that one cannot be loyal both to Catholicism and the country. JFK wouldn't have gotten elected then and the real Santorum probably still wouldn't be considered a credible candidate now.

But, what I don't understand is that how Santorum's beliefs are any more acceptable now than they would have been when JFK was running. I wouldn't have voted for JFK way back then and I still won't vote for Santorum now. And I'm a Catholic!

Some of the answer might come from an observation made by Jackie Kennedy. It was too the effect that, "I don't understand why people object to Jack being a Catholic. If the truth be told, he's not a very good Catholic."
Good article, Steve. Did you see my comments today on Santorum's statement that Puerto Rico has to embrace English as a condition for admittance to the Union as a state? How does this tyrant keep racking up Electoral Votes. There is indeed something wrong with a system that promotes such mediocrity to the status of presidential front runner.
Frankly, if religion were "politicized"
it would undoubtedly be less ridiculous.

It is not the politicization of religion that worries me.
Rather, it is the pernicious Christianization of Government.
Great essay Steve. But the post-modern Amerikan society/culture is sick, and Santorum's excessive strictness is seen as a welcome counter weight by millions of voters. If he gets the VP nod, and tones down his message in the general election then even independents and swing voters might support a Romney-Santorum ticket. Their best chance for election is if Israel strikes Iran soon, oil prices skyrocket, and the Republicans can blame the war on Obama's weakness prior to the outbreak of war. Had Obama been seen as super tough by the Iranians over the past couple of years then Iran would have kowtowed to Israel and the US, and there would have been no need for an Israeli strike, so will the Republican attack on Obama be played. Obama's appeasement will be blamed for America's subsequent war-induced economic predicament. That's the way it will play out. As an investor in the military industrial complex I make no bones that I pray for war every day...it gives me goose bumps to contemplate the Forever War of endless drone strikes and Special Ops that the Israelis might now be ushering in...wink
For a deeper insight into Santorum read a recent post of mine...'Rick Santorum Wanted To Kill The Beverly Hillbillies.' It will broaden your comprehension of the man...wink
Steve - ""Church and state are, and must remain, separate. All are free to believe or not believe, all are free to practice a faith or not, and those who believe are free, and should be free, to speak of and act on their belief.”.”

Except when the state says no they are not.
Interesting history, Steve. Thanks for all the details.
"If he wants to bring religion front and center onto the national stage, we really ought to look at the historical and cultural antecedents he represents." Amen! [r]
@catnlion. You selectively quote Rev Wright, as a good troll does I suppose. His use of the phrase "God damn America" was in the context of a story about a man dealt a bad hand in life, who despite what he had to suffer, did not say, as he might have, "God damn America" but "God bless America". So in fact Rev Wright's speech was in praise of this man and his attitude to his country.
R! Good one Steve. When you get a chance check out the piece I posted on Feb. 20th on this clown. I think you'll like the title too. It's called:

Rick SATANorum's Sly Lies & Sociopathic Political Theology

Cheers, Ron