Burch: Rick Santorum — choirboy or inquisitor?

Thursday, February 9, 2012 at 10:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

Today many Tennessee conservatives are cheering Rick Santorum’s victories in three Republican primaries: Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado. But I wonder how many Tennesseans will continue to applaud when they finally realize that Santorum has the puritanical beliefs and tyrannical attitude of a medieval inquisitor?

Santorum looks like a freshly scrubbed choirboy, but appearances can be deceiving. If he becomes president and his words are any indication of his future actions (as words usually are), Santorum will actively legislate against not only all forms of abortion, even in cases of rape and incest, but also against all or most forms of contraception as well as perhaps even the “naughtier” forms of sex.

Santorum is so far right that he makes Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush look like flaming liberals. After all, they never suggested that the government should pry into our sex lives or deny us the right to buy and use contraceptives. But Santorum has repeatedly made it clear that he not only subscribes to “be fruitful and multiply” but also to the Roman Catholic dogma that sex is only morally justifiable when procreation is the goal.

Does it matter what presidents believe? Yes, it does. Andrew Jackson was a white supremacist who despised Native Americans. When he became president, he acted on his beliefs and forced innocents to walk the Trail of Tears. Richard Nixon was a paranoiac who thought everyone was out to “get” him, so he used government agencies to spy on his political opponents and engineered the Watergate break-in. Thus, beliefs obviously do matter.

Perhaps the best way to determine what Santorum would do as president is to examine what he’s said.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Santorum opined that mutually consenting adults do not have a right to privacy in bed, saying, "[The] right to privacy ... doesn't exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution." He also compared homosexuality with “man on child” and “man on dog,” causing the interviewer to say that Santorum was “freaking” her out. He furthermore said, “ ... [if] you have the right to consensual [gay] sex ... then you have the right to ... adultery.” But of course most Americans think their sex lives are their own business and don’t want the government dictating what they can do in bed.

Santorum wants to ban contraceptives: "One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is ... the dangers of contraception. ... It's not okay. It's a license to do things in a sexual realm that is [sic] counter to how things are supposed to be." In other words, Americans should have sex in the missionary position and breed like rabbits, or give up sex altogether.

After the South Carolina primary, Santorum said “Game on! ... Thank God for those [Americans] who cling to their guns and their Bibles.”

Santorum again: "The idea that the Crusades and the fight of Christendom against Islam is somehow an aggression on our part is absolutely anti-historical ... What I'm talking about is onward American soldiers. What we're talking about are core American values." But during the Crusades the Catholic church’s armies invaded the Middle East and massacred multitudes of Jews and Muslims. How, exactly, does murdering people of different races and creeds reflect “American values”?

Echoing Newt Gingrich, Santorum recently denied the human rights of millions of completely innocent Palestinian women and children, saying: “There is no ‘Palestinian.’ ” This is the type of racist “thinking” that led to 9/11 and two decade-long wars.

Santorum is a cult of one in American politics, and a man so far removed from American ideals of personal freedom and individual conscience that he has no business trying to mind ours. He would turn Americans into serfs subject to medieval beliefs and continue our headlong rush toward World War III.

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.

Filed under: City Voices

105 Comments on this post:

By: dargent7 on 2/10/12 at 5:09

The man is indeed scarey. But, no more than Uncle Newty who wants to colonize the Moon in 8 years with 13,000 "volunteers" and make it the "51st State".
That idea is so absurd it's psychotic.
As long as Santorum wants to outlaw abortion, he'll resonate with 75% of Tennessee.
Couple that with Obama's forced mandate for insurance cos. to provide contreception to woman, and you've got a winning combination.
After all, Tenn. voted for GW Bush, twice.

By: Ummm... on 2/10/12 at 6:06

d7, your comment is sad, but true. I have lived in Tennessee almost all of my life and never cease to be amazed (and appalled) by the political insanity that repeatedly wins our elections.

By: Loner on 2/10/12 at 6:15

Santorum is a Catholic born-again...the worst kind, IMO.

White Catholic born-agains often come from more upscale, better educated backgrounds than the Southern-fried variety. Their zeal is second to none and they are closet theocrats who like to mix their religion with their politics....I was raised as a Roman Catholic, so please hold the jeers; I know what I'm talking about.

President Santorum would be a willing and submissive vassal to the Israeli Prime Minister...Catholics are basically self-hating Jew-wannabes.

If the rapture and Armageddon or what we need, then Santorum is our guy...he will expedite the End Times...or get us all killed trying.

By: Loner on 2/10/12 at 6:21

I almost forgot...Good morning, Nashville!

By: Loner on 2/10/12 at 6:28

One more comment on Saintly, Sanctimonious, Rick Santorum.....Anyone who would take a stillborn fetus home, to show the kids, and have the corpse spend the night in the crib, prior to the funeral is just too whacky and creepy to be anywhere near the White House...in my humble opinion....obviously, others disagree.

I wonder if the Santorums have a burial ritual for Mrs. Santorum's menses....yes, I believe that they are that goofy.

By: NilsOrion on 2/10/12 at 6:34

I believe the majority of Americans are neither 'left wing Liberals' nor 'right wing Conservatives'. And that is why Santorum has no chance in Hell of becoming President. While the media may want to make the Presidential race into a big Hollywood movie or a big fantasy football game, American voters are wise enough to see otherwise.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/10/12 at 6:55

Paraphrasing a Yiddish quote; The nearer to the church, the farther from God. I think Santorum fall into this trap.

By: Loner on 2/10/12 at 6:56

Nils, I sure hope that you are right about that....American voters voted for a second term for Junior Bush - a man whose election was tainted; his brother was Gov. of FL, the hanging chad state whose EC votes decided the race.

Junior Bush was re-elected even though Bush took the nation into two expensive and elective wars based upon false allegations and without clear exit strategies...then the jackass tanks the economy before riding off into the sunset....laughing his ass off.

Millions still pine for Junior Bush...millions would vote for his brother, Jeb Bush, the hanging chad dude...this is a clear indication that the American voter is NOT all that "wise"....in fact, it suggests that the masses are asses.

But, I hope that I am wrong about that...maybe the voters do have wisdom...we shall see.

By: dargent7 on 2/10/12 at 6:57

American voters wise enough? You live in Tenn.? No intended ofence, but:
Every topic presented in the Tennessean, 90% argue against every progressive idea.
Ditto that with S. Carolina, Miss., AL. Global Warming? A hoax. President Obama? A Muslim Communist. Guns? Yes, everywhere w/o restrictions. Abortion? No, it's 1st degree murder. War in Iraq? Yes, should not withdraw. Iran? Bomb them, too.
Go to Cal. and it's 180 degrees reversed.
In 2012 we'll get what we pay for.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/10/12 at 7:05

How can someone be a Muslim and a Communist too? The two are at opposite end of the spectrum from each other.

This has to be the rants of a mad man.

By: Loner on 2/10/12 at 7:06

Ditto on that, Darge..except for the last line: "In 2012 we'll get what we pay for." That was true before the Age of the Super-PACs; from now on, we'll get what they pay for.

In 2012, we may get what Sheldon & Miriam Adelson want...they have already put in ten million into a pro-Israel Super-PAC...that's chump change for those folks, they'll probably cough up a lot more.

All kinds of creepy characters will throw billions into these new Super-PACs....We the People will get the best government that Super-PAC money can buy...the tycoons will be calling the tunes...we gotta dance to their music.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/10/12 at 7:10

Amen to that Loner/ d7.

By: govskeptic on 2/10/12 at 7:24

Friday's are always fun reading in this section of TCP. We Tennesseans are
weekly told to hate the Nation of Israel and theJews, the stupidity of the way
white southerners vote, how the Constitution is so outdated, and irrelevant
to an "Enlightened" nation. Yes, the former Senator has serious core values
centered around a faith that is foreign to the press and many voters, but in a
contest between those values and that of an opponent with the values and
teachings of Rev. Wright, Shaprton, and Bill Ayers and company, he may have
a chance.

One thing for certain in this Press scripted "Reality Show" is that no matter
whether the election is between the President and Mitt Romney or
Santorum there will be a much greater show of contrast between these two
than what the naive Sen. McCain presented in 2008!

By: Loner on 2/10/12 at 7:34

Govskeptic goes septic: "We Tennesseans are weekly told to hate the Nation of Israel and the Jews..."

Please give us at least one shred of evidence to back up that outrageous allegation....Gov.

Unsubstantiated hyperbole destroys credibility...and Gov's cred was never that great to begin with....now he's raving.

By: dargent7 on 2/10/12 at 7:35

Cpt. N & L'ner, Inc: I combined the two, Muslim, Communist, to save space. They also call him a Marxist and are convinced he ran for office to destroy America. Like GW Bush didn't.

By: Ummm... on 2/10/12 at 7:37

govskeptic said, "One thing for certain in this Press scripted "Reality Show" is that no matter whether the election is between the President and Mitt Romney or
Santorum there will be a much greater show of contrast between these two
than what the naive Sen. McCain presented in 2008!"

I quite agree, and that will no doubt lead to an even greater margin of victory for President Obama.

By: dargent7 on 2/10/12 at 7:44

"...Dance to the Music" Sly and the Faily Stone.
Loner, if you're one of these 13,000 Uncle Newty wants to put on the Moon, take that CD with you.

By: dargent7 on 2/10/12 at 7:45

Had McCain picked a Fred Thompson or Huckabee as his VP, he could of won. Palin took the ticket down.

By: Loner on 2/10/12 at 7:59

Since Gov brought up the subject of Israel:

If Santorum Fever afflicts the nation, the looming war with Iran may be delayed a year.

The Israelis would much prefer a Judeo-Christian theocrat like Rick Santorum as POTUS than the secular Obama for another four years. Netanyahu might delay the attack on Iran until after Santorum is sworn in.

President Santorum would not have to be pressured or sucked into joining Israel's perpetual holy wars..he would smugly march in like a good Christian soldier.....Fightin' the anti-Christ....Expeditin' Armageddon...Inducing the Rapture...Fulfilling Prohecy....righteous stuff like that.

Santorum the Anointed One: Be scared...Shit-scared.

If it looks like Obama is going to be re-elected, then the Israelis will probably launch their attacks before the election, IMO.

If Iran retaliates against Israel, US Congressional pressure would force the reluctant CINC into defending the Israeli aggressors. If Iran retaliates by hitting US installations, ships etc. then all hell will break loose.

If the war goes well, Obama will be re-elected by a landslide. If the war goes badly, then Santorum will unseat the failed and disgraced POTUS.

Obama is betting the farms, his and ours...he's letting Bibi Netanyahu assume the US Commander-In-Chief role...if Bibi says we go to war now, we go to war now...Bibi got 37 standing ovations before the US Congress last May....The Israeli PM can now act with virtual impunity....he has the US Congress on his side, no matter what.

By: Moonglow1 on 2/10/12 at 8:02

Moonglow1: Good article. Now the national news media needs to hit Santorum hard. They have not fully exposed him. People are not fully aware of his extremist beliefs. As I have commented previously, he is comparable to the Taliban in his extremism.

By: Loner on 2/10/12 at 8:04

Darge, for you...from the Ed Sullivan Show...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXvjhdjYing

This is the mercifully short version...but I do love the tenor sax part in that tune....check out the costumes...that's classic stuff.

By: Loner on 2/10/12 at 8:37

Ummm...I agree with your 7:37 post...the more the contrast, the better it is for Obama....apparently, Gov apparently believes otherwise.. that the more the contrast, the better it is for the GOP candidate.

Mitt would probably draw more from the secular middle than Santorum would...that is likely to be a key constituency this year.

Obama supporters should probably support Santorum's bid...he's the easiest guy to beat in the general election...barring war with Iran or something like that....trouble is, the A-hole might actually get in...Junior Bush got in....anything can happen...mass hysteria could set in.

By: Loner on 2/10/12 at 8:42

We learn through trial and error; the law through trial by error.

Does that sound about right?

By: Radix on 2/10/12 at 9:03

Santorum's grasp of the constitution and history is pretty deep. He is a very sharp guy. This article is full of lies and scare tactics. Not saying I want Santorum as President, but this article is a joke.

By: Mike Burch on 2/10/12 at 9:12

Loner,

It's interesting that you grew up Catholic and I grew up Protestant Evangelical, and yet we both managed to overcome our childhood brainwashing. (Reading and thinking helps.) Perhaps that's a good sign.

Santorum is scary, but I don't think he can get elected. Just think of all the women who will vote against him once they understand his stone-age approach to contraception and sex. If he becomes the Republican presidential candidate, it will be bigger news in liberal and moderated circles than Palin being the candidate for VP.

The GOP would be crazy to have Santorum as its candidate, but since the party is full of loons, anything is possible.

Mike

By: Ummm... on 2/10/12 at 9:12

Radix, there is a HUGE difference between "intelligence" and "wisdom."

By: Mike Burch on 2/10/12 at 9:21

Nemo,

How can anyone be a Christian and a conservative, since Jesus told the rich to give everything but the shirts on their backs to the poor? The early Christians lived in a commune and sold all their land and possessions, after which they ate like a large family at a communal table, according to the book of Acts.

Yes, there are Muslim communists, just as there are many Catholic communists. Many of the Jesuits, who were once the pope's men, embraced communism and became revolutionaries because they hated to see the rich oppressing the poor.

Religion can create strange bedfellows, but the Bible repeatedly advocates the rich helping the poor, so socialism and communism are closer to the Bible than right-wing conservatism, which essentially advocates Darwinism: the strong and ruthless survive and everyone else is just out of luck.

By: pswindle on 2/10/12 at 9:27

All of the GOP candidates are against women. They truly believe that a woman should be bare-footed and pregnant.

By: Loner on 2/10/12 at 9:29

Radix claims that Rick Santorum is a "very sharp guy"....then calls this Mike Burch article "a joke". Mike can address that caustic comment...I'll butt out on that.

As for Santorum's savvy, here's a couple of choice snippets from a Counterpunch article:

"Ken Silverstein fingered Santorum as the dumbest member of congress in a story for The Progressive. Considering the competition, that’s an achievement of considerable distinction."

And this:

"Even Santorum’s staff knows the senator is a vacuous boob prone to outrageous gaffs and crude outbursts of unvarnished bigotry. For years, they kept him firmly leashed, rarely permitting him to attend a press interview without a senior staffer by his side. They learned the hard way. While in serving in the House, Santorum was asked by a reporter to explain why his record on environmental policy was so dreadful. Santorum replied by observing that the environment was of little consequence in God’s grand plan. “Nowhere in the Bible does it say that America will be here 100 years from now.” The reference was to the Rapture, which apparently is impending."

Source:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/01/04/santorum-thats-latin-for-asshole/

Santorum believes in the young earth ,Hebrew creation myth for the origins of our species...and the origins of the universe....and he wants that stuff taught in our public school science classes....yeah this guy is sharp as a tack, Radix...you are joking, right?

By: Kosh III on 2/10/12 at 9:30

Radix: "Santorum's grasp of the constitution and history is pretty deep."

Nonsense, if Santorum believes: "idea that the Crusades and the fight of Christendom against Islam is somehow an aggression"

The Crusades WERE an agressive act. Period. Even a casual scan of the facts shows this. And Jews and Eastern Christians were murdered in the hundreds of thousands along the way as well.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/10/12 at 9:42

My question was more of a slap in the face toward the so-called religious right-wing fanatics, than a question. Hypocrites all and will distort logic and honesty to make their views the laws of Nature.

Mike the strange bedfellow angle is putting it mildly. I see them as squirming bucket of worms looking for a cause, to defend God. As if God needs their help.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/10/12 at 9:54

Some people’s deification of sharp is not always sharp.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/10/12 at 9:58

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
Yoda-

By: Loner on 2/10/12 at 9:58

MIke, the ghosts of our youth still haunt us...they probably always will.

Brainwashing? I had the best cleaning ladies in the business: Felician nuns...they venerated St. Felix..they were Polish-American nuns...my mother's family hailed from Eastern Europe.

Our K-8 Parochial school was right next to the church...we went from daily mass to the school....3 rooms, 3 grades to the room, no gym, no cafeteria, no band, no sports...just religion and the foundational basics. We did have a stage and a hall upstairs where we put on two plays every year. Often in Polish. The nuns could all play the piano and we all learned to sing...or else.

One nun did give me violin and piano lessons for one school year...she never came back in the fall....could be a connection there.

No Protestants...no blacks...no Jews...just us "Polish" kids....72 students in the whole school when I graduated. The place is now a bed & breakfast and "museum". Here's their website:

http://www.eriecanalschoolhouse.com/

I just now found that site...they turned St. Mary's school into something out of the twilight zone....I'd never sleep there...the place has to be haunted....friggin' creepy, IMO.

I'm glad that we were too poor to go to Catholic High School. The public school helped to liberate me....before the concrete had set.

College and the Army helped to liberate my soul as well.

I attended no church for decades... now I am a Unitarian Universalist.

We UU types do not proselytize...but Mike, you should check out your local UU church....you would be most welcome there.

By: Loner on 2/10/12 at 10:01

By: Captain Nemo on 2/10/12 at 9:54

Some people’s deification of sharp is not always sharp.

Did you say "defecation"? Defecating a sharp sounds painful....and suspicious.

By: Loner on 2/10/12 at 10:14

For anyone interested, here's your local UU connection:

http://www.firstuunashville.org/

And here is one outsider's review of the place:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/first-unitarian-universalist-church-of-nashville-nashville

There, I broke the code I proselytized...hopefully, the ends will justify the means...guess I'm a UU soldier...we march to a different drummer...we are the feared & dreaded Kum-Bah-Yah Brigade.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/10/12 at 10:27

Here is another pearl. Loner

"everybody is guilty of some transgression somewhere against conservatism… except Santorum."
-Rush Limbaugh

By: brrrrk on 2/10/12 at 10:28

Mike Burch said

"It's interesting that you grew up Catholic and I grew up Protestant Evangelical, and yet we both managed to overcome our childhood brainwashing. (Reading and thinking helps.) Perhaps that's a good sign."

This comment reminds me of the lyrics of one of my fav Ozark Mountain Daredevils songs, It's How You Think

there are men among us who rule our land
and though they're just fools in bands
hold us all in their hands
there are people preaching their gods to me
saying that I can't see
yet they give me books to read

By: Captain Nemo on 2/10/12 at 10:29

It must have been a Freudian slip, Loner. But it works for me. lol

By: Captain Nemo on 2/10/12 at 10:33

Candidly, I believe most corporations actually don't mind big government.
Rick Santorum

I have nothing, absolutely nothing against anyone who's homosexual. If that's their orientation, then I accept that. And I have no problem with someone who has other orientations.
Rick Santorum

By: yogiman on 2/10/12 at 10:41

Mike,

According to the last paragraph in your article you post. "Santorum is a cult of one in American politics....... our headlong rush toward WWIII."

Can you name one [man] whom isn't a cult of one in any form of American life? Everyone can only think for themselves. I'll agree, many think they are thinking properly for the rest of us.

Politics is politics. I have been involved in American politics for the past 60 years after I entered my voting age of 21. There has been few and far between politicians that I felt were in it for the people.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/10/12 at 10:48

Man who scratch ass should not bite fingernails.

By: chiefpayne568 on 2/10/12 at 10:50

Well IMO, ALL of the Republican candidates are RINOs.

That being said, I will still vote for the Republican nominee...because no matter how bad they all are, ANY of them is better than what we have NOW.

By: chiefpayne568 on 2/10/12 at 10:53

Nemo,

"How can someone be a Muslim and a Communist too? The two are at opposite end of the spectrum from each other. "

Easily answered...the enemy of my enemy is my friend. So one may pretend to be one or the other in order to get cooperation against the common enemy.

By: brrrrk on 2/10/12 at 10:53

chiefpayne568 said

"Well IMO, ALL of the Republican candidates are RINOs."

Apparently Attila the Hun was busy.....

By: Captain Nemo on 2/10/12 at 10:54

Now I understand where yogi's haed is.

cult[kuhlt]  

1. a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.
3. the object of such devotion.
4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
5. Sociology . a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.

By: brrrrk on 2/10/12 at 10:54

My apologies to any "Huns" out there............ :-)

By: chiefpayne568 on 2/10/12 at 10:56

brrrk,

LOL Say what you will but ONE of them will be the next President. May as well get used to it now.

For the record though:
Romney has NO problem with government run health care
Newt has NO problem with Amnesty for illegals
Paul wants to isolate us and go back to the Monroe Doctrine
Santorum wants to turn SS into Welfare (i.e. we all pay in on it but only the government decides who is worthy to GET it)

By: chiefpayne568 on 2/10/12 at 10:56

brrrk,

I'm sure they wouldn't hold it against you. LOL

By: Mike Burch on 2/10/12 at 11:00

Loner,

I once attended a "Freewill" Baptist school where girls had to wear dresses down to their ankles and boys and girls were not allowed to share the same swimming pool unless they were members of the same family. But all the kids knew they were going to to hell, so they were having sex on school buses and behind the Bible study building, between classes!

The only verses in the Bible that really appeal to me are the ones about love, compassion and Universal Salvation. I hate hypocrisy and self-righteousness, so one of my favorite verses is the one where Jesus said the prostitutes would enter the kingdom of heaven before the self-righteous. I think I would be much happier in a heaven full of people who like to have a good time, and don't go around telling other people not to do things they fully intend to do themselves.

But the idea of going to church really doesn't appeal to me. I like to walk, pray and feed the local wildlife, trying to set God and Jesus a good example of acting with grace, without expecting anything in return. So far there is no indication that they are getting the message ... or if they are, that they can speak to their fanatical followers and propose some better system of belief.

My personal beliefs are pretty far from the mainstream. I think that if God and Jesus actually exist and are enlightened beings of unconditional love, they would be embarrassed to hear all the praise being directed at them. Charles Dickens didn't want constant praise, nor did Gandhi, nor do good mothers and fathers. For me to sit in a church and hear people praising God and Jesus to the skies seems like a sort of anti-religion. I think truly loving beings wouldn't be such egoists.

But who knows ... perhaps one day I'll try another church, and if I do it will have to be a church that doesn't condemn Einstein and Gandhi to hell, for not believing that Jesus is a petty monster!