Santorum Actually Means It

I was speaking with a friend on the phone yesterday from college. He's kinda' pro-life but not passionate about it and fiscally conservative but not very religious. He's a little squishy, if you know what I mean. In short, he was a McCain supporter.

Anyway, he was saying that he felt uncomfortable with Rick Santorum. He assured me that he would vote for Santorum over Obama but he thought there were many people like him who would not.

I asked him why and he got a little cagey but finally said that Rick was "a little too extreme" and that's why he was supporting Mitt Romney.

On what was Rick so extreme, I asked.

"I think the whole gay thing," is what he said.

"What gay thing?"

"Santorum's really against gay marriage," he said.

I reminded him that so was Mitt (and so is Obama although he's reportedly "evolving"). But then my friend said the thing that I think sums things up perfectly. He said, "But Santorum really means it."

That's it right there. There's a sense about Rick Santorum that he really means what he says. And that scares people. There's a sense among some, I think, that while Mitt may be pro-life, he's not one of those oogedy boogedy religious types who might march on Washington on the coldest day in January to protest abortion. Mitt won't embarrass the squishes by actually bringing up abortion at cocktail parties or anything. Rick might. Because Rick means it.

My friend was comfortable with Mitt because he thinks he doesn't reeeeeaaally believe what he's saying. He thinks Mitt will give us pro-life judges but he won't keep talking about it and putting our noses in it.

The fear is that if Rick gets in the White House changes will occur. It won't just be lip service anymore.

Comments

  1. You have just backed up my prediction that Obama will be reelected. Not what I want, but what I believe will happen.

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  2. Rick Santorum is a modern day Atticus Finch, standing strong in the truth, wherever it leads. We need him!

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  3. Matt, this is extremely interesting. It deserves an anthropological analysis. Everybody complains about politicians lying, but they know when they are lying, they just do not want the truth (Christ).

    God gave Santorum´s family to the US, I hope she uses.

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  4. Well, don't mention any of this to Mark Shea, who seems to be happy (enjoying it?) when he's unhappy. And right now he seems pretty unhappy about Santorum.

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  5. Santorum is like Tsar Nicholas. The Tsar had plenty morality, but completely misunderstood the realities of the world. He will be ineffective with respect to actually getting anything done on the pro-life issue, and will very likely buy the pro-war propaganda (he already seems happy to go to war with Iran). Death shall not be mitigated.

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  6. "... Mitt may be pro-life ..."

    I'm going to put this in as mild terms as I can muster: HELL NO HE IS NOT!!!

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  7. Hey Matt,

    Did you read that we Catholics are, at most, 60% right by Ann Coulter?

    I am not quite sure, but, if I did not know who are Santorum and Romney, Coulter would help to chose Santorum:

    http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2012-01-04.html

    Best,
    Pedro

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  8. Exactly!

    Folks, let's lose the fear. We're scared we have to pick a moderate in order to win this thing. Let's choose the best candidate in the primaries. If I have to vote for Romney on the national level, I will, but why settle now.

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  9. I see Pedro beat me to it.

    Oh well. But my link does have some choice commentary added.

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  10. I'm not sure what Pro Ecclesia quoted from Coulter demonstrates that she is an anti-Catholic bigot. She is basically saying that Catholic political thought, as embodied by the bishops, tends to be correct on some issues (from a libertarian-conservative position), but wrong on others from that perspective. I think that she is wrong, but I am not convinced the statements are bigoted.

    As for her conclusion that this year the election is only about jobs, we'll have to see. For social conservatives such as myself, I again think she is wrong---I take other issues into account. But for many right-leaning libertarians that I know, they are turned off by "social issues." Shifting the focus from teh economy might scare off some potential voters.

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  11. Seriously? You don't see anything bigoted about a blanket statement that being Catholic automatically means you're wrong on 40% of the issues from a conservative standpoint?

    And her saying it in defense of someone who REALLY IS a big-government, non-conservative RINO makes it not only bigoted, but laughable.

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  12. No, I don't. Look at it this way, assuming the Catholic is devout and follows the Church's teaching, you *know* that he or she will be anti-gay marriage, anti-abortion, etc. This may put the individual at odds with a strictly libertarian conservative.

    Look, the church's teachings are all right there for the world to, and while there is room for variety on some issues, by and large a truly devout and obedient Catholic's response to most societal issues should be fairly predictable. If one does not agree with the church's position on those same issues, it should be fairly easy to predict that a strict Catholic will be "wrong" X percentage of the time.

    Again, I think she's wrong on those issues, but I don't see anything bigoted about a her saying, in effect, that a politician who strictly follows the Church's teaching will be wrong (from her perspective) a given percentage of the time. Frankly, her position is in many ways a compliment to Santorum. We should all be so predictably in line with the Church.

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  13. Addendum--

    I agree with you that her defense of Romney is laughable and internally inconsistent.

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  14. Santorum being against artificial birth control (being a good, orthodox Catholic man) is even more off-putting the general population than being against abortion or gay unions. The modern world is hooked on contraceptive candy and it's part of the air we breathe, and literally, the water we drink. He might as well wear an Amish beard and talk in latin.

    I am up for that kind of crazy, because I am that kind of crazy. But, America? Too far gone, baby. The soundness and beauty of a traditional Catholic life is completely lost on most Americans. Heck, it is completely foreign to most Catholics, who cannot imagine life without their Yaz & condoms, and a little snip here and there when you have boy and girl matching set.

    Rick Santorum is like Don Quixote tilting at a windmill. He's going to get knocked on his a**, but I am right there with him. If that is the cost of being a witness to the natural law, then full tilt ahead. I consider it a satisfying and well spent day if I give some liberal something to worry about. Why not?

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  15. Blackrep...I'm right there with you.

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  16. @Michael 12:57: Any law can be broken to save a life. Hopefully including the evil aggressors life, but that is up to the evil aggressor. To not accept this unwritten law is to deny evil aggressors, even 9/11. Mother always said: "Do not get your halo on too tight"

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  17. @Michael 3:00: "as embodied by the bishops". The whole concept of Catholic political thought is perfect, but as embodied by some bishops is not so perfect. Human existence is the criterion for the objective ordering of human rights. Human existence comes into existence at the will of our Creator.

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  18. @Blackrep: Abortion is human sacrifice, killing one human being for the convenience of another human being. In the case of rape and incest, the innocent child is being put to death for the crime of his parents. Not much Justice. Contraception and gay behavior is addiction to lust. All addiction does violence to the free will. All addiction does violence to the human body.

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  19. @Mary Carrol Patrick: Obama has just signed a bill expunging habeas corpus. Citizens may be detained indefinitely without being charged. Citizens may just disappear. After nationalizing all private property in Rural Councils, all healthcare in Obamacare, Obama will win the election by making all cattle into persons with citizenship and the vote (for him of course. )See Cass Sunstein. Do you hear God weeping? Welcome to the United Absurdistates of America.

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  20. "He's a little squishy, if you know what I mean. In short, he was a McCain supporter."

    CMR was also a McCain supporter in 2008, just like they'll be a Romney supporter in 2012 when he inevitably wins the nomination. The Repubs can nominate any establishment, big-government neo-con they want (which they always do now) and still take support from those like the CMR folks straight to the bank. At the end of the day, the Repubs can nominate anyone they want and always count on the votes of those who will simply tolerate whatever awful candidate is dictated to them. A little squishy?

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  21. Well, I respectvully disagree. Coulter's clearly a bigot for writing what she wrote. She's an anti-Catholic bigot. Period.

    I mean, why the need to even drag the Bishops into her screed, especially on matters regarding which they never even took a position. The Bridge to Frickin' Nowhere? She made a blanket statement that Catholic conservatives are "wrong" when they think with the Church, which, alone, is a bigoted comment.

    Maybe I'm just not as nuanced as some folks, but I honestly don't see how anyone could defend Coulter's comments as being anything but bigoted.

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  22. I agree; Ann Coulter is a biggot and showing her true colors. This election will separate the wheat from the chaff. Any Catholic who does not support Santorum is at BEST a CINO.

    God speed, Rick.

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  23. Ann's comments are not bigoted, but accurate. All Ann said was that Rick is more Catholic than conservative, which is as it should be. That's a compliment in my book as religion must trump politics among the faithful. There are fiscal issues, free trade labor etc where Santorum is not that conservative. It's a simple observation and reporting of the facts. The bigotry is in your imagination. I read her as saying Rick was one of the two most reasonable candidates for president.

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  24. David then you read with blinders on. The fact she equates him with a "bishop" (rather than saying "he is more like a Catholic man") was a clear jab at church heirarchy and a nodd to all anti-Catholic readers. Saying an undisclosed "friend" called him a "Catholic missionary who happens to be in the Senate" is yet another code-word (note: she didn't say "Christian missionary", but "Catholic missionary"). Apparently you like her too much to see how much of a biggot she is. And she will stop at nothing to make sure her Mormon gets the nomination. So, there will be more to come.

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  25. Anon-
    How is it blinders for someone to mention one of the few "ranks" people identify with the Catholic Church that aren't the Pope? And there's a vast difference between "Christian" missionaries and Catholic ones, thank you very much. You do realize that some "Christian missionaries" support homosexual marriage, right?

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  26. Anonymous 1:09,

    "Any Catholic who does not support Santorum is at BEST a CINO."

    I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous. It takes much more than Catholic orthodoxy to be a good leader .. just like it takes much more than Catholic orthodoxy to be a good Catholic. I don't doubt Santorum's overall orthodoxy - with the exception of issues like torture where he denies Catholic teaching - but i do doubt his ability to lead this country.

    When you think about it, this approach to selecting a candidate (a set of ideological tests) is very Protestant. You find the candidate (church) that agrees with you the most, and you vote (attend) for that candidate (church). We insist so much on ideological purity (even while so many Catholics will abandon their faith for a D or R platform plank) and elect horrible leaders. No wonder they lie to us and tell us what they think we want to hear and then just do whatever they want. They know that when it comes right down to it, we only really pay attention to what they say, not what kind of leader they are.

    This is one of the reasons that Santorum and Paul can be so attractive: they aren't just placating us, they actually believe what they say. But I think the suffer the same essential problem: I don't think either would make a good president, regardless of whether they are right in their political ideology.

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  27. "There are fiscal issues, free trade labor etc where Santorum is not that conservative. It's a simple observation and reporting of the facts."

    Okay, then. So why didn't Coulter talk about those things instead of Santorum's Catholicism? What does any of that have to do with his being Catholic? If he's wrong on the issues, then Coulter needs to explain in some detail how his position are at odds with "conservatism", and needs to do so in a way that explains why Romney's departures from "conservative orthodoxy" aren't at least as disqualifying. No need to even bring the whole 60/40 comment about Catholics into the mix. And certainly no reason to drag the Bishops into it.

    "The bigotry is in your imagination."

    No, it's not. But real nice of you to say so. The essence of Coulter's commentary is "Don't vote for Santorum because he's too Catholic."

    The one thing that Coulter is very good at is making herself clear as to her meaning - if she had meant "Don't vote for Santorum because he's not conservative enough vis-a-vis Mitt Romney", she could have made that argument without invoking Santorum's Catholicism or dragging the Bishops into the conversation regarding issues such as the so-called Bridge to Nowhere on which they didn't even take a position. (Her statement was that Santorum acted "like a Catholic bishop" in voting for something wasteful. Nice.)

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  28. Jay - agreed completely. The CINO's are now out of the closet...and foaming at the mouth.

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  29. Santorum wants a regulated Internet and thinks the Constitution (the state) "gives us rights".

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT0SX2jpgFQ&feature=youtu.be

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  30. You don't see anything bigoted about a blanket statement that being Catholic automatically means you're wrong on 40% of the issues from a conservative standpoint?

    Not bigoted, just extremely ignorant. The problem with many conservatives -- and I'm Catholic, conservative and encountered this many times -- is that the second you mention any of the Church's teachings on "social justice issues" and immediately a portion of conservatives think the Church is a shill for the Democrat party.

    This is partly because the phrase "social justice" has been co-opted by liberals (who'd smash the Church if given the opportunity) into meaning "socialism" and not the freely given, God-commanded voluntary charity ("good works") Catholics are called to. Partly, I can't blame them -- liberals have taken the idea of "social justice" and turned it into a euphemism for socialism. And, frankly, Catholic catechesis has stunk for the better part of a few decades (this is the reason why I, out of my core group of high school girl friends, is the only Catholic left...and I converted when I was 22).

    So people don't really know what the Catholic Church means when she says "social justice"...the conservatives automatically hear "socialism" (bad!) and the liberals automatically hear "socialism" (good!)

    That being said, Ann Coulter is no dummy. Nothing is stopping her from picking up the Catechism, getting on the phone to some priests or bishops, and figuring it out for herself what the Church really teaches on certain issues (immigration, abortion, gay marriage, etc.). No, rather, this sounds almost akin to something I'd expect from Bill Maher...who needs facts and research when there's a meme to uphold, right?

    As for meaning what he says, be warned: We elected a governor here in Wisconsin who meant what he said and acted on it once in office. Now, the left is trying desperately to recall him for doing what he promised in the campaign. This will be a test of whether or not the general voters (who I believe outnumber the liberals in this state) are willing to put their money where their mouths are and stick by a guy they elected after he stuck to his word.

    It will be a good litmus test to see whether or not we have the fortitude to do what is right.

    (And, in case you're not familiar with the situation, our governor asked public employees to make modest contributions toward their health care and pensions, while restricting the ability of public unions to negotiations related to wages only and making union membership *optional* for public employees, where it had been mandatory. He promised to do this; it fixed a $3.6 billion budget deficit, took care of 90% of the state's structural deficit, and has fixed school budgets and held the line on taxes pretty much across the state. Pray that the recall effort fails. We need people like him in leadership positions.)

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  31. Amy-

    That being said, Ann Coulter is no dummy. Nothing is stopping her from picking up the Catechism, getting on the phone to some priests or bishops, and figuring it out for herself what the Church really teaches on certain issues (immigration, abortion, gay marriage, etc.).

    If she knew about the Catechism, she'd already be a better Catholic than a sizable number who wave their "I'm a Catholic!" signs for pet causes; I never even heard of it until I was out of high school, and I was an altar girl! (As best I can tell, everyone assumed someone else had mentioned it.)

    I've had to explain to observant Catholics the difference between the death penalty and abortion/euthanasia, you can't walk through an illegal alien story without tripping over a priest, the US Bishops are notorious to the point that I've seen more non-binding liberal stuff promoted than binding neutral things (probably because that's what the media mentions) and you can easily find a priest who will promote most any liberal hobby-horse you'd care to look for.

    Social justice does get used and abused by liberal priests-- and even people on "our" side can't tell the difference between binding and non-binding. Heck, when it's useful to their argument, most Catholics seem to ignore that difference, sadly.

    I have a hard time getting riled up about non-Catholics getting things screwy when they're in line with what they see, even after doing the sort of research that a non-Catholic would do. Remember that mess with the whole "the Pope wants a world government" BS?

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  32. If she knew about the Catechism, she'd already be a better Catholic than a sizable number who wave their "I'm a Catholic!" signs for pet causes; I never even heard of it until I was out of high school, and I was an altar girl! (As best I can tell, everyone assumed someone else had mentioned it.)

    And who's to blame for that? Those who let Catholic catechesis fall to shambles...

    I have a hard time getting riled up about non-Catholics getting things screwy when they're in line with what they see, even after doing the sort of research that a non-Catholic would do.

    I don't. If you're going to criticize us, know what it is your criticizing.

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  33. And who's to blame for that? Those who let Catholic catechesis fall to shambles...

    So go get pissed at those like the priest who, thirty years ago, chased my mom out of doing CCD by walking in and telling her class of high schoolers that it was just fine to have sex outside of marriage "if you really love them."

    I don't. If you're going to criticize us, know what it is your criticizing.

    What an incredibly unhelpful notion, when those that are being criticized are much more visible than those who are actually members of the group.

    You don't correct mass self-representation by saying people should do more research, you correct it by calling out those who are lying and (politely!) correcting those who are genuinely misled. Doesn't always work, as Mr. Black showed, but a rational argument with good support will minimize the damage.

    I do actually know what I'm talking about-- my introduction to apologetics was a bunch of cradle-Catholic geeks who'd been driven off largely by those who misappropriated teaching authority for their own views. I didn't manage to fix decades of misinformation, but I did change them from venomous hate to cautious acceptance. Sad thing is, the folks who poisoned their minds probably thought they were doing good in telling them things like "Catholics can't play dungeons and dragons" and such.

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  34. So go get pissed at those like the priest who, thirty years ago, chased my mom out of doing CCD by walking in and telling her class of high schoolers that it was just fine to have sex outside of marriage "if you really love them."

    I am upset. I'll repeat: of my group of 7 friends, all of whom (except me) were raised Catholic, 6 have left the Church...precisely because they either believe all religions are the same (so it doesn't matter) or because the Catholic Church is "oppressive" or because we don't "read the Bible" enough. I see firsthand what poor catechesis has done.

    And you know what? Explaining what the Church teaches -- why religions aren't all the same, that yes we do read the Bible, that we aren't "oppressive" does exactly nothing. Doesn't sway them at all (and I'm fairly certain now that one friend did not attend my Catholic wedding Mass precisely because it was a Catholic wedding Mass).

    What an incredibly unhelpful notion, when those that are being criticized are much more visible than those who are actually members of the group.

    In this context, I don't think it's an unhelpful notion. Coulter is a columnist who makes a darn good decent living offering political opinions. At times, her work -- including her research -- is absolutely stellar. A Google search of Catholic teaching should lead her to the Catechism. It's not to much to ask that she knows what she's talking about, etc.

    Sad thing is, the folks who poisoned their minds probably thought they were doing good in telling them things like "Catholics can't play dungeons and dragons" and such.

    So then it's not just priests who are to blame for poor catechesis, but any Catholic who says things like this...kind of like the whole Harry Potter debates that have raged for several years.

    And, naturally, anything biased against Catholic teaching will be aided and abetted in large part by the media.

    But I -- when debating, say, a Protestant on religious issues -- take at least some cursory time to try to understand what that particular denomination believes about X issue so that I can be better informed in the debate.

    Do you see where I'm coming from here?

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  35. I see where you're coming from, I just disagree that getting angry at folks who, from a Protestant perspective, have done very good research-- even Catholics don't realize a lot of this stuff, even folks who should know better.
    We just draw the "should know better" line in different areas.

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