GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum said today that watching John F. Kennedy’s speech to the Baptist ministers in Houston in 1960 made him want to “throw up.”
“To say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes you throw up. What kind of country do we live that says only people of non-faith can come into the public square and make their case?” Santorum said.
Actually, Rickie, we don’t live in a country like that! Like most Religious Rightists, he interprets “freedom of religion” to mean “freedom for religious people to use government as a weapon, to force everyone else to live according to their beliefs.” To the R.R., any effort by anyone to prevent them from pounding their religiosity into other people, is an impermissible impediment to their own religious freedom. He — and they — are also arguing a straw man. No one, to my knowledge, has ever said a religious person cannot run for or hold a political office because s/he is religious. Separation of church and state does not require that at all. There has never been any effort to remove religious people from office or prevent them from running.
It did not happen. It isn’t happening now. And it will never happen. Period. All the whining and bellyaching and railing about it, can never make it happen. To argue against it is foolish, since it’s non-existent. One may as well argue against pixies and unicorns too.
Santorum’s lie places him squarely in my “lying liars for Jesus” club. I’m sure the former Senator will find himself in good company there.
It’s particularly troubling to see Santorum colorfully disparaging a speech that, arguably, opened the door for him — as the Catholic he is — to run for president. But his ignorance of history and his purposeful misstatement of what “separation of church and state” and “religious freedom” mean are not surprising.
I can’t think of any clearer indication than this, that Santorum is a dominionist, out to refashion the country into a Christocracy. What’s even scarier than a dominionist running for president, is that this particular dominionist is damned close to becoming the Republican nominee; only Mitt Romney stands in his way and the two of them are no longer very far apart.
Photo credit: Austin Cline / About.Com; original: National Archives.Tags: 2012 election, 2012 gop primary, 2012 presidential campaign, 2012 presidential election, abc this week, christian, christian right, christianism, christianist, christianists, Christianity, christians, christofascism, christofascist, christofascists, dominionism, dominionist, dominionists, faith, freedom of religion, freedom of worship, george stephanopoulos, gop, gop primary, liar for jesus, liars for jesus, lying liar for jesus, lying liars for jesus, religiofascism, religiofascist, religiofascists, Religion, religionism, religionist, religionists, religious liberty, religious right, republican, republican primary, republicans, rick santorum, right, santorum, Separation of church and state, socas