Rick Santorum is an agnostic blogger’s dream. Almost daily the guy trots out some insipid, moronic Christofascist comment or other. Among other things, he claims to be an expert on theology, and you may remember he once said the Crusades were not “aggression.” Well, he’s made news this week due to remarks he made — but four years ago, back in 2008. I’m not sure why they surfaced only just now (courtesy of the extreme Leftists at Right Wing Watch), but the mass media are now all abuzz about them, and that would include the folks at CBS News (WebCite cached version):
Santorum said in August 2008 that “Satan has his sights set” on the United States of America, adding that “the Father of Lies” is using vice to go after the nation’s great institutions.
“Satan [has been] attacking the great institutions of America, using those great vices of pride, vanity, and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition,” Santorum said at Ave Maria University in Florida in 2008. …
According to Santorum, academia was Satan’s first beachhead:
Santorum goes on to say that Satan has been “most successful and first successful” in attacking academia, saying Satan exploited the “pride of smart people.”
This, of course, is standard Religious Right anti-intellectual fare. Not too surprising — except for irony of him making this comment in the middle of a university. I expect a guy like Santorum to attack those evil communistic university-types, but he went on to attack a different target:
Then, he said, Satan went after the church, and now “we look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is in shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it.”
What makes this unfortunate for Santorum is that the Religious Right which makes or breaks GOP presidential candidates is made up primarily of Protestant evangelicals. I’m not sure how amenable they’ll be to the assertion that “mainline Protestantism … is in shambles.” Of course, if they like Santorum enough, they might very well just ignore it, or perhaps rationalize it away as his effort to pander to a Catholic school audience.
As I said, this has caused quite a stir in the news over the last few days, as though it’s somehow incredible or remarkable; but most of the tropes in this 2008 speech — especially the assertion that Satan has conquered universities — are just standard Religious Rightist fare. I wonder if the fact that I graduated from a public university would make Santorum think I’m a tool of Satan … ?
I’ll close this post with the portion of the speech that Right Wing Watch has made available via Youtube:
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.Tags: 2008, 2012 gop primary, academia, anti-intellectual, anti-intellectualism, antiintellectual, antiintellectualism, ave maria university, christian right, devil, gop, gop primary, presidential campaign, religious right, republican, rick santorum, right, santorum, satan, united states