If you’ve been following the Republican primaries, you might have heard that Rick Santorum gave a speech in Florida a few years ago in which he got to the root of America’s Satan problem. “The Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country – the United States of America,” he said. Satan attacked academia first, Santorum said, because he understood the “pride of smart people.” And it worked–our future leaders, our elites, emerged from their colleges godless and corrupt. Then Satan set his sights on Mainstream Protestantism–and just “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,” Santorum said. With academia, the church, and the elites in Satan’s clutches, popular and political culture fell like so many dominoes.
This is the kind of talk that I associate with Evangelicals, not Catholics, but let’s face it, it’s not an uncommon way of speaking, thinking, and believing. As I wrote in The New Hate, for millions of religious Americans, “‘evil’ is not just an adjective but a noun.” Satan lives and walks among us; he is constantly tempting the faithful, many of whom live in fear that one of his demons will literally possess their bodies and their brains. For people who believe that, it’s not even a baby step to the idea that Obama and the forces of secularism are fighting a war against religion. To the extent that “religion” equals Biblical literalism or a Dominionist agenda they are. Aren’t colleges bastions of “evolution” and “relativism” and “Marxism”? Don’t some of the biggest mainline Protestant denominations ordain active homosexuals? Isn’t pop culture a sewer?
But of course to the tens of millions of Americans who aren’t Evangelicals or Charismatic Catholics, Santorum sounds a little….weird. This poses a problem for him, because he can’t walk back or abandon any of his moral positions–not only are they the reason that the Evangelical right loves him, the MSM has been telling us that Santorum’s core brand proposition is his sincerity.
Unlike Romney, the story goes, Santorum walks the walk. Just look at his enormous family; of course he’s opposed to birth control. And there’s nothing hypocritical about him taking money from fracking interests because he believes in what they are doing. According to his understanding of the doctrine of stewardship “we were put on this Earth as creatures of God to have dominion over the Earth, to use it wisely and steward it wisely, but for our benefit not for the Earth’s benefit.”
But talking about Satan like he’s real…. For the great fickle middle who decide national elections, that’s a real problem. Rush Limbaugh weighed in the other day:
Drudge has this plastered up. The Democrats have found it. It’s all over the place. Think Progress and whatever leftist think tanks have dug this up, and it’s part of the predictable attempt to impugn Santorum as an absolute religious nut and wacko. But he did say these things and he’ll to have an answer for these things when queried.
But first, Limbaugh tries to answer for Santorum himself, using the most powerful rhetorical weapon in the right wing arsenal: moral equivalence.
Remember when Hugo Chavez made a speech at the UN and said that he smelled a whiff of sulfur from George W. Bush? Gotcha!
We’re back to the double standard. Hugo Chavez can show up and call George W. Bush Satan. ‘Hey, hey! You know what, that’s right! That’s great. Let’s laugh about it. Let’s applaud it.’ Santorum gives a speech in Ave Maria, Florida, back in 2008. “Oh, my God, we’re dealing with a nutcase!
So is Rush telling us that Santorum doesn’t really believe in this Satan shit? That it’s just a mildly blasphemous joke of the sort that a Venezuelan Marxist demagogue might crack for cheap laughs at the UN? But Limbaugh wasn’t finished. Santorum says that academia has fallen to Satan. You know which academic worshipped Satan? (Actually he wasn’t an academic, but never mind).
Saul Alinksy, the primary mentor of ‘Barack Hussein Obama! Mmm, mmm, mmm!’ Saul Alinsky, the author of the book Rules for Radicals — a book about which Hillary Clinton wrote her masters or doctoral thesis, whatever it was, when she was at Wellesley. Saul Alinsky, who Obama has studied and implements to this day and whose tactics he taught while ostensibly teaching law at the University of Chicago.
“Alinsky dedicated his book that all these leftists love to Lucifer, the Devil!” Limbaugh crows.
So am I to understand that Santorum’s ideas about the Devil are no different than Chavez’ and Alinsky’s? What does this do to Santorum’s brand proposition? It seems to me that Limbaugh isn’t doing Santorum any favors.
But what do I know? I’m in Lucifer’s camp myself.
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