Santorum: “I don’t question the president’s faith. It’s… phony theology”

Santorum Drops By Iowa State Fair

Santorum Drops By Iowa State Fair (Photo credit: Talk Radio News Service)

Really, Rick? You don’t question it – it’s just “phony”. Maybe you are a good enough politician – that’s some word-class doublespeak there – to be the weasel-in-chief after all.

Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum speaks during a Tea Party rally February 18, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio.

A more congenial Rick Santorum doubled down on several controversial, and religiously laden, remarks in an interview Sunday morning on CBS’sFace the Nation,” where he defended his recent claims that prenatal testing results in abortions, that federally provided education was “anachronistic,” and that President Obama’s policies are not “based on the Bible.”

“I’ve repeatedly said I don’t question the president’s faith,” Santorum told host Bob Schieffer, denying what some have said was a signal that Santorum had challenged the legitimacy of Obama’s Christianity. “I’ve repeatedly said that I believe the president’s Christian — he says he’s Christian. But I am talking about his worldview, the way he addresses problems in this country, and they’re different than most people view it in America.”

In a speech to Tea Party conservatives on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio, Santorum had dismissed Obama’s politics as being based in “some phony theology.”

“It’s not about you. It’s not about your quality of life. It’s not about your jobs,” Santorum said. “It’s about some phony ideal, some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible. A different theology.”

An incredulous Bob Schieffer began his interview with Santorum Sunday by asking, “What in the world were you talking about?”

“I was talking about the radical environmentalists,” Santorum said, suggesting that they believe man should protect the earth, rather than “steward its resources.” “I think that is a phony ideal. I don’t believe that’s what we’re here to do … We’re not here to serve the earth. That is not the objective, man is the objective.”

Now, see, that right there: that slippery twist to “radical environmentalism” – that is some slick, focus-grouped, right-wing-pandering quality bullshit. And it’s exactly the kind of bullshit that will sell. That’s some good lube for the base.

Earlier in the day on Saturday, Santorum had also said that health insurance plans shouldn’t be required to cover prenatal testing, because that testing results in more abortions, as well as contending that government-run public education was “anachronistic.”

via Santorum Defends ‘Phony Theology’ Remarks, Doubles Down On Religious Critique Of Obama.

The Biggest Threat to U.S. National Security: Muslims or Christians?

Christians a threat to National Security?  I make the argument that it’s religion that is the largest threat, but which religion is the most dangerous? I doubt the majority of Americans would be able to name a second to the Muslim faith. (The deeply religious minority would probably think of Atheism eventually, but that’s another discussion.) Does a Christian who believes we should welcome the Second Coming as soon as possible pose a threat? Author David Sirota looks at the data over at Slate:

If you have the stomach to listen to enough right-wing talk radio, or troll enough right-wing websites, you inevitably come upon fear-mongering about the Unassimilated Muslim. Essentially, this caricature suggests that Muslims in America are more loyal to their religion than to the United States, that such allegedly traitorous loyalties prove that Muslims refuse to assimilate into our nation and that Muslims are therefore a national security threat.

Earlier this year, a Gallup poll illustrated just how apocryphal this story really is. It found that Muslim Americans are one of the most — if not the single most — loyal religious group to the United States. Now, comes the flip side from the Pew Research Center’s stunning findings about other religious groups in America (emphasis mine):

“American Christians are more likely than their Western European counterparts to think of themselves first in terms of their religion rather than their nationality; 46 percent of Christians in the U.S. see themselves primarily as Christians and the same number consider themselves Americans first. In contrast, majorities of Christians in France (90 percent), Germany (70 percent), Britain (63 percent) and Spain (53 percent) identify primarily with their nationality rather than their religion. Among Christians in the U.S., white evangelicals are especially inclined to identify first with their faith; 70 percent in this group see themselves first as Christians rather than as Americans, while 22 percent say they are primarily American.”

If, as Islamophobes argue, refusing to assimilate is defined as expressing loyalty to a religion before loyalty to country, then this data suggests it is evangelical Christians who are very resistant to assimilation. And yet, few would cite these findings to argue that Christians pose a serious threat to America’s national security. Why the double standard?

Being such a Christian-centric country, it might seem counter-intuitive that Muslims aren’t the biggest threat. But think about it: devout Christians are quick to put God before Country, God Above All, and most Americans don’t even notice. Change God to Allah from a devout Muslim, and the average American would call the FBI pronto. Sirota continues:

Because Christianity is seen as the dominant culture in America — indeed, Christianity and America are often portrayed as being nearly synonymous, meaning expressing loyalty to the former is seen as the equivalent to expressing loyalty to the latter. In this view, there is no such thing as separation between the Christian church and the American state — and every other culture and religion is expected to assimilate to Christianity. To do otherwise is to be accused of waging a “War on Christmas” — or worse, to be accused of being disloyal to America and therefore a national security threat.

Of course, a genuinely pluralistic America is one where — regardless of the religion in question — we see no conflict between loyalties to a religion and loyalties to country. In this ideal America, those who identify as Muslims first are no more or less “un-American” than Christians who do the same (personally, this is the way I see things).

But if our politics and culture are going to continue to make extrapolative judgments about citizens’ patriotic loyalties based on their religious affiliations, then such judgments should at least be universal — and not so obviously selective or brazenly xenophobic.

(via Are evangelicals a national security threat? – Religion –

English: Christian Bible, rosary, and crucifix.

Image via Wikipedia

That’s a nice dream, but the reality is most Americans don’t notice how  dangerous the “God First, America Second” belief is. I shudder to think how many deeply evangelical Christians are in the military, answering to “a higher law”. And of course, we have the base of the right wing – fundamentalist Christians – trying to elect a President who believes the same thing. If someone like a Rick Perry or a Herman Cain ends up with their finger on the button, I’d call that a bigger threat to our National Security than the “Muslim” president we have now.

Herman Cain: “Dr. Abdallah. That sounds foreign… too foreign.”

There was a time when I was rooting for Herman Cain to win the Republican nomination. The thought of having two black men running for president was too beautiful; I could just imagine all those racist cracker heads exploding in unison like some bloody Darwinian symphony, with Rush Limbaugh‘s bloated belfry as the finale.

But now this art performance (to quote MSNBC‘s Rachel Maddow) has gone too far, even for me. Cain’s hate-filled, Christians-only, blatantly misogynist run needs to stop. The folks at BalloonJuice strip off the sugar-coating:

What a disgusting, bigoted piece of crap.

I’m not sure how much more bullshit could possibly spew from Herman Cain’s face-hole.  From claiming that he would make Muslims take a loyalty oath, to his not-at-all credible claims that he didn’t sexually assault and harass several women during his tenure at the National Restaurant Association, to his jokes about electrified fences along the Mexican border, to calling Nancy Pelosi “Princess Nancy” to calling vegetable pizza “sissy pizza” that real men would never eat, Herman Cain keeps demonstrating that he is, to be blunt, an asshole.

And now there’s this doozy: On Friday, Herman Cain made a campaign stop Cain The Holy Land Experience, a Christian-theme amusement park in central Florida where he intimated that he wouldn’t want a dirty Muslim furriner to treat him for his cancer. You know—because there are Muslim “sleeper doctors” out there trying to kill dumb fucks like Herman Cain:

Cain speaks for nearly a half an hour and despite a couple fleeting “999” mentions, keeps his speech to topics of faith and his recent battle with cancer. He begins with a story about how he knew he would survive when he discovered that his physician was named “Dr. Lord,” that the hospital attendant’s name was “Grace” and that the incision made on his chest during the surgery would be in the shape of a “J.”

“Come on, y’all. As in J-E-S-U-S! Yes! A doctor named Lord! A lady named Grace! And a J-cut for Jesus Almighty,” Cain boomed.

He did have a slight worry at one point during the chemotherapy process when he discovered that one of the surgeon’s name was “Dr. Abdallah.”

“I said to his physician assistant, I said, ‘That sounds foreign—not that I had anything against foreign doctors—but it sounded too foreign,” Cain tells the audience. “She said, ‘He’s from Lebanon.’ Oh, Lebanon! My mind immediately started thinking, wait a minute, maybe his religious persuasion is different than mine! She could see the look on my face and she said, ‘Don’t worry, Mr. Cain, he’s a Christian from Lebanon.’”

“Hallelujah!” Cain says. “Thank God!”

Herman Cain? Please go away. Just get yourself a Fox News talkshow and end this farce. Or, if you prefer, find an exceedingly hot fire and hurl yourself in it.

Thanks in advance.

via Balloon Juice » Herman Cain Might Not Accept Medical Treatment from Muslims

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid: The Republican Plan To Nullify The Courts and Establish Christian Theocracy

Whoever gets the Republican nomination in 2012, you can be sure of one thing: they plan to end our Democracy.

At the Iowa “Thanksgiving Family Forum” there were dire warnings against Sharia law. But there was a whole lotta love for a Theocracy, as long as it’s a Christian one. In fact, only one candidate even mentioned freedom of choice; the only problem is, he hasn’t a chance in hell (you’ll pardon the expression) of winning the nomination (via Slate):

There was [only] one voice of dissent among the candidates. Ron Paul, the libertarian congressman from Texas, argued that people should be allowed to make bad decisions, that freedom of choice in religious matters should extend to atheists, and that powers not reserved to the federal government should be left to the states. But in a field of candidates bent on legislating Christian morality and purging uncooperative judges, Paul stood alone. Protecting America is too important to let the Constitution get in the way.

The rest, meh… Jesus is Lord, and we have to make our country ready for his return. Here are the lowlights of your current Republican hopefuls, every one waiting to get their godly, self-righteous finger on the nuclear button:

1. Religious Americans must fight back against nonbelievers. To quote Herman Cain:

What we are seeing is a wider gap between people of faith and people of nonfaith. … Those of us that are people of faith and strong faith have allowed the nonfaith element to intimidate us into not fighting back. I believe we’ve been too passive. We have maybe pushed back, but as people of faith, we have not fought back.
2. The religious values we must fight for are Judeo-Christian. Rick Perry warned:

Somebody’s values are going to decide what the Congress votes on or what the president of the United States is going to deal with. And the question is: Whose values? And let me tell you, it needs to be our values—values and virtues that this country was based upon in Judeo-Christian founding fathers.

3. Our laws and our national identity are Judeo-Christian. Michele Bachmann explained:

American exceptionalism is grounded on the Judeo-Christian ethic, which is really based upon the 10 Commandments. The 10 Commandments were the foundation for our law. That’s what Blackstone said—the English jurist—and our founders looked to Blackstone for the foundation of our law. That’s our law.

4. No religion but Christianity will suffice. Perry declared, “In every person’s heart, in every person’s soul, there is a hole that can only be filled by the Lord Jesus Christ.”

5. God created our government. Bachmann told the audience: I have a biblical worldview. And I think, going back to the Declaration of Independence, the fact that it’s God who created us—if He created us, He created government. And the government is on His shoulders, as the book of Isaiah says.

6. U.S. law should follow God’s law. As Rick Santorum put it:

Unlike Islam, where the higher law and the civil law are the same, in our case, we have civil laws. But our civil laws have to comport with the higher law. … As long as abortion is legal—at least according to the Supreme Court—legal in this country, we will never have rest, because that law does not comport with God’s law.

7. Anything that’s immoral by religious standards should be outlawed. Santorum again:

God gave us rights, but He also gave us laws upon which to exercise those rights, and that’s what you ought to do. And, by the way, the law should comport—the laws of this country should comport with that moral vision. Why? Because the law is a teacher. If something is illegal in this country because it is immoral and it is wrong and it is harmful to society, saying that it is illegal and putting a law in place teaches. It’s not just—laws cannot be neutral. There is no neutral, Ron. There is only moral and immoral. And the law has to reflect what is right and good and just for our society.

 8. The federal government should impose this morality on the states. Santorum once more:
The idea that the only things that the states are prevented from doing are only things specifically established in the Constitution is wrong. Our country is based on a moral enterprise. Gay marriage is wrong. As Abraham Lincoln said, the states do not have the right to do wrong. … As a president, I will get involved, because the states do not have the right to undermine the basic, fundamental values that hold this country together.

9. Congress should erase the judiciary’s power to review moral laws. Newt Gingrich suggested:

I am intrigued with something which Robby George at Princeton has come up with, which is an interpretation of the 14th Amendment, in which it says that Congress shall define personhood. That’s very clearly in the 14th Amendment. And part of what I would like to explore is whether or not you could get the Congress to pass a law which simply says: Personhood begins at conception. And therefore—and you could, in the same law, block the court and just say, ‘This will not be subject to review,’ which we have precedent for. You would therefore not have to have a constitutional amendment, because the Congress would have exercised its authority under the 14th Amendment to define life, and to therefore undo all of Roe vs. Wade, for the entire country, in one legislative action.

Gingrich said the same strategy could secure the Defense of Marriage Act, which bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages and protects the right of states to disregard same-sex marriages performed in other states. In his words, “You could repass DOMA and make it not appealable to the court, period.”

10. Courts that get in the way should be abolished. Gingrich again:

The simplest first step which I would take is to propose—and I hope this will be a significant part of the campaign next year—I have proposed to abolish the court of Judge Biery in San Antonio, who on June 1 issued an order that said, not only could students not pray at their graduation, they couldn’t use the word benediction, the could not say the word prayer, they could not say the word God, they could not ask people to stand for a moment of silence, they couldn’t use the word invocation, and if he broke any of those, he would put their superintendent in jail. I regard that as such a ruthless anti-American statement that he should not be on the court, and I would move to literally abolish his court, so that he could go back to private practice, as a signal to the courts.

Biery’s order was an overreach. In fact, it was overturned two days later by an appeals court. But he’s only the first target of the anti-judicial purge. The next words after Gingrich’s threat came from Santorum, who said: “I agree with a lot of what has just been said here. I would go farther—one step farther, Newt. I would abolish the entire Ninth Circuit.”

11. The purge of judges should be based on public opinion. Gingrich  once more:

Part of the purpose of singling out Judge Biery and eliminating his job is to communicate the standard that the two elected branches have the power and the authority to educate the judiciary when it deviates too far from the American people. And I think you would probably take that approach.

12. Freedom means obeying morality. Santorum concluded, “Our founders understood liberty is not what you want to do, but what you ought to do. That’s what liberty really is about.”

So there you have it. The only hope for actual freedom of religion, and any voice for atheists, is Ron Paul. Who believes in hell, he just doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in it.

via Christian theocracy: How Newt Gingrich and the GOP would abolish courts and legislate morality. – Slate Magazine.

Wait, wait… Jesus Will Change Your DNA to Get You Off The Hook For Previous Crimes? Sweet.

No, I’m not making this up, that’s what fundy pastor Al Stefanelli says. That’s certainly going to help all those criminals in the audience hurry to accept Christ. And not that I’m making any assumptions either, but are any of his tattoos from prison? Just sayin’.


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