Sanctity From Santorum

Why Rick Santorum is bad for the country and what you can do about it.

Recent polls show Rick Santorum with 30%, Romney 27%, Paul, 12% and Gingrich 10% of the votes.  I find it a sad state of affairs when Mitt Romney is the most moderate candidate in the bunch, but alas, that is our reality as American voters.  I have written elsewhere, that I will not be able to vote for one of the Republican candidates in this year’s election.  However, I still want to write about it and to be an advocate against stupidity.  Speaking of stupid, where has the Santorum surge come from?  Most experts seem to agree that the evangelical groups, Tea Party groups, and other conservative Republicans have gotten behind him.  Furthermore, they appear to have gotten behind him a bit more solidly than they did Newt and others a while back.

It should not be surprising to see that this is happening now.  Social issues that are important to Republicans are in the forefront of the news—from the Catholic Church/birth control mess, to the Komen Foundation and Planned Parenthood, to California’ s Prop 8 and gay marriage, and lastly, Obamacare— going to court next month makes it a huge deal to Tea Party people.  The lead in the Republican race has shifted nine times.  There is some thought on the Right, that Santorum could hold the lead.  Very conservative voters do not care for Romney and never will.  That means that when Newt and Paul drop out, the bulk of their support should go to Santorum.  Second, Santorum should have no problem hanging on to the evangelicals, and other religious nutbags who seem to make up a larger part of the Republican faithful than I am comfortable with.

What is so problematic about Santorum?  First, he takes the Bible literally.  This is poor on many levels.  First, as we (atheists) are all tired of saying, there is no evidence that anything in the Bible is true.  Second, and perhaps more importantly in the twenty-first century, taking the Bible literally is shoddy scholarship.  We have a real economic problem in this country.  Arming ourselves with millennia old science is probably not the best way to prepare ourselves or our children for the future.  By future, I mean the future of every possible field in which one could get a job outside of Priest, Pastor, Nun, Monk, Theologian, and other church related jobs of self-important natures.  Third, Rick Santorum has illustrated a poor aptitude for international relations.  His views on the conflicts in the Middle East are downright terrifying.  He is willing to offer unconditional support to Israel that even some of my Jewish friends are not willing to give.  His views on Iran can only lead to war.  Let’s relive some of the old word problems we all did in grammar school math class:

If a plane leaves station A, in Washington D.C., carrying Rick Santorum, his views on Middle East politics, unconditional support for Israel, and his convictions that he MUST be right, because of what the Bible and god tells him in January of 2013, and a different plane leaves Tehran carrying Amadinejad, his views on Middle East politics, his pledge to wipe Israel off the map, and an unwavering belief that he MUST be right because of what the Qur’an and god tell him—-what happens?

 

The only answer that can be given with 100% certainty is:  nothing good.

Lastly, if Santorum wins the Republican nomination it is a validation for stupidity in the U.S.  It will ring the victory bell for religion over science and reason.  It will ring the victory for intolerance based on an old book over tolerance based on common sense and human decency.  These things, and more, all get validation if Santorum wins the nomination.  He does not need to win the general election to advance these causes farther forward than they have ever been in the United States.

Why does this not happen if Romney wins the election?  The answer is simple…look at Massachusetts.  Massachusetts is hardly a bastion of conservatism or Mormonism for that matter.  What Romney says now, in attempt to get elected, is not at all how he acted when governor of Massachusetts.  Gay Marriage and Romneycare both happened during his tenure.  Make no mistake about it, I won’t vote for a Republican in this election, nor will most atheists, I suspect, but Mitt Romney is not the same brand of “Bad for the U.S.” that Santorum is.

Let’s say you agree with me.  What can you do?  Talk to your friends and family.  There is one group from the right that has not yet made its voice heard—moderate Republicans.  My neighborhood is full of them, yet they did not turn out to vote in the primary.  Traditionally, only die-hard conservative or liberal voter vote in primaries.  Most of my conservative friends and family believe in evolution and a non-literal view of the Bible.  My conservative friends and family are stereotypical cafeteria Christians.  I am willing to bet that many of you know people like I do.  I have had some great successes pointing these things out to them.  Unfortunately, I did it after the primary in my State.  This is one time you can speak your mind to your friends and family and leave your atheism out of the conversation if you choose to do so.  (Of course, you can choose to mention it as well).  If we focus on showing our friends and family that Santorum’s views will not prepare their children for the future, will most likely complicate the problems in the Middle East, and will be a victory for ignorance, we may get farther than you might think.  I know I have.

Thanks for reading.  I look forward to your comments.

“Religion now comes to us in this smiling-face, ingratiating way, because it’s had to give so much ground, and because we know so much more. But you’ve no right to forget the way it behaved when it was strong, and when it really did believe that it had God on its side.”—Christopher Hitchens

4 thoughts on “Sanctity From Santorum

  1. The Doubter from Waikanae, Wellington, New Zealand

    You are absolutely spot on, the power of a country to determine itself can actually lie in the hands of the middle moderate class/section of society. In the case of America that's the moderate republicans who consider themselves Christian, work hard, try to forgive, apply common sense, but don't like govt telling them how to think……..these are the 'sleeping' block of votes that can make a big difference, but as you have rightly alluded to….it they don't get involved then its game over and the rep. president candidate will be a 'bible bashing nut job'. Unfortunately there is a general apathy in many western countries to elections nowadays, people are just sick of the same types of politicians standing. :(

    Reply
    1. reasonbeing from Rochester, MN, United States Post author

      I am glad that you agree. I think it is going to be a major problem for the moderate Republicans out there come November. It is also a major problem for people who are tired of religion being jammed down our throats. As I said in the article, Santorum does not need to win the general election. Just by getting the nomination it will be a huge victory for things like Creationism. I would really hate to see that happen. Many of the atheists that I know are not activists on behalf of atheism, I myself am not, unless you count this blog. The nice thing about this is that we can advocate against the influence of religion, without turning the conversation to atheism if we do not elect to do so.

      Reply
      1. The Doubter from Waikanae, Wellington, New Zealand

        I agree, I am more interested in specifc policies/ideas and like to approach them on their own merits. As regard, religion well I ultimately think of them all as very lazy thinking and inherently floored constructs. I would rather see religion taught at school under the broader banner of philosophy, allowing critical debate, insight and analysis……….rather than ramming it down young impressionable minds!

        It is staggering that people consider creationism remotely viable and ID is just a cop out altogether…….god allowed/controlled everything……and placed fossils in the ground to tirck us into testing our faith, yeah right!!!……as the late George Carlin said, "in any decently run universe this god would have been out on this arse ages ago". :)

        Reply
        1. reasonbeing from Rochester, MN, United States Post author

          Carlin is great, hands down. I agree, evolution and ID are just holding back society. There is no way around that point. Religion should be taught as a failed philosophy if anything, but one thing I think we can agree on is that it should continue to be taught in history classes—the sooner that history is the only place it is taught the better. There is no place for it in the future, we have evolved past the need for invisible beings in the sky. Pun intended.

          Reply

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