Monday, February 20, 2012

Santorum's Jihad: His Christian Crusade Against President Obama

Any takers — are there enough religious fundamentalists, bigots, and xenophobes in Michigan's Republican primary electorate to give Rick Santorum a victory for Opus Dei-style right wing fascism? Santorum is impervious to irony and blatant hypocrisy, it seems, when he doubles down on his ridiculous claims that the President's agenda is "a phony 'theology'... based [not] on the Bible... [but] a different theology."

Let's parse this statement, shall we. First, our government is not a theocracy. The Constitution says so. The Founding Fathers said so. Our foundational principles teach us so. American History 101 says so: The first European settlers to this land were escaping religious persecution by England's monarch and its state religion. The religious sectionalism then was among Christian faiths. The Puritans were conservative Protestants who revolted against remnants of Catholicism in the Church of England. It was an oppressive state Christian religion which finally compelled them to settle in the New World.

Set aside Islam, Buddhism, atheism, Hinduism, or Wicca. Would a Jewish president be acceptable to Rick Santorum? Jews worship the Old Testament Bible but reject the New Testament which proclaims Jesus Christ to be the Messiah. If Santorum pretends to be consistent about about his extremist Opus Dei Catholicism, then the answer is no. But wait. Let's stick with the familiar. According to Rick Santorum, "Protestants are gone from the world of Christianity." Note that this link is to a conservative media site. (The religious wars raging among the extreme Right of the Republican Party is totally hilarious, bordering on an absurdist Monty Python sketch.) A deist and liberal (albeit slave-owner) like Thomas Jefferson would never make it with this GOP/Tea Party horde of wingnut American "patriots."

Nice try, Rick, but there's nothing theological about the President's agenda. His policies are secular, in the best tradition of American democracy. If you're against them, because your party's in the pocket of the oil and gas industry, oppose them on policy and political grounds, not on ridiculous pseudo-theological claims blaming "radical environmentalists."

That is so old, so antediluvian. What's good for the environment is good for our lives, our children's lives, and our children's children's lives. The only argument for climate change denialism and environmental destruction is religious Apocalypse — end of times beliefs that predict total destruction for all but Rick Santorum, Tony Perkins, Fred Phelps and a chosen few, and excludes all world religions outside extremist Christianity (45 million American Protestants need not apply) as well as gays and atheists in a Rapture of puerile hatred and sanctified religious cleansing. (We're all going to Hell anyway, so we might as well speed it up by destroying our environment and killing the planet.)

"What in the world were you talking about?!" Asked an incredulous Bob Schieffer. Good question, Bob.

But the really delicious irony about Rick Santorum's crazed extremism isn't only that he doesn't practice what he preaches — that goes with the wingnut territory — but to even suggest the President is "different" as in "the other" given Santorum's family background and extremist associations should introduce a new re-definition of "chutzpah" into the English lexicon. Merriam-Webster defines the Yiddish word "chutzpah" as "supreme self-confidence : nerve, gall." But sometimes, when that nerve is as galling as the daily campaign trail pronouncements of Rick Santorum, the adjective for outrageous and inflammatory statements should be, "you have a whole lot of Santorum."

Speaking of extremist "theology" Rick Santorum has been linked to the most extreme right wing sect (more like a cult) of Catholicism, Opus Dei. Its fascist tendencies are well known and documented. Just google the name with fascism:
If Opus Dei had "never seen the need to bring itself up to date", as Escrivá maintained, Opus would today be a paramilitary, pro-fascist, antimodernist, integralist (reactionary) organization. If it is not, it is because it has evolved over time, just as the Catholic Church, the Franco regime, and Msgr. Escrivá himself evolved. [Evolved ... Really? What, since its support for fascist military dictatorships like that of the murderous monster Gen. Augusto Pinochet in Chile?]
Hilariously, here Rick Santorum appropriately channels one of the Twilight Zone's most famous episodes: "We're not here to serve the earth. That is not the objective, man is the objective." Santorum's Opus Dei connections, detailed here, include statements he gave in Rome in 2002 repudiating JFK's famous speech on the separation of church and state, specifically that Kennedy, as a Catholic, would not be taking orders from the Vatican. In an interview with the National Catholic Reporter, Santorum said the JFK speech had caused "much harm in America" and that George W. Bush was "the first Catholic president of the United States."

Finally, speaking of familial connections like the hysteria generated by President Obama's Kenyan father, to the point that the President's American birthright continues to be questioned by vitriolic wingnut crazies, including ironically, a right wing Russian emigré, why hasn't Rick railed against communists (or even socialists) in our government — the old wingnut standby? Well, when your family has such close ties to the Italian Communist Party it gets ... awkward.

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