Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Sunday, February 26th, 2012.

The Sickening Santorum

Obama Administration

Santorum says he ‘almost threw up’ after reading JFK speech on separation of church and state.

Nate Silver has Mittens the likely winner in Arizona and Michigan, but he says it is possible Santorum could pick up more Michigan delegates than Mittens if he comes in second. But Frothy is projected to win some of the super Tuesday states and some later March primaries. (Actual headline: “Santorum comes from behind in Alabama three-way.” Kinky.) Newt is favored in Georgia.

Speaking of Frothy, here he is lying his ass off about the First Amendment and pretending the establishment cause isn’t there (via).

This is a speech Santorum made to mark the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s speech in which he promised to keep his Catholicism separate from his presidency. According to Santorum, this was the first time in American history anyone had suggested that religion keep its mitts off government.


Ultimately Kennedy’s attempt to reassure Protestants that the Catholic Church would not control the government and suborn its independence advanced a philosophy of strict separation that would create a purely secular public square cleansed of all religious wisdom and the voice of religious people of all faiths. He laid the foundation for attacks on religious freedom and freedom of speech by the secular left and its political arms like the A.C.L.U and the People for the American Way. This has and will continue to create dissension and division in this country as people of faith increasingly feel like second-class citizens.


It is the debasement of our First Amendment right of religious freedom. Of all the great and necessary freedoms listed in the First Amendment, freedom to exercise religion (not just to believe, but to live out that belief) is the most important; before freedom of speech, before freedom of the press, before freedom of assembly, before freedom to petition the government for redress of grievances, before all others. This freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, is the trunk from which all other branches of freedom on our great tree of liberty get their life.

If you listen — I sat through about half of it — what comes through is that Santorum utterly ignores the establishment clause and believes the First Amendment protects free exercise of religion, period. At one point he says that the First Amendment’s “wall of separation” protects religion from interference by government, but does nothing to protect government from religion.

Of course, Kennedy’s speech was delivered 12 years after the McCollum v. Board of Education decision, in which Justice Black wrote, “Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups, and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect ‘a wall of separation between church and State.'”

It was also delivered about 173 years after James Madison wrote Federalist Paper #10, in which he wrote about the mischief done to government by majority factions, including religious factions.

And, of course, Frothy fails to understand Madison’s point, which is that government only interferes with religion when religion interferes with government; that is, when a faction with a religious agenda is able to take the reins of government and use government authority to impose their beliefs on others.

So this morning on a Sunday bobblehead show Frothy said that Kennedy’s speech on religious separation made him want to throw up. Well, Rick, you make me want to throw up. You’re either too stupid or ignorant to know what you are talking about, or you do know and you are just lying your ass off. Either way is sickening.


Scott Lemieux:

So, if I understand in 1960, the GOP was upset because they (erroneously) believed that a Roman Catholic president would not govern for all Americans but would take orders directly from a religious hierarchy. In 2012, Republicans are furious because a president would try to govern for all Americans rather than taking orders directly from a religious hierarchy.

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