Can a Faithful Catholic Run for President?
Newsflash! Rick Santorum is Catholic! No, really Catholic. What? Who knew?
It’s come to light that Santorum, in a number of interviews, has said he agrees with the Church and that contraception is “harmful to women.”
Insert gasp here. In fact the comments were so gasp worthy that it took months for people to realize how offended they were.
In October, Santorum said in an interview:
One of the things I will talk about that no President has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea. Many in the Christian faith have said, “Well, that’s okay. Contraception’s okay.”
It’s not okay because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.
As Santorum made abundantly clear in the interview he’s not talking about outlawing contraceptives. He’s talking about his personal beliefs.
The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin has called these comments “mind numbing” and says it’ll kill Santorum’s election chances.
Matt Lewis of The Daily Caller wrote that Santorum can believe whatever he wants but if he wants to win he shouldn’t talk about contraception.
Santorum, it seems, finds it almost dishonorable to parry a question about core values. His candidacy isn’t just about winning, it’s also about sending a message to America. He now has a forum and a microphone — with great power comes great responsibility! — and wouldn’t it would be wrong to pass up this opportunity to teach…or proselytize?
In short, it’s O.K. to be a Catholic presidential candidate as long as you’re quiet about it.
Lewis may be right in that it may not be smart politics but I think part of the reason Santorum is surging is that he is who he says he is. Santorum is not the talking points and teleprompter kind of candidate. He’s the anti-Obama.
But never mind the politics of it for a moment.
Santorum’s position is worth talking about. There are a number of issues that presidential candidates do talk about including fatherlessness, abortion, and the skyrocketing rate of STD’s among young girls that are considered worthy of discussion. But I’d love to know how does one talk seriously about those issues without discussing the contraceptive mentality? To avoid discussing how the contraceptive mentality contributes to those three major problems shows a lack of seriousness in discussing those issues.
Matt Lewis says simply that the American people don’t want their politicians talking about contraception. What?! It’s all the Democrat party ever talks about. In the Democratic playbook there’s one solution to all the ills facing America today. Global warming? Contraception. Poverty? Contraception. Abortion? Contraception? The debt? Contraception.
What’s really meant is that you’re not allowed to discuss the negative consequences of a high percentage of the female population ingesting carcinogens and feeling able to jump into bed with men they don’t trust or love.
Santorum said he thinks birth control is harmful to women. Notice nobody’s taking on the issue itself. They want him silenced. It’s off limits. Anti-women.
This is a manufactured controversy that details the roadmap of how Santorum’s opponents intend to destroy his candidacy.
By saying as Jennifer Rubin did that Santorum’s statement “undermines Santorum’s electability” is to say that being faithfully Catholic is a disqualifier from public office. And it may be she’s right. It may be a disqualifier nowadays. Maybe you have to be a Sebelius Catholic or a Pelosi Catholic nowadays to succeed. But then, isn’t that a discussion worth having as well? Or are we not allowed to discuss that either?