Saturday, January 7, 2012

Iowa, What Were You Thinking?

Until the last few days of 2011, Rick Santorum was a non-entity. Nobody knew who he was, nobody cared. He was trailing in the polls, just marginally ahead of last-placed Jon Huntsman (who, by the way, seems to be the only candidate with any semblance of sanity), polling at about 4%. Right where he belonged. Rick Santorum's campaign was like a wadi in the summer, dying and bereft of life. Then Iowa came along like the long-awaited rains, and now his campaign has a new lease of life. Santorum lost by a mere 8 votes to default front-runner, Mitt Romney who has weathered surges from one candidate after another-- Bachmann, Perry, Cain and Gingrich.

So what about Rick Santorum makes me cringe? He personifies everything that is wrong with the Republican Party. When bigotry rears its ugly head, you can be sure Santorum is not far behind. Extremely homophobic, anti-science and out of touch with reality, he swears by a book illiterate desert dwellers made up over two thousand years ago.

Marriage Equality

At a college in New Hampshire, when asked about his views on gay marriage he compared it to polygamy. He waxes eloquent about how all men are created equal, yet when it comes to supporting same sex unions, homosexuals no longer hold the same rights. It's a case of 'your equality ends where my beliefs begin'.

Santorum thinks he's on logically sound ground by comparing marriage equality with polygamy. He couldn't be further from the truth. As a commenter on The Friendly Atheist put it, "To recognize same-sex marriage, not a single law relating to the practice of marriage changes -- only eligibility changes". Legalizing polygamy causes a whole host of legislative problems due to issues relating to tax benefits, power of attorney and how assets are divvied up on death of a spouse. Same sex marriage on the other hand is simply entitling same sex couples to the same benefits that a heterosexual couple gets. Also, going by Santorum's twisted logic, that heterosexual couples could marry would be the only necessary condition to allowing polygamy as well. If two straight people can marry, then why not three, ten or even a hundred as long as they are all consenting?

Santorum thinks his views on gay rights are not bigoted because they are the teachings of the Catholic Church, founded on more than 2000 years of history. And that is exactly the same logic bigots used when they fought against abolishing the practice of slavery. The Bible condones it, so slavery must be good. And abolishing it would lead to a breakdown of the righteous lives that god wants us to lead. They had the same problems when it came to allowing inter-racial couples to marry as well. Now, who besides the most bigoted people in the world think interracial marriage is a sin?

If Santorum's argument is that same-sex couples cannot procreate naturally and that procreation is a necessary condition for marriage, then what about infertile heterosexual couples? What about couples who don't want to have babies? Santorum wants the government to dictate what goes on in the bedroom.

Evolution and Science

Moving on, his views on science are quite antediluvian. He questions the scientific validity of evolution and he proposed incorporating a clause in the No Child Left Behind Bill which stated that evolution was not widely accepted. By the ignorant, illiterate Bible-thumpers perhaps. 99% of the scientific community accepts evolution. If we listened to the ignorant, we'd still be living in a flat earth-centric universe. Santorum recently said, "Science will only allow things in the classroom that are consistent with a non-creator idea of how we got here, as if somehow or another that's scientific". Really, Santorum? Where do you get these ideas from? Oh yes, the Bible. That outdated set of rules written by ignorant people so many many years ago.


"As long as abortion is legal, we will never have rest because our law doesn't comport with God's law". His god's law also states that a woman who is raped has to marry her rapist (Deuteronomy 22:28-29). He wants her to have and raise the child of her rapist -- love someone who reminds her of a heinous crime that violated and humiliated her. A girl who is raped and impregnated by a relative should not be allowed to have the choice to terminate her pregnancy? A child of such an abhorrent act can have any number of genetic disorders. It can never hope to have a functional family. Yet, abortion is not an option. Heck, according to the Catholic Church even contraception and the morning-after pill is morally wrong too. If we allow morality to be dictated by such a morally corrupt organization, we end up staring further and further down the barrel of the second Dark Ages.

Stem Cell Research

Rick Santorum is also uncompromisingly opposed to stem cell research. He called it, 'the wholesale destruction of human life paid for by the federal government'. He pledged to support the presidential veto of any bill that calls for the advancement of stem cell research -- research that could potentially save thousands of human lives. It's quite hard to understand. If he thinks we are playing god, I'd like to see him not take any medication or go to a hospital in the event of a cardiac arrest.

Separation of Church and State

And to top it all of, he doesn't abide by the Constitution's guarantee of the separation of Church and State. He wants to impose his beliefs on the rest of the nation. He proudly says, "America is a country that was founded on the concept that our rights come to us from our creator, come to us from God. He doesn’t say just do whatever you want to do with them, in fact he has laws we must abide by. In our case we have civil laws, but our civil laws have to comport with higher laws". Thomas Jefferson would be mortified to hear statements such as these.

Who'd have thought the two Mormons in the race for the Republican nomination would be the more reasonable of the lot? They accept evolution and stand by the separation of church and state!

Santorum's Roll of Dishonor

"I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say 'now we are going to decide who are people and who are not people'."
- Rick Santorum on President Obama’s race and pro-choice beliefs, 1/19/2011

"The reason Social Security is in big trouble is we don’t have enough workers to support the retirees. A third of all the young people in America are not in America today because of abortion, because one in three pregnancies end in abortion."
- Rick Santorum on how abortion is responsible for Social Security’s problems, 3/29/11

"I don’t think it works. I think it’s harmful to women, I think it’s harmful to our society to have a society that says that sex outside of marriage is something that should be encouraged or tolerated, particularly among the young. I think it has, as we’ve seen, very harmful long-term consequences for society. So birth control to me enables that and I don’t think it’s a healthy thing for our country."
–Saying that birth control is harmful to women, society and our country. CN8′s “Nitebeat with Barry Nolan”, July 28, 2005

"In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be."
–On what homosexuality is not. Associated Press interview, April 2003.

For more such gems: Santorum Exposed

To read more about the other candidates' secular and humanistic views: 2012 Presidential Candidate Scorecard

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