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Santorum: 'You’re a Liberal Something, but You’re not a Christian'

Over the weekend, Rick Santorum made news when he attacked President Obama's "phony theology." Santorum clarified that he was talking about the president's environmental record and not his faith, insisting that he was not claiming that Obama was not a Christian.

But back in 2008, Santorum had a slightly different view, which he related during remarks he delivered at an Oxford Center for Religion and Public Life event on "The Press & People of Faith in Politics." 

During the Q&A following his speech, Santorum was repeatedly asked about Barack Obama's Christian faith, which he asserted was simply "an avenue for power" for Obama while claiming there was a "conscious disconnection" between Obama's proclamations of faith and his stances on public policy issues.

In fact, said Santorum, there really is no such thing as a "liberal Christian" at all and anyone who doesn't share his right-wing views doesn't really have any right to claim to be a Christian:

[I]s there such thing as a sincere liberal Christian, which says that we basically take this document and re-write it ourselves? Is that really Christian? That’s a bigger question for me. And the answer is, no, it’s not. I don’t think there is such a thing. To take what is plainly written and say that I don’t agree with that, therefore, I don’t have to pay attention to it, means you’re not what you say you are. You’re a liberal something, but you’re not a Christian. That’s sort of how I look at it.

When you go so far afield of that and take what is a salvation story and turn it into a liberation theology story, which is done in the Catholic world as well as in the evangelical world, you have abandoned Christendom, in my opinion. And you don’t have a right to claim it.

During the same Q&A, Santorum also complained about his treatment at the hands of the press when he was in office, claiming that he was constantly referred to as an "extremist" or "fundamentalist" or "zealot" simply because he stood in opposition to "sexual freedom":

And it’s just insidious. And it’s most of the time focused on the sexual issues. If you’re a hard-core free-market guy, they’re not going to call you “zealous”. They’re not going to call you “ultra-conservative”. They’re not going to do that to you.

It comes down to sex. That’s what it’s all about. It comes down to freedom, and it comes down to sex. If you have anything to with any of the sexual issues, and if you are on the wrong side of being able to do all of the sexual freedoms you want, you are a bad guy. And you’re dangerous because you are going to limit my freedom in an area that’s the most central to me. And that’s the way it’s looked at.

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Woodstock is the great American orgy. This is who the Democratic Party has become. They have become the party of Woodstock. The prey upon our most basic primal lusts, and that’s sex. And the whole abortion culture, it’s not about life. It’s about sexual freedom. That’s what it’s about. Homosexuality. It’s about sexual freedom.

All of the things are about sexual freedom, and they hate to be called on them. They try to somehow or other tie this to the Founding Father’s vision of liberty, which is bizarre. It’s ridiculous.

Dobson and Jeffress Lament the Imminent 'Implosion' of America

Robert Jeffress took his book tour to James Dobson’s Family Talk and the two Religious Right leaders bemoaned that America is doomed as a result of Supreme Court decisions in Engel v. Vitale, Roe v. Wade and Lawrence v. Texas. Jeffress falsely claimed that Engel “removed voluntary prayers from the school,” when it actually said it was unconstitutional for public schools to compose and organize prayers. He also claimed that Engel, along with Roe and Lawrence have “so destroyed the spiritual and moral structure of our nation that we are going to collapse on ourselves, we are going to implode, it’s only a question of when.”

Jeffress: I believe there have been three explosive decisions by the Supreme Court in the last fifty years that have so weakened our spiritual and social structure as a nation that our implosion is inevitable. In 1962, Engel v. Vitale which removed voluntary prayers from the school, all of the decisions that have cascaded down from that decision that have made government not neutral but hostile to Christianity. Then in 1973 of course Roe v. Wade that has resulted in 40 million unborn children at least being murdered in the womb.

Dobson: I think it’s closer to 50 [million].

Jeffress: That’s right. Listen, you can’t kill 20 percent almost of your population and not have economic repercussions for that. So that’s the second decision. The third decision in 2003, which our listeners may not be as familiar with, the Lawrence v. Texas decision, where the Supreme Court really paved the way for same-sex marriages.



Jeffress: Now think about it, when you first of all remove prayer and make government hostile toward Christianity, when you allow for the murder of the unborn and when you absolutely redefine the most basic institution of society, marriage and the home, you have so destroyed the spiritual and moral structure of our nation that we are going to collapse on ourselves, we are going to implode, it’s only a question of when.

Tea Party Nation Suggests Obama Is a 'Muslim Radical'

Today Tea Party Nation president Judson Phillips emailed members an article from fellow activist Marcia Wood on the Arab Spring. Wood writes that “Obama has blatantly without remorse lied to Americans time and time again” in order to bolster the Muslim Brotherhood, and she claims to have figured out how the President can justify his supposed lying: “Without vetting it becomes quite apparent who he is, where he came from and what his business is in our United States. Remember that the Muslim Radicals believe it’s good to lie for a ‘greater cause.’” She concludes that Obama is “aggressively destroying our Nation cutting back on our Military power and nuclear capabilities as he pursues a false ‘ideology.’”

Although Obama and many Democrats try to soft sell the Arab Springs movement, it was by no means a peaceful movement. The violent clashes in Tunisia ended with the arrest of scores of people, store fronts were damaged, cars demolished as police tried to control the protestors with tear gas.

Obama continued his praise of the Arab Springs as they swept thru Libya, Bahrain, Syria, Yemen and Jordan, marking the greatest wave of political change the world has seen since the fall of the Berlin Wall. While we were sleeping he continued his support of the Muslim Radicals and Islamist Terrorists sending our troops into Libya where thousands of innocent people were murdered.

Obama defended the strikes in Libya saying our interests and values were at stake – which should have been rephrased to “his interests and values.” He met with one of the Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi of Tunisia gleefully handing him 39 million dollars. The Prime Minister was one of the pioneers of the Arab Springs!

Obama has supported the Muslim Brotherhood throughout the Middle East and regardless of his lies; this movement has not been about freedom and democracy. Obama has blatantly without remorse lied to Americans time and time again always giving excuses for his support of the Arab Springs and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Without vetting it becomes quite apparent who he is, where he came from and what his business is in our United States. Remember that the Muslim Radicals believe it’s good to lie for a “greater cause.” His lack of engagement with the Egypt hostage situation should not be a surprise, because in his arrogance he forgot one thing - the revolutionaries that he supported are not his friends and now he’s facing their wrath.



I see a Commander in Chief who is aggressively destroying our Nation cutting back on our Military power and nuclear capabilities as he pursues a false “ideology.” Obama is living it up on the Presidential Campaign trail while 19 Americans are being held hostage in Egypt by the Muslim Radicals that Obama supported. Something is definitely wrong with this picture!

Santorum and the 'Green Dragon': Faith-Based Attacks on Environmentalism Nothing New from the Religious Right

Republican presidential frontrunner Rick Santorum raised a lot of eyebrows this weekend when he attacked environmentalism as anti-Biblical and said that President Obama has a “phony theology” that sides with “radical environmentalists” over the Bible. While it was remarkable to hear these theories coming from a major presidential candidate, the theories themselves are nothing new. Instead, Santorum was drawing from a dual line of attack on environmentalists and progressive people of faith that has recently come into wide use among the Religious Right.

In 2010, People For the American Way looked at the concerted right-wing effort to frame environmentalism as anti-Biblical in a Right Wing Watch: In Focus report, The ‘Green Dragon’ Slayers: How the Religious Right and the Corporate Right are Joining Forces to Fight Environmental Protection . The report took its title from a right-wing “documentary” called “Resisting the Green Dragon,” which featured major Religious Right figures including the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer and faux historian David Barton. Kyle put together a highlight reel:

 

The Religious Right’s relatively new antipathy to environmentalism is largely the result of the hard work of E. Calvin Beisner, a purveyor of dominion theology and the leader of The Cornwall Alliance, a group with financial ties to the oil industry. The Cornwall Alliance’s sole purpose is to convince the Religious Right to buy into the Corporate Right’s climate change denialism and help them demonize environmentalists. The RWW report details the growing partnership:

In the last decade, as evangelical Christian leaders increasingly became involved in conservation , “creation care” and taking action against global climate change , the alarms went up in corporate America that many traditional members of the conservative coalition were becoming advocates for environmental protection. To counter the rise of the faith-based environmentalist Evangelical Climate Initiative, the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance emerged. The ISA, propped up by business interests including Exxon Mobil , has peddled misleading and false claims to make the case that climate change is a myth. In 2007, the ISA was renamed the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation and became more belligerent and zealous in its anti-environmental activities.

The Cornwall Alliance is led by E. Calvin Beisner, who believes that since God granted humans “dominion” over the earth, humans have a right to exploit all natural resources. As Randall Balmer writes in Thy Kingdom Come, Beisner “asserts that God has placed all of nature at the disposal of humanity.” Balmer quotes Beisner’s own summary of his dominion theology: “All of our acquisitive activities should be undertaken with the purpose of extending godly rule, or dominion.” As Balmer notes, “the combination of dominion theology from the Religious Right and the wise use ideology of corporate and business interests has created a powerful coalition to oppose environmental protection.”

According to a report by Think Progress , the Cornwall Alliance is a front group for the shadowy James Partnership. Both the James Partnership and the Cornwall Alliance are closely linked to the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), an anti-environmental group that is “funded by at least $542,000 from ExxonMobil, $60,500 from Chevron, and $1,280,000 from Scaife family foundations, which are rooted in wealth from Gulf Oil and steel interests.” CFACT is also part of a climate change denialist network funded by the ExxonMobil-financed Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Beisner is a CFACT board member and an “adjunct fellow” of the Acton Institute , which is primarily funded by groups like ExxonMobil, the Scaife foundations and the Koch brothers. Beisner is also an adviser to the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, which is financed by the oil-backed Earthart Foundation , the Koch brothers, and ExxonMobil.

In fact, Beisner is not a scientist and has no scientific credentials. Despite claiming to be an authority on energy and environmental issues, he received his Ph.D. in Scottish History.

Beisner has been extraordinarily successful in convincing the Religious Right that environmentalism presents a threat to Christianity. Earlier this month, he told Fischer that the EPA is violating the separation of church and state by helping to promote the upcoming film version of “The Lorax.” Why? Because he claims that environmentalism is itself a religion. This is rhetoric that Santorum, in saying that Obama’s theology is influenced by “radical environmentalists,” has swallowed whole.

Also active in the effort to recruit the Religious Right to the Corporate Right’s view of environmentalism has been David Barton, self-proclaimed historian and all-purpose fake expert. In 2010, he appeared on the Glenn Beck show along with Beisner explain that environmentalists want us to “live in fear”:

Barton -- who is no more a historian than Beisner is a scientist – is a widely influential figure in the Right, cited by prominent figures including Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee, and who has even been invited to testify before the Senate about climate change.

Santorum’s remarks were so shocking because this is the first time they have been heard on the national political stage – but his talking points on environmentalism and progressive faith have already been polished and accepted as gospel by the movement the Religious Right.

Fischer: Santorum Sounds Like an AFA Radio Host

On his radio program yesterday, the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer dedicated several segments to discussing the remarks that Rick Santorum delivered at Ave Maria University in 2008, which we first posted last week.

Fischer was, not surprisingly, positively giddy over Santorum's statements and was likewise thrilled with his presidential campaign in general because, as he explained, there is no difference between what Santorum says on the campaign trail and what is said by the hosts of the programs that run on American Family Radio:

And judging by the video that Brian just posted, we are inclined to agree with Fischer on this point.

Santorum: 'The Left is really about the Death of Reason'

While speaking at Oral Roberts University earlier this month, Rick Santorum argued that the left is bringing about “the death of reason.” Santorum used the example of the Ninth Circuit Court’s recent decision that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional because, like in Romer v. Evans, the referendum’s only practical effect was to “single out a certain class of citizens for disfavored legal status.” But Santorum said that the court found that “the only reason you could possibly have to believe marriage should only be between men and women is because you are a bigot and you are a hater,” saying that people on the left “won’t sit and reason” and only want to “discard” their opponents. “They won’t reason,” Santorum said, “The left is really about the death of reason.”

Watch:

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Santorum: The Ninth Circuit this week ruled that there is no rational basis, no rational basis for anyone to believe that marriage should just be between a man and a woman, there is no rational basis. Do you understand what that means? That means you are completely irrational if you think that marriage should be between, you have no reason, this is what they said, the only reason you could possibly have to believe marriage should only be between men and women is because you are a bigot and you are a hater, that’s what they said, read the case, and by the way they’re not the first ones to have said it. So again, where is the tolerance? Where’s the tolerance that says if you have a different point of view you can be rational, no, they can’t allow you because if you’re rational then they have to deal with you so they discard you, they just say ‘well it’s beyond the realm of reason, you’re obviously just haters and we’re not even going to talk to you.’ This is the way the left operates; they won’t sit and reason, they can’t listen to all of the reasons marriage has been between a man and a woman for centuries and why it has an intrinsic good to society, they dismiss those arguments as purely puff to hide your bigotry, that’s what they believe. They won’t reason. The left is really about the death of reason. They always say it’s about reason but it’s not, it’s about the death of reason.

FRC Warns Starbucks Could Wreck the Economy by Supporting Marriage Equality

Family Research Council vice president Rob Schwarzwalder yesterday called for a boycott of Starbucks and warned that the company may be endangering the country’s economic health by supporting marriage equality in Washington. “By supporting a movement that would further vitiate the already weakened family unit,” Schwarzwalder writes, “[Starbucks CEO Howard] Schultz is tacitly but actively advocating the continued erosion of the institution – the two-parent, heterosexual, traditional and complementary family unit – without which no economy or society generally can thrive.”

It’s difficult to see how ensuring that gays and lesbians have the right to marry would “vitiate the already weakened family unit” and consequently damage the economy, as studies show that marriage equality is actually a boon to the economy. Researchers have also found the legalizing same-sex marriage does not impact the divorce rate of married opposite-sex couples. But according to Schwarzwalder, marriage equality has “dangerous implications for individuals, families, and culture.”

My home state of Washington has produced some of America’s leading corporations and entrepreneurs: Microsoft and Bill Gates; the Nordstrom, Boeing and Weyerhaeuser families and their eponymously named companies; the Eddie Bauer sporting goods empire; and the nearly omnipresent Starbucks (almost 11,000 stores worldwide). Starbucks emerged in the 1970s at Seattle’s Pike Place Market. One of my sisters bought me a bag of cocoa powder from this location more than three decades ago; if I still had it, it likely would fetch a nice collector’s price.

For many years, I’ve enjoyed going to Starbucks, becoming acquainted with any number of “baristas” and drinking enough of its variously flavored beverages that “grande” characterizes my waistline as much as the size of a given drink. Even when traveling in the Middle East, the taste of a frappuccino has been a welcome reminder that one can go home again. And I’ve always been glad to go into a place that, in some ways, still reminds me of home (there’s a reason Starbucks’ interiors usually are muted; it’s a Pacific Northwest thing).

With Microsoft and several other major firms, Starbucks last month endorsed the effort of some of the Evergreen State’s leading politicians to enact homosexual “marriage.” Although this initiative passed in the state legislature and was signed into law by departing Gov. Christine Gregoire, it likely will be on the state ballot in November.

What is a bit maddening, given Starbucks’ strident advocacy for the redefinition of marriage, is CEO Howard Schultz’s claim that he is non-political. As he said just a few days ago, ”I have no interest in public office … I have only one interest, and that is I want the country to be on the right track.”



To Schultz’s credit, he authored a pledge, now signed by a fairly large group of CEOs, in which they promise, “I join my fellow concerned Americans in pledging to withhold any further campaign contributions to elected members of Congress and the President until a fair, bipartisan deal is reached that sets our nation on stronger long-term fiscal footing.”

This is admirable, and no doubt motivated by a patriotic desire to see the U.S. once again become the engine of economic growth that, for so many decades, it has been. Yet the key to a strong economy is a strong family – a family composed of a father, a mother, and children. The hard data prove it. By supporting a movement that would further vitiate the already weakened family unit, Schultz is tacitly but actively advocating the continued erosion of the institution – the two-parent, heterosexual, traditional and complementary family unit – without which no economy or society generally can thrive.

Additionally, Schultz’s decrying of divisiveness rings a bit hollow when he plunges his company feet-first into the culture wars. The effort to redefine marriage to include same-sex partners is a radical social innovation, one fraught with dangerous implications for individuals, families, and culture. Claiming to be post-political and then allowing one’s chief corporate spokesperson to say that same-sex “marriage” is “is core to who we are and what we value as a company” are assertions that don’t quite add up.

Colbert, Chris Hayes Discuss Santorum’s Attacks on Mainline Protestants

A panel on MSNBC’s Up with Chris Hayes on Saturday discussed a speech, first unearthed by PFAW's Right Wing Watch, in which Rick Santorum says that Satan is systematically destroying America and that mainline Protestantism is now “gone from Christianity.”

Watch the segment here:
 

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Stephen Colbert also offered his take on Santorum’s comments last night, starting at the 3:00 minute mark:

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Right Wing Round-Up - 2/17/12

Right Wing Leftovers - 2/17/12

  • Sadly, Megadeath frontman Dave Mustaine did not endorse Rick Santorum, contrary to earlier reports.
     
  • But Santorum did manage to secure the endorsement of the anti-abortion activists over at the Susan B. Anthony List.
     
  • Anti-immigration zealot Virgil Goode is running for president.
     
  • Pat Buchanan says he has been "blacklisted" from appearing on MSNBC and his relationship with the channel has ended.
     
  • Bryan Fischer calls Jessica Ahlquist a "small-minded and vengeful brat" for getting a prayer banner removed from her high school.
     
  • Finally, a friendly tip for our friends at the American Family Association: it is "cloture," not "closure."