Last night on We Pick Rick radio, the special guest was Rick Santorum himself. Dave Davidson asked him what is the biggest misconception about him that he would like to clear up and he referred to the claim that he was a big spender while serving in the U.S. Senate. Senator Santorum referred to an article at the Weekly Standard which debunks this myth about him. Please read: Was Santorum a Senate Spendthrift?
“What is the biggest misconception about you,” was also going to be my question, and so I switched gears a bit and asked him what is one of the biggest misconceptions that he would like to see cleared up that is not in regard to a fiscal issue. He named the false claim against him that he wants to “ban contraception” and directed me to his interview with Greta Van Susteren in which he explained his position on this matter yet again. He gave an excellent example of something that he is morally opposed to that he would not ban. Lying.
This is all an attempt to try to do what they do which is to take, to paint you in a corner and that somehow you’re out of step with the times, and the like, because you have certain moral values. Well, I have certain moral values. For example, I don’t believe that, you know, we should lie but other than if you’re committing perjury, I’m not going to say that the government should be in the business of prosecuting everybody that lies, but I’m certainly going to do my best to teach my children and to do my best to not do things that I think are against the moral teachings that I believe in. This is what they try to do and I’m going to stand up and continue to tell the truth which is that these are my personal beliefs and this is a public health issue, but it is not an issue where the government should be involved in banning contraception. It’s really funny, I mean, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney have criticized me for actually voting for Title X funding which were in large appropriation bills that actually do fund contraception and pre-contraception, so on the one hand I’m being criticized for, you know, with my personal views on contraception and the impact of the Sexual Revolution on public health and on the other hand I’m being criticized because I’m a “liberal” because I actually voted for Title X funding in large appropriation bills. The hypocrisy in this case, I think, is pretty obvious and we’re going to stand up and articulate what the truth is, which is, in this case, as in many cases, my personal feelings and personal moral judgments are not those that are going to be reflected in public law, nor should they all the time. Not everything that is immoral in this country should be illegal or should be within the governance of the federal or state government, or any government.
It seems to me that there is a great deal of ignorance coming from both the Right and the Left in regard to what Christianity actually is about. For some reason, they can’t seem to get their minds around the idea that the President of the United States of America should want to have an orderly and decent society in which we are all tolerating different viewpoints, let alone what is required of us in order to have such an orderly and decent society. Christianity is not tyranny. We can be Christian without having laws mandating Christian behavior, and certainly Christians across America serve in office on city councils, as mayors, as state legislators, as governors and in Congress without trying to impose Christianity on everyone. Indeed, especially with America being so polarized right now, the place where we fail most is when we try to use the force of law to crush the freedom of others.
Rick Santorum’s remark about lying is a perfect example of where we should all be on the issue of contraception. To Catholics, lying and using contraception are both evil, but we can’t have an orderly society if we try to throw everyone into jail who lies or who uses contraception. To the contrary, in an orderly society, we look the other way from things such as this because to do otherwise would build up resentments which lead to hatred and intolerance of our own beliefs on the matter. It is, in fact, the decent thing to accept others and not get angry about it when people tell lies or use contraception. Avoiding resentment is a very important thing in Christianity. Driving resentments, on the other hand, is a very important thing to our political opponents because it is only by driving resentments that they can convince people that they are the ones who can “solve” our problems. What they don’t get is that resentment IS a problem. We make the choice to avoid them because we believe what our Christian Faith teaches us about “doing unto others” as we would have them do unto us, and understand that to do otherwise rips our society apart.
Why is that so difficult for them to understand? It’s difficult because they care less about having an orderly and decent society than they do about gaining power. That is why you will find Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and the Left all being critical of Rick Santorum on this issue. Yes, he believes contraception is evil. Yes, he voted for appropriations bills that funded contraception…because he believes in an orderly and decent society where we don’t push our views onto people to the point of being the only guy standing on a platform yelling about how wrong everyone else is…which, in turn, causes others to want to build their own little platform so they can stand on it and yell about how wrong everyone else is.
It’s not about having an orderly and decent society to them. For them, it’s about gaining power by driving resentments.
Don’t listen to the people who want you to believe that Christianity is about tyranny, nor to those who would have you think that Rick Santorum is opposed to a decent society because of Title X funding. None of them get what real freedom is. The only candidate who is willing to set aside his personal beliefs so that we can have an orderly and decent society where we are not tearing each other apart on things we may never agree on is Rick Santorum.