George Soros-funded Think Progress appears to want to drive a wedge between Rick Santorum (a Catholic who is passionately in love with Jesus Christ) and the many protestants who back him. This seems clear to me from their latest: Santorum Excommunicates 45 Million Christians: Mainline Protestants Are ‘Gone From The World Of Christianity’
Wow! What?? Sigh. Well, what else should we expect from the Left’s movement media than a headline that appeals to people’s fears about Catholicism? In an age when so many get their “news” from headlines instead of from actual research, we should expect no less than headlines like that. What the heck are they talking about??? Well, if you have a couple of minutes to spare and are willing to look beyond the headlines, I can explain this pretty clearly. If I don’t explain this to your satisfaction, feel free to send me an email and we can talk about it.
Back in 2008, Rick Santorum had left public office and had pretty much resigned himself to private life. It was the massive overreach of government, particularly Obamacare, that ultimately prompted him to change his mind about that and to seek the presidency, but in September of 2008, running for office wasn’t on his radar. In that year, he gave a speech at Ave Maria University in which we can see this decision of his, to fight the spiritual battle rather than the political one, reflected. This is not a battle against other Christians. It’s a battle against Satan. (Rick is Catholic, remember?)
His speech encouraged listeners to never lose hope, especially in the wake of loss and frustration. Drawing from personal struggles, losses, and triumphs – most notably his role in banning partial-birth abortion, Santorum shed light on the spiritual warfare manifested in politics, media, and culture.
Quoting Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo, North Dakota, who boldly stated, “Catholics who support so-called ‘abortion rights’ support a false right, promote a culture of death and are guarded by the father of lies,” Santorum added, “While we all see this in a great political conflict between the Obama Campaign, McCain Campaign and cultural wars—what bishop Aquila put his finger on is that this is not a political war at all, or a cultural war—it is a spiritual war. And ‘the father of lies’ has his sights set on none other than good, decent, powerful, influential United States of America.”
It was certainly a speech that addressed the machinations of Satan, but make no mistake, those in attendance were only being reminded of what they already knew, in that regard. (Again, they’re Catholic at Ave Maria University. I’m Catholic. It’s what we Catholics do.) The main purpose of the speech appears to have been primarily a message of hope in the face of those realities.
“My message to you today is that you will lose” Santorum said, “you will lose battle after battle; you will become frustrated, but do not lose hope. God will be faithful, if you are.”
One of the challenges that faithful Christians, both Catholic and non-Catholic, in America face (and, to be sure, faithful Jews, as well) is the Religious Left. It doesn’t matter if you are Christian or Jewish, Catholic or non-Catholic, if you are a person of Jewish or Christian faith in America, who actually holds to your particular faith tradition in a meaningful way, then you are most likely aware of the existence of the Religious Left who speak in relativist terms from the pulpit and who work with political leftists to promote agendas that are not at all in keeping with traditional faith. These are the people Rick Santorum was referring to in the remarks Think Progress is tossing out now in regard to “mainline Protestants.”
Regular readers know that this is a topic that is right up my alley. For some basic background on the sort of thing Rick Santorum was referring to, you should read this article on the Religious Left at Discover the Networks.
Rick Santorum is not a cleric, nor has he ever claimed to be. He can’t “excommunicate” anyone, nor does he want to. To be sure, the term “excommunication” is itself misunderstood, but that’s a topic for another day. He is, however, a believer in Jesus Christ as his redeemer and he just happens to think (as all faithful Catholics do) that the Catholic Church is His Church. Like me, Rick Santorum isn’t averse to reminding all people of faith (Jewish and Christian, Catholic or non-Catholic) what our country was founded on and that all of us should work together to promote basic freedoms. This is in opposition to “Mainline Protestant” views, as well as the views of the Catholic Left, and the Jewish Left.
It’s likely that most Protestants, particularly if they are not familiar with common political terminology, when they hear the term “Mainline Protestant,” will think that the term refers to what “most non-Catholic Chrisitans” believe, but the term for that would be “maintream Christian.” When Rick Santorum uses the term “Mainline Protestant” here, it seems to me that he is specifically referring to the National Council of Churches and their parent organization, the World Council of Churches.
Since its founding in 1950, the New York City-based National Council of Churches (NCC) has remained faithful to the legacy of its predecessor, the Communist front-group known as the Federal Council of Churches, which the NCC absorbed in 1950. At one time an unabashed apostle of the Communist cause, the NCC has today recast itself as a leading representative of the so-called religious Left. Adhering to what it has described as “liberation theology”—that is, Marxist ideology disguised as Christianity—the NCC lays claim to a membership of 36 Protestant, Anglican and Orthodox Christian denominations, and some 50 million members in over 140,000 congregations.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the NCC has soft-pedaled its radical message, dressing up its demands for global collectivization and its rejection of democratic capitalism in the garb of religious teachings. Yet the organization’s history suggests that it was—and remains—a devout backer of a gallery of socialist governments. In the 1950s and 1960s, under cover of charity, the NCC provided financial succor to the Communist regimes in Yugoslavia and Poland, funneling money to both through its relief agency, the Church World Service. In the 1970s, working with its Geneva-based parent organization, the World Council of Churches, the NCC supplied financial support for Soviet-sponsored incursions into Africa, aiding the terrorist rampages of Communist guerrillas in Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique, and Angola.
This is not at all in keeping, I’m sure, with what the vast majority of protestants in the pews believe about God and His plan for our country. To take this and twist it into a claim that Rick Santorum wants to “excommunicate” people is just ludicrous.
Santorum has been strongly critical, too, of the Catholic bishops on this topic.
“They got what they deserved”, he said. “They fell into bed with the secular left, and then wondered why they forced them to do what the secular left wants them to do.”
I, for one, am glad to have a presidential candidate who understands that there is a Left and a Right in American religion, whether people identify themselves as Jewish, Christian or Catholic. Rick Santorum is a candidate who wants to preserve the right of each individual to have his or her own relationship with God that is in accordance with his or her own conscience…unlike the Obama Administration as we are seeing with the HHS mandate. Santorum’s speech at Ave Maria University was about reminding us that there are people who seek to advance different ideas about things in the name of religion, but that we should remain hopeful that “God will be faithful” if we are and that we can restore America to the principles upon which our country was founded if we remain faithful to what our consciences tell us we should do in accordance with His holy will.
I am certain that my non-Catholic Christian friends and my Jewish friends who love America and what America is supposed to stand for are not going to fall into the traps of fear set by the Left. We’re going to work together to roll back massive government overreach and promote an environment in America that is one of true tolerance and charity, not the fake “tolerance” of the Left that is based on driving resentments between people to ensure that they can maintain power.