It’s time to pull some arrows out of Rick Santorum‘s back. I knew that there would be criticism from the Catholic Left about Rick Santorum, but I never expected him to be accused of anti-Catholicism. That’s exactly the claim by “Morning’s Minion” at Vox Nova today, though. I think I’ll go through the charges point by point.
CLAIM: Santorum believes strongly in the anti-Catholic theology of American exceptionalism.
This is the first I’ve heard of American exceptionalism being “anti-Catholic.” It takes a lot of thought to figure out where belief that one’s country is the best country in the world is “anti-Catholic.” I would argue the contrary is true here. From the catechism:
As far as possible citizens should take an active part in public life. The manner of this participation may vary from one country or culture to another. “One must pay tribute to those nations whose systems permit the largest possible number of the citizens to take part in public life in a climate of genuine freedom.”
What country offers greater participation for her citizens in public life than America? None that I can think of.
CLAIM: He believes strongly in the anti-Catholic theology of the supremacy of individual freedom, in economic if not in sexual matters.
The claim is that there is no supremacy of individual freedom in regard to economic matters, but in fact, the Church recognizes the right of private property. Any time property is taken against the will of of the owner, it is theft. In America, we live in a society that is ruled by the people. Any who live in this society agree to submit to the law. The people are being fairly clear that they are opposed to so much theft of private property, as it were, and are ready to move away from what they see as socialism, which itself, along with pure capitalism, is condemned by the Church. Because America is ruled by the people (again, something the Church loves) then Americans will decide how much private property should be taken in the form of taxes to do what needs to be done to make America function as a healthy society. Rick Santorum is on the side of the people, in this regard, and is therefore quite Catholic in his positions on the matter. In regard to “sexual matters,” he is generally for silence in the law on such divisive matters, and for public debate on them, but unfortunately, the Left continues to push sexual matters into the civil law through active measures to usurp current law. This is a threat to religious freedom and to the country’s health as a society considering that the traditional family is being usurped from its place as “better” for America than other relationships. Certainly, the idea that traditional marriage is better for society than other relationships would not be considered “anti-Catholic” by Vox Nova….or would it?
CLAIM: Santorum defines his theology as stemming from the bible (Protestant) as opposed to the single sacred deposit of the Word of God comprising sacred scripture and sacred tradition (Catholic).
I’ve listened to every speech I could have access to…which has amounted to about one speech per day, every day, since May, and I have never heard him say anything about this. Having said that, Catholics believe in the material sufficiency of the Bible. That is, everything that is necessary for salvation can be found at least implicitly in the Holy Scriptures. It is not “anti-Catholic” to hold up the Bible as God’s voice to us and it’s very difficult for me to contain my disgust at the suggestion that it is.
CLAIM: He embraces an anti-Catholic theology of plundering rather than protecting the environment.
There is no teaching that I am aware of that prohibits us from using natural resources. What we must not do is destroy the environment on the level that could be considered contempt for God and His creation, including and especially human life. Certainly, there is nothing in Rick Santorum’s positions on the environment that reaches the level of contempt for God or for human life. To the contrary, he is for using our natural resources in a manner that enhances life.
CLAIM: He supports a bloodthirsty and pro-death foreign policy.
Rick Santorum’s foreign policy is based on defense against nuclear attack on America and defense against other threats. Further, the manner in which this charge is leveled seems to be closer to ad hominem than a claim based on fact.
CLAIM: He supports the intrinsically evil act of torture.
That is utterly false. He supports doing the minimum necessary to save human lives. If prisoners have information about threats to the lives of hundreds (or even millions) of people, he supports (and is well within Catholic teaching) using force against them until they provide the information. It is mistakenly argued that this is an “end justifies the means” position when, in fact, it is perfectly in keeping with just war doctrine. The use of force to obtain justice is morally licit. It is in the context of war against millions of people that Rick Santorum supports the use of force against prisoners, not to extract confessions to crimes or to intimidate the individual, but to save lives.
CLAIM: He seeks to cast out the immigrant, which goes directly against the “biblical values” he loves so much.
No, he wants to deport those who are here illegally, but as the grandson of immigrants, he welcomes all who seek to come here legally. He also wants to build a border fence mainly for national security reasons.
If this is the best the Left has to offer in convincing people that Rick Santorum is “anti-Catholic” then his race to the White House is going to be much easier than I thought. But first, he has to win the primary. Donate to Rick Santorum and help him prevail in the race for the Republican nomination.