Rick Santorum has something of a political/religious phenomenon going on that rather took me by surprise. I had it in my head that my faithful Catholic conservative friends would rally strongly behind Santorum, since he is a faithful conservative Catholic. I was wrong. By and large, my faithful Catholic conservative friends have been diverse in their choices for president and most appear to still be looking for the “right” candidate. That surprised me in a bad way. But…I am surprised in a good way to see so many evangelicals flocking now to support him. I have been hearing from a boatload of evangelical Huckabee supporters over the past week or so who are now strongly behind Rick Santorum, especially in Iowa. Further, my compatriot Jennifer Warhawk, who is very passionate in her support for Santorum, as I am, happens to be…an atheist.
Sioux City evangelical leader Cary Gordon, who played a role in the defeat of three Iowa Supreme Court justices in last year’s elections, will endorse Rick Santorum for president on Friday.
Wanna know how big that is? It’s this big.
Gordon will make his endorsement via a text message Friday morning to 788,000 cell phones owned by registered Iowa voters or by residents of Iowa’s 5th Congressional District.
That’s going to generate some major buzz in Iowa.
Does it concern me as a Catholic that evangelicals are rallying behind Rick Santorum even more than Catholics are? Um…no. Here’s why.
[Gordon] is steadfastly opposed to same-sex marriage and abortion.
Me, too. Jennifer, my atheist friend,would likely tell you that she is “steadfastly opposed” to another 9-11. Me, too. I’m steadfastly opposed to that.
Some have suggested that maybe Rick Santorum’s Catholicism might turn off evangelicals. I am seeing the opposite happening, and I tend to think that his passionate stand for the Judeo-Christian ethic is appealing to evangelicals and freedom lovers of all stripes. Atheists can understand the concept of having some kind of very basic values system of core principles that all Americans can agree on because they are conducive to a certain order that is beneficial for people….even if it is a values system that they do not believe comes from a divine entity. The Declaration of Independence is Judeo-Christian….but rather than being a threat, it’s essentially a mutual agreement that our government should respect the rights of individual persons…and that is good for atheists as well as Jews and Christians.
Why so many of my Catholic friends are still twiddling their thumbs looking around for a candidate is truly beyond me. The ones who do support him, like Alice Linahan, support him for the same reasons that the evangelicals (and atheists?) are supporting him.
Coalition-building. I love it. This is how Democrats are defeated — by putting aside our “group think” and standing together for freedom. Gotta love it.