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To Be A Christian, You Must Be A Republican

[ 51 ] February 27, 2012 |

There’s an obvious contradiction at the heart of Little Ricky Santorum’s analysis of JFK’s speech — it would seem odd to say that JFK was against people of faith participating in the public sphere, when in fact JFK was, er, a person of faith participating in a public sphere.

Of course, it all makes sense when you realize that Santorum believes that if you don’t share his reactionary political views than you can’t really be a Christian.

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  1. Malaclypse says:

    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. – Frothy

    Ahem, Rick. Ahem.

    • DrDick says:

      There is also this little gem on the separation of church and state.

    • TN says:

      By Santorum’s own standards, he is not really a Catholic, nor even a Christian.

      That’s a bit unfair; he’s probably just not very smart.

    • Rarely Posts says:

      Both Christian fundamentalism (academic meaning: literal interpretation of the Bible) and conservative legal originalism reflect the same intellectual flaws.

      1) The resulting interpretations inevitably reflect the reader’s personal biases and social expectations, even when they contradict a clear reading of the text/history;

      2) The primary role of the position is one of political posturing: It allows the advocate to pretend that his position finds direct support from an authoritative source and it demeans others as allegedly imposing their own views over the authoritative source. Of course, as mentioned in 1, the opposite is often true;

      3) It depends on intellectual dishonesty or stupidity or both.

      Finally, the development of “originalism” is best understood as a political movement by conservative jurists who were trying to tap into (1) a widespread political group (conservative Christian fundamentalists) and (2) an even more widespread desire for certainty. I don’t think it should be seen as a real intellectual or legal movement because originalism adds very little: almost every justice has long held some version of weak originalism (historical understanding is very important) and no justice has adopted actual strong originalism (historical understanding decides the outcome). It’s an example of how Justice Scalia (in particular) has adopted the role of pundit and politician as opposed to jurist.

  2. jon says:

    The good news is that he’s so confident of victory, he’s decided he doesn’t need any Irish-American votes.

  3. Hogan says:

    The word “pharisee” is overused these days. Well, not really, but Rick “Whited Sepulchre” Santorum could change that.

  4. TT says:

    Conservatives’ alleged reverence for religious teaching is much like their alleged reverence for “limited government”: they will discard or simply ignore any elements which contradict ideological and/or political demands, be it social justice and helping the poor, or restraining state or corporate power should either trample on individual civil rights and liberties.

  5. TN says:

    It’s important to note that Santorum is the ultimate cafeteria Catholic. He does not seek to impose the entirety of the Catholic doctrine on the American polity, but merely those aspects of the Catholic doctrine he is most enthusiastic about. He’s all too happy to cast aside the teachings of the church that he doesn’t agree with, like its stance against capital punishment and torture.

    I would have a lot more respect for Santorum if he were a good Catholic, simply following the strictures of his church. But he’s not. He’s a terrible Catholic.

  6. c u n d gulag says:

    All kneel!

    Former Senator, future President, and Pope, ‘Rick Savonarola, The Ssnctimonious Uber-Pious Super Saint of Pennsylvania,’ Santorum, has spoken!

    And, like alter boys, and others in the Catholic Churches, in the the 50 states, all must either open their mouth’s, and/or spread their ass-cheek’s/vagina’s wide, to accept Rick’s Holy Host – the Holy Meat Scepter of Jesus.

    This is one sick MFer!

    I didn’t personally “know” Jack Kennedy.
    I only saw documentaries, films, and read about him – and you, Rick Santorum, aren’t a festering postule on JFK’s ass!

  7. Jonathan says:

    Questions I want someone to ask Santorum in front of a camera:

    1) Do you believe in the literal truth of the Bible? (Catholic dogma says no. Most mainline Protestants say no. This is rather exclusively the purview of Evangelical Fundamentalists.)

    2) Do you believe in The Rapture? (Again, as a Catholic the answer is no. And Again, it’s almost entirely an Evangelical Fundamentalist belief; though some Charismatic Pentacostals have taken to it as well.)

    3) Do you believe the host becomes the literal body of Christ during the Eucharist? (As a Catholic the answer is yes. Everyone else is pretty much a no on this.)

    4) Do you agree with the papal encyclical Caritas in Veritate that wealth needs to be redistributed downwards?

    Santorum’s supposedly strong Catholic convictions are supposed to be the basis of his anti-abortion, anti-contraception, and anti-prenatal testing stances. So let’s find out if his faith is as deep when it won’t earn him points with his (mostly White, male, Evangelical Fundamentalist Christian) base. Somehow I suspect we’d find his faith is actually paper thin.

    • Honorable..BOB says:

      It’s telling that now the rabid socialist left is targeting Santorum. That tells you who they are afraid of.

      A clear, concise and well presented conservative ideology plays well with the electorate. Especially in times where the current king is doing everything in his power to override the constitution from the war on religioius liberty (you remember liberty don’t you?) to the government takeover of large industries.

      If the nominee can articulate this well, he will be the next president and King Obama will be a one termer.

      • Malaclypse says:

        rabid socialist left

        Donalde, is this you?

        That tells you who they are afraid of.

        Your analysis is as astute as always.

        • joe from Lowell says:

          Right you are.

          I no more wish to see Barack Obama have to run against Rick Santorum, than to be lifted bodily from the ground and hurled into a clump of thorny vegetation.

          Stop. Stop. Oh…no.

      • Njorl says:

        It’s telling that now the rabid socialist left is targeting Santorum. That tells you who they are afraid of.

        It is more a case that Santorum has covered himself with brightly painted paper mache, handed out bats and suspended himself from a tree.

        I would think you would be intimately familiar with what Santorum has done here Bob. You seem to be a veritable werepinata,

  8. Honorable..BOB says:

    This is what’s so stupid about some of these posts.

    Gallup says that 78% of Americans self-identify as Christians.So, who’s voting Democratic, Scott??

    • joe from Lowell says:

      Um…you do understand the Scott was mocking the Santorum-coated idea in the headline, right?

    • Marc says:

      And if there was one single Christian faith tradition you might have a point.

      Sadly enough for you, there are hundreds of them. And many disagree emphatically with Santorum.

    • Furious Jorge says:

      What’s so stupid about some of these posts are the comments you add to them.

    • Hogan says:

      Why are your polls always at least two years old?

    • DrDick says:

      You really need to work on your reading comprehension, Boob. I am beginning to believe that you really are stupid and wretched enough to be a real boss. Also, just for the record, you cannot possibly be an actual Christian, in the sense of actually following the teachings of the Rabbi Yeshua bar Yosef, and support any of the Republican Party’s positions and policies. They are objectively anti-Christian.

      • Warren Terra says:

        I find this whole “Rabbi Yeshua bar Yosef” thing annoying (among other things, I’m unaware there’s any reason to think he was a Rabbi), but if you really must: isn’t it “Rabbi Yeshua bar Yehova”?

        • Malaclypse says:

          I’m unaware there’s any reason to think he was a Rabbi

          He had followers, nearly all of them Jewish.

          “Rabbi Yeshua bar Yehova”

          Assumes facts not in evidence.

          • Warren Terra says:

            There’s no evidence dude existed. Such evidence as there is isn’t contemporaneous and isquite emphatic about his not being the son of Joseph. So I don’t see why one would call him such.

            And I don’t see why his having followers would make him a Rabbi, whether his followers are Jewish or not. Netanyahu has followers, many of them Jewish; doesn’t make him a Rabbi. Same goes for Jeremy Lin, I suppose.

            • Malaclypse says:

              I don’t think there is no evidence he existed, just not definitive evidence.

              Only two of the four canonical gospels have a “son of god” birth narrative. The oldest, Mark, does not. The only one with a clear son-of-god narrative, John, is one of the last two books of the NT written (other late add is Revelation), and a close reading shows that many of the stories have been tweaked to cast the Jews as villains, so as to emphasize the fact that there were at the time of the writing two different communities, in a way there was not when Mark was written.

              And the guy was clearly a Jewish religious teacher. Do you have a better word for that that “rabbi”?

              • rea says:

                How do we really know that Socrates existed, or Julius Caesar?

                • Warren Terra says:

                  For Caesar, loads and loads of contemporaneous writings and artifacts. For example, so many coins were minted in his name, in his lifetime, that you can buy one for a few hundred dollars, according to an ad Google helpfully popped up for me.

                  The evidence for Socrates is less overwhelming, but it’s still a lot better than the evidence for Jesus.

                • John says:

                  I have little faith in the freethoughtpedia to be fair-minded, and, indeed, they rather weight the evidence to favor Socrates. For example, we are told that Plato and Xenophon were writing within living memory of when Socrates was supposed to have lived. Paul and the Gospel writers were writing a bit further off, but still within living memory of when Jesus was supposed to have lived.

                  Then there’s an active misrepresentation of the state of scholarly debate about Jesus, We’re told that there’s a consensus among historians that Socrates lived, which is true, but also told that there’s much less of a consensus about Jesus, and it is somewhat unclearly suggested that only a minority of scholars believe he existed. That’s false – there’s actually a pretty near consensus among historians that Jesus lived. There’s a lot of disagreement about what he actually taught, and about how much of the Gospels can be relied on to be actually historical, but the people who actively deny that Jesus existed are largely fringe cranks.

                  And, of course, pointing to Socrates or Caesar is already stacking the deck towards two of the most attested figures in classical history. What if we talk instead about Thales and Pisistratus? These are figures who are much less well-attested than Jesus, but whose historicity is generally assumed. My sense is that someone like Plotinus is also less well-attested than Jesus. Yet nobody is interested in arguing that Thales was not a real person. I wonder why.

                  Conclusion: Just because many Atheists believe something doesn’t mean it’s very much less likely to be poppycock.

                  That being said, it’s totally fair to say that we know very little about what Jesus actually taught, and that there’s very wide disagreement among scholars about the reliability of information in the Gospels, to the point that it’s very hard to see what Jesus’s “real teachings” were.

                • Njorl says:

                  It was a fairly common name, and there were a lot of messiahs. I’d bet at least one of them was named Jesus.

                • DrDick says:

                  I’d bet at least one of them was named Jesus.

                  Unlikely, since that is a later Romanization of the Aramaic/Hebrew name Yeshua (which also gets rendered Jesse and Joshua).

                • Malaclypse says:

                  a later Romanization

                  Greek, technically.

            • DivGuy says:

              There’s tons of evidence he existed. There’s more written about Jesus, within 100 years of his life, than about tons of other figures in the ancient world we believe existed. All we have of Justin Martyr or Polybius or Rabbi Gamaliel are texts attributed to them or things people said about them, which generally agree.

              My favorite evidence for the real existence of Jesus are the stories of his baptism. The people who wrote the Gospels believe that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God. Why do they tell the story of him being baptized by a mere man, John the Baptist?

              The gospel stories are clearly embarrassed that Jesus was baptized. They have John saying, in so many words, “I shoudn’t baptize you, you’re way more powerful and way more holy”, and Jesus tells him that he must do it. So John only baptizes Jesus after protesting, and after being reassured or even commanded by Jesus.

              That’s a weird story, and it’s best explained as embarrassment about the real historical event. Jesus really was baptized by John, and this story had been circulating for decades, and you can’t tell the story of Jesus’ life without the baptism. At the same time, it doesn’t really fit with emerging Christian theology, so the Gospel writers explain that Jesus had to be baptized, and John didn’t want to, initially.

              The best explanation of the weird embarrassment of the baptism stories is that Jesus really existed and really was baptized, and the Gospels have to find a way to fit this historical fact into their theologies.

              • TN says:

                That’s what’s weird about people who claim there is no evidence that Jesus ever existed – they have to pretend that the gospels, which are entire books written about the man within a couple of decades of his life, somehow don’t constitute evidence.

            • DivGuy says:

              Also, “rabbi” became a term for a specific office in medieval and modern Judaism, but in antiquity it just meant “teacher”.

              Stories in the gospels have the disciples calling Jesus, “rabbi”, and then the Gospel writer explains for his Greek-speaking, Gentile audience that “rabbi” means “teacher”. This suggests, again, that Jesus was considered a rabbi by some of his earliest Aramaic-speaking disciples, and this tradition was taken forward by Gospel writers who kept the traditional term “rabbi” and explained it to their readers.

              Again, in ancient Israel, there were a whole bunch of regulations limiting who gets to be a priest and a whole set of bureaucracy for ordination. Being a rabbi was just a matter of being respected as a teacher. That’s all that is meant when people call Jesus, “rabbi”.

            • DrDick says:

              “Rabbi” refers to a Jewish religious teacher, which is what he was and would have been his appropriate title at the time. Likewise, in keeping with first century Hebrew custom, he would have been known by the name Yeshua bar Yosef during his life. Whether he was also the Mashiak is the subject of rather heated debate and there is a gentleman in Brooklyn, whose followers make the same claim for him. Even if he were, the proper form there would be Yeshua bar El, as one never says the name, YWHW. I am not a believer, and am strictly neutral on his divinity, though I am willing to accept the existence of a rather influential Jewish religious leader at that time.

      • Steve LaBonne says:

        Oh, I’m sure he’s a real boss. He’s typical of the stupidity, smarmy self-satisfaction,and general I’ve-got-mine-fuck-you assholishness of owners of marginal small businesses.

  9. LosGatosCA says:

    These conservative Republican TeaBaggers and TeaBaguettes are so out of their minds if Lee Atwater was still alive he would hook Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich to the jumper cables for an Alabama three way himself.

  10. gocart mozart says:

    “rectum sanctorum frothum mixum”
    Holy shit, what an asshole.

  11. Jesse Levine says:

    Conflating religion with policy has long been a staple of the religous right. A generation ago Jerry Falwell said that in order to be a good Christian you had to support funding for the B1 bomber and other weapons systems. When selective “libertarians” get together to form an authoritarian security state-business-religous complex (to paraphrase Eisenhower) there is danger ahead for the country.

    It is not helpful to cherry pick only the looniest expressions of this worldview without attacking the entire rubric. There is a logical connection between advocating government support for a particular religous viewpoint and targeting an entire other religious community for undiscriminating surveillance.

  12. J. R. says:

    I am not a Christian, but I go that way by being exposed to many types of Christianity as currently practised, and by studying comparative religions from all areas of the world and eras of human history.

    I believe that Republicans are excluded from Christianity because their beliefs are flat contradictory to the beliefs expressed by Christ during his ministry on Earth.

    Republicans don’t believe in turning the other cheek when attacked, either metaphorically or physically.

    Republicans don’t believe in caring for the least among us, indeed don’t believe that helping the failures among us is a proper use of time or money for anyone.

    Republicans don’t believe in sharing with anyone but other Republicans. They don’t really believe in sharing at all.

    Republicans don’t believe in letting the little children come among us. They usually have them kidnapped and sent to reform schools where they can be brain-washed into mouthing pseudo-Christian slogans back to their captors and torturers. (True, look it up if you doubt me!)

    I don’t believe Republicans have a spare ethic to rub together in order to start a fire. If their religion were true it would be wonderful, as they would be punished in their after-life for so completely wrecking the message Christ taught.

    As a non-Christian, I still admire much of the trachings ascribed to Jesus Christ, and am in awe at the distortions taught by most fundamentalist western (American) churches.

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