John F. Kennedy's famous
Houston speech on church and state during
the 1960 presidential campaign elicited Rick Santorum's after-the-fact disgust. Though Santorum
misrepresents the speech in some ways--Kennedy didn't say anything about
limiting religious institutions and leaders from speaking on public issues--he
is right to find the speech theologically lame.
"Not God bless America, God damn America!" bellowed Jeremiah Wright from his former pulpit.
"That’s in the Bible for killing innocent people." This sermon
quote--actually, usually just the "God damn America" part, stripped of any
context whatsoever--created a media frenzy, earned death threats for
Wright and jeopardized a then-parishioner's presidential campaign.
"I don't think God will continue to bless America," said Rick Santorum the other day, "if we continue to kill 1.2 million children every year." Unlike Wright, Santorum is himself a candidate for president. Yet two days later Google offers mostly crickets.
The Pentagon: Women can serve in more, though still not all, critical combat roles than before.
Rick Santorum: "I do have concerns about women in front line combat. I think that could
be a very compromising situation where - where people naturally, you
know, may do things that may not be in the interests of the mission
because of other types of emotions that are involved."
John Potter: "I can't be the only one who thought of" 30 Rock.
It's not what the headlines are highlighting, but Mitt Romney's 2010 tax return
includes one impressive fact: his charitable contributions amounted to
$7 million. I know, this hardly put him at risk of losing one of his houses
and ending up out on the street till his driver could pick him up and
take him to one of his other houses. Still, giving away almost a third
of your income is nothing to sneeze at.
Whatever Rick Santorum's
fate in the New Hampshire primary today, his near win in the Iowa caucuses
inspired columnists Michael Gerson and David Brooks to burnish the candidate's image not only as champion
of the family and conservative Christianity but as a political thinker.
Santorum, they argued, is shaped by Catholic social teachings and in particular
by the Catholic principle of subsidiarity.
It's rare for me to disagree with Mark Silk and rarer still for me to agree with Erick Erickson. But that's where I'm at when it comes to the politics of Rick Santorum's strong showing in Iowa on Tuesday.
If my pastor got up some Sunday and said,
"I am not a pastor. I'm just a regular person," I'd respond like this: "Well, we
hired you to be a pastor, and if you have a problem with it you should find
another line of work."