Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Are liberals Christian?

Rick Santorum is unleashed now, bless him, and is finally getting some of the media attention that his fringe zealotry has warranted all along. He accused president Obama of having a "phony theology" that is not Bible based:
Obama’s acceptance of science, Santorum said, is a “worldview that elevates the Earth above man“.
This follows on perfectly logically from his previous comments that Obama is not a Christian because liberal Chrsitians aren't.
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. You’re a liberal something, but you’re not a Christian.
And of course, Episcopalians and other "mainline" protestants are spawn of Satan.
"...we look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is in shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it."
And while it’s not unusual to hear the occasional Protestant fundamentalist or Catholic traditionalist mock us mainliners as morally and theologically lax, excessively “secular,” too “liberal,” too friendly to feminists and sodomites and so on and so forth, you don’t hear many politicians publicly talk that way, much less suggest all these Christians are really in the grasp of Satan.
I can't think this will play very well in the general election, do you? Red meat evangelicals are less than 20% of the electorate. And, you know, it's really NOT very Christian:
When Rick Santorum says that Obama follows a theology not based on the Bible, I have to say this: either he is not reading the same Bible I do, or he is not reading the Bible at all, because Rick Santorum's political views are in direct, fundamental opposition to the Bible he claims to follow.

I will go so far as to say that the modern conservative faith is the direct opposite of what the Judeo-Christian Bible teaches: modern conservatives argue that everyone should take what they want and devil take the hindmost, that we are all on our own, and that if you are rich it means that a Darwinian selection process allowed you to succeed, and that you owe nothing to anyone else. Modern conservatives are far more faithful to Ayn Rand, who openly rejected Christianity because of its values of helping the poor and caring for others. Give her credit for one thing: at least she was honest. Conservatives like Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich celebrate we're all on our own selfishness, and are happy to let the poor starve and the ill die from lack of health care, yet they proclaim their Christian holiness and denounce Obama's theology. As Jesus would have put it: you have to take the log out of your own eye before you can take the speck out of your brother's, you hypocrite. Mr. Santorum, if you don't know the Bible any better than you do, you should be careful calling other people anti-Biblical.

Update: on the same theme,  Andrew Sullivan takes on Rick Santorum's support for torture.  Sullivan is a Roman Catholic.  (Read the whole thing.)
Santorum, it seems to me, needs to be... explicit in his statement that he dissents from his own church on the question of the inviolable dignity of the human person. He is advocating crimes "deliberately contrary to the law of nations and to its universal principles". He is proposing to "break" a human person, without even due process. He is standing as the publicly Catholic foe of human dignity.
It seems to me that Santorum can and should be free to defend this evil as he sees fit. But his defense of torture is far, far more scandalous to the Catholic church than any liberal Catholic politician's views on, say, same-sex marriage or contraception. It is he who has made his faith integral to his public life. Yet he defends the equivalent of crucifixion for prisoners under his potential command. 
When, one wonders, will Catholics hear a letter from the pulpit on the vital question of torture - and the support for it from a leading Catholic candidate for the presidency?


Counterlight said...

As I've said many times before, what makes people put the Bible on the same shelf as Atlas Shrugged is Supremacism. It's but a short trip from "holier than thou" to "the most fit who ought to rule."

What's driving all the right wing lunacy is not the economy, but large changes in demographics and culture. The people who've always been in charge and long took their sense of privilege for granted are now feeling very threatened these days. They know that they are no longer a majority in this country, certainly not a determining majority anyway.

None of this has anything to do with Christianity or with religion. It's all about identity.

Counterlight said...

The fury of the rightwing base that Santorum and all the others are trying to ride into power is the rage of those who believe that they are the only ones who matter, the only ones who count. Everyone else is a parasite and a usurper.

MarkBrunson said...

And he will do it all with his spear and magic helmet!

JCF said...

And there's currently a Santorum-sycophant on Episcopal Cafe (!!!) making me want to vomit. [AND I saw a Santorum bumpersticker in the parking lot tonight at church. WTF????]

I tell, some days the "Keep On Keepin' On" biz gets hard. I suppose that's what Lent is for...

MarkBrunson said...

I'm beginning to wonder if a better question is "Are conservatives sane?"

Anonymous said...

If the "progressive" religions are so tolerant of diversity, why do they continue to be so overwhelmingly white and middle/upper middle class?

JCF said...

You gotta quota of talking-points to spew today, Anon?