Dear Rick Santorum, America Elects Presidents Not Popes

Moral absolutism is an ethical view that certain actions are absolutely right or wrong regardless of other circumstances such as their consequences or the intentions behind them. In Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler’s moral absolutism produced the Holocaust, and in Afghanistan, the ruling Taliban based their oppressive regime on perverted Islamic moral absolutes. There is no room in a free society for a leader who seeks to enforce their moral absolutes on the population, but the field of Republican hopefuls are intent on making the upcoming general election about whether America remains a diverse representative democracy or a theocracy like Iran. Rick Santorum is the most vocal proponent of the bible’s moral absolutes on all Americans and his recent criticism of President Obama’s religious views portends an oppressive theocracy if he were to win the presidency, or in Santorum’s case; the papacy.

Santorum made an absolutist statement when he asserted that President Obama’s supports “a phony theology, not a theology based on the bible.” Since President Obama has not based his administration on his personal religious beliefs, it is impossible to make that kind of judgment call, and it is way above Santorum’s pay grade. That one statement defines Santorum’s ideology that he, America’s pope in waiting, is qualified to make pronouncements about the validity of any American’s theology, and since he is very vocal about his religious beliefs, it is simple to ascertain whether or not his theology is based on the bible.

First, it is necessary to establish which part of the bible Santorum bases his theology on and it obviously has nothing to do with Christ. Santorum’s theology is based on a combination of Old Testament dogmata and Inquisition-era Catholicism, and between those extremes Santorum has acquired a severe god complex. That combination explains how he is able to categorically proclaim the President’s theology is not bible-based and should serve as a warning that Santorum is delusional if he believes he knows the inclinations, motivations, and deep-seated beliefs of President Obama. Santorum’s tendency to pass judgment certainly proves he is not a Christian because Jesus warned his followers that judgment belongs to god, not Rick Santorum.

Santorum’s comment that he does not “want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money,” is problematic for a Christian. First, Jesus did not discriminate against any race or group of people, and he preached that his followers should sell all their possessions and give the proceeds to the poor. Now, it is not that Santorum, or any leader, is empowered to force any American to take care of the poor, but the sentiment he espouses is contrary to Christ’s teaching. In fact, Jesus said it was easier for a pauper to enter into heaven than a rich man, and Santorum’s tax plan will increase the wealthiest 1% of  Americans chances of going to Hell, not heaven. He also plans to immediately slash spending on many domestic programs, and freeze for five years spending for social programs such as Medicaid, housing subsidies, food stamps, education, and job training. Santorum’s theology is not based on the bible, but on Heritage Foundation and Grover Norquist ideology that government caters to the wealthy and deprives the poor and infirm of assistance to sustain life.

It is questionable if Rick Santorum is really a Christian because his promise to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities goes against Christ’s rebuke to Peter to “put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword (Matthew 26:52). It is widely accepted by biblical scholars that Christ’s words are a proof verse for Christian pacifism. If Santorum truly believes that god protects his “chosen people” in Israel, then he would trust god and not assume god’s role for himself. Santorum follows a perverted evangelical extremist belief that America’s first duty is protecting spiritual Israel that will be the beginning of Armageddon, and the end of the world.

Mr. Santorum perverts Christianity as a matter-of-course, and his perversion is not limited to war-mongering, judging, and enriching the wealthy. It is well-publicized that Santorum’s religious moral absolutism caused him to bring his premature, dead son home for his other children to cuddle, and with his wife, slept with the deceased baby between them before returning the body to the morgue the following day. Whatever drives a man like Santorum to evangelical extremism is not for anyone to judge, but when he purports to impose his fanatical beliefs on the entire population, then he opens himself up to condemnation.

It is beyond the pale for Santorum to state, with false authority, that the President’s theology is not based on the bible when his own theology is closer to Sharia law. His proclivity to impose the Vatican’s ban on contraception reveals his tendency to reject the Constitution’s separation of church and state, and his outrageous opposition to same-sex marriage belies Christ’s teaching of tolerance. Santorum’s perverted beliefs drives him to believe that giving same-sex couples the right to marry jeopardizes his own marriage. He also said he is for income inequality and blames the economic recession on  America’s “huge moral failings” and not Bush-Republicans economic malfeasance. His religious perversion has become a delusion and America does  not need a deluded pope like Santorum.

It is likely Santorum truly believes he was called by god to become America’s pope and not the president. He supports moral absolutism as dictated by Rick Santorum and is barely suited to lead a mental ward prayer group much less the United States of America, and yet he is currying favor among evangelical extremists who support America becoming a theocracy. His god-complex may tell him he knows the basis of President Obama’s religious beliefs, but he is clueless to the majority of Americans’ belief that religion is private and not the purview of the USCCB or Rick Santorum. Americans are not looking for a  pope to issue edicts or commission a new Inquisition and Crusade, they want an honest, non-judgmental president that Santorum will never be.

61 Replies to “Dear Rick Santorum, America Elects Presidents Not Popes”

  1. The Catholic Church’s leader and guide “The Pope” has denounced war, has supported both universal healthcare and the need for nation’s to come together as a “family” in order to solve global warming pollution.

    Catholics like “Sick Sanitarium” conveniently dismiss their own religion on these issues while focusing on sexually related topics.

    Why?

  2. …”the field of Republican hopefuls are intent on making the upcoming general election about whether America remains a diverse representative democracy or a theocracy…”

    I hate to cut this off at the knees, but the reason for the “intent” is to constantly divert Americans, 24/7, away from the economic reality that THEY CREATED! So, their “Hail Mary” is to send in the sociopath, no sociopaths, to stir up more primitive brain to shove America off the economy issues that are REALLY killing us off…no one believes their fairy tales but a handful of like-minded, socially-reta8ded, border-line terrorist fundamentalist who are out-cast to the rest of civilization.

    But then again, they are showing their deep-seed sickness in the open, they’re “we’re above the law and we write our own history ticket” lifestyles based on a formula–Any Rand+greed=Shock Doctrine…

    enough already…We really need to see this and talk about this, but point out that THEY about to run out of money because they are blowing their wad on all these primaries!

  3. I don’t think Santorum is as devoutly religious as he thinks he is, else he would make an effort to learn more about it. Personally, I think he’s just in it for the sex.

  4. All the GOP’s candidates are authoritarians. They believe they are god’s gift to the human race. Everything they do is sanctioned by god. If they do anything wrong, it’s god’s will and not their responsibility. If they do something right, it only proves that they have god’s unconditional blessing. Also, if they get into power, it always end in economic disaster or war, usually both. The last one to do so, Bush, ended in the worst financial disaster and two wars. To bad the GOP didn’t learn its lesson then.

  5. “Santorum’s theology is not based on the bible, but on Heritage Foundation and Grover Norquist ideology ”

    If santorum is the candidate, that’s the perfect storm for Obama. Destroy Santorum on the steps to the church as he tries to destroy the poor.

  6. When a serial cheater like Newt is welcomed into the Catholic Church, which denies divorce regularly to women who are abused, they lose all credibility. And if people think back, a real issue for JFK was being Catholic, because Americans were rightly concerned about keeping religion OUT of our laws, as the Founders intended. This bastardization of the Constitution as well as of the Church by these whack jobs is very disturbing. I thought this thinking is what got Santimonious Rick kicked out of PA politics in the first place. Somehow he thinks what didn’t sell in Piuttsburgh will be acceptable in Detroit and LA? We’ll see. Here in MI, the major papers are going for Mitt, who is a whack job in his own right, but at least he never slept with a corpse.

  7. Somehow, Rick Santorum resembles one of those impostors trying to steeplejack the Catholic Church than he does a real Catholic.

  8. I left Catholicism 43 yrs ago, at age 14, after my intellectual sense made me realize I didn’t want to go through “Confirmation” in the church. Not being a religious person, I’m the first to admit I haven’t read the Bible. However, I do seem to recall a line from it about how “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” From everything I know about Senator Sanctimonium, I’d say little Ricky’s calling to be president is absolutely coming from the wrong end of the moral spectrum!

  9. Saintormum is NOT Catholic but a stealth New Apostolic Reformation infiltrator. They are not Christian – they are Old Testamentarians for whom Jesus is just a “get out of jail free” card. Their religious views have nothing to do with the Church, with Christianity, with any known set of values. Nowhere did Jesus demand fealty to the rich or tax breaks for them either.

    This perversion, this heretical view, now has moved into the Souther Baptist Convention that just decided to informally call its members Great Commission Baptists. Dog whistle for NAR Dominionism.

    Saintorum, Newt, and many others who’ve oozed into the Church will prove to be the Church’s nemesis, diverting it from its social justice good. However much most of us disagree on sexual justice issues with Catholicism, the body of their beliefs and practices for justice are 180 degrees different from these public pseudo-Catholic charlatans. Back when the Bishops issues their statement on economic justice, rich white Catholics said the Bishops should keep out of economics “that they knew nothing about.” Like they know about women’s reproduction. The problem is – the Church, hijacked by the right too often – has kept out too often. One does not see threats of excommunication for greedy corporate leaders or for rabid supporters of the death penalty or for fervid anti-immigrant people.

    With the Church already weakened by its sexual scandals and lack of moral spine on its own directives, NARites can bore from within, set a kind of moral ideology inconsistent with the church theology but lead others of like mind to believe it’s accurate.

    We are in a holy war, a civil war, as radical as the Great Schism or the Reformation. The only way to prevail is by calling out the truth, and a great place to start is to hold Saintorum responsible for his phony theology. He knows not what he speaks even though he certainly knows why he speaks it. Nothing less than the total destruction of social justice, human equality, and economic fairness will make him and his ilk happy.

  10. I don’t understand how anybody’s theology, let alone the President’s has anything to do with governing this country. Is there separation of Church and State or not? People need to cut this kind of conversation off at the knees during any debate. The CNN people or any journalist should be asking this question. It is absolutely fundamental. Why is hair-splitting going on about how Rick Santorum is not a true Catholic blah blah blah? It shouldn’t even be part of the debate. He is NOT running for Pope. He is running as the Chief Executive of a Republic, representing an entire country full of people of varied faiths or no “faiths” at all. He apparently doesn’t even comprehend THAT much. This entire “religious” conversation astounds me.

  11. I want a POTUS, not a Pope!
    I too am a former catholic and KNOW I do not want to live under Catholic law. I fear Santorum is a very, very conservative catholic and will not govern and do what is right for the US, but what his conscience as a catholic tells him. He does disregard what the pope says in regard to war and the death penalty and the poor, but that is what the majority of right wingers want.
    It would be interesting to see what would happen if he were elected POTUS and wanted to go to war and the Pope objected.
    I fear we would be living the 1500 again and the war between
    Henry the 8th and the Pope. That was a bloody mess.

    I honestly think that if the catholic church allowed married priests, santorum would not be running for POTUS.

  12. I don’t believe that Santorum is really Roman Catholic, although that’s the church he attends.

    He gives off all of the signals and dogwhistle associated with the Pentecostals and their worst expression which is the New Apostolic Reformation. A few utterances were weird combinations of RC speak and NAR-ish dogwhistle.

    I’m not sure if he’s an active steeplejacker (one who is trained to try to take over other churches, always by fundamentalist/dominionist churches such as the Assemblies of God), but he sure gives off the signs.

    (Point of interest: I used to hang out with the Assemblies of God “Ministry Students” who were being trained to take over churches when I belonged to that cult, and they were being taught what to say and what not to say for the specific church each team (always multiples of 2) was trained to infiltrate. Their purpose was to “encourage” the church they invaded to go more fundamentalist/conservative, and they are VERY effective, especially if they keep their enthusiasm in check. Recent conversations with a friend of mine who used to be an AoG ministerial student confirmed that they’re continuing the teaching and also expanded on how to harass and hinder churches/organizations they don’t like.)

  13. It’s a sad fact, but there are a hell of a lot of the “like-minded, socially-reta8ded, border-line terrorist fundamentalist”s in this country, who vote for the people they’re told to and that stoke their hatred.

    It also kind of reinforces the fact that emotions are a more powerful tool for manipulating people than logic/intellect.

  14. THIS. Santorum is NOT a good Catholic. Catholicism is despicable on sex, but not on universal health care, unions, immigrant rights, global warming, preventive wars, and the death penalty.

    What was a huge warning for me was Santorum’s pro-creationism agenda. Catholic Church is NOT creationist. Even the present pope, who is conservative, is not a creationist.

    So yes, I can see this. What I can’t understand is why the US bishops can’t. Yes, the man agrees with them on all things sexual. On every other single policy position he disagrees.

  15. I knew a southern baptist once who proselytized at work on construction sites. A Very self important fellow having become a well known painting contractor in the community. Of course we got into it one day and the subject of Christian duty towards the poor came up. He quickly quoted Jesus saying “the poor shall always be with us” taking the saying out of the context of the woman having just washed Jesus’ feet with an expensive oil and how the money should have been given to the poor. Long story short I placed the saying back in context for him stating that Jesus would certainly agree the money would have been better given to the poor but in that moment the point he was making was not a statement on the position the poor will hold or must hold nor a prophesy that they shall hold to being poor. Jesus was making an indictment of those who will see the poor every day and do little or nothing to help them, while he was here only a short time to remind them of this fact.

  16. It is indeed relevant, because this candidate is trying to impose a theocracy, and no, it’s not a Catholic theocracy.

    I have worked with priests and nuns both on issues of social justice. With the exception (as heretofore noted) of matters related to the sexes, they’re very much for it. Santorum just rings false, false, false! And I assure you, after even a small dose of *his* theocracy, a Catholic one would look liberal and humane by comparison.

  17. Well, when’s the last time you saw the bishops threaten to deny someone communion because of their policy positions on on universal health care, unions, immigrant rights, global warming, preventive wars, and the death penalty?

    The bishops have shown by their actions that what REALLY matters in their cold little hearts is the sexual and misogynist repression.

    Walkway’s post is insightful and provocative. I left the Catholic Church when I became an adult, but for all its many severe faults it’s better than Pentecostalism, and it’s better than Rick Santorum, unless of course it allows him to drag it down to his level.

  18. Well said…I am so happy to see so many people, like yourself, educating themselves/others to NAR’s and defending social/economic justice; most of all, writing and talking about it fearlessly. It takes courage to say and do the right thing which, obviously, Santorum and his ilk do not…shameful cowards!

  19. I call 17-20% of the population a “handful”; after all the polls, elections, numbers are said and done, it always comes down to less than 20% who are radicals fundamentalist, and or dyssocial sociopaths* combined.

    Cult churches are notorious for keeping people on the books who left (Me and my fleas got stuff for 10 years after!), only showed up once, went to a revival, signed a guest book, etc. as a PR scam to look larger and “popular”. It’s a business; they must always insist “business is booming” when again, their actual “sales” are always much lower plus, they rarely grow percentage wise. Yes, they stoke hate, vote, but they are dying off just like the old, hard-line communist. It’s just not fast enough, plus most of the old geezers hold the family purse strings…the 700 Club knows this fact!

    *(Dyssocial sociopaths are people who appear normal, both temperamentally and psychologically, but whose allegiance and identification is with a (possibly predatory) subculture having norms and mores that are foreign to and often antithetical to the norms and mores of the establishment culture. These are people who has been brought up to regard established society as an occupying foreign power. Members of any political underground
    movement or revolutionary terrorist group are thus “dyssocial sociopaths” from the point of view of the established authority;
    DSM, IV).

  20. Oh, Walkaway! I would love to talk with you privately sometime.

    From 1978-1986, I was IN a church that fell to Dominionism. Always wondered how they swung that. *MY* first clue was the day that, while we were closing our eyes in prayer and swaying, hands up and crooning in tongues to the music, someone swapped the hymn verses on the overhead projector with a picture of Ronald Reagan standing in front of the flag.

    I opened my eyes, saw this, and my blood ran cold. I remembered all the heroes of the Bible who did NOT bow the knee to some Earthly Ruler (Mordechai in the Book of Esther, Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego in the Book of Daniel) and I fully expected the congregation to protest this political picture in a place of worship.

    I was the only one bothered by it. I got the hell OUTTA there, ASAP.

  21. My guess is that the steeplejackers figured people were under enough thought control that they could take it to the next level.

    That sounds so typical. The steeplejacked Episcopal church we were driven from (because of our race, my insistence that evolution is compatible with Christianity, because we supported gay rights, and because we were poor) is now referred as the “Rah Rah WAR!” church by a few other ex-members and it strongly pushes extreme conservative thinking and strongly supports military action. A couple of friends of mine were literally thrown out because they were gay (and in a long-time relationship). Another was driven out because her gender orientation wasn’t clear and because she opposed the anti-gay and pro-war stance the church had taken (what she said). A second woman left because of the hard right turn they’d taken and the hostility towards gays (she also called it the Rah Rah War church). Others… well, they left before they were driven or thrown out because of their liberal attitudes.

    The whole diocese is considered bad, except for a couple of churches which were too far to attend (hour or more drive one way). Even the Bishop was steeplejacked, but a rumor was that he later regretted ever getting involved with people from the Pentecostals, because they started dictating to him and had gotten some control of the purse strings.

    Some time before we left, the political images and stuff had started appearing. On the Sunday before elections, “Value Voter’s Guides” would mysteriously appear in the pews (I saw this three or four times). Military and government flags were proudly displayed. I now kind of wonder if they’d replaced the cross in the processional with an American flag (seriously doubt it – being a bit facetious).

  22. Well, I’ve seen much higher numbers, and those even included the deceptive practices of those churches – like rough estimates of 30% – and that is a LOT of people in a country of roughly 400 million. 20% of 400 million is still 80 million people… and that’s a LOT, not a handful.

    I also STRENUOUSLY disagree that they’re dying off. I can’t see how anyone could make that assertion with the way they’re winning and gaining power. I fully expect that if we don’t mobilize the rest of the country and stop them, we will face something similar to “The Handmaid’s Tale” in this country in only a few years. If we DO stop them, I expect that there might be a major uprising and some of us will loose our lives as they try social cleansing and a coup so they can FORCE their ideology on the rest of us.

    I don’t want that, but that’s where they’re heading.

  23. WHY do these places still enjoy tax-exempt status?

    I was in college at the time of my experience, studying, in fact, the History of the Weimar Republic and how it fell to the Nazis in *one* course, and the writings of some of the Founding Fathers and American Revolutionaries in another.

    By “getting out of there ASAP”, ASAP = nearly a year, sad to say, while I checked my sanity and figured out what to do, where I would go. As such churches do, they had become my entire “family”, as we were encouraged to alienate any family or friends who wouldn’t listen to our incessant preaching or “visit” our church with us.

    The next step involved a bunch of visiting preachers — particularly an “Apostle” whose name I’ve forgotten — who told us that America had been *intended* to be a Christian country, but an evil plot and conspiracy had obscured this. I had *just read* things folks like Jefferson and Paine had written and I knew this was a lie.

    I talked to my “covering” about this (I bet you know what that is! ;->), a young married college professor a few years older than I, about my questions. He was kindly, listened apparently sympathetically .. and then ratted me out.

    I was the not-very-well-disguised subject of the next several weeks of sermons, each ending with a sobbing and tearful call for my repentance. I was so annoyed by this (and, coincidentally, had just read “The Nun’s Pardoner’s Tale”, by Chaucer, in another college course, in which Chaucer discusses this exact abuse of pastoral power) that I went to Leadership to discuss this directly.

    They offered me, basically, a “cut of the action”: “We are so hurt and disappointed that you don’t trust us! We were grooming you for a paid ministry position. We were going to give your 11-year-old son a leading role in the next touring church dramatic and musical production! Do not turn your back on the Body of Christ (aka them, and only them and their sister churches.) Your soul is in danger of hellfire! How we weep for you!”

    I was very confused. Then I found a copy of a book called “Snapping” (forget the author, but it was an old book about mind control) and another called “The Persuaders” (about advertising and message management.)

    I became deathly physically ill, for months. They “prayed” for me, and sent folks from the Martha Ministry to clean my house while I was sick. These women reported my possession of “too many worldly books” and “too many candles” to ministry. I’m not kidding.

    You strict rationalists will laugh, but the final deciding factor was a super-real dream where I heard voices saying, “Come out of her that you be not a partaker of her sins.” That was it. Gone, almost a year after that Ronald Reagan picture.

    It was a tough adjustment after leaving, because I found that pastors and counselors in more mainline churches just didn’t believe me. :-( Describing this experience in another social networking site, just a few years ago, before Sarah Palin’s rise, resulted in many Christians saying, “Oh, that’s nonsense. *I* don’t know of any Christians like that!”

    Just the other day a RW commenter whom I was attempting to warn dismissed my experiences ’cause I’d “joined a cult”. I wish he understood that this “cult” has basically EATEN Evangelical Christianity in America, over the past 25 years.

    BTW, this church taught exactly what Sarah Palin’s church teachers. It was common to have exorcisms and such in the evening services, and for people to hear that they had “Mighty Anointings” to go into politics or finance or media. I was told I possessed the supernatural gift of “Discernment of Spirits”, and was being groomed for a radio show, actually. (Just think. I could’ve been the Female Limbaugh! ;->)

    And, like Sarah Palin’s church, we were an offshoot of the Assemblies of God.

    This church has since dropped off the radar entirely, but when I google the names of people involved with it, they seem to have spread out into many different denominations since.

    Brrr. Thanks for listening! I know you probably get tired of dealing with folks driven a little crazy by this stuff, but consider writing to me at exdominionist (no hyphen) at yahoo com

    I’ve been trying to find others who went through what I went through. Most of the world doesn’t believe things are, or were, ever this bad, or that the Evangelicals who harp on and on and on about Antireligious Antiamerican Conspiracies are running one themselves.

  24. SinghX, I am inclined to agree with you. It is not, though, just diversionary campaigning. These guys seriously see a threat to America from the separation of church and state (See Rick Santorum)and love the power and control a nation of religious sycophants offers. From personal experience, I assure you these evangelical extremists, regardless of denomination, are driven and will begin an Inquisition to eliminate opposition to their religious edicts. There are movements in this country who could not care less about the economy, jobs, or national security; we just never hear from them. They are well-armed, well-financed and promised me they will gather up opposition and kill them. It is not rhetoric or conspiracy theory, it is rooted in history. See: Holocaust, Dominionism, Armenian genocide for starters and compare them with white supremacists, neo-Nazi facism, or any “onward christian soldier” groups.

  25. I wish I could disagree with walkaway, but I read Comments on mainstream articles.

    ALL those horrible people with the horrible hearts and horrible ideas can’t be Paid Trolls, although I’m sure some of them are.

    Do NOT underestimate this movement. Judging from what I hear on Comments, “The Handmaid’s Tale” would just be a light-hearted Opening Act for these people.

    Poor Jesus. NOTHING of Him is recognizable in what they say. He’s just the Established Trademark they have hijacked.

  26. I am sad to say that I agree with you. What comes from the pulpits is concerning; the rhetoric from the foot-soldiers is so much worse that it has me convinced that this is probably the way I am going to die.

    I will NOT shut up about this, though.

    I still have faith, oddly enough, in that brave soul who delivered the Sermon on the Mount, who told the Pharisees of His time what He thought of them, and who died on the cross.

    Now – I am NOT convinced that all I have to do is lie back and wait for Him to come clean house. We’re going to have to stand up and speak out, even if it costs our lives.

  27. Sure. But this isn’t going to be any slam dunk. We HAVE to share what we know, even if it’s at peril to ourselves and our families.

  28. What’s the old line from the Bible, “These people draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”?

  29. Seconded. If these people pull this off, you’d miss the hard-core Catholics the way that Bush made you miss Reagan. ;->

  30. What we’re saying here is that he’s not even a Catholic. He is using the Catholic Church as his host, to spread something far, far worse.

    Read up on the New Apostolic Reformation. I saw this happening 25 years before I knew there was a name for it.

    But that’s its name. Nearly 100% of the people accusing Obama of being some secret adherent of some bizarre Muslim cult are, themselves, secret adherents to a vicious pseudo-Christian Authoritarian Fascist Nationalistic Movement, having no more to do with Jesus of Nazareth than continually taking His name in vain, as they prepare to subjugate the rest of us in a near-Feudal society.

  31. Thank you for sharing your story. The more people hear our stories and the more walkaways share their experiences, the greater the chance that we’ll be able to stop the dominionists.

    It’s harrowing to do so, but it’s important. Many walkaways have experienced exactly what you said regarding other people not believing or accepting your word. It’s becoming easier as people see examples like Palin and read accounts like yours.

    (I had an interesting dream last night: I was talking with someone and the person said to me that the Pentecostals and others like them were the church of the anti-Christ (as in inverse of Jesus) and that they’d been a major problem and threat to Christianity -real Christians- since almost the beginning.)

  32. (Laugh) I think that preacher’s argument misquoting Jesus and taking it all out of context must be canned – I’ve heard the same argument a few times.

  33. Rmuse, Ex-dominionist and A Walkaway, your insights are amazing. Thank you for sharing. You have shed a beam of light into something that has always puzzled me.

    On a flight from London to the U.S., I had the misfortune to sit
    next to a middle-aged man and a young woman (we were all strangers to one another), who carried on puzzling “religious” conversations the entire trip. I was raised by devout Lutheran parents, I’d been hauled to every Sunday church service, forced to teach vacation bible school (yeah, even tried to run away from home over that one), and was regularly shipped off to Summer Bible Camp against my will and better judgement. In the end, my parents decided that while God might not love me, they certainly did, and like the good Christians they were, they never held my atheism against me, but just loved me mightily anyway.

    I tell you all this because I was raised in a home steeped in religion. I know the hymns, I know the select passages read over and over again, I know the history behind the theology. But I had never before heard religion spoken about in terms and phrases that simply did not comport with anything I had ever encountered before. “They’re speaking in some kind of weird code that both of them obviously know well.” I decided. “So why can’t I understand what they’re talking about? Thanks to mum and dad, and a host of university philosophy profs, I ought to understand this stuff. So why am I sitting here without a clue?”

    You three–as well as many others–have much to share with those of us who have no idea what in the hell is going on with these folks when we can’t even understand what they are talking about.

    Please consider collaborating on a from-the-in-side out article for Pulicicususa article.

  34. We perceive, I am convinced, on far more levels than the purely physical. What I am about to say may mark me as irrational in some eyes, but what I conjecture about you, Ex-Dominionist, is that some type of thought form had been sent to occupy you, so to speak, and compel you to return; when it could not, they recalled it, and you perceived the recall. As for you, Walkaway, I have increasingly felt that there are anagogic and catagogic forces that work on human beings, and they are in conflict. I don’t know what they are, and I have resisted thinking like that, because it seems so counterlogical. But yes, the true catagogues are like antimatter to everything humanity has been striving for. No, I don’t understand it, but I feel it, and I’m glad to see others have, too.

  35. Again, I think we’re seeing the same stuff, even if we’re coming from different places. I appreciate getting some confirmation on this. Silvery laughter is such a downer.

  36. It’s a favorite tactic of abusers, up to and including Hitler. There’s even a shorthand for it, DARVO: Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Oppressor.

  37. DARVO! I’ll remember that! This meeting with you, A Walkaway, and Churchlady, is filling in some pieces I need, rounding out my already far-too-accurate picture of these Deceivers and Blasphemers.

    (BTW, Atheists & Agnostics — although I talk “churchy” and sling a lot of Bible, I respect you guys a lot. Anyone who bucks the cultural pressure to be religious, out of a strong conscience and a sense of integrity, who then does right because it is Right, not because some Giant is keeping score, is all right in my book. I believe for what I admit are non-rational reasons, but they’re quite compelling for me, and not just the fruit of cultural expectations.)

    Maybe we need an old–skool Listserv, off the Social Network grid. Contact me via the email addy I just created, and implied, in a message in this thread.

    Heh. Just found out I’m a “walkaway”.

  38. Me too. Like Jesus was suggesting that this was right and good, like he’d created the Poor as a *gift* to Rich People, and it was somehow wrong to help them.

    I heard that one about as often as I heard “The Eye of the Needle was a colloquial expression for a gate in the Wall of Jerusalem through which an *unladen* camel could easily pass, but a *laden* camel would need the load to be taken off his back!”

    Yeah. Sure. Right. Try to find actual proof of *that* one. Also, in the context of Jesus’ next line, “Nevertheless, with God all things are possible” the “small gate and not actual eye of an actual needle” theory kind of falls apart.

    You need supernatural help unloading a camel??? You could probably hire five guys standing around nearby for a penny apiece and have it done in 5 minutes.

    Dumb-dumb-dumb-dumb-dumb.

  39. I also wonder what they do with the line from Mary’s “magnificat”,

    “He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away.”

  40. It was a narrow gate in the all of Jerusalem, but even an unladen camel couldn’t pass easily. He had first to be stripped of his rich trappings, and then kept hungry and thirsty for some days, and then made to go through on his knees- a rich, proud camel no more, but poor, hungry, and humble. I bet they don’t want to think about that.

  41. Do we have *credible* proof of that “Gate in the Wall” thing? It sounds exactly like something some 18th century Divine would invent so that the rich people wouldn’t be scared away, or even lightly challenged, by anything they heard in church.

    My comment on the absurdity of “With God all things are possible” being the answer to the slight difficulty of unloading a camel and shoving it through a gate stands.

  42. I believe I heard that in a Science Digest several decades ago. The gate was a pedestrian wicket, and the difficulty of getting a camel through it wasn’t slight. In like circumstances, a wealthy man would have to divest himself of his wealth before, not after, death. Of course, in medieval times, he would have been expected to give it to the Church and then go live out his life in orders, a practice more often followed in the East than the West. Peter and Fevronia, King and Queen of Murom, reputedly ended their lives thus.

  43. I wonder sometimes if Santorum’s views don’t fall more in line with the Society of St. Piux X, which is a fringe offshoot of the Catholic church. It’s designated as a hate group by the SPLC and has very authoritarian views and denigrates women to second class status. Very disturbing thing. I first came across this when I found out the governor of Kansas was a member of this fringe group. Here’s one link with some info down in the text…

    http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2011/08/catholic-sect-crazy-enough-for.html

    …and if you google “st. pius X” you can see all kinds of links about the sect. I find MANY of their tenets fall right in line with Santorum’s crazy, warped views. Check it out.

  44. I’ve heard of that too… that there was a postern gate called the “Eye of the Needle” which was too small for a camel with load, or even standing (had to go through on it’s knees – an almost impossible task).

    Postern gates were quite common, and the description is rather apt.

    Jesus was rather hostile to the elites of the day because of their greed and harm of the poor. He also existed in a very hierarchal society that was under extreme pressure from the Roman occupiers, and their culture reinforced the exploitation of the poor. I imagine that either meaning could be accurate… one hyperbole, the other a reference to something known at the time. That’s actually quite common in the Bible – for instance the passage about “If an eye causes you to sin, pluck it out” was a well-known proverb of that day and it meant “deal with something while it’s small and you won’t have to deal with it when it grows too big to manage”.

  45. I’m afraid that saying was taken too literally, though, by the Skoptsi, a bunch of Russian self-castraters.

  46. Because like most people Rick Santorum uses religion for his own comfort and abuse. Use what you like and dump the rest. Use religion to judge everyone but yourself! I’ve only met 1 or 2 non hypocritical religious persons in my life.

  47. (Laugh!) You’ve mirrored some of my sentiments.

    I’ve always believed that people should try to the “right thing” (helping others, being kind, etc.) because it IS the right thing and because in most cases, the Other needs the help (or kindness or whatever).

    I know that there is a strong stream of “Be good or otherwise you will be punished” behind the “good deeds” of most “Good Christians”. I think that is partially due to the wrong thinking and false theology “Total depravity of Mankind” and partially because they want to impress people. They refuse to recognize the good side of themselves, or they try to crush it because they think it interferes with God’s Grace. They don’t see it (as I do) as the presence of the Creator within them… that they partake of that nature too.

    Of course, there are those who don’t have any of that positive side in them (I’ve encountered people like that) and there are also those whose positive sides have been submerged by … mind control.

    IMO (and in my way of thinking), there are going to be a LOT of very surprised atheists in heaven… and I hope to be able to sit down with them as a fellow human being and enjoy their presence. There are also going to be a lot of very saddened and aghast “Good Christians” as they find out just how harmful they really were and how wrong they were.

    As to all other religions… well, I’m a Universalist. That should say it all. (In other words, I don’t believe anyone will be punished in Hell, and that we all don’t really grasp the reality that exists – all of us have our perspectives on it and our beliefs about it – and I can usually accept them even if they don’t match mine.)

  48. Some of the sermons I heard actually held up people like the Skoptsi as a good example for today’s youth… especially for the young men who happened to be poor (they used examples of famous saints who were supposed to have castrated themselves). As I later (much later learned) there were two different classes of teaching… for the elites and for the poor. The elites were pushed towards marriage, especially those who were on the “ministerial” track. The poor – well, if you were single you weren’t supposed to want to be married, and if you were married, you weren’t supposed to want to be unmarried. If you didn’t go along with that, you had some sort of horrible hidden “sin” in your life.

  49. Are there documentaries or hidden camera videos on youtube focused on these “jesus freak” churches and how they’ve politicized their church? This kind of evidence needs to go viral.

  50. The article states that Jesus didn’t discriminate but that’s not entirely accurate. The Jesus character in the Bibles made comments about how slaves should act obediently towards their owners and he never spoke out for women’s equality.

  51. There are a lot of comments on here and I didn’t read them all (and nobody is going to read this one, likely) But I just wanted to say it isn’t fair to judge Santorum and his family on how they choose to grieve for a lost pregnancy. I may not have done it this way, but I can’t really judge someone based on how they say goodbye.

    I pretty much agree with everything else you say, though. He’s a scary nutcase.

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