By Mr. Curmudgeon
In the great crime thriller The Usual Suspects, Kevin Spacey’s character says, “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” And nothing quite ties our confused culture and its leaders in a knot like discussions of good and evil. “Santorum’s Satan Warning,” screamed the headline in the conservative blog The Drudge Report. “The former senator from Pennsylvania warned in 2008 how politics and government are falling to Satan,” wrote Matt Drudge.
“This is not a political war at all, this is not a culture war at all, this is a spiritual war,” said Rick Santorum in a speech delivered at Ava Maria University in Florida in 2008. “This is a spiritual war. And the Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country – the United States of America. If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age? He attacks all of us and he attacks all of our institutions.”
The four-year-old sound-bite was dredged up by the media to suggest Santorum is unfit to serve as president. The theory no doubt being that a man who believes in things not seen is incapable of dealing with the more tangible business of redistributing the nation’s wealth and leading the dictatorial re-organization of American society under the rubric of “health reform.”
Back on September 16, 2001, President George W. Bush also raised the hackles of the left with remarks he made to the White House press corps, “My administration has a job to do,” said a determined Bush, “and we’re going to do it. We will rid the world of the evil-doers.” Of course, the president was speaking of AL-Qaeda terrorists who five days earlier had attacked the United States, killing 3,000 Americans.
This did not sit well with Yale Sociology Professor Wendell Bell. “Viewing the world as a struggle between good and evil is not helpful,” wrote Bell in his essay “How Has American Life Changed Since September 11?”
“It is simplistic and explains nothing. Instead of an analysis of the cause of human action, it is mere name calling. Worse, it has become a justification for our American terror against them. It demonizes the Other, and, because, according to this view, it is our duty to destroy evil, it urges us to bring death and destruction to the ‘evil’ others, while believing that we are doing the right thing. As we Americans act on such a view, we transform ourselves from victims to evil perpetrators.”
Bell’s simplistic name calling did nothing to explain AL-Qaeda's attack on America, but it successfully, if clumsily, transformed American victims into evil perpetrators. In the murky world of moral relativism, true evil is ascribed only to those who recognize … true evil.
“There are odd things about Santorum,” said resident “conservative” New York Times columnist Richard Brooks on the PBS News Hour, “He thinks theologically and very few Americans, even regular church-going Americans, think theologically. The second thing, and this always interests me about him: most of us – when anything bad happens – we sort of skirt by it and want to think of some positive thing. Santorum, through the whole course of his career, has always looked at tragedy in the face and dwelt upon it. And that’s sort of an unusual personality trope.”
In other words, Santorum’s Satan remarks indicate that the GOP presidential candidate believes in things beyond tangible, redistributive materialism. Them’s fightin’ words to America’s left and right.
On a recent broadcast of CBS’s Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer began is interview of Santorum by running a video clip in which the GOP candidate attacks Obama for his extreme environmental policies as an example of his secular theology. “It’s not about you, it’s not about your quality of life, it’s not about your jobs. It’s about some phony ideal. Some phony theology. Not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology,” said Santorum.
“So, Senator,” began a perplexed and irritated Bob Schieffer, “I’ve got to ask you, what in the world were you talking about, sir?”
“I was talking about the radical environmentalists,” answered Santorum, “this idea that man is here to serve the Earth as opposed to husband its resources and be good stewards of the Earth … the Earth is not the objective, man is the objective. I think a lot of radical environmentalists have it upside down.”
Schieffer grew ever more perplexed and irritated, “How does that translate into some sort of theology … that the president’s theology is not based on the Bible?” That suggests that he’s not a Christian.”
“When you have a world view that elevates the Earth above man and says we can’t take those resources because we’re going to harm the Earth by things that are, frankly, not scientifically – for example the politicization of the whole global-warming debate – this is just all an attempt to, you know, centralize power and give more power to the government. This is not questioning the president’s beliefs in Christianity …”
At this point, Schieffer was beside himself, “Was your use of the word theology – perhaps you could have had a better word than that – I mean, don’t you know, or do you wonder, that that could lead some people to suggest that you were questioning the president’s faith?”
“No,” insisted Santorum, “Because I’ve repeatedly said I don’t question the president’s faith. I’ve repeatedly said I believe the president is Christian … he says he’s a Christian … but I am talking about his world view or the way he approaches problems in this country. And I think they are different than how most people do in America.”
Meanwhile, back at left-wing central, MSNBC, Time magazine’s Joe Klein was as outraged as Schieffer, “I have never seen a field go so extreme and so intemperate and caricature their opposition as the Anti-Christ as this field has,” Klein said of Obama’s Republican opponents to Chris Matthews.
So, are you beginning to see the problem Progressives have with Santorum or anyone who would dare move the national conversation away from wealth redistribution, income inequality and fundamentally transforming America?
It’s not that Santorum questions the faith of Obama and his fellow Progressives, it’s that Santorum’s faith does not comport with that of secular Progressivism; a faith that uses pseudoscience to make the case for greater government control of carbon– by which they mean you and me – and to convince the soft-headed carbon-based units who worship at the altars of the earth goddess Gaia to vote Democrat. To this bunch, Santorum is a heretic ripe for the burning.
Since the president can’t run on his dismal record, he must convince the nation that it is better to keep the devil we know than replace him with the devil we don’t.
Santorum would be more than happy to have that debate. And that is what worries the Satanic left.