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Santorum’s Satanic Verses

by Keith Koffler on February 23, 2012, 11:21 am

Most of those who objected to Rick Santorum’s 2008 remarks at Ave Maria University depicting Satan’s influence in the United States missed the real problem with what the former senator said.

That Santorum spoke of Satan is certainly jarring for the non-religious and even those who expect mainly to hear these things in church, not from politicians. But it should not be particularly surprising that a religious Christian believes the devil is at work in the world, and that he should be resisted.

What concerns is that Santorum in his remarks - unearthed Wednesday by the Drudge Report - painted his political opponents as being permeated by Satan. This speaks to the very thing that gives people pause about Santorum – that while commendably principled, he may be too rigid and eager to view every matter in terms of good vs. evil.

Santorum argued that the devil had first invaded America’s universities. From there, the Satan’s work extended to society at large, and then to politics. Here’s how Santorum put it:

He understood pride of smart people – he attacked them at their weakness: that they were in fact smarter than everybody else and could come up with something new and different, pursue new truths, deny the existence of truth – play with it, because ‘we’re smart.’

There’s no question that academia is liberal and that it is influencing society’s future leaders to be the same. But liberal thinking, even if you think it is wrong-headed, is not satanic. And those who are voting for Democrats in congressional elections are not being guided by Mephistopheles.

There is good and evil in the world. Too many politicians – and people – are afraid to say it, or don’t believe it. But our system of government rests on the notion that we might not be right, and that our opponents are animated by a difference of opinion, not by Satan.

Imputing evil to political opponents is far more often the provenance of the left, which generally holds conservatives to be either dumb or intentionally malignant. That Santorum subscribes to the theory of an evil opposition is a worrying quality in someone who could become president.

And it represents a habit of intolerance by Santorum that flashed in the debate Wednesday night when Santorum raged at Romney, saying, “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

For those who think Santorum may be the second coming of Ronald Reagan, remember how the Gipper would have put it: “There you go again.”

{ 34 comments }

Sadie February 23, 2012 at 11:39 am

“Throughout human history, the apostles of purity, those who have claimed to possess a total explanation, have wrought havoc among mere mixed-up human beings.”

-Salmon Rushdie

barkley pontree February 23, 2012 at 7:32 pm

As Bishop Sheen wrote, God is I AM WHO I AM and satan has convinced a multitude he is who is not. So you think there is no hell? “Ay,” says Mephistopheles, “think so still, till experience change thy mind.”

Star February 23, 2012 at 11:57 am

I once knew a psychic who helped police depts find lost kids etc who said this is the Devil’s plain and we are trying to operate on it–but what good does talking about this do us? We need jobs, stability, to be able to sleep, to stop crying… These are side issues. It’s not govt’s job to banish evil. Maybe the Devil is making us talk about this. (kidding)

Shofar February 23, 2012 at 12:05 pm

“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. And like that, poof. He’s gone.”

Verbal from “The Usual Suspects” 1995

domenico dario February 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm
FromMissouri2 February 23, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Have to go with Santorum on this one….I think the left is being pushed, sponsored and allied by satan. So, I guess I have the same habit of intolerance as he!

srdem65 February 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm

What he voiced was his opinion on the evil promoted by the progressive left in government and education.
Who’s to say he’s wrong?
Is it evil to kill the unborn or to covet the treasure of a neighbor?

There are many examples of certain Dems using the same kind of rhetoric against the Repubs; for example, CongMaxineWaters claimed that all Repubs were “demons”, DNC Chair DebbieW-S claimed that Repubs “hate women” or the ousted Congressman from Florida who claimed that Repubs wanted all old people to “die”.
If SenSantorum is unfit to serve because he believes that evil permeates our instittutions, then so are the many Dems who cast stones of evil on their opponents.

BeeCee February 23, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Dems/liberals aren’t really agitated with discussions of satan and evil. They know the routine. Those with wobbly knees are primarily in the media as they contemplate how to offset this charge against their ‘chosen one’. Their fear of exorcism conducted by middle America is palpable.

Susan February 23, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Now I know why Reuters banned me from posting. I made mention of media’s head spinning like Linda Blair over the “phony theology” statement Rick Santorum made last week.

ol gator February 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Jesus said satan is the “father of all lies”…
He’s been REAL busy in DC for years ..

Charles Curran February 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm

The idiot in the WH, plus most of the MSM quote and look up to Saul Alinsky. He book ‘Rules for Radials’ in dedicated to ‘Satan’. W was called satan. Give me a break.

Darrel February 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm

I’m very conservative. I do not think Santorum is electable in todays USA. His words will defeat him with independents, agnostics, and more.

Jeff February 23, 2012 at 12:47 pm

If Communism/ Marxism isn’t Satanic, it’s definitely evil. Sounds like semantics to me. I can live with either term, and Matt Drudge is in the tank for Romney.

Susan February 23, 2012 at 1:07 pm

As is Ann Coulter and many other so-called conservative pundits unfortunately.

FromMissouri2 February 23, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Ya, that’s one I can’t figure out. I really like Ann and respect her opinion as much as anyone, but her love affair with first Christie and now Romney surprise me…..

veritaseequitas February 23, 2012 at 12:49 pm

7 The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”
Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” – Job 1:7
Anyone who does not believe that Satan is not at work on the earth will, ultimately, deeply regret their disbelief. I do not have a problem with Rick Santorum talking about Satan’s influence at all. I do not believe, if he were to be elected, he would try to be an island unto himself such as the haughty and exalted one who now occupies the WH.

Susan February 23, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Sarah Palin is right…the leftist media is “all wee-weed up” about a speech Santorum made as private citizen at a Catholic university almost 4 years ago. He wasn’t talking about Obama, or Romney, or Democrats. He was talking about the secularists who have invaded every American institution. Many may not remember, but Reagan talked many times about the perils of evil. Here’s a refresher just in case you have forgotten…
http://youtu.be/FcSm-KAEFFA

By the way, two of the people currently running this country – Obama and Clinton – are acolytes of Alinsky. I’m not buying the premise that these people can’t be evil when their bible “Rules for Radicals” was dedicated to Satan.

Car in February 23, 2012 at 1:33 pm

HERE HERE. Ave Maria is a CATHOLIC University, and his speech was entirely appropriate at the time.

If we can only elect people who never – as a private citizen – uttered what they believed, then we will truly be lead by Satan.

Or Chance,the gardener.

Wigglesworth February 23, 2012 at 1:15 pm

It’s not the best way to frame an argument, but it is hardly unique to Santorum. Just recently Maxine Waters referred to Boehner and McConnell as “demons”. She also said the TEA Part can go “straight to hell”. Emanuel Cleaver referred to a piece of legislation as a “Satan sandwich”.

MaryOhSoContrary February 23, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Last night, the best definition of evil was given by Newt Gingrich when he reminded the shameless John King that NO ONE questioned, back in 2008, the Bill Sponsorship by the then Illinois State Senator Barack Obama of a Bill which PERMITTED physicians to kill any infant that survived abortion. I cannot FATHOM any event or deed MORE DEMONIC than killing an infant for ‘completion’ of the intended procedure. Infanticide. Protected by the state. Used as a laurel to left.

Evil abounds when good men say nothing. Gingrich did, and Santorum consistantly has. Contrast THAT to what Obama actually WROTE in a Bill and then think…good? Evil?

Susan February 23, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Well said Mary.

MT for re-redistribution February 23, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Somebody called it “all semantics”. I agree, and Santorum is screwing it all up by not properly choosing his semantics. An ideal candidate will do what is right for the country regardless of his own beliefs. I am losing faith that Rick is able to do this. If he can’t put his beliefs in place for a speech, he is not able to to make decisions. He had no need to make the statement he did, and couldn’t resist. Not impressed.

Washington is full of A-type narcissists who think that whatever comes into their heads is just the greatest thing since sliced bread. Santorum might be just another one of these. His inability to temper his speech is a symptom.

MT for re-redistribution February 23, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I should clarify: Rick could say “I would not support such-and-such liberal program because it is not right for the country” or he could say “I would not support such-and-such liberal program because it is the devil’s work”

The goal may be the same but the semantics will drive many away, including me. Not because of the injection of his faith but because of the lack of ‘presence’

Susan February 23, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Don’t get played by the media. The establishment and their media lackeys are trying to make devout Christians look like crazed lunatics. They did the same thing to Reagan. If we’re going to start questioning Rick Santorum’s religion and how it may affect his effectiveness as president and commander-in-chief, then let’s look into black liberation theology and maybe the Mormon faith as well.

ol gator February 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Great point Susan ! The media wants to cover what’s convenient to their twisted agenda … Still today they haven’t given even a peek at this wretched theology BO has admittedly embraced. Santorum should focus more on this when attacking BO’s “religion”. But for some very odd reason , NOBODY wants to address the subject.
If Palin were allowed to, I believe it would have made a difference in the last election.The media made her out to be a quack when she could have shown who the real quacks were!

anneinarkansas February 23, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Sanctimonius Santorum is being brought down by his own pius attitude.

Mr. T. February 23, 2012 at 3:41 pm

You mean brought down by the sanctimonious liberal mainstream media.

Anonna February 23, 2012 at 2:43 pm

“Satan” or “Evil.” A personified evil or evil as an oozing miasma that works its way into situations.

I suppose more people are comfortable with the second idea and not the first. I know I am.

I’m not sure why this would make me more or less willing to vote for a candidate. If she/he sees evil as an active force with an agenda and I see it as an active force that serves people’s agendas, we are probably close enough. But Keith is right that many will not think through what Santorum is saying and will shy away from him, imo.

Lanie February 23, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Please consider this. I may not be able to articulate this the best way for understanding so please bear with me.

The Catholic Church has taught that there is only one, true God. She has taught that she is the one, true Church and was given the authority by Christ to teach and preach that which he taught his disciples. She has taught that only through her, and thus through Christ, can one be saved.

These teachings are in direct conflict with the notion of religious freedom. The Church taught (up until the heresies of the Second Vatican Council) that one has no right to freely oppose the truth if one is taught what that truth is. The Church’s principle mission was evangelization-bringing all people everywhere together as one into the bosom of the Catholic Church so no one escaped the truth and thus lost eternal salvation of their soul. And the Church believes society works best and serves the needs of the people if the laws of conduct comport to Catholic doctrines. Organizing a society based on Natural Law and Catholic dogma are the best way to not only serve God, but to serve humanity.

Consider the fact that Santorum is Catholic and was speaking at a university that hasn’t completely run amok of traditional Catholic doctrine as the majority of others have. The very real idea that Satan is at work within the hearts, minds and souls of many people is not anything surprising to traditional Catholic teaching.

Of course those outside the Church would find this to be quite mad. Just as those outside the Church find truths about many other things quite mad as well.

ol gator February 23, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Lanie, no church can ever be exclusive. Especially when it chooses to ignore Scripture (God’s Word) and embrace man-made traditions & rituals..some which have originated in pagan religions.blending them to the point where arrogant popes of the past re-wrote scripture for what they deemed right in their own lives of derelict & brutal power obsession.
A Biblical church is not four walls or a denomination. A Biblical church is a body of believers who know Christ in Spirit & truth and follow HIM thru His Word only ,living to honor HIM in their lives not mere man’s ideas , opinions & condemnations..
God says in his word how the “natural man” (one living apart in disbelief, leaning on his/her own faulty human notions) sees the ways of God as foolishness.. hence the pointing at Biblical Christianity to be as you say “mad”.

Jason February 23, 2012 at 9:04 pm

There is only one Church sir. It is Catholic.

Keith Koffler February 23, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Thanks Lanie, very interesting.

Jason February 23, 2012 at 9:01 pm

To quote Rick Santorum, “you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Be careful when you dismiss good versus evil as just a difference of opinion. That’s relativism right there and it seems you’ve got a heaping plate full.

jnfr February 23, 2012 at 11:07 pm

First off, Santorum is not “my guy” Don’t really back any of them, Just in the position of Anyone But Obama.

That being said, I fail to understand why his comments (from several years ago) are making headlines while Shela Jackson Lee calling Boneur (sp) and was it Cantor or Ryan (I forget at the moment) the devil, was only news in the alternative media

the bias in the MSM disgusts me.