Santorum an anachonism

Posted: February 28, 2012 in Current Events, Election, politics, Religion
Tags: , ,

Rick Santorum is beating his anti-intellectual drums again.  I know I’ve made similar posts before, but nothing irks me more and makes me more frightened than a campaign to hobble intellectuals and scientists and to constrict reasonable discourse.

In the past week, Santorum has made three clear statements on social issues in the media, without them having prodded him to do so.  He often claims that he is able to separate his political and social agendas, but he’s not acting like someone doing that.  His first statement was to challenge Obama’s faith, calling it “not a Christian theology”, begging the old question of whether Obama is secretly a Muslim.  The second was his criticism of Obama for suggesting that everyone should go to college, saying that Obama was a “snob” who wanted everyone to be indoctrinated by liberal professors.  The third statement was his comment about “feeling like throwing up” in response to an old clip by President Kennedy calling for the separation of church and state.

Of the three, the one that concerns me most is his clear disdain for universities and higher education.  This is nothing new from religious conservatives.  During the Renaissance, the Catholic Church, not wanting to be challenged by science, locked away people like Copernicus and Galileo, while the Spanish Inquisition burned and tortured countless other for presumed heresy.  Today, Islamic extremists attack universities and even public schools because they are opposed to education which doesn’t fit their standards.  Santorum and his Christian extremists can’t get away with that in an enlightened society, but they are certainly made of the same stuff, and one has to wonder whether the obstacle preventing them from instituting their own theocracy is the same enlightenment that they’re railing against.

I’ve spoken to many acquaintances from the so-called Christian and Mormon Universities.  In addition to the other disciplines taught, the daily indoctrination in religion makes you wonder if they are afraid that such belief will fade away if not propped up on a regular basis.  Santorum blames universities for the “secularization” of students.  By that I think he means that they teach things like evolution in the biology classes, the big bang theory in astronomy classes, and global warming in ecology classes.  I don’t think that there are any classes that are anti-religious.  There just aren’t any that are pro-religious.  If that’s what secularization is, then so be it.

On university campuses students are likely to come into contact with a variety of people, such as those from other religions or even other sexual orientations.  Most enlightened people see this as a positive opportunity.  Those worried about the “secularization” of students see it as a threat.  The opportunity for Christian clubs and fellowships do exist on campuses.  Students can attend them by choice.  It seems that choice is not compatible with religious beliefs, as is seen in other issues as well.  When students are given “choice” it seems they tend to become secularized.  What do we learn from that?

How fragile Christian belief must be if it is so easily threatened and can only endure when it is re-inflated on a regular basis.

Santorum is an ignorant anachronism.  During the Reformation I believe he would have been zealously burning people at the stake.

Do I believe that a politician like Santorum could get any traction in Canadian politics?  I’d like to think not, but we have our own religious reactionaries up here as well.  I have an interesting story about that, but it will have to wait for another day.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s