I commented yesterday about the unpleasant company that Senator Santorum has been cultivating of late. And, of course, there’s the little matter of Mr. Santorum’s honorary Florida campaign chairman demanding of Mitt Romney that Mr. Romney renounce his religious faith.
And now, if you actually want to see and hear Pastor Dennis Terry, in Mr. Santorum’s presence, invite Buddhists and Muslims and other non-Christians to “get out” of America — just slightly prior to Mr. Santorum’s standing, with humbly bowed head, to receive a blessing from him — you can do so here.
This is all rather depressing, of course. And it would be genuinely frightening if Mr. Santorum’s more extreme Evangelical allies had any real chance of imposing their exclusivist theological vision on America.
But, mercifully, they don’t — though the question that I asked at the beginning of March of whether the 90% Muslim West African nation of Mali will prove to be more religiously tolerant than the United States is still to be answered.
Senator Santorum is simply not going to be the Republican presidential nominee. (And if you won’t believe me on that, consider these two essential and very insightful commentaries on (a) the current state of the Santorum campaign and (b) the apparent calculus by which Mr. Santorum and his allies still reckon that he has a shot at the nomination. Really. Don’t miss them.)
But I certainly don’t want to paint all Evangelicals with a broad brush. Many are fair-minded. And Evangelical values, for the most part, are entirely sound and admirable. I just wish that they could recognize that it’s the common ground of values shared between Evangelicals and Latter-day Saints that matters in this presidential race, and not the contested theological distinctives.
There is, though, surely a special place of blessedness reserved for the efforts of David and Nancy French, Charles Mitchell, and Timothy Dalrymple at Evangelicals for Mitt. I’m very grateful for them, and for their work not only on behalf of our shared presidential preference but on behalf of greater religious tolerance.