After taking a much-needed break from campaigning to refresh his supply of sweater vests, Rick Santorum is back — and he’s still saying all manner of loony things. Like here, where he says that President Obama is forcing Catholics to go to confession:
SANTORUM: We have a president who, for the first time in American history, is directly assaulting the First Amendment and freedom of religion. He is going to tell you what to do in the practice of your faith. He is forcing business people right now to do things that are against their conscience, that they will have to — if you’re a Catholic — you’ll have to go to confession … to confess that you are complying with a government program that is a sin in the Catholic Church.
Okay, a couple things. First, the idea that this is the “first time in American history” that a president is undermining the First Amendment is simply moronic. How about Presidents Reagan and Bush, who wanted to overturn a Supreme Court ruling protecting the right to burn a flag? Or the many presidents who have supported forcing children to pray in school? Or for that matter, John Adams and the Alien and Sedition Acts?
Second, I would love to hear that confession.
“Bless me father, for I have sinned. I own a business and the insurance companies are now offering free contraception services to my employees without it being any part of my group policy. I have sinned.”
Actually, the Obama plan seems like a good way to help Catholic business owners avoid such sin because it requires the insurance companies to provide a contraception rider that is not part of the company’s group insurance policy.
Like Dispatches on Facebook: