Santorum Tells His Usual Lie About the Bible in Schools

This weekend was Liberty Counsel’s annual Awakenings event, where Republican presidential candidates go to pander to the wingnut crowd by telling them everything they want to hear. Rick Santorum threw plenty of red meat at them, including this obvious lie about the Bible in public schools.

“We are on a crossroads in American history, a crossroads that looks like we are heading down in a direction that, let’s be honest, no civilization has ever been able to recover from,” Santorum warned, adding that the nation needs to return to God.

“The left cannot be successful in a country of God-given rights,” he said. “It can’t. Because they want to be the purveyor of rights, and if God is the purveyor of rights, then they lose. We have an obligation to educate, to form, within our churches to preach, within our families to educate, and to fight within our schools. Why are Bibles no longer in public schools? Don’t give me the Supreme Court. The reason Bibles are no longer in the public schools is because we let them take them out of the public schools.”

It simply isn’t true that the Bible is “no longer in the public schools.” Thousands, probably millions, of students and teachers take their Bibles to school every day. The only thing the Supreme Court said was that you can’t force students to read the Bible. It’s really hard to imagine a more blatant violation of the Establishment Clause than that, isn’t it? If forcing schoolchildren to read a religious book is not a violation, what would be?

If they forced them to read any other holy book, you can be damn sure Santorum would throw a fit of epic proportions (which is what distinguishes us from them — we would object in both cases because we are opposed to government forcing any religion on students with our tax dollars, while they only object if it’s a religion other than theirs).

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  • wreck

    “The left cannot be successful in a country of God-given rights,…if God is the purveyor of rights, then they lose”

    So we have nothing to worry about then. Bet the farm on the left.

  • peterh

    Rick’s frothing again, I see.

  • cptdoom

    Santorum is, allegedly, a Roman Catholic. Apparently he never learned, as I did, that a major part of the reason for an entirely separate Catholic school system was to avoid having Catholic children exposed to the Protestant versions of religion officially practiced in most public schools before the Supreme Court ruled against compulsory prayer. Seeing as most Protestants use the King James – which the Catholic Church does not consider a “bible,” – Santorum should be happy that children are no longer being exposed to heresy and blasphemy.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    But won’t the veneer rub off Christian Right ecumenicalism when Santorum’s bible turns out to be the Vulgate?

  • theguy

    “We are on a crossroads in American history, a crossroads that looks like we are heading down in a direction that, let’s be honest, no civilization has ever been able to recover from,”

    Chicken Little theology. We are at a crossroads. Will we have equal rights for all and a strong safety net, or will we restrict rights to white, heterosexual Christians? And cut their taxes?

    “adding that the nation needs to return to God.”

    The Tea Party’s beloved Confederacy had plenty of God. Things didn’t work out for them so well.

    “The left cannot be successful in a country of God-given rights,” he said.”

    Seems like we are already winning. Gay marriage is moving forward, and we’re moving towards universal health care.

    “It can’t. Because they want to be the purveyor of rights”

    No, we don’t. We want to be the defenders of rights, rights we morally justify through secular humanist philosophy. Fundamentalists claim that either government or God gives rights, and that it can’t be the government because ‘if the government can give rights, it can take them away.’ Well, if God is omnipotent, and gives rights, what stops him from taking rights away?

  • John Pieret

    Thousands, probably millions, of students and teachers take their Bibles to school every day.

    And I’ll bet you’ll find several copies in every public school library.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    John Pieret “And I’ll bet you’ll find several copies in every public school library.”

    Do you think it’s a coincidence that Liberals put them where no one will read them?

  • D. C. Sessions

    Well, if God is omnipotent, and gives rights, what stops him from taking rights away?

    Where did you get the idea that “God” gave any rights in the first place?

    Name two.

  • http://thebronzeblog.wordpress.com/ Bronze Dog

    Well, if God is omnipotent, and gives rights, what stops him from taking rights away?

    I have a question that might be more relevant: What keeps the priests from falsely claiming their god took them away?

    Or for that matter, if two priests disagree about what rights their god gives, which one do we believe?

    Hell, why do we care what their god thinks? He’s not an active member of this community, nor a recognized member of the government. Are we slaves to outside agents or are we a sovereign community? If conservatives whine about non-binding UN declarations, why do they stand for fairies and unicorns dictating policy?

  • eric

    [Ed]

    Thousands, probably millions, of students and teachers take their Bibles to school every day.

    [John] And I’ll bet you’ll find several copies in every public school library.

    The whole ‘counting copies’ exercise is irrelevant,* as free copies of the bible can pretty much be accessed by smart phone and pad. Practically every student is a few thumbstrokes away from having their own bible any time they want it, available for in-class reading.

    *Its irrelevant if Santorum (and fundies like him) was sincerely interested in people having reading access to the bible. But he isn’t. He is interested in visible endorsement and Christians “marking” schools and children like a dog marks a tree. For those purposes, the fact that every iPad and android phone is effectively a bible is not good enough: if the students don’t see a clearly labeled book prominently displayed in the classroom, and heathen students can’t be identified and bullied through their lack of carrying a physical bible, then the bible is not “in” schools.

  • raven

    “The left cannot be successful in a country of God-given rights,”

    Common rightwing loon meme. And wrong. It’s gibberish.

    1. If you ask these guys what those god given rights are, they don’t have an answer. Because they don’t exist.

    2. Those god given rights don’t include democracy or religious freedom. They do include slavery.

    Democracy isn’t in the bible despite being well known at the time. It says in Romans 13 to obey the kings and emperors and pay your taxes. This was used to support the Divine Right of Kings up until those Divine Kings ended up deposed or dead.

  • raven

    I am going to use my god given rights to tell Satanorum to shut up, stop trying to run our lives, and go away.

    I’d also tell him to stop lying all the time and fix his defective Dark Age mind but of course, that would be impossible.

  • Kevin Kehres

    You mean the same Rick Santorum whose wife had a “medically induced miscarriage”? Oh no! Not an abortion. Because abortions are bad. Oh no. She had a medically induced miscarriage. Which is perfectly OK. Except when anyone else in the country wants to have the same thing.

    Frothy mixture, indeed.

  • Kevin Kehres

    You know, I’ll bet there are a fair number of students who go to school each day with a Koran in their backpack. Maybe we can ask Mr. Santorum about that.

  • peterh

    @#10:

    With a free download such as e-Sword* (from a very conservative source) one can have several translations side-by-side for study and comparison** as well as a large number of associated reference works including dictionaries, concordances, tired old fogey polemics, and quite a few writings of the early church fathers. I’ve found this to be invaluable in showing certain fundies the Bible does not always say what they claim it says and even less often does it mean what they claim it means.

    *http://www.e-sword.net

    **Something not often seen in conservatives themselves, especially the likes of Santorum, Barton, Cruz, Robertson, etc.

  • mistertwo

    Is he a Deist? Because the god in the Bible most certainly did not endow upon anyone these unalienable rights! Right to liberty? No, the Bible says be content in whatever state you’re in, even if you’re a slave. Pursuit of happiness? Solomon says that’s vanity, and that all we should be doing is fearing this god and keeping its commandments.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    raven @ # 11: If you ask these guys what those god given rights are, they don’t have an answer.

    Of course they do: the right to carry concealed weapons into public buildings.

    The Second Amendment says that we have a right that’s God-given to us to defend ourselves,” said Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert [AZ].

  • Dave Maier

    Thanks for that link, peterh, it looks good. Audio sermons too! Certainly I would never feed them to Reaktor’s sample-mangling ensembles … [heh heh].

  • dingojack

    If god is so intent in giving rights to his/hers/its people, why doesn’t he/she/it run for public office?

    I’m sure Mr Frothy could get behind a ‘god for President’ campaign.

    @@ Dingo

  • http://Reallyawakeguy.blogspot.com somnus

    Does God, anywhere in the Bible, expressly endorse anything recognizable as a universal human right as we understand them in modern America? So far, I haven’t found a single one.

  • http://timgueguen.blogspot.com timgueguen

    It would be interesting to know how many religious beliefs Santorum holds that are contrary to Roman Catholic doctrine. Betcha he’s a Rapture believer.

  • John Pieret

    eric @ 10:

    Of course, you are right. FM means ‘Why are Bibles no longer being forced on children?’ I (and I’m sure Ed) know that was his intent. But that doesn’t change the fact that his “Why are Bibles no longer in public schools?” is an egregious lie worth pointing out.

  • http://cycleninja.blogspot.com cycleninja

    “Santorum, that’s Latin for asshole.”

    Former Senator Bob Kerrey

  • lorn

    Many years ago I thought it was a bit extreme for the gay right groups to establish the term santorum as the name for the frothy byproduct of anal sex. Insults and games around a persons name or appearance are juvenile, cheap and they are generally both unconnected to a persons behavior and impossible to fight, unfair.

    That was before I looked into what sort of person Santorum is, what he says, and what he does. This sort of shitty self-serving, and abusive distortion of history, facts, and philosophy are why Santorum so richly deserves the association with anal sex. It fits, and it is right, just, and correct. A frothy, stinking, staining association for a frothy, stinking, stain of a person pushing a frothy, stinking, staining ideology.

    The whole idea that “God grants rights” is both wrong and destructive.

    It is wrong because, outside mythology, none have ever observed any all-powerful beings stepping into defend anyone from anything. The weak and innocent are restrained, silenced, beat, tortured, mutilated, destroyed, and forgotten on an industrial scale. If time is moving someone is being exploited and is suffering. It is so constant and unrelentingly that entire cultures, economic and social systems have been set up to exploit and profit from it. Those systems dependent upon suffering to survive but hey are never, ever, at risk. The suffering has never, not for second, not for over six thousand years, has it ever stopped. And not once in this long history has any supernatural being ever intervened to stop it.

    This mythology is also destructive. Because while the various notional supernatural entities avoid any intervention there is a long history of people trying to succor the pain and fight against injustice and needless suffering. It is the people, mere human beings, who, despite the flaws and weaknesses, that have been behind every advance and bit of progress. The mythology of a just and interventionist God, source of all good, robs humanity of the credit for undertaking the difficult task of overcoming our own limitations and advancing justice.

    The fictional story of all-powerful beings delivering salvation is far less compelling than the fact that real, deeply flawed and incomplete, human beings have worked together to make real, long lasting, and substantial progress. It was humanity that fought slavery. It was humanity that defined rights and fought for them. It was humanity that created the idea or fairness and justice and it is humanity as a collective that struggles to define, enforce and abide by those ideals.

    The denial of those facts is destructive to the progress we have made and the further progress we might make. The denial of well deserved and righteous credit, and gratitude toward our fellow man, for that progress, as limited and flawed as it may be, is a crime perpetrated against humanity.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    You know, I’ll bet there are a fair number of students who go to school each day with a Koran in their backpack. Maybe we can ask Mr. Santorum about that.

    He’s ok with that as long as there are always more bibles than korans, since they cancel each other out 1:1.

  • Kermit Sansoo

    lorn says: Many years ago I thought […] Insults and games around a persons name or appearance are juvenile, cheap and they are generally both unconnected to a persons behavior and impossible to fight, unfair.

    .

    That was before I looked into what sort of person Santorum is, what he says, and what he does.”

    .

    Yes, he is at least as despicable as everyone here seems to think. However, imagine being ten years old in America, and had a family name “Santorum”. For once I say without any self-referencing irony, to everybody who uses that insult, please think of the children.