Santorum’s Warped Thoughts On the Establishment Clause

Rick Santorum is still playing the poor persecuted Christians card, now combining it with a truly bizarre claim that if the Christian right isn’t allowed to do whatever they want to do, including engage in discrimination, this somehow violates the Establishment Clause.

Santorum said that the courts and liberal activists have flipped Thomas Jefferson’s famous “separation of church and state” on its head so that now Christians are being prohibited from exercising their faith in the public square.

“The separation now is people of faith can’t tell the government what to do,” he said. “In other words, we can’t bring our faith claims into the public square to live them out fully. And that is an interesting thing because what people say now is ‘anywhere the government is, faith can’t be.’ Well, where isn’t the government?”

“I think you’re also starting to see a violation of the Establishment Clause,” Santorum continued, “because what we’re seeing now is an establishment not of a traditional church that you and I [know], a Bible-based church, but a liberal orthodoxy that says you have to believe these things or else you’re going to run afoul of the federal government.”

I’d sure love to know where this “public square” is that Christians are supposedly locked out of. They just held an anti-gay marriage rally on the National Mall this weekend. Santorum goes on talk shows and gives speeches claiming that he’s not allowed to say what he and every other bigot says literally every single day, in public. Members of Congress say the same things right there at the capitol. There must be some other mythical “public square” that doesn’t allow Christians to speak. Or Santorum is just full of shit.

Just so the Christian right position is clear:

It’s not a violation of the Establishment Clause to force schoolchildren to recite government-written prayers or to read the Bible.

It is a violation of the Establishment Clause when they aren’t allowed to impose their religious views on everyone else.

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • caseloweraz

    I’d sure love to know where this “public square” is that Christians are supposedly locked out of.

    Why, it’s inside the buildings shown here — among other places.

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

    You’re not being fair! You Liberals are supposed to be for fair! We can’t “force” our religion on our customers and your kids in public businesses and public schools, respectively, but you’re allowed to force your non-religion on Christian bakers and Christian children in those same locations! Talk about tyranny!

     

    “Our” (as in “our relgion”) even includes you, while “Your” (as in “your non-religion”) doesn’t include us! How fair is that?

  • D. C. Sessions

    Santorum said that the courts and liberal activists have flipped Thomas Jefferson’s famous “separation of church and state” on its head so that now Christians are being prohibited from exercising their faith in the public square.

    I can totally identify. A Muslim friend is really upset that the Government allows (and even supports!) pork production. A Hindu friend is outraged at the Government’s support of the beef industry. And don’t even get me started on the problems faced by observant Jews and Muslims at the way women are allowed to dress!

    Then there’s the whole business with not being allowed multiple wives …

  • eric

    we can’t bring our faith claims into the public square to live them out fully

    Nope, you can’t. No other religion can either: if ‘living your faith fully’ breaks some important law, you can’t do that.

    Rick, being a Catholic politician, should be glad of that. If early Americans had been allowed to live their faith fully, there wouldn’t be Catholic politicians.

  • mkoormtbaalt

    Santorum makes me think of a simpler time, a better time. Man, weren’t the 50’s great? We didn’t have to worry about gays, blacks, immigrants, women’s rights, or gun control. We didn’t have to worry about Sharia Law and you could just assume that your neighbor was a Christian of some sort or another. Sure, we still had problems – could we really trust Catholics and Mormons and there was that small matter of the Mafia. Best of all, America was recognized as the greatest and best and freest nation that the world had ever seen right after we won World War 2 and rustled the jimmies of Communists everywhere. Why can’t we just go to back to that?

  • theguy

    “The separation now is people of faith can’t tell the government what to do”

    Exactly.

    “In other words, we can’t bring our faith claims into the public square to live them out fully.”

    You’re perfectly free to express your faith around others (but not through the government). Nobody’s stopping believers from having sacraments or going to church or choosing to follow their religion’s rules.

    “what people say now is ‘anywhere the government is, faith can’t be.’ Well, where isn’t the government?”

    In people’s bedrooms. No thanks to you, fundie.

    “because what we’re seeing now is an establishment not of a traditional church that you and I [know], a Bible-based church”

    That put gay people in prison, and still wishes to put people in prison for pro-gay or anti-religious speech.

    “but a liberal orthodoxy”

    (shouts) Projection! ///Phoenix Wright

    “that says you have to believe these things or else you’re going to run afoul of the federal government.”

    The government doesn’t give a fuck what you believe, just as long as you provide equal service.

  • coragyps

    Santorum full of shit?

    Not full, I think: by definition, the frothy mix contains lube and some air, too, no?

  • Chiroptera

    …so that now Christians are being prohibited from exercising their faith in the public square.

    He has a point. The public square used to be where they burned the heretics.

  • John Pieret

    what we’re seeing now is an establishment not of a traditional church that you and I [know], a Bible-based church, but a liberal orthodoxy that says you have to believe these things or else you’re going to run afoul of the federal government

    I thought they were complaining about anti-discrimination laws being applied to bakers and florists and wedding photographers. Those instances all involved local or state laws. Why is he blaming it on the Federal government*? And who is saying they have to believe anything? Those laws are all based on people do … as in opening a business of public accommodation and then refusing to provide their services to some people who are protected by those local and state laws.

    __________________________________________________________________

    * Yeah, the SSM bans have mostly been struck down by Federal courts but not exclusively (as in New Mexico).

  • Ellie

    Mr. Santorum should remember, when making these ludicrous claims, that Fred Phelps died a free man.

  • scienceavenger

    [White men], weren’t the 50’s great?

    FTFY 😉

  • eric

    as in opening a business of public accommodation and then refusing to provide their services to some people who are protected by those local and state laws.

    This is a daydream, but it would be really nice if, during this election season, some debate moderators and reporters/interviewers had the guts to ignore all the lofty language and instead pose the question that way. “Do you support the notion that businesses should be allowed to refuse service to gay people?” I honestly don’t think it would change many minds on the left or right to pose it that way, but it might clarify things for the middle.

  • peterh

    There was an upstart rabbi coupla thousand years ago who’s reputed to have said one should not make a show of one’s faith in the public square.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=730511544 billdaniels

    Since when has the Roman Catholic Church been a “bible-based” religion. I am sure that millions of fundies and others would disagree.

  • John Pieret

    eric:

    “Do you support the notion that businesses should be allowed to refuse service to gay people?”

    Strangely, most of the business owners who have tripped over these laws have said that they have no problem serving gays most of the time but gay marriages are some super sort of sin that the slightest involvement in violates their conscience.

    Why? Beats me!

  • marcus

    M O @ 2

    “You’re not being fair! You Liberals are supposed to be for fair! We can’t “force” our religion on our customers and your kids in public businesses and public schools, respectively, but you’re allowed to force your non-religion on Christian bakers and Christian children in those same locations! Talk about tyranny!”

    Poe award!

  • grumpyoldfart

    If a nice man like Mr Santorum says Christians are being silenced then Christians are being silenced – just listen to how loudly they are complaining about it. It must be true.

  • marcus

    grumpyoldfart @ 17 WHAT? COULD YOU PLEASE SPEAK UP? THE INCESSANT NOISY WHINING FROM THOSE SILENCED CHRISTIAN BIGOTS IS MAKING TO DIFFICULT TO MAKE OUT A FUCKING WORD OF WHAT YOU’RE SAYING!

  • rietpluim

    people of faith can’t tell the government what to do

    Of course they can’t. That’s the whole f*ing point!

  • jonathangray

    coragyps:

    Santorum full of shit?

    Not full, I think: by definition, the frothy mix contains lube and some air, too, no?

    “the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex”

    Clearly only a bigot would object to being associated with something so obviously healthy and normal as anal sex.

  • Al Dente

    jonathangray @20

    I realize you were trying (and failing) to be ironic but Santorum (a) is a bigot and (b) objects to being associated with santorum. In other words, did you have a point or were you just being pointless?

  • http://kamakanui.zenfolio.com Kamaka

    There was an upstart mythical rabbi [said to exist as a huge money-making scheme] coupla thousand years ago

  • wreck

    @ rietpluim #19;

    “”people of faith can’t tell the government what to do”

    Of course they can’t. That’s the whole f*ing point!”

    Ex-fucking zackly! Well put!

  • frankgturner

    Associating Rick Santorum with fecal matter is an insult to fecal matter.

  • peterh

    @ #22:

    Your problematic assertions notwithstanding, waving one’s religious petard in the public square is very poor taste.

  • theguy

    @20

    “Clearly only a bigot”

    Considering how yesterday you tried to stereotype all gay people as child molesters, you really should shut up.

    “would object to being associated with something so obviously healthy and normal as anal sex.”

    It’s healthier and more normal than listening to some fundie hypocrite condemn others for having different beliefs and sexual orientations. As if I’d prefer, out of the two, to listen to people like you.

  • jonathangray

    theguy:

    you tried to stereotype all gay people as child molesters

    No I didn’t.

    peterh:

    waving one’s religious petard in the public square is very poor taste

    Forgive the pedantry, but a petard was a type of bomb, not a flag.

    (And it’s worth remembering the “upstart rabbi” also advised his followers to “let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”)

  • dingojack

    Aww Jon-Jon – did you forget that the internet remembers even if you’d rather it forgot?

    Dingo

  • http://cycleninja.blogspot.com cycleninja

    To say that Santorum had a thought stretches my definition of the word.

  • peterh

    @ #27:

    I never said a petard is a flag. At the risk of sticking to the topic, the itinerant rabbi is reputed to have said a great many things which have no bearing at all on the ostentation of making a show of one’s faith in the public square.

  • Kermit Sansoo

    jonathangray – Do you think that gays practice only anal sex, or that straights never do? Which orientation is it again which practices genital, manual, and oral sex, straights or gays? I keep forgetting.

    .

    Also, too, please indicate which of these are clean and natural and which are not, preferably with cites (or else I will assume that you are merely revealing your own preferences).

  • jonathangray

    dingojack @ 28:

    That link was admittedly somewhat trollish. For the record I certainly don’t believe “all gay people as child molesters”.

    peterh @30:

    I never said a petard is a flag.

    I assumed you thought that’s what a petard was as your metaphor didn’t make much sense otherwise.

    the itinerant rabbi is reputed to have said a great many things which have no bearing at all on the ostentation of making a show of one’s faith in the public square.

    Incontrovertible.

  • jonathangray

    Kermit Sansoo:

    Do you think that gays practice only anal sex

    No.

    or that straights never do?

    No.

    Which orientation is it again which practices genital, manual, and oral sex, straights or gays? I keep forgetting.

    I’m not aware that a predilection for genital, manual or oral sex is determined by “orientation”.

    .

    Also, too, please indicate which of these are clean and natural and which are not

    The Church — the voice of God upon Earth — teaches me that only heterosexual genital sex is natural. As for clean, I suppose one of the many variables would be whether the act in question involved faecal matter.

  • felidae

    I’m sure Icky Sticky Ricky only has sex for procreation as Catholic Doctrine dictates and with the lights off too