The question had to be going through my friend Rick Santorum’s mind last week as he was cheered at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C.: Where were these people when I was running for president? Where were the Catholics when he was running for the Republican nomination for president?
As I would say when asked, I’d sleep much better than I do now with either Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney as president. I believe both to be good men who have lead on some issues important to me (like liberty and the dignity of man!).
Catholics don’t vote as a clan and there were prudential considerations in picking a candidate during the primary. Lots of them. Electoral records. Experience. But at the Prayer Breakfast Thursday, I wondered: Is there more there for Catholics to consider?
First of all, it’s no secret that a “personally opposed” cloud has seeped into our public practice of the faith, where many Catholics really walk away from our faith in the public square, except when convenient to mention that we were, say an altar boy in Scranton, or taught by nuns at Trinity College. And even those of us who do let our faith inform our civic life, maybe we’ve bought into this secularist mindset, too. We’ve adapted, too. When we find ourselves asking: Couldn’t Santorum keep himself from talking about social issues? Couldn’t he steer off them when asked?
We do adapt to our surroundings. Sometimes in ways we don’t even realize.
With some of those thoughts in my head, I call him The UnKennedy in my syndicated column this week.