Santorum on Evolution and Sex


More and more speeches by Rick Santorum from the last few years are surfacing. This one is hardly surprising given his history of advocating for the teaching of creationism in science classrooms, as he himself pointed out:

Former Senator Rick Santorum in 2008 told the audience at a religious forum how he supposedly managed to get an amendment into No Child Left Behind that stipulates teachers must be allowed to teach both evolution — or, “intelligent design,” — and creationism to ensure “academic freedom.” (The factual basis of this claim is dubious and has yet to be investigated.) Santorum participated in a question and answer forum titled “The Press & People of Faith in Politics,” hosted by the Oxford Center for Religion and Public Life. During the forum, Santorum said that the teaching of evolution is used to promote atheism.

It’s partly dubious. Yes, Santorum did manage to get an amendment urging schools to teach ID along with evolution into the No Child Left Behind act, but it was stripped from the bill by the conference committee before it was signed into law by President Bush.

Santorum told the audience that “what’s taught in our school system as a result of liberal academia, is evolution is an incontrovertible fact. There is no suspicion of it. It is decided science that cannot be questioned. There cannot be any doubts about it. If you have any questions or doubts, it’s trying to inject religion into the science classroom. So it is above reproach.”

Ah yes, the old “evolution is a liberal lie” argument, made only by people who are absolutely ignorant about the science of evolution. The theory of evolution, of common descent, is taught in science classrooms not because of “liberal academia” but because it has been established as the only viable explanation for an enormous range of data by a century and a half of scientific research.

And maybe you should read the ruling of Judge Jones in the Dover trial, for whom you were a major political benefactor. In fact, you helped secure his spot on the federal bench. And his ruling documented in great detail that intelligent design is nothing more than old-fashioned creationism in a fancy new suit.

“I obviously don’t feel that way. I think there are a lot of problems with the theory of evolution, and do believe that it is used to promote to a worldview that is anti-theist, that is atheist.”

Yes, the same argument that your church used against Galileo and Copernicus, that heliocentrism could be used to promote atheism because it conflicts with the church’s historical views on cosmology. But that fact did not make geocentrism true and it doesn’t make creationism true.

“Sex is a means, evolution is a means. And the aim is a secular world. It’s a, my opinion, a hedonistic, self-focused world, that is in my opinion anti-American…

“You’re a liberal or a conservative in America if you think the 60s were a good thing or not. If the 60s was a good thing, you’re Left. If you think it was a bad thing, you’re Right.

“And the confusing thing for a lot of people that gets a lot of Americans is, when they think of the 60s, they don’t think of just the sexual revolution. But somehow or other — and they’ve been very, very, clever at doing this — they’ve been able to link, I think absolutely incorrectly, the sexual revolution with civil rights.

“As if somehow or another, they came together. When of course, the civil rights movement was a religious-based movement that had nothing to do with the sexual revolution. But they happened at the same time, when you say the 60s was a bad thing, they say ‘You’re a bigot. You’re against civil rights.’ So you have to be very careful. And the Left has used that coterminous revolution, if you will, as a way to protect themselves.”

Except the same people who were opposed to the “sexual revolution” — that is, to rulings like Griswold, which legalized the use of contraception by consenting adults — also largely opposed the civil rights movement. In both cases, the opposition came from conservatives who were clinging to traditional prejudices. You know, people like you.

Comments

  1. D. C. Sessions says

    There really is a common theme here, though: on sex, on evolution, on capital punishment, on pre-emptive war, you name it. It’s not Catholic doctrine, because he doesn’t consistently follow the Church.

    What he does hold to, very consistently, is authoritarianism. On every single issue you can name, Sanctorum is always on the authoritarian side.

  2. slc1 says

    In all fairness, although Judge Jones was promoted for his current position by Santorum when the latter was a senator, his mentor in Pennsylvania was former Governor Tom Ridge, a moderate Rethuglican, who probably couldn’t get a Rethuglican nomination for dog catcher in Pennsylvania these days. Interestingly enough, the judge is somewhat of an anomaly on the bench as he started out as a defense lawyer via a public defenders office. Most appointed judges are former prosecutors these days.

  3. Doc Bill says

    Santorum was in the third grade when the 60’s ended. What does he know about the 60’s? Nothing.

    Santorum seems to live in this weird cartoon world based entirely on stereotypes. Total fantasy, although he’s probably a tad more rational than Bachmann who has the ability to conjure up a fantasy world on demand.

    Has anyone who actually has studied personality types done an analysis of Santorum? To me, Santorum is not a normal person but I don’t have a feel for how close he is to being institutionalized.

  4. D. C. Sessions says

    I don’t have a feel for how close he is to being institutionalized.

    Since St. Ronnie? Zero.

  5. interrobang says

    How exactly is Griswold _not_ a “civil rights” case? I’m not an American, so maybe I don’t really get it, but it seems to me that fundamentally, it’s not really about birth control or not, but about a couple’s right to run their private affairs without state intervention, or the Trudeau Principle, if you like*. Given what Santorum thinks about civil rights, I’d hate to see how he defines them.

    __________
    * “The State has no business in the bedrooms of the Nation.” Obviously something that Santorum thinks is false, because he apparently wants the State not just in everybody’s bedroom, but up in their lady business as well.

  6. Michael Heath says

    Is it in the interest national interest for primary voters to vote for Rick Santorum as a way to better insure President Obama wins the general election and perhaps make it more difficult for conservatives to win electoral office in general and perhaps even hasten the reform of the Republican party?

    Today is the day of the GOP Michigan primary vote. As a Michigan voter who assumes I’ll be supporting President Obama’s re-election bid, I’m open to advice on this. Currently I’m very skeptical that conservatism and therefore the GOP is capable of beneficial reform. That the current form of conservatism is by definition not only incapable of adaptation, but when challenged by facts or the results of their actions, committed to increasing their lunacy of their position. So how could I help the country and that party by participating in their primary?

    I also think non-conservative Americans will benefit from either a Romney or Santorum general election bid because each will be unable to answer important specific criticisms that they represent. We know there are fundamental defects in the conservative movement where each candidate reveals distinct weaknesses that make it overwhelmingly obvious conservatives not only can’t competently govern, but guarantee catastrophe if they govern.

    A Romney general campaign will reveal that the Republican party is committed to serving a relative handful of financial constituents even when serving their interests results in catastrophic results to humanity and the national interest. A successful Romney campaign can only be achieved if Romney sufficiently demonstrates to conservative Christians that they’ll get at least some of the theo-fascist objectives they desire which itself causes great harm to humanity and the national interest, especially when it comes to students and their careers when/if they graduate.

    A Santorum campaign will reveal how anti-American and anti-liberty conservative Christians and conservatives in general have become. That while they may act normal in discourse on non-political/religious/sexual matters, they’re delusional morons when it comes to those policies which effect us all – in a way that also harms all of us.

    Each of these candidates illustrative defectives should not cause us to conclude their revealed weaknesses are the total threat they present. No, the threats are common between both of them since these threats define the entire conservative movement. We should assume if either Republican candidate wins the total sum of threats would be in play. It’s just that each candidate’s campaign exemplifies a mostly different subset of conservative defects.

    So I’m torn on whether to vote or not. I’m leaning towards not voting since I’m also uncomfortable voting in a primary where I intend to either: not vote for that party’s presidential candidate, or have already decided not to even consider that party’s candidate. I bring up the last critieria since I voted for John McCain in the 2008 Michigan primary since I had disqualified Mitt Romney and wanted him to lose his bid. I was also open to considering McCain against a Democratic nominee who had yet to emerge. By the Spring of 2008 I’d disqualified Sen. McCain from consideration and committed my support to either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

    No such conundrum exists now, there is no way I would vote for a Republican candidate for president, both because of the threat the conservative movement poses and because I think Barack Obama has done a very good job in an extremely difficult operating environment. “Good job” relative to what I estimate the other candidates who ran could have achieved. From a normative perspective I find nearly all presidential candidates to be very weak relative to the what is feasibly possible.

  7. D. C. Sessions says

    Is it in the interest national interest for primary voters to vote for Rick Santorum as a way to better insure President Obama wins the general election and perhaps make it more difficult for conservatives to win electoral office in general and perhaps even hasten the reform of the Republican party?

    Yes and no. The big problem with a Romney vote is that he’s so dishonest and so all over the map that a Romney rejection can be interpreted any way that makes you happy. Put another way, he’s a perfect Rorschach test in that whether he wins or loses, everyone comes away more deeply confirmed in their prior opinions.

    The one thing I’ll give Sanctorum is that there’s no real doubt where he stands: he’s smack dab in the center of the Tea Party. When he speaks, he’s speaking for the thought leaders of the Republican Party.

  8. Michael Heath says

    D.C. Sessions writes:

    There really is a common theme here, though: on sex, on evolution, on capital punishment, on pre-emptive war, you name it. It’s not Catholic doctrine, because he doesn’t consistently follow the Church.

    What he does hold to, very consistently, is authoritarianism. On every single issue you can name, Sanctorum is always on the authoritarian side.

    Yes it is certainly a form of political authoritarianism, but it’s not divorced from religion. Instead conservative American Catholics have evolved exactly like conservative American Protestants have, where they’ve merged into a religious-political movement over the past several decades. This evolution is also not new within Catholicism, in fact the merging of corporatism with Catholic authoritarianism is best exemplified in Franco’s form of fascism in Spain the mid-20th century.

    The modern American religious-conservative movement represented by both Santorum and Romney gets many of its arguments and its approach to thinking and arguing from its religious premises. So we shouldn’t ignore the religious element. Instead I think we should acknowledge the political aspect of this religious-political ideology predominately drives the objectives while the religious aspect of the movement supports the type of advocacy and thinking used to influence themselves and others.

    Since both the plutocrats and the populists have somewhat different political objectives and vary to some degree on how much they weight religious objectives vs. political, they only benefit if both aspects commit themselves to serving the other’s interest. In the past conservative Christians have mostly been screwed by their alliance with the plutocrats. I don’t think that will be true in the future; I think the safe assumption is that conservative politicians are authentically committed to getting as much as feasibly possible. Largely because conservative politicians are now the base, not merely panderers to this base. We now have plutocrats who actually think like their populist allies.

    I also think we should acknowledge that while the religionists are committed to their religion, their religious beliefs have evolved in the past several decades where they now ignore many of the most important New Testament biblical edicts because they conflict with their political objectives, e.g., justice, grace, altruism, community, being a few. That isn’t to say they’re predominately political, but instead have unconsciously had their beliefs warped by merging their politics with their religion. That corruption of their religion is exactly what Roger Williams and many of the founders observed and predict will happen when you fail to secularize political activity.

  9. D. C. Sessions says

    Yes it is certainly a form of political authoritarianism, but it’s not divorced from religion.

    Certainly not divorced, but the authoritarianism is on top. Put less crudely, the authoritarianism is dictating the religion, not the other way ’round. When conflicts arise between the two, authoritarianism always prevails (examples already provided.)

  10. Reginald Selkirk says

    Time to put my quote mining skills gleaned from many discussions with Creationists to work:

    Former senator Rick Santorum: “… evolution is an incontrovertible fact.

  11. Reginald Selkirk says

    “You’re a liberal or a conservative in America if you think the 60s were a good thing or not. If the 60s was a good thing, you’re Left. If you think it was a bad thing, you’re Right.

    I guess I’m Left then. I consider the 60s to be a good thing; because it would be freaky to have only 90 years in a century.

  12. Canadian Yankee says

    I don’t think the 60’s were “good” or “bad” – I think they were necessary. If the 60’s had never happened, the 50’s would have run right into the 70’s and recent history would be very numerically confusing.

  13. slc1 says

    Re Michael Heath @ #6

    I presume from Heath’s comments that voters in Michigan are either not registered by party (as is the case in Virginia) or that Democrats and Independents (I presume that Heath is an Independent) can vote in the Rethuglican primary.

    If I were a voter in Michigan today, and planning to vote for Obama in November, I would probably vote for Santorum, just to prolong the Rethuglican contest, which a victory by him would certainly do. The longer this goes on and the dirtier it gets, the more likely an Obama victory in November becomes.

    It should be noted that the lame stream media is finally printing stories about Santorum’s insane positions, which will probably doom any chance of his actually getting the nomination. However, any weakening of Romney, who will probably still be the eventual nominee, is to be welcomed.

    By the way, there was an article I read somewhere yesterday that stated that the ballot in California, and possibly other states, is still open. Thus, a Santorum victory in Michigan today could cause a respectable Rethuglican candidate (e.g. Mitch Daniels) to step up to the plate and enter the race, so perhaps, that should also be a consideration.

  14. d cwilson says

    I am still waiting with baited breath for someone in our “librul media” to ask Santorum to explain how he reconciles his belief in creationism with the fact that his church has accepted the fact of evolution.

  15. says

    Santorum is a filthy liar. He went to Catholic schools during the era I went to Catholic schools. He was taught evolution as fact, just as I was, and Catholic schools were in no sense under the control of liberals in academia, and he damn well knows that. We learned that sex is bad unless it’s marital pee-pee sex, charity is our highest obligation in relation to the rest of humanity, chasing money and material self-indulgence is bad, the old testament should not be taken literally, it’s wrong to marginalize anyone, we are obligated to care for the sick and the dispossessed, and ends never justify means–never. It was not a liberal education, and it certainly wasn’t a bonehead neo-confederate, Southernist, Christianist education, at least not once he got to his Catholic high school in the Chicago suburbs. That the Catholic church powers didn’t come close to living up to these ideals makes it no less true that this is the education Santorum received and that evolution was taught as scientifically established fact having nothing whatsoever to do with political views.

  16. Reginald Selkirk says

    I am still waiting with baited breath for someone in our “librul media” to ask Santorum to explain how he reconciles his belief in creationism with the fact that his church has accepted the fact of evolution.

    I don’t see a conflict. The Holy Roman Catholic Church has said that it does not stand in doctrinal opposition to evolution. However, they also do not require belief in evolution of their adherents. I.e. accepting the possibility of evolution is not the same as condemning creationism.
    .
    You can find statements from former popes and the current pontiff, Pope Indulgence, acknowledging the scientific merit of evolution. You can also find statement from him that smack of Creationism, or at least the Intelligent Design version of it. You can even find statements from his pre-papal days suggesting that the Church was not wrong in the case of Galileo.

    According to [Ernst] Bloch, the heliocentric system – just like the geocentric – is based upon presuppositions that can’t be empirically demonstrated. Among these, an important role is played by the affirmation of the existence of an absolute space; that’s an opinion that, in any event, has been cancelled by the Theory of Relativity…

    Note the use of one of Pope Indulgence’s favourite tactics here, quoting others rather than presenting his opinions directly as his own; this gives him an escape hatch in case he bites the wax tadpole.

  17. says

    “You’re a liberal or a conservative in America if you think the 60s were a good thing or not. If the 60s was a good thing, you’re Left. If you think it was a bad thing, you’re Right.”

    Wow! Talk about reality challenged! So Santorum would have number the years from 1959 to 1970 and completely skip the 1960s? These guys really are nuts! :)

  18. otrame says

    Michael Heath >>>”That isn’t to say they’re predominately political, but instead have unconsciously had their beliefs warped by merging their politics with their religion. ”

    That is probably the wisest thing I’ve seen you write. Fred Clark, over on the Slacktivist blog, is a Christian who keeps harping on this. Jesus, he says, was about helping other people, whether they were “deserving” or not.

    Personally, I like to point out that the guy who said, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” had just murdered his brother.

  19. raven says

    “You’re a liberal or a conservative in America if you think the 60s were a good thing or not. If the 60s was a good thing, you’re Left. If you think it was a bad thing, you’re Right.”

    During the 60’s:

    1. Civil rights for nonwhites, mostly black people were enacted and achieved.

    2. Women were recognized as humans.

    3. The anti-Vietnam war movement took off. They were right and we lost that war after wasting 55,000 American lives.

    4. Our economy grew rapidly.

    If you believe in prosperity, equal rights for all citizens, and peace, then you liked the 60’s.

    There is no doubt where Santorum stands on any of these issues. Back of the bus for black people. Women barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen. And he wants to start a war with Iran.

  20. says

    About Santorum, but OT. Santorum said this week that the near economic calamity of 2008 was caused by high gas prices.

    We went into a recession in 2008 because of gasoline prices. The bubble burst in housing because people couldn’t pay their mortgages because we’re looking at $4 a gallon gasoline. And look at what happened, economic decline,” Santorum said at a campaign stop.

  21. unemployedphilosopher says

    Re slc1 @20:

    How is the fact that Bloch is a philosopher rather than a physicist relevant to his claims about empirical observability? Can you think of an experiment which would demonstrate, conclusively, that the solar system is heliocentric? Note that I don’t claim it isn’t; heliocentricity seems like a much better model than geocentricity — but that has nothing to do with the distinction between “philosophers” and physicists “natural philosophers”.

Trackbacks

  1. so make sure you write well, check…

    and then double check to make sure that content is a good as it can be.know your audience – your audience are the people that are going to love and follow your content or quickly reject it and move onto the…

Leave a Reply