Dumbass Quote of the Day


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.

Comments

  1. d cwilson says

    But what about the religious rights of the insurance companies? Won’t somebody please think of the insurance companies!

  2. Michael Heath says

    Ed, Rick Santorum’s failure here may actually be more moronic than how you frame it. I don’t think he’s referring to business owners whose employer-insurance plans must soon or now offer contraception against their conscience, but instead referring to insurance co. owners who now have to offer contraception in their coverage. This is even more moronic because all health insurance providers already offer such coverage; where I also doubt there is even a titular head to insurance providers who has a legitimate claim their religious freedom rights are being infringed upon. Egads – the insurance providers are predominately if not wholly corporations with a diverse population of stockholders.

    I’ve been exploiting this passioned rhetoric in meat-world to compare this supposed infringement of religious freedom rights on some unnamed business owners to how the people complaining about this actually promote laws which infringe upon the religious freedom rights of more than 50% of the U.S. population. You get over 50% by reviewing how the government protects the rights of some to the detriment of all females whose religious freedom rights are infringed upon by those protections to others.

  3. andre3 says

    You left out the part where Santorum noted that this is in addition to all the Catholics who are forced by their state to go to confession for having their taxes support the death penalty. He must have mentioned this too as a comparison since he is being intellectually honest, right? Right?

  4. says

    The supposedly draconian (and religious-freedom killing) HHS mandate has been in effect in California since 2003, yet only now are the bishops rending their garments, frothing at the mouth, and strewing ashes on their heads. Good little old Santorum is on the job decrying this “new” assault on religious freedom when no one had that big a problem with it when it was only a state mandate. I guess it’s only a problem when a big bad president like Obama is behind it. It’s okay when states do it. (The bishops even admit this on their website, acknowledging that the equivalent of the HHS mandate was already in place in California, Oregon, and New York.) The current hissy fit is a political move, so cue Santorum to rise up on his hind legs.

  5. sailor1031 says

    “I guess it’s only a problem when a big bad president like Obama is behind it. ”

    Right. If Obama was a republican they’d find a way to live with it.

    Funny thing though, despite what RCCInc’s executives and conservative catholics like to promote there is no infallible dogma about contraception in RCC Inc’s “teachings”. It therefore becomes a matter for individual conscience – no sin needed.

    BTW it’s “reconciliation” these days not “confession”. I guess Ricky hasn’t actually been in church for a long time else he’d know that…

  6. steve84 says

    American Christians have lost any perspective about what is actually “practicing faith”. Hint: running a business isn’t part of it

  7. amadan says

    @Steve84:

    American Christians have lost any perspective about what is actually “practicing faith”. Hint: running a business isn’t part of it

    Your local megachurch pastor would like a word with you after school.

  8. rabbitscribe says

    There’s sort of a meta-issue here as well. According to Catholic theology, that’s not how confession works.

    AT ALL.

    If one is truly coerced into an activity, it isn’t sinful. On the other hand, absent repentance and the resolution to avoid the sin in the future, the confession is invalid. You don’t get to just pop in every Wednesday and wipe away the stain of some ongoing malfeasance you have no intention of changing. You can argue the American Catholic business owner in Santorum’s fevered imagination has no choice and thus commits no sin. You can argue he needs to close the business or drop his healthcare plan or whatever rather than becoming a party to the sin of contraception. But you can’t argue he has to keep his business and carrier but go to confession. That’s, like, third-grade stuff.

  9. wscott says

    How about Presidents Reagan and Bush, who wanted to overturn a Supreme Court ruling protecting the right to burn a flag?

    Everyone knows the Free Speech clause isn’t the True Purpose of the First Amendment, and pales in comparison to the Freedom of Religion clause. [/snark]

  10. eric says

    He is forcing business people right now to do things that are against their conscience

    Isn’t that the entire purpose of government? Its not like we need rules and social enforcement to make us obey our consciences.

  11. plutosdad says

    What is especially bizarre is how DePaul university in chicago is quickly trying to REMOVE its health coverage for contraceptive medication, so that they can sue the government claiming that it is forcing them to do something against their will.

    Of course, DePaul already lost a lawsuit back in the 90s over this very issue. Which is why they, and every Illinois non-church institution no matter how religious, provides contraception in its health care plan.

  12. Abby Normal says

    Forgive me Father for I have sinned. My daughter returned from school and informed me that one of her friends is a Wiccan witch. I have allowed her to live. When I instructed my daughter not to speak to or associate with the witch, my daughter became unruly and cursed me. Yet she too still lives. I put the laws of man above the laws of Our Father. Forgive me.

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