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Santorum’s Pastor Problem

Jim Burroway

March 20th, 2012
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I don’t care what the liberals say, I don’t care what the naysayers say, this nation was founded as a Christian nation! The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, there’s only one God! There’s only one God, and his name is Jesus! I’m tired of people telling my I can’t say those words. I’m tired of people telling us that as Christians we can’t force or beliefs, or we can no longer pray in public. I’m — Listen to me! If you don’t like… love American and you don’t like the way we do things, I got one thing to say. GET OUT! We don’t worship Buddha, we don’t Mohammed, we don’t woship Allah, we worship God. We worship God’s son, Jesus Christ.

…I believe the church is to be the conscience of the nation. The church needs to be the conscience of our state and our local community. Listen closely. Now hold on for just a moment. As long as they continue to kill little babies in our mother’s womb, somebody’s got to take a stand and say it’s not right! God be merciful to us as a nation. As long as sexual perversion is becoming normalized, somebody needs to stand up and say God forgives us, God have mercy upon us! As long as they continue to tell our children they cannot pray in public schools or pray in open public places today, somebody’s got to take a stand and say God forgive us, God have mercy upon us! As long as they continue to tear down traditional marriage… Listen! God intended for marriage to be between a man and a woman, and as long as they continue to attack marriage, somebody needs to take a stand and say NO! NO! NO! NO!

…I’m telling you my friend I believe the Christians in American are the key to revival. I believe that Christians in America is (sic) the key to the economy to turn it around. I believe that Christians in America is (sic) the key to the jobless rate continue (sic) to go down. I believe its a spiritual thing. If we would put God back in America, put God back in our pulpits, put God back in our homes and in our statehouse and then in Washington, D.C., then we can have revival in America! And the Holy Spirit will show up and great and mighty things will happen for this country!

The video closes with the camera on Sen. Rich Santorum, standing and clapping, after Greenwell Springs Baptist Church pastor Dennis Terry’s fiery speech yesterday calling on anyone who does not adhere to his particular brand of Christianity to leave the country so that they can finally establish their talibanic regime in the White House. Terry made those comments at a rally in Louisiana, which is the home of Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins. To tighten that circle just a little, Terry is also Perkins’s pastor, who was also on hand at the event.

If anyone wonders at the collapse of the so-called “Catholic vote” (I, for one, believe that Catholics never voted as a block to begin with), one only has to watch this video. Despite Santorum’s identification as a conservative Catholic, despite his reportedly attending Mass daily, what you see here is as alien — and as disturbing — to the majority of Catholics as it is to any other (yes, I’ll say it) ordinary American. Catholics have acquired a long history of shunning the pronouncements of the hierarchy on issues of private morality, and they have a much longer history of fearing the interference of government in religious affairs. Co-mingling the two are anathema to most Catholics in the pews, even as the Bishops have become increasingly politically active. That partly explains how Romney has been picking up most of the Catholic vote in recent contests.

At the rally’s close, Terry prayed over Santorum and asked God to “have favor upon Rick Santorum,” as Perkins stood next to them. When Jeremaiah Wright “goddamned” American, Obama was nowhere in sight, but he got the blowback anyway. Terry laid his hands on Santorum and — more relevant to our point here — Santorum obediently bowed his head for Terry’s blessing, nodding in agreement.

When pressed by reporters afterward, Santorum tried to half-heartedly back away from Terry’s comments that American “heretics” — and let’s be clear: that’s who Terry’s talking about — need to leave America. But the sad truth is, Santorum fully owns Terry and all of the other dominionists who would turn this nation into a theocratic Ameristan as the first opportunity. And to those who say that dominionism is a myth, all I have to say is that we have video proof of it right there, right at the top of this post. And one of them is running for President.



Craig L. Adams
March 20th, 2012 | LINK

Ugh. You’re right, Jim. Dominionism is not a myth. People like me need to be reminded.

Gene in L.A.
March 20th, 2012 | LINK

Someone needs to edit this rant together with films from the 30’s of a certain fuhrer pounding his rostrum. One almost expected the audience to scream “SIEG HEIL!”

March 20th, 2012 | LINK

I don’t have the skills to do editing, Gene, but here’s a clip you can compare it to:

(note: you will get a “potentially offensive content warning.”)

March 20th, 2012 | LINK

This is why fundamentalist Christians have become the majority of chaplains in the US military- an attempt to brainwash soldiers into this form of fundamentalism.

March 20th, 2012 | LINK

Anybody who thinks the Dominionist movement is not a threat to our nation and to our freedom simply isn’t paying attention. Many believe it’s just “talk”, and that our constitution will protect us.

I wouldn’t bet on it…

For those who have a “well, that can’t happen HERE” mentality about the threat of America being governed according to Biblical law, let me remind you of all those Americans who thought likewise about the possibility of terrorist attacks on American soil…

Yes, the things we’ve seen happen in other parts of the world CAN happen here, folks. We’re not as insulated from and as powerful against these forces as we like to think we are, especially when the “enemy” is coming from within.

Because these changes are happening incrementally, not overnight, they’re easier to ignore and not be seen as part of a larger movement. Little by little, they ARE making inroads and moving towards their goals. If we don’t start taking this threat seriously, we’re in for a heap of trouble not too far down the road.

Timothy Kincaid
March 20th, 2012 | LINK

I dare say that it is alien and disturbing to Episcopalians and Methodists and Lutherans and Quakers and a broad range of protestants as well.

Because speech of this sort is inherently disturbing. It is a threat to our agreement to live peaceably with others and is a call for theocratic totalitarianism.

I think this sort of thing is terrifying outside of the dominionist camps. Were Santorum to gain the candidacy, I could easily see an add with nothing but clips of this preacher screaming and Santorum applauding. No need for even for comment, it stands on its own.

Timothy Kincaid
March 20th, 2012 | LINK

let me remind you of all those Americans who thought likewise about the possibility of terrorist attacks on American soil…

or those who thought that Americans would never put other Americans in “camps” because of their race…

The problem with the unthinkable is that it isn’t

March 20th, 2012 | LINK

He is a strutting, posturing argument for an educated clergy — a term more oxymoronic every day.

My concentration in college was American history, especially the career and character of Richard Nixon. For any who doubt that this preacher’s sentiments lack political power, consider Nixon’s successful identification, courting and use of the “silent majority.” His landslide 1972 reelection — 49 of 50 states — is due in great part to appeals to, and manipulation of, sentiments not unfamiliar to this preacher.

There are differences, for now. But what is important are the similarities: namely, the wide belief that sacred American institutions (insert your favorite) are being trampled. This, and an appeal to historic and shameful American anti-intellectualism, form a nucleus around which great political mischief has grown in the past.

This preacher misfires — for now. He is too specific, too Christian; Nixon would advise him to spread out, to generalize, to offer non-specific hints at social ills and grievances with which the Silent Majority/Moral Majority can identify.

This will happen, and these preachers will be very dangerous indeed.

March 20th, 2012 | LINK

At least Stantorum listened and heard what this nut had to say ………… and, hopefully be made to answer for the pastor’s sermon. Obama sat in the pews of his horrid church for over ten years and did not hear any darn thing for years. He got a nearly total pass for his selection of his long-term nutty pastor.

Ben In Oakland
March 20th, 2012 | LINK

I could have sworn that I just read the Little ricky was saying he really wasn’t paying attention to this wingnut.

Put the anointing and the speech together, and you have Obama’s political campaign brought to you by the GOP

March 21st, 2012 | LINK

I’m not sure this is the red meat you’re looking for. How will that clip really play out in the news cycle? I can just imagine the propagandists getting their hands on how it plays out and saying “look I TOLD YOU they would attack you for your beliefs” while completely obscuring the offensive nature of Pastor Terry’s content.

Also, it’s distasteful/offensive to bring religious leaders into political debates in this manner. I didn’t care for it when it happened to Obama & I don’t care for it now. There are a million reasons to oppose Santourm outside of his religious beliefs. Let’s focus on those reasons rather than agreeing that obscure Pastors’ opinions are this central to the election process.

Timothy Kincaid
March 21st, 2012 | LINK


I disagree. To oppose Santorum for reasons other than his religious beliefs would require ignoring his campaign. He is running on his religious beliefs, that’s about all his campaign does.

Obama didn’t present himself as a candidate to be judged in terms of faith. So it was distasteful to make it a campaign issue.

Santorum insists that his faith be a campaign issue – so it is not only reasonable but necessary to look at what that means.

March 21st, 2012 | LINK

Clearly, I disagree. Finding a Candidate for the President of the United States is about the prospective candidate’s qualifications regardless of how they’re running their campaign. I suggest that Santroum is making his campaign about his religion because that is where he wants the focus. If we ignore the low-hanging-fruit he’s totally unelectable. If we engage his campaign in the way that he anticipates us to then he suddenly has a powerful sympathy vote. There’s a reason he hasn’t dropped out yet (aside from naivete) & now we’re playing into his strategy by attacking the religious beliefs of who exactly? Not his pastor, not the man who introduced him, but the man who spoke first at a service he attended. How exactly is that damning?

I had to dig to find this out, but TONY PERKINS introduced Santorum that day. But here we’re all ignoring the fact that he was introduced by the leader of a hate group in an effort to… well I just don’t get it… what is wrong about being in the same room as a nut-job dominionist with a microphone?

Regarding the distastefulness of bringing the pastors into political debates: I don’t think people always choose their pastors, I don’t think people expect that what their pastors say will be taken seen as a personal endorsement of the position espoused by said pastor, I don’t think people should have to consider the politics of the pastor when choosing a church, I don’t think attending a church qualifies as an endorsement of everything said at the pulpit, and I don’t think visitors to a church are automatically endorsing what a pastor is saying by applauding.

I think that goes for someone who runs their campaign as a referendum on their religious beliefs or for someone who doesn’t.

It is my understanding that attempting character-assassination via a charge of guilt-by-association to one’s pastor was a novel political development of the Hillary Clinton campaign. Let’s not give that terrible idea legs by granting it further legitimacy (and expanding its scope).

That red meat up there still look juicy?

Timothy Kincaid
March 21st, 2012 | LINK


I appreciate many of the good points you made. But we should not ignore Santorum standing and applauding the preacher’s speech.

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