Sunday, May 28, 2017


Rick Santorum, It’s Called Separation of Church and State.

February 28, 2012 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Republican voters in Michigan and Arizona are picking who they want to represent them against President Obama come November 3, 2012. The top two choices are between the aloof businessman who feels he’s entitled to the nomination and a former Congressman who has escaped political obscurity to become a champion for the far right conservative cause of kicking government out of everything. Scoring big with speaking out on social issues like gay marriage, sex outside of marriage, abortion, contraception and all the things that make being an adult fun the other candidates have joined Rick Santorum in clinging further to religion and idiocy as a means of taking the country back.

There’s only one problem.

This ain’t Iran.

The beauty of America is that there is this thing called free will. It is ingrained into the very fabric of our lives via the freedoms outlined in the constitution. For the last few weeks the far right has worked itself into a frenzy over  President Obama’s contraception coverage mandate; which for the record he should have never compromised on. But that’s what Obama does. The frenzy led to an all male Congressional hearing of religious leaders on why forcing institutions like universities and hospitals affiliated with a specific religion to allow contraception coverage is wrong, even though these institutions employ people of varying religious or non-religious backgrounds and operate in a very public capacity.

To spearhead the campaign against contraception coverage for all women in this country the men testifying, as well as Rick Santorum who turned into pastor Rick Santorum on the campaign trail, quoted the first amendment of the United States.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

But the religious leaders and Rick Santorum took this quote out of context. This freedom outlined in the Bill of Rights goes both ways. Congress and government should not influence or prohibit the free practice of religion just as religion should not and will not prohibit or influence the free practice of good government.

Enter the Democrat Presidential Candidate John F. Kennedy. In the 1960 race for the White House there were fears a Kennedy presidency would be run by the Pope. Kennedy pounced on those fears and delivered a landmark speech from Houston where he stated he believes the separation of church and state is absolute.

So it’s settled then religion is a private matter that does not belong in public matters of government, governing and doing the best for the American people and in turn America.

Right?

Wrong.

Flash Forward 42 years and here we are once again talking about where religion belongs in government. Rick Santorum, the Catholic Candidate, has turned Kennedy’s speech on its head, turned settled law and principles of our founding fathers on their head by extolling the virtues he will possess if elected President because he will govern by his moral compass which is directed by his Catholic faith.

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Just.

Boo.

Rick Santorum’s beliefs are part of those responsible for bill’s like anti-abortion measures in Republican states across the country forcing women to receive an ultrasound or some sort of abortion counseling or hear a description of their fetus before they go through with the medical procedure they want done. If doctors and insurance companies can’t give out medical records sometimes even to the patients themselves because it infringes on a right of privacy how in the hell is it justified that they can tell a woman what to or not to do with her body. For a right-winger who believes in getting government out of the way of the people this is an intrusion; government caught smack dab in the most compromising of positions.

Rick Santorum’s beliefs are widely held by half of the country as evidenced by the slew of anti-abortion bills, personhood amendments, rejections of legalizing gay marriage and the recent crusade against the Girl Scouts for its ties to Planned Parenthood and apparently indoctrinating young Daisies and Brownies into a lifetime of homosexuality. His beliefs and those who believe with him are the kind that splits America — not on the issues that are important, and those issues are the same ones John Kennedy named in his 1960 speech, — but on the issues that have long been decided are issues best dealt with among families themselves.

I don’t expect much enlightenment from today’s Congressional hearing on contraception that actually features a woman because it is clear men believe because they wear condoms they can have a say so on a issue that simply has nothing to do with them. I don’t expect Rick Santorum to change his views, or presidential candidates Romney, Paul and Gingrich to stop running toward them because they make absolutely no sense. I don’t expect social issues to stop dominating our current political discourse. If a man with a BA in political science, an MBA and a JD can call the President a snob for wanting all of America’s children to try and go to some form of college or vocational school than it is evident hypocrisy reigns supreme and there is no reasoning with unreasonable people.

But while all this and more exists in America today: birthers, creationists, theocrats, climate-change deniers, nativists, gay-bashers, anti-abortionists, media paranoids, anti-intellectuals, and out-of-touch country clubbers, I do hope, or pray rather in the Catholic tradition of which I was brought up that people with reason and logic will hold fast to things such as this:

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
~Article VI United States Constitution

“…religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.”

~Thomas Jefferson

Letter to the Danbury Baptists

January 1, 1802

 

“…it is impossible to believe that the constitutional guaranty of religious freedom was intended to prohibit legislation in respect to this most important feature of social life…

…Laws are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinions, they may with practices…

Can a man excuse his practices to the contrary because of his religious belief? To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself. Government could exist only in name under such circumstances…”

~Reynolds v. United States

Supreme Court of the United States

98 U.S. 145

October, 1878 Term

Our country has long settled the issue of church and state and where the church belongs in the matter of governing over moral issues Mr. Santorum and Republicans insist on making their platform. Their religious beliefs have no place in the discourse. It is possible to be religious, faith-filled and prayerful and still be logical, reasonable and able to govern and do what is best for the American people while also not contradicting your inherent moral center. It can be done because previous President’s have done it. It seems to me if Rick Santorum cannot separate himself and his goal of governance from ”God the Father the almighty creator of heaven and earth of all that is seen and unseen” than he is not fit to be President of the United States. Republican Congressmen who believe like Rick Santorum are not fit to serve all of their constituents. And the supporters who rally behind these candidates need to return to 9th grade for a refresher course on U.S. history.

How long do you think social issues will dominate political discourse without candidates being called on their murky grasp of the founding fathers’ principles for this country?

Staff Writer; Nikesha Leeper

To connect with this sister feel free to visit; Change Comes Slow.

 




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