Rick Santorum has been touting himself as a Catholic of conservative values- toeing the line of Rome.
He’s conveniently forgetting to advocate for several key social justice positions of the hierarchy. He’s picking and choosing- much the argument that conservative Catholics accuse their more progressive brethren of doing. To wit: John Gehring’s breakdown in the Huffington Post (thanks to Enlightened Catholicism):
GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum, a proud Catholic who often speaks about his faith on the campaign trail, is attracting some formidable buzz from pundits who view his strong showing in the Iowa caucuses as a sign that the former Pennsylvania senator might have enough mojo to rally a coalition of religious and blue-collar voters.
New York Times columnist David Brooks waxed poetic Monday about Santorum’s Catholic conservative sensibilities and touted the candidate as an authentic antidote to “the corporate or financial wing of the party.”Evangelicals are also taking notice. Writing on CNN’s Belief blog, Chris LaTondresse, the founder and CEO of Recovering Evangelical, calls Santorum a post-religious right candidate “whose concern for poor and vulnerable people” is “firmly rooted in his Catholic faith.”
It’s easy to see why Santorum might appeal to some culturally conservative Catholics and moderate evangelicals who are wary of Democrats but also turned off by the Republican Party’s cozy embrace of economic libertarianism and tireless defense of struggling millionaires. Santorum is more comfortable with communitarian language, has been a strong supporter of foreign aid to impoverished countries and connects with personal stories of his blue-collar upbringing.
But it’s a political delusion to think Rick Santorum is a standard-bearer of authentic Catholic values in politics. In fact, on several issues central to Catholic social teaching – torture, war, immigration, climate change, the widening gap between rich and poor and workers’ rights – Santorum is radically out of step with his faith’s teachings as articulated by Catholic bishops and several popes over the centuries.
Santorum is conveniently forgetting key Catholic teaching on poverty, immigration, torture, worker’s rights, financial inequity and climate change- obviously to court the Christianist voter.
But Catholics should not be fooled. Read the full breakdown here.
And don’t miss this: Rick Santorum’s Top 10 Most Outrageous Campaign Statements
- Santorum receives endorsement from Catholic advocacy group (thehill.com)
- Santorum’s Catholic Problem (huffingtonpost.com)
- John Gehring: The Catholic Case Against Rick Santorum (huffingtonpost.com)
- Conservative Catholics feeling the Santorum surge? (dailykos.com)
- Santorum gets ‘Christian,’ not Catholic, surge (getreligion.org)