Lets start with a salacious quote: “A society that says that sex outside of marriage is something that shouldn’t be encouraged or tolerated.” This is a good one. Have you ever met anyone who thinks that sex outside of marriage should be discouraged and shouldn’t be tolerated for any other reason than religion? I haven’t. What other motivation or justification could there possible be for sex outside of marriage? This indicates a few things about Santorum. First and foremost, he is waaaay out of touch with the reality of the vast majority of human beings on this planet. People have sex before marriage. People have sex with other people while married. People have sex for pleasure. But the more important aspect of this quote is that Santorum is opposed to encouraging sex outside of marriage, through public policy, which has made him oppose contraceptives. This is not just anti-sex and anti-pleasure, but it’s anti-woman. He is completely out of touch with women’s health issues and family planning. Surprisingly, Santorum is opposed to a society that tolerates sex outside of marriage. His religious “values”, in this case, are completely motivating his positions on social policy. And these “values” just happen to be reflective of a radical, fundamentalist Christianity that is dangerous to himself and others.
Lets shift to abortion. Santorum has gone so far as to make pseudo-scientific claims condemning abortion. He said, “I don’t think you’ll find a biologist in the world that will say that that [a fetus] is not a human life.” For Santorum, life begins at the moment of conception. Where could he get this idea? It couldn’t be a religious perspective could it? Have you ever heard anyone claim that life begins at conception who wasn’t saying so because of their religious orientation? I haven’t. Santorum has even claimed that he would “advocate that any doctor who performs an abortion should be criminally charged for doing so.” People who are performing a health service are now somehow criminals, but not by civil law, by Santorum’s version of “higher law”, to which we must conform.
This isn’t the first time the religious right has tried to use pseudo-science to back their fundamentalist viewpoints. Lets take a quick example about the environment. Santorum’s view on the environment is as such: “we were put on this earth as creatures of god to have dominion over the earth, to use it wisely and steward it wisely, but for our benefit not the earths benefit.” It logically follows that Santorum doesn’t believe in global warming. But this quote illustrates a complete misunderstanding of the interconnected nature of the global system; that what it is in the earths benefit is in fact in our benefit. The healthier our environment, the healthier we will be. Environmental issues usually go in one ear and out the other for many religious fundamentalists. My own brother even said in light on environmental problems, “What does it matter anyway? Jesus is going to come down and fix everything anyway.” This abnegates all human responsibility in caring for our planet and our finite resources. I wouldn’t count on Santorum as acting in the interest of any environmental concern. And why? Because of his religious “values”.