Saturday, February 25, 2012

Santorum's Religious Fundamentalism Part 3

Marriage and serving in the military, according to Rick, are privileges, not rights. He defends his bigotry by saying, it’s not discrimination to deny privileges; it’s discrimination to deny rights. Lets explore this just a tad in light of Mr. Santorum’s religious beliefs.

Santorum privately believes people are not born gay, they choose to live a gay lifestyle. He intends to federally ban gay marriage. But he says, “its not personal, its about policy.” Gays serving openly in the military is not an inalienable right but a privilege. As such, he will enforce a policy of rewarding privilege at the expense of human rights. When questioned about DADT, Santorum said he doesn’t believe in injecting social policy into the military. What he fails to see however is the inherent hypocrisy of the Republican Party when it comes to social issues: less government, but more regulation of private personal behavior. DADT is a social policy!
Santorum claims that because open gays will be in close quarters and shower together and things like this, unit cohesion is under threat because some people would feel uncomfortable and as a result, recruiting would diminish. Santorum is playing to the traditional prejudices of his literalist religious worldview. In Santorum’s worldview it is better to protect the prejudicial inheritance of the past than to protect peoples right to fight and die for their country. What is the more noble cause? However, I shouldn’t say that this is in fact Santorum’s reasoning. This is the reasoning that he has to say in public, because what he would really say would be far worse. There is no doubt that he would fall on his religion to justify his bigotry and discriminatory perspective. When asked about the statement in WW2 used to keep blacks out of the military, he responded:

“{The idea that} being black and being gay is the same is simply not true. You are not homosexual necessarily, by obviously, by the color of your skin. There are all sort of studies out there that suggest just the contrary. And there are people who were gay and lived a gay lifestyle and aren’t anymore.  I don’t know if that a similar situation I don’t think that’s the case with anybody that’s black. It is a behavioral issue and that makes all the difference when it comes to serving in the military.” Santorum’s real problem is homosexual behavior, not homophobic responses to it. Those that are uncomfortable by allowing gays to serve openly in the military are simply homophobic, reflecting a dying out religious ideology based on exclusion and the worst form of discrimination: state sanctioned discrimination.

When asked about gay marriage, his answer was simply “so anybody can marry several people?” It sure is a slippery slope. If we allow gay people to marry then what about polygamy and bestiality? Must we allow those as well. The liberal agenda knows no bounds! If we open the flood gates there is no stopping it! This reflects a typical paranoid worldview shared by his fellow religious zealots: hat there is a war on religion and on Christendom in this country, a war waged by liberals, homosexuals, environmentalists and pro-lifers alike. His policies reflect a defensive stance. What’s under attack is much larger than himself, it’s the sacred institutions of marriage, family values, an attack on religion itself.

Marriage between a man and a woman, he says, merely affirms what the laws of the states have been for 200 years. However, laws in the states have denied women the right to vote, laws in the states upheld the worst forms of discriminatory practices against people of color and women for hundreds of years. This appeal to tradition, this appeal to the status quo is simply stupid. Just because it’s the way it has been for a period of time, does not make it right. Human rights as an international institution of sorts didn’t even appear on the scene until after WW2. But for Santorum, the ideal has already been established. Any change, modification or evolution of those standards is an aberration. The truth has always been there, spelled out for us in one book.

Marriage, he says, has been in place for thousands of years. But defined by whom? Marriage has meant very wide spectrum of things to the various cultures in our world throughout history. But Marriage has been clearly defined in his tradition, his religion, for thousands of years. This is what he is referring to: marriage defined by Christianity. But what Christianity I wonder? Do all Christians condemn gays and gay marriage? Of course not! Once again, Santorum is speaking about HIS Christianity. He speaks for a very small (not small enough) constituency of people. And this constituency is hell-bent on Christianizing the nation, bringing their rigid and narrow view of values and rights and privileges into the public arena, applicable to everyone in a country that is purposefully set up to protect the small guy, to protect the minority from a tyrannical majority. This is why we have a federal bill of rights, so the states can’t do whatever they decide to when it comes to public policy. This is the reasoning for a secular state, which of course, is the devil. It’s time to realize that freedom of religion necessarily entails freedom from religion, especially when it comes to majority oppression of any other sexual orientation and flavor.

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