Rick Santorum’s Greatness

EDITOR’S NOTE: Emily Stimpson is a contributing editor to Our Sunday Visitor.  Please welcome her to the CV Blog.

What’s so great about Rick Santorum? That’s a question lots of people have been asking as of late. And not without reason.

After all, on the surface certain obvious qualities we’d love to have in a president are missing from Santorum: Executive leadership experience, a proven track record of electability, strong rhetorical skills, etc.

When people voice those concerns, I don’t disagree. Unlike some folks at CatholicVote, I haven’t decided to hop unequivocally on the Rick Santorum train just yet.

Nevertheless, I’m grateful for his candidacy. I’m grateful because he’s such a consistent witness to the sanctity of life, and I’m grateful because he’s doing what so many other Catholic leaders—in both the Church and culture—aren’t doing: He’s living the fullness of the Church’s teachings on marriage.

A few days ago, while working on a story for Our Sunday Visitor about the New Evangelization, I spoke with Curtis Martin, Focus President and one of the two Americans named as consultors to the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization. At one point in the conversation, I asked Martin to name some of the obstacles preventing the New Evangelization from bearing the fruit it’s meant to bear.

His first answer? The number of Catholic leaders—diocesan administrators, teachers, catechists, etc.—who choose to contracept. (And if you don’t think that number is legion, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn for you.)

His answer wasn’t what I was expecting. But he’s right.

Those contracepting Catholic leaders aren’t just dissenting from core Church teachings on sexuality, marriage, and the dignity of the human person. They’re dissenting from the Church’s teachings about herself—about who she is and by whose authority she teaches. They’re dissenting, in deed and belief, from the fullness of the Faith.

Which means they aren’t going to pass on the fullness of the Faith to anyone. How can they when they’ve broken from it in such a deep and personal way? How can they help others love and trust the Church, when they don’t trust her themselves? Their witness has been compromised by their own weakness, whether of will or understanding, and for as long as their witness remains compromised, so does the work of the New Evangelization.

But not Rick Santorum. Yes, he’s a politician, not a catechist. And no, he doesn’t subscribe to every non-magisterial, non-doctrinal white paper penned by mid-level staffers at the USCCB (or, to be fair, some penned by those much higher up), nor does he always defend the Church’s teachings on sexuality in the most politic of ways.

But he believes those teachings. He loves them. And he lives them…or at least seems to try his darnedest. People see that. They see what’s possible when a life is lived in full accord with Truth, and they see just how beautiful, how life-giving, those truths can be.

That will bear fruit. And the more Catholic leaders we have like him, in both the corridors of Washington and the corridors of chancery offices, the more fruit we’ll see.



54 thoughts on “Rick Santorum’s Greatness

  1. AmyH says:

    Its wonderful, yes, that Santorum lives his faith in this manner. It is not wonderful, however, that he seeks to force feed it down everyone else’s throat. We have separation of church and state in this country dor a reason. His stance on every other issue BUT abortion is deplorable. He advocates reducing food stamp benefits during the worst recession since the 1930′s – why? Because we have an obesity problem in this country. He actually feels that it’s logical to say that there is no hunger crisis in America. His position on health insurance is punitive to those who have health issues or can’t afford coverage.

    It’s time that Catholics stop voting based on one issue only.

  2. John says:

    Let’s be very clear, there is nothing innocent about Iran’s nuclear program. Time and time again the leaders of Iran have made abundantly clear there feelings toward the United States and its allies in the region. Given the resources Iran will cause havoc in the region, and attempt the same in the Unites States. Serious times call for serious measures, an Iran with nuclear capability is most serious, and most assuredly not innocent.

    1. Consistency says:

      You’re claiming that as a justification for murdering scientists? You think there is a Catholic rationale for murdering unarmed researchers? You’re reaching as far as John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi are on the left if you’re really trying to claim that we should support the murder of unarmed civilians with collateral damage. Iran just came forward asking to negotiate last month and we refused. If anything they should be the ones concerned by our nuclear policy given that we are the only nation to have used nuclear weapons.

      1. Joe M says:

        Consistency. According to your line of reasoning, the US could build and aim a nuclear weapon at a country. But, could be absolved of all responsibility for the destruction it causes as long as they had an “innocent button pusher” hit the launch button. — And really? Comparing John to Pelosi and Kerry? Your candidate is the one whose foreign policy most resembles that of Dennis Kucinich.

    2. TEL says:


      I would encourage you to research the issue more. It is true that from listening to the MSM that Iran sounds like an imminent threat but consider the following: just last Sunday, Leon Pannetta on Face the Nation stated that Iran has no nuclear weapons program. This is the same conclusion of every US intelligence agency. Also consider that about 3 weeks ago, the head of the Mossad stated that Iran getting a nuclear weapon is not an existential threat to Israel. We need to chill a bit.

      I am the only one also who thinks the world seems to have been turned upside down when we have mainstream politicians openly calling for assassinations? Independent of the moral question here, that’s just downright stupid from a foreign relations perspective.

      1. Joe M says:

        TEL. I have to agree to an extent. We don’t know the intelligence surrounding what happened or even if the US really was involved at all. But, regardless of whether or not there are circumstances that would justify targeting this guy, I do think that Santorum mishandled the topic. He casually threw it out there, sounding like a mob boss or something. If brought up at all, it deserves more careful framing and seriousness, imo.

        1. TEL says:

          Hi Joe M,

          I wasn’t referring to the intelligence around the assassination, but rather that the official position of the US according to the Sec. Defense and every US intelligence agency is that Iran is not trying to build a weapon. I imagine that should count for something. Saw Santorum is doubling down on assassination, saying the US should not have condemned the killing. Also, good to see Santorum shoot straight with the good people of Greenville, SC: “If these are people who are developing a weapon to be used to either destroy the state of Israel or to spread terror — a reign of terror — around the world, we shouldn’t be sitting on the sidelines and letting it happen,” he said. “They cannot have a nuclear weapon, because you, in Greenville, will not be safe.” Fear is a very powerful weapon for politicians.

          1. Joe M says:

            TEL. I could see that you weren’t referencing the intelligence. I just thought it was a relevant point considering that we have no idea why this man was killed, that the description of his killing is accurate, etc. but are debating it as if we do. It’s interesting to me that people are so fast to accept as truth the description of events from a regime that rigs elections, controls all media in the country and engages heavily in anti-US propaganda. — I don’t think your characterization of our intelligence on Iran is quite accurate. http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/RL34544.pdf — Fear can be a powerful weapon for politicians. However, history has proved that naivety can also be dangerous.

          2. Consistency says:

            Incredibly well stated. If you replaced anti-US with anti-Iran you’d be equally accurate. You’re confused about whether “them” (any group of the Iranian people) are angry about our manipulative intervention in the region? Have you spent any amount of time studying Middle Eastern geopolitics? The CIA and terrorist groups themselves have clearly stated that the reason the US is a target is because of 70 years of military intervention in that region. It’s not justifiable and shouldn’t be hard to grasp.

          3. Joe M says:

            Consistency. You equating the US to the ruling regime in Iran is absurd. I have not only read quite a bit about politics in that region, I’ve befriended Iranian immigrants now living in the US. I can assure you that they do not share your theory. Please do me a favor and watch the film “For Neda”. If you can watch that and come back here to insist that there is no Iranian group being brutally oppressed that want any help they can get, I’m not sure if anything can convince you of the reality in Iran. Warning: The film contains graphic footage.

          4. Consistency says:

            I’m not suggesting that the US is anywhere near Iran in terms of domestic human rights violations. It is a definitive fact that the media manipulates the electoral process to their own ends and that they are beholden to party establishment. If using the War on Terror to pass bills like the NDAA, PATRIOT Act, and SOPA isn’t governing by fear I don’t know what is. If Paul were inconsistent or a slave to a party I would disown him too but in this election he is the only candidate who is not.

          5. Joe M says:

            There is a media for just about every view I can think of. People are free to choose which to listen to, or none at all. If they don’t like any, they can simply watch C-SPAN and see directly, in context, what our federal politicians are saying. Most local governments have similar broadcasts. At some point, you have to give responsibility for peoples actions to the people themselves. — Maybe instead of the war on terror being used, it is more accurate that people were genuinely afraid of another attack and felt that those bills were acceptable solutions. Things that Libertarians don’t agree with for ideological reasons don’t always have to be the result of a conspiracy.

    3. Joe M says:

      John. Agreed. Additionally, Iran has already attacked the US via clandestine efforts in Iraq. They are not innocent.

      1. Consistency says:

        Joe, the U.S. overthrew a democratically elected Iranian leader in 1953. We then sponsored Saddam Hussein’s war against Iran with weapons and money. Currently we are assassinating their scientists, unconstitutionally bombing them with drones, and conducting Naval exercises off their coast. How would you expect them to react? Here is a video of Santorum’s take on all of this: http://easley.patch.com/articles/santorum-condones-selective-assassination#video-8236272

        1. Joe M says:

          Consistency. What “them” are you referring to? The oppressive regime or the Iranian people who we’ve all seen risk their lives to try and gain freedoms that we take for granted in the US?

  3. SWP says:

    The Catholic Church hasn’t explicitly stated anything about waterboarding, about which there is no clear consensus whether it constitutes torture as the Geneva Convention defined it.

    The Church has stated very explicitly that abortion is always and every time impermissible, and Santorum is the ONLY candidate who upholds that.

    Mark Shea can nitpick all he likes, but he has yet to offer someone who is as anti-abortion as Santorum. He likes Ron Paul because Paul will limit the size of the DoDefense.

    In the absence of finding one PERFECT candidate, we ought to be able to perform some sort of triage, and abortion is clearly the more pressing evil to oppose. Military Defense in theory is not intrinsically evil, whereas abortion always has been.

    Paul’s dedication to the unborn stops at the state level, whereas Santorum opposes it fully.

    1. Consistency says:

      You lack understanding regarding the limits of Federal authority. Paul wants to overturn Roe vs. Wade but to have the Federal government make such laws would be unconstitutional and undermine the safety and liberty of all Americans. Dr. Paul was the first member of congress to introduce a pro-life measure back in 1975. If you agree that abortion is murder as he does then you should also agree that it should be legislated at a state level as murder is. Mr. Santorum supports preemptive wars in Iraq and Iran, the assassination of Iranian scientists, the indefinite detention and torture of US citizens, and the death penalty. Dr. Paul’s stances are far more consistent with church teaching. To try and justify all the Republican positions one would have to be quite cynical regarding the opinions of the Vatican.

      1. Mike McLaren says:

        So you really think murder should be left up to the states, and you also think that is consistant with Church teaching, whow. I’m thinking the USCCB would disagree with you on that one. Murder is a civil rights violation and can be, addressed on a federal level. If the federal government can stop slavery, it has the authority to stop murder. I’m as big of a supporter of the 10th amendment as anyone, but somethings transend state lines.
        In regards to capitol punishment and the just war doctrine, the last two popes have both said these are prudential judgements, and faithful Catholics can have honest disagreements regarding there implamentation.
        Water boarding is not torture. It does not cause pain or injury, only intense fear and is performed on some of our special ops people during training.
        Dr.Paul is a dangerous man because he refuses to acknowledge the danger this country faces from radical Islam, whereas Santorum does.
        One more thing, I have a problem with people who won’t give their real names, and hide behind clever sounding monicurs.

        1. justamom says:

          Actually, murder is a crime prosecuted and punished at the state level. Look it up.

          Why do you think Santorum could or would do anything at all to stop abortion. He was in the Senate when the Republicans held majorities in both houses and the executive branch. What happened? Why would Republicans give away their most effective voter magnet?

          1. Joe M says:

            justamom. I’m pretty sure that McLaren’s point was that if any State did not enforce laws against murder, the Federal government would have constitutional grounds to intercede. — We can never know for sure whether or not a candidate will do something about abortion. However, how much of a priority they make it in their campaign seems like a logical indication. What makes you think that any other candidate would do anything more about it than Santorum?

        2. Joe M says:

          Well said, Mr. McLaren.

      2. Joe M says:

        Consistency. How do you resolve your distaste for the death penalty with Ron Paul’s support of it?

        1. Consistency says:

          Joe, you are wrong about that as well. Video evidence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIATJP3-rFM Feel free to continue dismissing torture with semantics and favoring Republican orthodoxy over the suggestions of the Pope.

          1. Joe M says:

            Consistency. As I have pointed out in other comments, in that video, Ron Paul is discussing Federal use of the death penalty, not the death penalty as a concept. In fact, Ron Paul has stated that the death penalty is “a deserving penalty for criminals”. — We disagree about what constitutes torture. When you state “you dismiss torture!” it is you that is abusing semantics. Can you please provide where the Pope has suggested that he agrees with your ideas about water-boarding?

          2. Consistency says:

            http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2005-12-13-pope_x.htm who do you think the Vatican is referring to here? Why did the US consider waterboarding to be torture when it was done to our soldiers by the Japanese in WW2. Just admit that you value the Republican party’s views over the Pope’s because really that is what this is about. Why would I be the one using semantics to my advantage when the Vatican has been clear regarding their positions on these issues? You’re the one manipulating loopholes here. I’m not trying to use loopholes to justify ALL US foreign intervention policies.

          3. Joe M says:

            Consistency. Where did the Pope refer to any “who” at all? He referred to torture. Not waterboarding or the US. In fact, there were instances of torture on terrorists, performed by countries other than the US. — I have formed my views according to the word of God, Catholic teaching and what I believe best serves the common good. So, no. You are incorrect about “what this is about” for me. — You have yet to show where the Pope supports your position as expressed on this site. As you know, The Vatican is a lot of different people that hold varying views about the same subjects. — A different perspective is not a “loophole.” Do you accuse everyone who disagrees with you as making use of a loophole? — Where have I tried to justify “ALL” foreign intervention?

          4. Consistency says:

            Yeah, I’m sure the Pope was referring to all the other countries that had major international torture scandals this year but not the US. It’s not like what we were doing is defined as torture by every major human rights organization in the world (and our own government until we started using it.) Youve defended the Iraq War, the assassination of Iranian scientists, the bombing of countries we have not declared war on, and the death penalty being used as a form of punishment in one of the most secure penal systems in the world. The teachings of the church are that methods of self defense may be used in very specifically defined circumstances as a last resort to defend the sanctity of life. You have used them to justify aggressive wars and punitive executions. Are you willing to depart from Republican orthodoxy on any issue? How about the PATRIOT Act or NDAA out of a Constitutional desire for self preservation? I’ve said I would support Santurom over Obama but there are more pro-life candidates. I’m not interested in defending Bush or Obama’s nearly identical policies but if you think they’re working feel free. I’m sure Romney represents the kind of principled change we need.

          5. Joe M says:

            Consistency. Extraordinary rendition and the treatment of prisoners in foreign countries was a big topic at the same time as waterboarding and when your link was posted. Google “2005 rendition” and see for yourself. — You are mischaracterizing Catholic teaching to be Libertarian dogma. The two are different in fundamental ways. Psalm 82:4 reads “Rescue the poor and needy: deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.” It does not read “Rescue only your countrymen: deliver them out of the hand of the wicked, if it is constitutional.” The failure of Libertarian views on foreign policy, in the Christian context, is to ignore grave crimes against people, because they weren’t inflicted upon Americans. You are putting the Constitution above the morals God has taught us. Do you think God wishes that only Americans deserve defense and that Iraqis being murdered by a dictatorial regime do not? — The war was only morally “pre-emptive” to people that value Iraqi life less than others. There is nothing Christian about that.

          6. Consistency says:

            You are so blinded by American propaganda that you think the US went there to help oppressed people? We funded that oppression. The US is motivated by political interests, not the greater good, as are all governments. There is a reason we haven’t tried to free those in North Korea. There is a reason the Afghanis and Iraqis want us out of their countries. It’s because now they are stuck in a brutal civil war that we precipitated in the name of freedom. The regimes in Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan are absolutely horrible but we are not interested in helping them and we could not even if we wanted to. We let the Nazis execute Jews for years until we were attacked. We are motivated by self interest. I am not tied to libertarian ideology. If we were going to actively help people in suffering for the greater good I would support it regardless of political position. I’m not tied to libertarian economics or policies. I generally distrust the government and recognize their inefficiency but I would not vote for Gary Johnson because he’s pro-choice. I am a passionate supporter of Dr. Paul because he is most consistent on life issues. You will continue to justify wars, torture, and the death penalty despite Papal teaching. Rationalize it however you want but don’t try to use the faith.

          7. Joe M says:

            Consistency. Why do you so frequently resort to ad hominem accusations? Do you not feel that simply articulating your argument is enough? — There are plenty of people in the US, government leaders included, that are motivated by the greater good. I would even go as far as to say that Obama is motivated by the greater good, as misguided as he is in how to best support it. — The majority of Iraqis polled say that they are not in a civil war. The majority of both Iraqis and Afghans polled say that any ensuing troubles were worth going through to oust Saddam and the Taliban. The majority of both report that their lives are better off than before the military action. While some are understandably disgruntled about continued military presence, majorities of both continue to report that they would prefer the US to stay longer to better establish local security capability. — Speak for yourself about self-interest and not wanting to help Iraqis, Iranians and Afghans. I do want to help and that’s why I support leaders who will confront oppressive regimes when it is justifiable and sensible to do so. — Your observation that we didn’t immediately attack Hitler when he started murdering Jews does not change that any country would have been morally justified to do so at that moment. — The military action is morally just when the regime being confronted has caused grave and lasting damage to a nation. Not by whether or not the country confronting the aggressor explains their motivations to someones liking. That Saddam brutally oppressed and murdered Iraqis on a massive scale was officially cited as a reason for the US to go. I’m not sure what else they could have done to convince you that it was a reason. Abstain from mentioning any other reasons? Wouldn’t that be irrational? — As I have pointed out, I believe that my positions on this are within the faith. That isn’t to “use the faith” for some purpose. If anything, it is you that is trying to “use the faith” to give authority to your arguments.

          8. Consistency says:

            http://www.csmonitor.com/World/terrorism-security/2012/0105/Iraq-bombings-political-crisis-raise-concerns-of-renewed-civil-war A March 2008 poll by Opinion Business Research found that 70% of Iraqis wanted foreign troops to leave. Of that group, 65% said they wanted the troops to leave “immediately or as soon as possible,” and another 13% responded “within six months.” Such sentiment has remained fairly consistent since shortly after the U.S. invasion. In April 2004, for example, a USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll found that 57% of Iraqis wanted the U.S. and British forces to “leave immediately.” 2) According to a March 2008 poll, conducted by D3 Systems and KA Research for ABC News, the BBC, ARD German TV and the Japanese broadcaster NHK, only 27% of Iraqis said the U.S. military presence was making overall security better in their country. If U.S. forces were to leave the country entirely, 46% of those polled said the security situation would improve, while 29% said it would worsen and 23% believed it would remain the same. 3) In the March 2008 poll for ABC News cited above, when Iraqis were asked about the security situation in the country as a whole over the last six months, 36% said that it had improved, 26% thought that it had worsened, and 37% said that it had stayed about the same. Within the group that thought that security had improved, 57% said either the Iraqi government, army, or police deserved the most credit for the improvement, while only 4% said U.S. forces. I understand that it is more convenient for your world view to ignore these facts in order for the US to take its rightful roll as policeman of the world. If you really want to invade a country to “liberate” people then Iran should be a bit farther down your list though. And if you really think we need to start invading countries that commit human rights abuses I would first look at the 3 million innocent babies that are murdered each year in the US. You can’t have propped up as many ruthless dictators as we have. You do realize that we funded and armed both Saddam and the Taliban right? Again since you are driven by your faith please show me an instance where your beliefs challenge your political party. Or did the Republican party consult the catechism before establishing their platform?

          9. Chris S says:

            Consistency, the data you just presented, even in spite of the biased way you presented it, did nothing to argue Joe M’s points. the Iraqis and Afgan people both believe they are better off than when oppressive governments were in charge. they all agree that there is more freedom for women and more freedom to voice concerns. That they want to remove US military involvment does not mean that they would prefer that the US never get involved. And your points do not address that you believe that nations nations should just sit back while another nation commits grave and lasting damage to another country. Heck even call it an unintended consequence that we liberated Iraq and Afganistan. But i agree with Joe M that as THE world power, we have an obligation to protect innocent people grave dictators that oppress their own people, as well as have an obligation to remove (through UN sanctions and our influence) potential threats and weapons that are clearly designated to wipe out an entire people.

          10. Joe M says:

            Thank you Chris. Indeed, a complete reading of the polls shows that Iraqis and Afghans, while not liking that troops are there, recognize that the military intervention made them better off. — Consistency. I have clarified where my positions come from. I’m not sure why you continue to lean on the mistaken assumption that I have a strict allegiance to a political party. Do I think the GOP aligns often with my faith? Yes. But, not always. Definitely more often than the Libertarian Party which includes a significant pro-choice segment, people who are simply excited by legalized drugs and prostitution, anti-semites, conspiracy nuts, etc.

  4. [...] Rick Santorum’s Greatness – Emily Stimpson, Catholic Vote [...]

  5. Levitra says:

    Thanks for your blog! I’ve just shared it.

  6. bpeters1 says:

    Mark Shea had a striking write-up on Santorum yesterday, called “Murderers for Jesus.” It begins with a quote from Santorum,
    “On occasion scientists working on the nuclear program in Iran turn up dead. I think that’s a wonderful thing, candidly.”- Rick Santorum. Shea continues, Yesterday, one of my readers was explaining that when you kill an Iranian civilian in cold blood, that’s “pre-emptive killing, not murder”. “100% Prolife” candidate Rick Santorum holds precisely this view, dissenting from two millennia of Catholic teaching which says that you may never, for any reason, deliberately take innocent human life. Our country is not at war and the Iranian scientist who just got offed was not a combatant. He was a murder victim –- which Santorum thinks is wonderful. Shea goes on to show how approving “pre-emptive” killing (on the grounds that it forestalls negative consequences which may occur later on down the road) logically leads to justification of abortion. Such reasoning strikes at the heart of the “culture of life.” Celebrating the “pre-emptive killing” of non-combatant civilians is diametrically opposed to Catholic moral and social thought. Indeed, one might recall that the deliberate taking of innocent human life is, to use a phrase found frequently around these parts, “intrinsically evil”. Moreover, for those out there who prefer an attitude of doctrinal minimalism toward the Church’s teachings, Santorum’s espousal of what is basically murder does not amount to merely failing to adhere to some “white paper” authored by a “staffer” at the USCCB. I think it’s time to recognize that Santorum has some serious flaws, CatholicVote endorsement or not.

    1. Consistency says:

      Eloquently put. I liked the article up until the line about “non-doctrinal white papers” that are apparently written by USCCB staffers. Strangely enough I feel like I’ve heard a pope or two weigh in on issues like war, torture, and the death penalty. I will say that I am impressed by Santorum’s practice of his faith in his personal life however.

      1. Emily Stimpson says:

        Fair enough to a point. In the spirit of charity, tweaked accordingly.

        1. bpeters1 says:

          This is the same candidate who has repudiated the teaching of the US bishops themselves on immigration. http://dmreg.co/vHWyim (Note: this is not to say that the current administration, which hasn’t touched immigration and has itself undertaken murderous exploits abroad, fairs any better on these issues, let alone others (of even more import). It is to say that any Catholic organization which endorses a particular candidate would do well to give an accurate description of that candidate’s relationship, warts and all, to the body of his or her Church’s teaching. Thus far I’ve almost exclusively heard Santorum’s praises sung here, and as a widely read blog, CV is doing a disservice to its Catholic readers, some of whom genuinely care about the issues in question.)

          1. Joe M says:

            bpeters1. How is a person working on an illegal weapon system for a regime that has attacked the US innocent?

          2. coot says:

            We have many scientists that work on weapons that kill humans in other countries, guilty and innocent alike. Would you condemn them as well? “Illegal weapons system”… according to whom? Even if they’re wrong, citizens of other nations are not obligated to obey our laws. Further, do you really think any of those Iranian scientists would be allowed to quit and not be punished? I remember 3 years ago watching the Iranian people beg Obama for help to oust their leader. The Iranian people are not the problem; it’s their leadership.

            Friend, once I turned off Fox News and talk radio and began reading the bible, it was easier to come to this point of view. Make it easy on yourself and just assume that everything you hear from a human being has a good chance of being a lie. Seek God’s heart for the truth.

          3. Joe M says:

            coot. If our development of weapons was against international law and we had attacked another country while they were engaged in a separate conflict or systematically opressed our own citizens, our weapons builders wouldn’t be innocent either. Iran’s development of nuclear weapons is illegal according to international law, established by the United Nations, an organization that Iran has voluntarily been a member of since 1945. — Thank you for your advice. However, don’t you think it’s odd to suggest that most peoples perspectives are lies while informing me of your own perspective? — I don’t think the view you describe on this issue is more Christian. I think it is to not recognize the ways that our enemies tactics and ambitions have evolved since the days of barbary pirates and tsars. It is also to ignore the gravity of the crimes against human dignity some regimes are guilty of. I suppose dictators need a defense too?

          4. justamom says:

            Joe M
            What regime are you referring to that has attacked the US?
            Usually all people are considered innocent until proven guilty by a court of law and even then the death penalty is normally reserved for people that have actually killed people.

          5. Joe M says:

            justamom. Iran is training and arming insurgent militias like the Badr Brigade in Iraq, who are actively fighting Iraqi and US forces. — US citizens are considered innocent until proven guilty in court. That does not expand to enemy combatants who are working for dictators.

          6. Johnny5k says:

            Nuclear Weapons are an intrinsic evil. So do we have an obligation to destroy the efforts to make them?

        2. Consistency says:

          I appreciate you perspective and honesty Emily. Unfortunately it seems to be sorely lacking in most of the media. I have great admiration for the work done here at CatholicVote but I do think there is a candidate who is far more consistent regarding church teaching on life issues. Thank you for your witness.

    2. Vincent says:

      Thanks bpeters1! That’s exactly where I was going. Let’s remember that Santorum supported a preventive war in Iraq and has been advocating the same in Iran. As Pope Benedict explained when he was still head of the CDF, preventive war is not a category in the Church’s just war doctrine.

    3. coot says:

      The way he regards these Iranian scientists (who probably would be killed if they walked off the job anyway) is exactly my biggest problem with Rick. To be fair though, most of us fall into this trap. I was so proud to call myself “pro-life” until I saw pictures of little children maimed or killed by our “righteous” bombs. It took a while, but it hit me: Was one innocent life worth all the glory and chest-pounding pride of taking out some bad guy? Jesus said we CAN sacrifice a life for the good of the many, but that life must be our own. If Rick could take off the red-colored Republican glasses, he might be able to see clearly.

      1. Joe M says:

        coot. Perhaps you would feel that there was more to taking out Saddam Hussein’s regime than “chest-pounding” had one of the hundreds of thousands of innocent people that he murdered was a relative of yours.

    4. MammaLisa90 says:

      Mark Shea should know…he’s holier than the Pope. Can we quote someone a little less self-righteous, please?

    5. AuthenticBioethics says:

      Mark Shea’s analysis is wanting to say the least: http://authenticbioethics.blogspot.com/

      Not that I agree with Santorum’s comments.

    6. AuthenticBioethics says:

      Mark Shea’s analysis is wanting to say the least:


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