Santorum and Romney Together

Rick Santorum is absolutely right when he says that the Obama administration is “hostile” to religion. We saw it in the Hosanna-Tabor case, in which the Supreme Court unanimously ruled against this White House. We see it in this HHS rule. In many ways we are at a transformational moment, where we determine if we are a country that believes that religion is a good or not. The administration that issued this mandate is weighing in on one side of a is-religion-good argument and it is not the side of the founders.

That is why the Santorum campaign’s line of attack against Mitt Romney related to the mandate issue is unfortunate. Mitt Romney was not hostile to religion when he vetoed the much talked about law that required the dispensing of emergency contraception. (Read his oped at the time here.)

Mitt Romney was not hostile to religion or religious freedom when he said, upon receiving the Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty’s Canterbury Medal:

It was not lost on the Founders that rights that were the gift of God, not of kings, would defend individual freedom from tyrants and power-seekers of all kinds. “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure,” Jefferson once asked, “when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift of God?”

John Adams offers a further perspective. Our constitution and freedom would only endure if the passions and destructive tendencies of man’s nature were constrained by the bounds of religion: “Human passions unbridled by morality and religion” he said “ . . . would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.”

This great experiment in liberty will endure and flourish only so long as we maintain the humility, faith, and character to govern ourselves.

Nor can we overlook that people of faith have a unique appreciation for freedom. Because the practice of religion requires freedom, liberty is especially precious to people of faith. They are willing to sacrifice much to protect it.

“We and God have business with each other,” even the father of pragmatism William James once observed. “In opening ourselves to his influence, our deepest destiny is fulfilled.” When a people’s “deepest destiny” can only be realized in a land of liberty, you can expect that that land and its liberty will be preserved at any cost. As indeed it has!

We have recently been visited by Pope Benedict XVI. It was interesting to me that both he and Pope John Paul II, testified of the connection between freedom and truth. Pope Benedict quoted his predecessor: “In a world without truth, freedom loses its foundation.” Calling those words “prophetic,” he said they echo in some sense the conviction of George Washington’s Farewell Address, that “religion and morality represent ‘indispensable supports’ of political prosperity.” And then he added his own conviction: “Democracy can only flourish, as your founding fathers realized, when political leaders and those whom they represent are guided by truth and bring the wisdom born of firm moral principle to decisions affecting the life and future of the nation.”

I love how plainly that thought was put by John Adams: “Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company, I mean Hell.”

I don’t mean to suggest that truth can only be found in religion or that morality exists only among believers. But I do believe, like Adams and Washington and Hamilton, that “national morality” as Hamilton put it, “require[s] the aid of . . . divinely authoritative religion.” I believe that religion is the most effective bulwark against moral relativism — which, as I have seen through my life, can be so malleable that it can label “evil good, and good evil;” as it says in Isaiah and “put darkness for light, and light for darkness.”

I also believe that religion and the general precepts of morality defended by religion make us better men and women. And on the whole, I believe we are a stronger people and a stronger nation because of faith. Religion has taught us that there is something greater than ourselves, that we are equal in the eyes of God, that we are to care for those in need, that justice is a principle of salvation, and that marriage, children and family are a source of great joy. That last teaching alone may help us escape the demographic nightmare that is haunting Europe.

The Obama administration is counting on confusion about this HHS mandate keeping the regulation in place. Those of us on the same side of the issue — opposed to it and its overreach –ought not to add to the confusion.

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6 thoughts on “Santorum and Romney Together

  1. Lynne says:

    Romney is not conservative and he’s no friend to pro-life. Just stop. We’re not buying it. I find it extremely offensive that people are still pushing Romney on this site.

  2. Kyle says:

    Ms. Lopez,

    It doesn’t matter what Romney said in a speech. What matters is what he signed into law, and that his MA adminstration refused to fight to allow Catholic institutions to protect their consciences. Massachusetts Excuses aren’t good enough.

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/1951/20/5120905

  3. Chris says:

    How about Romney’s position in his third year as Governor of MA. that he would require Catholic hospitals to distribute the abortifacient Plan B, and from which he had actually switched from the opposite position two days prior? He also told the state chapter of NARAL there he would do what he could to promote “emergency contraceptives.” He has flip-flopped so many times on such issues it is difficult not to conclude that he does not hold pro-life views on principle but whatever is politically convenient.

    Santorum is much closer to our Catholic identity and truths than Romney is. Let’s beware of the neo-con version of catholicism, which often seeks more to put a republican candidate in office, or the one they think is most electable, rather than the one who most closely holds to the truth and has the best principles.

    1. Kyle says:

      How about in the debates when Romney said, “contraception is working just fine”? I don’t understand why CV would have such a devout Romney supporter on staff. You would think, with all the evils tied to Obamacare and socialized medicine, that the writers of this blog wouldn’t support candidates who helped to make it all come about.

  4. Anne says:

    Kathryn Lopez is only trying to help Mitt Romney and stop the momentum of Santorum. Romney gave Planned Parenthood a seat at the table of decision with his Romneycare.

    I won’t be wasting my donations and time on Romney. I hope Santorum can use his three wins last night to gain more momentum and expose Romney for the phony he is.

  5. Maria Lima says:

    I believe we must be zealous to not allow anyone with an agenda of their own hijack the scenario playing itself out now on this attack against our faith. That allowance would only serve to waterdown, dilute our life and death position in all of this. This is between obama and his administration and our Catholic Church! Yes…it will in fact translate to all persons of faith in time. Yes, help, from all thos people that would preempt the attack on THEM is welcome. But what we cannot allow is for diverse political interests (this candidate or that, this ideology or that), to take OVER THE DISCUSSION AND ALTER IT!

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