I’ve written extensively on my firmly held belief that the Republicans are waging a war on women. But I’ve been quiet on the recent nonsense about contraception and the Catholic Church, a political wedge issue with no merit other than to drive voters, who might otherwise vote in favor of Democrats, into the desperate arms of some pretty weak Republican presidential candidates.
Yesterday on Meet the Press, Rick Santorum essentially said that all the angst for him was personal, that he’d never support a policy that would deny birth control to women. He claimed to be a good Catholic, who agreed with the teachings of his church.
Yesterday my mail box was filled with posts about Santorum’s hypocrisy during his life, including one post that detailed all of the beliefs of the Catholic Church that Republicans do not support. Most of the E-mails concerned his wife and things that have happened to her in her life. I did not fact check any of them, so forgive me if I am guilty of repeating untruths.
One story, which should have nothing to do with Rick Santorum’s bid for the presidency, claims that Karen Santorum lived with an abortion doctor, many years her senior, without benefit of marriage. It claims that Karen left the good doctor because she wanted children and Rick was attractive enough as a sperm donor to jettison her belief that abortion might be a necessary procedure at times.
The other story is tragic and can only cause pain to the Santorums when they see it replayed in a presidential campaign. It claims that Karen Santorum once had a late term abortion that saved her life. Nothing in the story indicates that the Santorums blithely aborted a child. It was a procedure that saved Karen’s life after she became infected by an earlier procedure, which was an attempt to save the life of the fetus. Nonetheless, the procedure that reportedly saved Karen Santorum’s life is one that many of the out of touch men, including Rick Santorum himself, say they would deny women.
Of course these stories are in the news because Santorum’s star is rising as a GOP candidate for president. Santorum is a Catholic. Catholic Bishops picked a fight with President Obama. Can anyone say wedge issue?
Jonathan Turley blogged today about how all of this Catholic V. Contraception angst has little to do with the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition on a state religion. You should read the entire post yourself, but here are some quotes:
A black man, accused of being secretly a Muslim, a socialist and an illegitimate pretender to the presidential throne, has accomplished what all of the post-Vatican II reconciliation committees and joint worship services and inter-faith conferences could not.
No longer will the Pope be called the Antichrist, nor Holy Mother Church the Whore of Rome.
Christians have reunited under the banner of Richard “Coeur de Lion” Santorum to defeat apostasy and reclaim America for Christendom. The enemy this time? An HHS regulation requiring most health insurance plans to include FDA approved forms of contraception in coverage for preventive health services.
The newest crusade, like its historical predecessors, is largely fueled by the bad faith of its leaders and the ignorance of its foot soldiers.
It has never been the law that the First Amendment exempts religion from all civil authority. The First Amendment “embraces two concepts,-freedom to believe and freedom to act. The first is absolute but, in the nature of things, the second cannot be.” Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296, 303-304 (1940)