Saturday, April 07, 2012

Rick Santorum, the Opus Dei candidate, still taking a shot at the Pennsylvania primary?

I've just discovered the Newsy Politics service, which provides brief news roundups at its YouTube channel. This one reports on the state of the Rick Santorum campaign All Eyes on Pennsylvania Primary 04/06/2012:



Whether or not Santorum steps down, he has done a considerable amount to radicalize the rhetoric of the Republican Party and push it further in its seemingly irreversible spiral toward more and more rightwing extremist positions. He's also raised the profile of fundamentalist Catholicism in the Republican Party. It's probably not too much to say that he's for the moment the main face of the Opus Dei faction in the Republican Party. And at this point, I think of the divisions in the Republican Party as among various religious factions. It's silly at this point to talk about "moderate" Republicans, because to the extent that such exotic creatures still exist, they have been reduced to political insignificance in today's Christian Republican White People's Party.

On Santorum's Opus Dei perspective, see Stephanie McCrummen and Jerry Markon, Rick Santorum has embraced Spanish priest behind devout Catholic group Opus Dei Washington Post 03/19/2012, which also describes Santorum's personal religious history in the context of the changes in the Catholic Church during his lifetime. This passages illustrates, especially for Catholics and others familiar with the symbolism, how extreme his religious beliefs are:


When Santorum is home in Virginia, he attends St. Catherine of Siena in Great Falls, one of the few churches in the diocese that host a monthly Opus Dei spiritual meeting. A priest from the group comes in to hear confessions. Santorum often attends the noon Mass in Latin.

“We are all sinners,” the Rev. Alexander R. Drummond said one recent Sunday, faulting Catholics for accepting a world in which “every possible sin [is] exalted.”

In a 2008 speech at Ave Maria University in Florida, Santorum strongly echoed that idea.

He said that Satan has used “the great vices of pride, vanity and sensuality” to corrupt universities, politics and even most Christian churches, except one.

“You say, ‘The Catholic Church?’ No,” Santorum said, explaining that Satan aimed at the country’s Protestant roots. ". . . If you look at mainline Protestantism in this country, it is in shambles. It is gone from the world of Christianity."
From that quote, it's not exactly clear whether Santorum meant that the Catholic Church was the "except one", or whether he was referring to a more general Christian metaphor of the True Church of true believers. But his comment that "mainline Protestantism" in the US "is gone from the world of Christianity" is very clear.

And what kind of vision is the Opus Dei candidate projecting? We get a glimpse in Santorum targets Obama in 'horror ad' Aljazeera English 04/07/2012, which also reminisces about other famous fear ads from other Presidential elections:



For the record, I'm a big fan of the "Daisy Girl" ad from 1964 that is shown in that piece. Jerry Brown used a very similar one in his unsuccessful Senate campaign against Pete Wilson in 1982.

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