Santorum plans on supporting Christians, not Americans

Religion is always a touchy subject, especially within the realm of politics. The religious and/or spiritual beliefs of candidates are always under constant scrutiny. One example of religious focus is Mitt Romney’s Mormonism or the mind-numbing controversy over Obama’s religion of choice.

Personally, the religious beliefs of a candidate do not mean very much to me. I am not a religious person, and I would never not vote for a candidate because they were Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Pastafarian, etc. What matters to me are their policies and leadership abilities. The only time religion becomes a problem is when candidates make their religious beliefs the primary focus of their campaign, and they get so far into their beliefs that they lose touch with how the political landscape around them actually operates.

The biggest offender in this year’s election is Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. I’ve been fascinated by Santorum for years. I first learned about him on “The Daily Show” in 2005 when they attacked him for his comments in which he equated homosexuality to bestiality. He fell off of the political radar after he lost his Senate seat in 2006, but came back strong with this year’s presidential race, with a series of increasingly stupid comments.

The problem with Santorum isn’t that he has strong Catholic beliefs. The issue is that Santorum is a fanatic who can’t separate his moral beliefs from what would actually be feasible policies in 2012 America. Santorum’s idea of America is shockingly outdated and hysterical. As president, he wants to give states the right to outlaw condoms if they wish. He thinks America’s biggest enemy isn’t a weak job market or terrorists, but Satan himself. Santorum said in 2008 that Satan is eating away at American’s principles. He has a habit of making things that haven’t been an issue for 50 or 60 years into serious problems that he feels must be discussed. Santorum believes that contraception is evil and that it is pulling America into a vortex of promiscuousness, rock ‘n’ roll and staying out past 9 p.m. It’s kind of strange that someone who has five kids is so terrified of sex.

But perhaps the most infuriating comments came last week, when he accused Obama of “enforcing a false theology,” and calling him a major threat to religious liberty when a mandate was passed forcing Catholic organizations to offer free birth control to female employees.

Santorum strikes me as one of those people who saw “Reefer Madness” as a kid and believed every word of it. Some critics have called his hysteria a front, that he is just pandering to the evangelical crowd to secure more votes. I disagree, his mind really is trapped in 1952 and he believes every word he says. At least he hasn’t pulled a Gingrich and started to assemble a “faith team” to combat the secularism infecting the United States. Because we all know the Founding Fathers wanted freedom of religion so politicians could persecute all of the ones they disagree with.

Santorum and politicians of his ilk are a problem because they operate under this delusion that one specific religious doctrine needs to be enforced through our legislature. It’s great that Santorum has such pronounced Catholic beliefs, but you cannot run a country that consists of so many different belief systems by enforcing your own warped, outdated sensibilities. I hate to keep beating a dead horse, but the birth control controversy is just laughable. The majority of America decided decades ago that contraceptives were acceptable, so it is really sad that Santorum lives in this fantasyland where he must keep America’s youth from the evils of fornicating.

But the comments he made about Obama were even worse. It is pretty low to question the president’s faith in public; and the notion that Obama is restricting religious liberty is hypocritical nonsense. It is okay to discriminate against gays and women in the military, but it is wrong to tell Catholic organizations to provide basic needs to their employees? One cannot control how other people live their lives and then complain when someone tries to control them. If Santorum and other Republicans want the government out of their lives, then don’t waste tax payer money on hearings discussing birth control.

Santorum needs to realize that he is running on the idea of creating a theocracy, the one thing America’s system of government was designed not to become. America is not a “Christian nation.” It is a nation for everyone no matter what their beliefs are. The lunacy of Santorum does not represent where our country needs to be, it’s where our country used to be, and has correctly evolved from. Santorum is entitled to believe what he wants, but he has to understand that America is in the 21st century, so his policies have to be as well.