Opinion: Rick Santorum’s ‘verbal ooze’ inspires new adjective
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‘[Rick] Santorum’s near-victory in the Iowa caucuses last week raised the volume on some of his more paranoid kvetchings about the moral breakdown of society -- gay marriage being a slippery slope to marrying your pet, ‘Christendom’ being under attack, birth control being ‘not OK’ even for married couples, writes Meghan Daum in this week’s column about Santorum, the ‘weird, pious wackadoo’ running for the Republican presidential nomination. She continues:
Sure, the wind that Iowa put beneath Santorum’s wings was roundly knocked out from under him in New Hampshire. But the fact that pundits spent the preceding week pretending to take seriously the notion that Santorum could end up as the nominee shows the degree to which the Christian right has taken on an almost mythic quality in GOP politics.
Here’s a sampling of comments from our discussion board.
New word: Santorumonious
WORD FOR THE DAY
Santorumonious -- maintaining an extreme and unreasonable belief in the piety or righteousness of one’s own actions or opinions, despite clear evidence to the contrary.
Santorum doesn’t speak for all Christians
Implying that Santorum speaks for all Christians is like saying that Al Sharpton speaks for all African Americans. It is offensive and just plain wrong. There is a tiny fraction of Christians to whom Santorum appeals, and yes, they vote.
Most Christians are not wackadoos, thank you very much. We are well-educated and came to our beliefs after much study and life experience. We are tolerant of other belief systems but are vocal in defending what we believe to be justice and fairness, particularly when it comes to children and the family. We are deeply protective of the innocence of children and the defenseless unborn. We promote and practice adoption as an option to abortion in unplanned pregnancies. We promote contraception but prefer abstinence in the case of unmarried people.
Frankly, we are tired of the vocal minority getting so much media attention when so many of us are working daily in the trenches of reality at our churches and in community organizations with people, feeding them, finding them homes, helping single moms, mentoring youth, and providing alternatives for pregnant women on a daily basis. The media ignores the day-in, day-out charitable work of Christian organizations because it doesn’t serve their agenda of screaming-meemie crazy people with picket signs. So we quietly continue to do what we do and know that what we do serves people where they need it most.
Santorum’s verbal ooze
It would give me some pleasure to see Mr. Santorum deprived of some of his supposedly righteous ammunition against liberal causes. One of the ‘jewels’ in Santorum’s thinking concerns the meaning and purpose of marriage. It seems to me, if we were just to ‘unhitch’ marriage from religion, arguments over it would gradually begin to disappear. Perhaps I touched a nerve, but I cannot see the connection between these two. One is a philosophy, the other is a practical arrangement invented by our society with nothing ‘philosophical’ intended.
Over many years, I have seen Mr. Santorum spill his verbal ooze in the House Chamber. His outlandish revelations of the ‘truth’ as he sees it have caused many a Congressman, and no doubt not just a few TV viewers to gently nod off into sweet dreams. The reason why I avoid mentioning specific Santorum rantings is the same as Darwin’s unwillingness to arbitrate ‘Evolution;’ it is totally pointless and it fits the remark: ‘My mind is made up; don’t confuse me with facts.’
*For clarity purposes, spelling errors in the above comments have been corrected.
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--Alexandra Le Tellier