Senator Santorum: Secular Extremism's Top Target
By Michael J. Gaynor
Who do the secular extremist Democrats dread most?
Apparently Senator Rick Santorum, Republican of Pennsylvania.
What's the evidence?
First, the Democrats are preparing to run Robert Casey, their token pro-lifer, against him.
Hey, it's the Democrats' best chance to beat Senator Santorum.
Second, Senator Ted Kennedy, the so-called "liberal lion" and "conscience of the Senate," is targeting Senator Santorum, on the Senate floor yet, about a 2002 article.
If you check the featured authors at Catholic Online (http://www.catholic.org/featured/authors.php), you will find Senator Santorum listed and you can access each of four articles by him posted there.
As for Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, the nominally Catholic Senators from Massachusetts who sold their souls to the pro-abortion forces, neither of them has posted a single article there.
But, Senator Kennedy found time to take the Senate floor and attack Senator Santorum for being self-righteous and insensitive.
What do Mary Jo Kopechne's parents think about that? (Ms. Kopechne drowned after a car driven by Senator Kennedy (who escaped) went off a bridge and into a pond.)
Senator Kennedy is outraged by an article by Senator Santorum posted at Catholic Online (www.catholic.org) in 2002.
The article linked Boston's liberalism to the sex abuse scandal in its Catholic diocese.
A 2003 investigation by Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas Reilly found that at least 1,000 children in the state were abused by more than 235 priests and church workers between 1940 and 2000. The Archdiocese of Boston has paid out more than $120 million to settle abuse claims since 1950.
Senator Santorum suggested that that promoting alternative lifestyles encourages such aberrant behavior as priests molesting children.
What exactly did Senator Santorum write that brought down upon him the wrath of the ardent defender of "alternative lifestyles" and abortion? ''Priests, like all of us, are affected by culture."
Isn't that true?
Aren't priests human?
''When the culture is sick, every element in it becomes infected."
Is their a priestly immunity that I don't know about but Senator Kennedy does?
"While it is no excuse for this scandal, it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm.''
The truth hurts, doesn't it, Senator Kennedy?
And it is NOT an excuse.
Ever alert, Senator Kennedy waited nearly three years to call upon Senator Santorum to retract his remarks and apologize to the people of Boston and Massachusetts and the nation.
''The people of Boston are to blame for the clergy sexual abuse? That is an irresponsible, insensitive and inexcusable thing to say,'' Senator Kennedy declared.
But Senator Santorum did not blame the people of Boston!
Don't buy a used car from Senator Kennedy?
Especially a water-logged one.
Senator Kerry, the only Catholic to be nominated for President by the Democrats and lose the Catholic vote instead of win about four of every five Catholic votes, commented, ''As a prosecutor in Massachusetts, I saw some of the worst criminals who had abused children and not once did I hear them hide behind Senator Santorum's bizarre claim that the state was responsible for their acts.''
Don't buy a used car from him either.
Senator Santorum did not blame the state.
And the man with a lower IQ and a lower Yale grade point average than President Bush who kept his records secret and shamelessly pretended otherwise before Election Day 2004 and beyond probably is smart enough to know it.
But don't take either my word or Senator Kennedy's word.
Read what Senator Santorum actually wrote:
"Fishers of Men
"By the Honorable Senator Rick Santorum
"Like most American Catholics, I have followed the recent sex scandals in the Church with profound sympathy for victims, revulsion over priests who prey on minors and frustration at the absence of hierarchical leadership. Unlike most, I have been visited by the gift of hope; for I see in this fall an opportunity for ecclesial rebirth and a new evangelization of America. This 'new evangelization,' advocated strenuously by Pope John Paul II, has the potential for restoring confidence in the priesthood while empowering all American Catholics.
"The most obvious change must occur within American seminaries, many of which demonstrate the same brand of cultural liberalism plaguing our secular universities. My hope was rekindled last week as our American Cardinals proposed from Rome an 'apostolic visitation' of seminaries emphasizing 'the need for fidelity to the Church's teaching, especially in the area of morality.' It is an arduous task. However, the Pope made it clear last week that he expects the strong appeal of the Cardinals to be followed by decisive Episcopal action.
"It is startling that those in the media and academia appear most disturbed by this aberrant behavior, since they have zealously promoted moral relativism by sanctioning 'private' moral matters such as alternative lifestyles. Priests, like all of us, are affected by culture. When the culture is sick, every element in it becomes infected. While it is no excuse for this scandal, it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm.
"The cultural change needed cannot end with our seminaries. Most of the American Cardinals, while strong defenders of the faith , are from a different era with only a few responding to the new demands our decaying culture has place upon them. With God's grace, a new hierarchy must emerge that will be both faithful in thought and courageous in confronting all infidelity within the Church. Such Church leaders have a great example in Pope John Paul II's battle with communism's attempt to destroy the Church and human dignity. A new hierarchy must similarly fight against an array of 'isms'-moral relativism, cultural liberalism-inside and outside of the Church.
"Most importantly, I hope this crisis in the clergy will remind the laity of the call of Vatican II, a call the Pope has re-echoed throughout his incredible papacy. This is not just the hierarchy's church; it belongs to all the baptized. Pope John Paul II reminds us time and again of Luke's Gospel: 'Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.' We are all called to be 'fishers of men.' Both clergy and laity have mutually supportive and indispensable roles in the 'new evangelization' through administration of the sacraments and proclamation of the Gospel and all Church teachings.
"Even now we witness this 'new evangelization' through many ecclesial lay movements such as Opus Dei, the Neocatechumenate, Focolare, Regnum Christi, Communion and Liberation. The laity across America is also demanding faithful Catholic schools and colleges. The key to success, as the Pope stated in his 1999 exhortation, The Church in America, is to be 'formed in the truths and values of the Church's social teaching and in the basic notions of a theology of the laity.' A renewed, united effort of clergy and laity will transform the Church. That this does not already occur belies the greatest systemic failure of the Church in America where so many cradle Catholics have left the Church or go 'unchurched' because of exposure to uninspired, watered down versions of our faith by those with deficient seminary training. In light of recent events, the laity must guide them back.
"We as the Church, the people of God, cannot and should not leave the mission of the Church to the clergy alone, nor should our role be limited to overseeing priestly training and conduct. The laity must assist the whole Church in America reclaim our nominally Catholic colleges, schools, hospitals and social welfare agencies for the sake of our souls. The Pope reminds us that Catholic educational institutions make possible 'a wide-ranging evangelizing effort as long as there is a clear will to impart truly Christian education. Many Catholic social service agencies, while serving the human needs, have been co-opted by a secular culture. The Pope calls them also to 'faithfully reflect the attitude of Jesus who came to proclaim good news to the poor.'
"As a Catholic U.S. Senator, I am proud to see the Church, often alone, take one courageous stand after another on the great moral issues of the day: abortion, cloning, third world debt relief, AIDS and the breakdown of the family to name a few. The Catholic Church remains true to the teachings of Jesus Christ and the dictates of the natural law. Through 2000 years, the Church, built upon rock, has survived every arrow sinful man has shot at her from within and without. Another arrow has been loosed from within, piercing the Body of Christ. The time is now for the laity to come to her aid. We must heed the call of Christ through his Vicar on earth: Climb into Peter's boat and go into the deep!"
Senator Santorum has climbed into Peter's boat and gone into the deep, thereby becoming a target of the secular extremists who despise faithful Catholic and laud nominal ones.
Senator Kennedy, who saved himself, but not Mary Jo (no "Fisher of Men," he), is now out to drown Senator Santorum's political career.
With Senator Kerry's help.
Senator Santorum 's other articles at Catholic Online (www.catholic.org) must also irritate the Senators Kennedy and Kerry.
One is the speech Senator Santorum gave on The Culture of Life World Youth Day, July 22, 2002, in Toronto Canada, explaining and condemning partial-birth abortion and baring his soul in a way Senator Kennedy cannot even conceive:
"I spoke about the fact that my wife and I were expecting another child. This child was 20 weeks into the pregnancy. A week later, my wife went in for a routine sonogram and found out that our child had a birth defect and was going to die. I was devastated. I couldn't understand how God could allow this when I was trying to do his will both in my private life and in my professional career.
"We fought for almost two weeks to save his life but failed. Gabriel Michael, whom we named after the two archangels, was born in October of 1996. He lived for two hours in my arms and died. But before he died, I baptized him. This child was blessed because for those two hours he knew only love from his mother and father and had received God's grace.
"The next morning, I got a call from a friend who told me: 'You are blessed; you have a son in heaven.' Before that, I never really realized that as a father the most important thing you can do for your children is to help them know, love and serve the Lord--and ultimately, get them to heaven. Now, I have a son in heaven. It was a hard lesson. That lesson has turned into a mission for my life to help others see the sanctity of life and the beauty of God."
Perhaps Senators Kennedy and Kerry should read that carefully.
And especially this:
"This tragic experience also showed me how important it is to integrate your private and public life. I really believe you cannot check your faith at the door like a hat or a coat. This applies if you are a United States Senator or if you are a construction worker. Whatever your profession, your faith has to be an integral part of your life. However, most people embrace politically correct positions in public even if they contradict their personal views and faith. For Catholics, in America, this dates back to 1962, when our first and only Catholic President, John F. Kennedy, gave a long speech in Houston, Texas and talked about how he was not going to submit to the Pope or to his faith in public office. He believed faith is a private matter. Unfortunately, he made it acceptable for Catholics, and for most Christians in America, to separate their private and public lives. This resulted in the legitimization of private morality bereft of any public bearing.
"This departure between private and public morality gained ground in the 1960's. It is important to trace the serious effects of the cultural revolution of the 60s that embraced a private morality separated from public life. This cultural revolution usurped the notion of moral absolutes. They young pioneers of this revolution fought for sexual liberation and for women's rights. The mantra was: 'If it feels good, do it!' They pushed to change laws so that they wouldn't have to suffer the consequences of their behavior. Without any success, they tried to de-criminalize drug use and alcohol use and lower drinking ages. The result of the sexual revolution and the women's liberation movement was freedom of choice, abortion, no-fault divorce and the repeal of sodomy laws.
"There have definitely been positive advances for women. Unfortunately, the effects of the cultural revolution have been disastrous for other areas of society. The divorce rate has doubled. Domestic abuse and child abuse have also doubled. Illegitimate births have gone from 5% in 1962 to 1 out of 3 in America. A third of all pregnancies end in abortion. A child conceived in America today has only a one in 4 chance to live to age 18 in an intact two-parent family. When abortion was legalized in 1973 there were 700,000 abortions. It peaked in the early 90 's at almost 1.5 million abortions. Since 1973 in America there have been over 42 million children whose lives were snuffed out by abortionists.
"Today, I challenge you to join the revolution of a Culture of Life. This revolution will be much more difficult than the revolution of the 60's, but it will be much more rewarding. The Culture of Death that suffocates this generation is even more toxic than the decadent culture of the 60s. This culture war will be fought on many fronts. The first and foremost battlefront is to reclaim the sanctity of marriage. This means opposing same-sex marriage and reinforcing the dignity and importance motherhood. Promoting abstinence to teenagers is also central to fighting the scourge of abortion and standing up for the sanctity of human life. Many of you are already engaged in this battle, working in youth groups, in churches and in crisis pregnancy centers.
"I challenge all of you, young and old, to live your faith in all that you do and say. You must be counter-cultural. You must be rebels of faith. I challenge you to pursue not what feels good, but what God says is good. You must live your faith at school, at work and at home. Ultimately, you must live the culture of life by being faithful to the moral teachings of Jesus Christ. Your witness to Christ will be criticized by your peers, for very few have the courage to live their convictions in public.
"Do not be afraid to be intolerant. Tolerance is probably considered the greatest virtue in America today. It is a virtue because according to the popular culture, if you are tolerant you can let other people do whatever they want. Do not be afraid to be intolerant of sin and evil because you fear being ostracized by your peers. Intolerance does not mean hating your neighbor. It is just the opposite. It is caring for his soul by teaching him the error of his ways. But always remember, you must hate the sin but love the sinner. We are all sinners. We all fall short every single day. Don't let the Devil trick you into thinking that because you fall, you cannot be a moral leader. Look at David, Peter, Mary Magdalene, Paul, and St. Augustine. It is precisely because of your falls that you can sympathize with others and lead them to a higher ground.
"Finally, I'll read the last few words of my wife's book. During the partial birth abortion debate a senator was thanking the women who had had partial birth abortions, for coming forward with their stories. My wife writes: 'They are crying. They are crying because they do not understand how senators can take away an option. They are crying because they do not believe those senators truly understand what this meant for their families. Daddy said in response, 'The senators said she hears the cries of women outside this chamber. We would be deafened by the cries of the children who are not here to cry because of this procedure.'
"The Washington Post described what happened next: 'Republican speaker Rick Santorum turned to face the opposition and in a high, pleading voice cried out: "Where do we draw the line? Some people have likened this procedure to an appendectomy. This is not an appendix!" he shouted pointing at a drawing of a fetus. "This is not a blob of tissue, it's a baby! It's a baby!" And then, impossibly, in an already hushed gallery, in one of those moments when the floor of the senate looks like a stage set...the cry of a baby pierced the room and echoed across the chamber from an outside hallway. No mention was made of the cry, but for a few seconds, no one spoke at all.' My wife finishes her book by saying: 'Coincidence? Perhaps. A visitor's baby was crying outside the gallery outside the door of the senate, just as the door of the senate was opened and then quickly closed. Or maybe it was a cry from a son, whose voice we never heard, but whose life has changed us forever.'
"In conclusion, let me assure you that God is faithful. I am living proof of this even though I am not always faithful to Him. Remember that when you open your heart and allow Him in, He can do wondrous things.
"Thank you, and God bless you.
The Senate would be a better place without the likes of Senators Kennedy and Kerry, who claim that their alleged religious values are not supposed to inform their public policy positions (except, of course, when it is convenient that they do).
The departure of Senator Santorum would be a terrible loss.
Senator Santorum's other articles at Catholic Online (www.catholic.org) called for the preservation of the institution of marriage and warned that the United States Supreme Court's legalization of sodomy paved the way for so-called same-sex marriage and opposed cloning and warned against "reducing people to a genetic or statistical profile" and "denying them the full respect they deserve as human beings."
No wonder the secular extremists are out to get Senator Santorum!
Even if it means supporting another pro-lifer (without the benefit of Senator Santorum's leadership position and seniority, of course).
Michael J. Gaynor
95 Darrow Lane
Greenlawn, New York 11740-2803
(631) 757-9452 (tel)
(631) 754-3437 (fax)
Michael J. Gaynor
http://www.michnews.com NY, US
Michael J. Gaynor - attorney, 631 757-9452
Senator Rick Santorum, secular extremism, Senator Ted Kennedy
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