Silence on Santorum is Deafening: Republican Establishment Sends Signals
America, ladies and gentlemen, is a moral enterprise at its core.
The Silence on Santorum is DEAFENING - in the media and among these establishment Republicans. Have you seen a photo of Rick Santorum in news reports when the remaining field of Republican candidates is discussed? Or, consider when the Pundit class assembles on the screen to banter about the emerging field of Republican challengers to the President - be it on MSNBC to mock them or on FOX to pontificate about them - have you even heard the name of Senator Rick Santorum mentioned?
I have reached a conclusion as to what is behind the effort to pretend that Rick Santorum is no longer running for the Presidency of the United States. The chattering class on the "left" know he is a formidable candidate from a working class family, right on the issues most Americans care about, a formidable communicator - and that he possesses the courage to take on their bullies in a brutal campaign. Lacking the intellectual ability or integrity to take the Senator's positions on and debate them in the public square, they mock and belittle him or simply fail to mention his name. However, what I find even more annoying is the reaction of the Republican establishment; those who call themselves "right". The ones who kept people like me away from the Republican Party for generations. They seemed to like his economic conservatism. However, they most certainly do not like his moral coherence. All his talk about protecting human life from conception through natural death; his defense of marriage and the family and society founded upon it... doesn't make for comfortable conversation at the club. So, they have pulled the equivalent of the little child who closes his eyes and pretends someone is no longer in the room. On Saturday April 9, 2011 in Greenville County, South Carolina, Rick Santorum signaled where he was headed in his campaign. He was the last to speak to a small gathering of Republicans and said, "We have people talking in our party that we need to go away from the moral issues. America, ladies and gentlemen, is a moral enterprise at its core." He is absolutely correct. For example, our financial problems are, at their root, the bad fruit of our growing loss of a moral compass. His performance at the first Republican debate was excellent. His answers were clear and his consistency of vision excited millions like me who seek moral coherence in a candidate and refuse to buy the alleged "separation" between "social" and all other issues. The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued an instruction back in 2002 entitled a "Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life." It called upon Catholics to be "morally coherent" in the exercise of their citizenship. Many Catholics who hold public office in the United States have hidden their moral incoherence behind what I call the "Kennedy Mistake."
Former Senator Rick Santorum is different. The speech he gave in Houston on Thursday, September 9, 2010 entitled "Charge to Revive the Role of Faith in the Public Square" exposed the Kennedy Mistake and offered a different model for political participation which is morally coherent. Santorum is not embarrassed to speak of morality because he knows that it forms the core of a truly free society. We are living under what Pope Benedict XVI called a "Dictatorship of Relativism." The culture stumbles, drunken on the false notion of freedom as giving some people a "right" to kill the innocent, divorced from norms to guide the exercise of human choice and govern our behavior. When there is a wholesale effort to deny the existence of anything objectively true which can be known by all and form the basis of our common life, then there is no real freedom. Instead, we teeter on the brink of anarchy. Senator Rick Santorum offers a corrective which is long overdue with courage and clarity.
He showed his courage when he refused to back down in the face of blistering attacks against him for a free flowing and insightful interview he gave in January to CNS news. The perpetrators of those attacks tried to take his accurate exposition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s references to the Natural Law in his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" and use them against Santorum. In that letter Dr. King cited the Catholic Natural Law tradition to argue the Natural Law as the basis of fundamental human rights. I wrote back then - and reassert now - that Dr. King would have agreed with Senator Santorum. The Senator responded to the attacks against him with these words, "For decades certain human beings were wrongly treated as property and denied liberty in America because they were not considered persons under the Constitution. Today other human beings, the unborn of all races, are also wrongly treated as property and denied the right to life for the same reason; because they are not considered persons under the constitution. I am disappointed that President Obama, who rightfully fights for civil rights, refuses to recognize the civil rights of the unborn in this country." That is courage in operation. In 1947, C.S. Lewis addressed the decline of his beloved Britain in "The Abolition of man: How Education Develops Man's Sense of Morality." He warned of the relativist trends in the British educational system and reasserted the timeless moral truths of Christianity. Lewis called for a return to the classical Christian vision of the human person and the cultivation of virtues as the path to true human flourishing and freedom. He defined what he called "the chest" in this work as the "higher emotions organized by trained habit into stable sentiments or character." He wrote that without this "chest", men and women devolve into self idolatry losing their human dignity and true freedom. They become slaves to disordered appetites. The West is in a mess, just as Lewis warned. With its decline we face the eclipse of true freedom. Lewis' words in this book are timely: "And all the time - such is the tragicomedy of our situation - we continue to clamor for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. You can hardly open a periodical without coming across the statement that what our civilization needs is more 'drive,' or dynamism, or self-sacrifice, or 'creativity.' In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful." Rick Santorum is a man with a chest. No matter how hard the Republican establishment tries to pretend he is not in this campaign by closing their eyes and attempting to shut out any coverage of his campaign, they will not succeed. The silence on Santorum is deafening and the Republican Establishment is sending their signals. Rick Santorum is not intimidated and his courageous and inspiring campaign continues.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
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