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Rick Santorum: American Ayatollah joins forces with Taliban-like Southern Baptist Convention

by Michael R. Burch, an editor and publisher of Holocaust and Nakba poetry

As I write this article on Leap Day, Tennessee conservatives are leaping from their seats to cheer for Rick Santorum at Nashville's Belmont University, which recently fired a soccer coach, Lisa Howe, when she came out of the closet. The majority of Santorum’s most enthusiastic supporters are Bible-believing Protestants. But I wonder how many happily-married-and-faithful Protestants understand that, according to Santorum, they are in league with the Devil, homosexuals, prostitutes and adulterers because they have sex for intimacy and pleasure, rather than for purely procreational purposes? Yes, Santorum really is that irrational, and due to what seems to be some sort of exotic obsessive-compulsive disorder, he can’t stop talking about sex, contraception and religion, even though doing so will surely cost him any chance at the presidency. Why? Because American women will not allow him to return them to the Dark Ages.

(I would like to note for the record that I am merely speaking from the point of view of orthodox Protestantism and have no personal moral objections to adults having consensual sex however they prefer. I prefer the golden rule of Wicca: "An' it do no harm, do as thou wilt.")

Santorum is a cult of one in American politics. But the political figure he most closely resembles is Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini: a rigid moralist with prehistoric views about women and sex whose puritanical regime dismantled family planning centers and ordered health care professionals not to advocate contraception. Sound familiar?

Yes, Santorum really does want to ban contraceptives. He admitted this himself, saying: "One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is ... the dangers of contraception ... It's not okay. It's a license to do things in a sexual realm that is [sic] counter to how things are supposed to be." In other words, Americans should breed mindlessly like rabbits, leaving how many babies they have to the whims of chance, or give up sex altogether. Why? Because like the Ayatollah Khomeini, Rick Santorum knows the mind of God, intimately.

The contraception question is quite simple: do American women have the right to decide if and when to become mothers? Right-wing chauvinists are increasingly and stridently exclaiming “No!” as they attack women’s rights, contraception and Planned Parenthood with typical alpha male bravado. For Protestant clerics like Richard Land and Albert Mohler of the Taliban-like Southern Baptist Convention to side with the Vatican is hypocritical, because they would never say that the religious liberty of Mormons should result in polygamy being legalized, or that pagans should be allowed to sacrifice children to the “gods.” But all is fair in the hole-y war against Barack Obama and the fairer sex. Now the GOP risks alienating the better half of its voters by foolishly suggesting that chauvinistic men can legislate medieval “morality” at the expense of women’s health and happiness.

The Republican party risks imploding over contraception and religion. Yes, the Bible commands "Be fruitful and multiply." But in a plethora of verses it also explicitly commands racism, slavery, sex slavery, infanticide, matricide, ethnic cleansing and genocide. If we no longer take Yahweh's advice on other social issues, why pretend that the nomadic goatherds who claimed to speak for him were oracles of divine wisdom on matters of human sexuality and reproduction?

Rick Santorum stands firm on sex and contraception: these are matters for God, speaking through the Roman Catholic Church, to dick-tate (please pardon the pun) to the unwashed masses. Therefore, sex for purposes of intimacy and pleasure is strictly verboten. Sieg heil, mein Führer!

Mitt Romney is more ambivalent, waffling between a sane perspective (contraception is a matter of personal conscience) and irrationality (only God has the right to decide whether loose collections of stem cells are fully fledged human beings from the instant of conception, and the Pope and Rick Santorum speak for him, despite the rather obvious problem that they consider using condoms to be a "sin," meaning that they condemn millions of young people to contract diseases like AIDS).

Incredibly, Rick Santorum also believes that our government has the right to monitor what we do in bed. In an interview with the Associated Press, he opined that the "right to privacy ... doesn't exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution." Since he’s opposed to all forms of non-procreational sex, it seems he would prefer for the government to monitor married couples' sexual activities to make sure they aren’t defying the “will of God” by “fooling around” when they’re not trying to make babies. Since he wants a smaller, less intrusive federal government, in his infinite wisdom he bequeaths the power to monitor and illegalize contraception and the less-Godly forms of sex to state governments.

Santorum obviously can’t help himself. He babbles compulsively in public about Satan, “spiritual warfare” (obviously to be led by him) and states having the right to ban contraceptives, which would force sexually active American women to remain continually pregnant until they reach menopause. But how many of those women will vote for him in the general election, once they understand that his worldview is that of a medieval inquisitor preparing to burn them at the stake?

Unlike JFK, who in a 1960 speech firmly advocated separation of church and state, Santorum clearly wants his chosen religion to dictate morality to the masses. In fact, he recently said that Kennedy’s speech made him want to “throw up.”

Yes, Santorum is a straight shooter who tells it like it is, but then most KKK members are brutally honest about their disdain for people with darker skin. Santorum has similar disdain for “liberals,” by which he doesn’t mean just gays, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists, but millions of married and faithful Protestants (and probably most Catholics, since the majority of Catholics now use contraceptives and have sex as they please).

Santorum would be Church Lady hilarious if he wasn’t two steps from the White House. Now we know how free-thinking Iranians felt when they realized Khomeini might actually rise to power in Iran.

It is truly ironic for so many American Protestants to support Santorum when in a 2008 speech delivered at Ave Maria college, he said that “mainstream, mainline” Protestantism has been seduced by the “Father of Lies” to such an extent that Protestants are no longer Christians but have fallen prey to “vanity” and “pride” (both hallmarks of the Devil).

Like the Ayatollah Khomeini, Rick Santorum considers mainstream America to be the “Great Satan.”

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