Skip to comments.Rick Santorum, the Unborn Deserve Better from You [Catholic Caucus]
Posted on 06/12/2011 7:19:20 PM PDT by Mary Kochan
In case you missed Meet the Press Sunday morning:
Blah, blah, blah, job growth... unemployment numbers. Blah, blah, blah, recession... debt reduction. Blah, blah, blah recovery... tax credits. Blah, blah, blah health care... social security. Blah, blah, blah, Democrats... Republicans. Blah.
And so it went up to the interview with Rick Santorum and through the first 12 minutes and 41 seconds of his appearance, when David Gregory finally got around to asking about something vital, critical, pivotal the number one make or break issue for any candidate, the single most important issue facing our country, an issue important in the way that the consignment of Jews to gas chambers was important to Nazi Germany.
Gregory: One more question on abortion, an issue you care deeply about. I, I want to be clear on this. Do you believe that there should be any legal exceptions for rape or incest when it comes to abortion?
Theres the pitch. Santorum could have hit it right out of the park. And there wasnt any reason not to. The format was going to actually allow him time to answer (I mean, how often does that happen?) so he wasnt under the pressure of having to give a 5-second response. He was not under any obligation to stay within the frame Gregory put on the issue and Im sorry, but at this point in his career, with his experience, there is simply no excuse for him falling into liberal rhetorical traps on national television. The first trap was in Gregorys insertion of you believe into the question. It was like he programmed Rick Santorum, so that once Santorum started answering, he could not get away from saying I believe, even gratuitously adding at one point that he was just giving his opinion.
Santorum: I believe that life begins at conception, and that that life should be cut--should be guaranteed under the Constitution. That is a person, in my opinion.
Gregory: So even in a case of rape or incest, that would be taking a life?
Santorum: That would be taking a life, and, and I believe that, that any doctor who performs an abortion--that--I would advocate that any doctor that performs an abortion should be criminally charged for doing so. I don't--I've never supported criminalization of abortion for mothers, but I do for people who perform them. I believe that life is sacred. It's one of those things in the Declaration of Independence. We are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, and the first is life. And I believe that that life should be protected at the moment it is a human life. And at conception it is biologically human, and it's alive. It's a human life, it should be a person under the Constitution.
Lets avert our eyes from this embarrassing performance a moment to discuss why I believe is falling into a trap:
1. Your personal beliefs, if that is all they are, are not the stuff upon which to ask other men to depend. They are not the stuff upon which to base law, or leadership, or morality, because asserting a belief does not provide a basis for it, does not indicate why you believe it or why anyone else should.
2. Your personal beliefs, in so far as that is what they are, are no more valid than the personal beliefs of anyone else. There is no warrant to ask others to conform their own beliefs or actions to them. Listeners will merely shrug and think, So what. Who cares what he believes? He has no business trying to control my life with his beliefs.
3. You/I believe is a kind of code that tells the Left-trained media-lapping public that what comes next is a religious statement. The unspoken part of the phrase is as a Catholic. The point is that every time Rick Santorum said, I believe, he might just a well have said, As a Catholic, I believe.... It signals irrelevance, like holding up a sign telling everyone in the audience, Ignore the sectarian ramblings to follow. And that of course is the Lefts intended effect. The second trap Gregory set was in stating his question in such a way as to move the sympathy of the audience to the victim of the rape or incest and to negate the very real existence of an innocent third party the unborn baby. Santorum should have made that unborn baby at least as real to his listeners as Gregory was making the victims of rape and incest by his question.
Santorum could have leaned forward; he could have looked animated; he could have spoken with a passion welling up from heartfelt recognition that lives depend upon the words I next utter and he could have said things like this:
David, we have thousands of citizens in this country who were conceived by rape or incest. They are valuable human beings who did not deserve to be punished for the crimes of their fathers. Do you think we should be sending the message to them that they should not exist that they are worthless garbage because of how they were conceived?
David, in 1977, in the case of Coker v. Georgia, the Supreme Court decided it was cruel and unusual punishment to administer the death penalty for rape. If it is cruel and unusual punishment to kill the perpetrator of the rape, how can it be anything other than cruel and a horrible injustice to take the life of the innocent baby conceived by rape or incest through no fault of its own?
David, feminists have correctly pointed out for many years that rape is about more than just sex it is about abuse of power. In rape, a man uses his superior physical strength that he should be using to protect women to violently overpower a woman. We should not be sending a pregnant woman who has been raped the message that we expect her now to turn around and use her superior power over her unborn baby to take his or her life instead of protecting and nurturing that baby. She and the baby are both victims of the rapist and we should love seek healing for them both.
David, nothing has empowered and sheltered those who commit rape and incest more than the practices of Planned Parenthood. Girls who have been victims of incest need protection, not an abortion that covers up the evidence of the crime and returns them for more abuse. And it is simply a myth that what women who have been raped want is to take the life of their innocent babies. What they want is healing and for justice to be done. How is it just to take the life of an innocent baby for these terrible crimes? How does another act of violence heal anything? You see if Rick Santorum would have passionately answered along these lines, he would have avoided the traps set for him by Gregory. Moreover, he would have been properly speaking as a Catholic in the public square. Saying I believe is quite contrary to the way the Church tells us Catholics we ought to address ourselves to our fellow citizens, especially on life issues. Instead of talking about what I/we believe, we should be talking about what we meaning us and our neighbors, religious or otherwise -- know.
We know that the unborn baby is a separate human person from the mother and the father. We know that the right to life is the first right, without which no other rights make any sense. We know that one of the express purposes for the existence of our government is to protect that right. We know that law and might do not make right, but that law must be based on the truth of the dignity of the human person. We know that innocent children should not be punished for the crimes of their fathers. We know these things and we should state what we know clearly, without hesitancy, without shrinking back and looking vaguely discomforted by the topic. And so should Rick Santorum, already.
(© 2011 Mary Kochan)
When you show me a Credible Republican Challenger to President Barrack “Babykiller” Obama, with a stronger Pro Life Record than Senator Santorum, I might take your criticim seriously.
Your logic doesn’t follow. Even if he is the strongest, that wouldn’t mean there was no room for improvement. And his performance today was pitiful for the reasons that I thoroughly explain. If you don’t think this is serious criticism, then I don’t know what you would consider serious.
Mary brings up some interesting and powerful ways of responding to a question of the sort asked of Mr. Santorum.
Say a prayer that Cong. Thad McCotter decides to announce for the Presidency. 100% Pro Life rating. The only Conservative Republican who can articulate the needed message to defeat Pres. Obama soundly.
**Rick Santorum, the Unborn Deserve Better from You**
President Reagan thought so too.
Santorum is as pro life as a politician gets and I admire him for that. I campaigned for him back when he was running for PA senate. A truly good man.
I haven’t followed him but do recall seeing some negative comments about him in the past. I don’t recall what they were though, I prefer to do my own research and come to my own conclusions. That being said, I heard him on Rush last week and I have to say, I like what I heard.
Rick Santorum lives his faith. He may not be a perfect republican candidate for anything or a perfect human being. None of us are. The man lives his faith and I respect him. The trashing of him on this forum, in this thread, is ridiculous.
I doubt he will ever hold office again. Or rather, be elected to office again. The libs have made sure he’s been marginalized and the so called conservatives helped.
He may not answer questions correctly (to some) but the man has lived his beliefs and I’m not sure anything else matters.
His biggest mistake, endorsing Arlen Spector. Does that mean his entire personal life doesn’t matter and his political life is screwed? Palin endorsed McCain. He chose her for his VP. Is there no leeway here at all?
Do we really want 100% purity? Cos I doubt we will ever get that. I’m not sure I even think that’s a good thing.
Say what you will about Santorum but don’t ever trash his pro life stance and his personal life. He and his wife live their faith. A whole lot more than I do or any person I’ve interacted with on this site.
It’s been deleted and even if it weren’t I wouldn’t apologize for it.
I forgot this was the “religion” forum and only certain posters get away with stuff ;)
Again, take me off the ping list.
So I assume my “BS” was taken as potty language? What if it wasn’t potty language? How do you know what BS meant in my post?
I know, I know. ;)
Just jokin’ with you :)
Salvation, please take me off all of the religion ping lists. Please. I’ve asked in PM and on board.
It is always taken to mean the obvious and therefore pulled.
Well, my “argument” was in favor of Rick Santorum and defending his record on this thread.
I don’t give a flower (how’s that RM?) what your religious or non-religious inclination is or what you think about anything :)
I’m a Catholic.
Noted. And, I was just joking with you, in case that was missed.
And yet, this is a Catholic Caucus thread. Hmmm.
I didn’t say I was surprised. And the point is not that he waffled, but that he was incompetent in his delivery. It may be that he lacks true conviction and/or courage. I don’t know for sure. But if he does have the conviction, he darn well had better find the competence quickly.
Please take me off your ping lists.
Yes, I laughed but I forgot to put an LOL on my reply.
This Religion Forum thread is labeled “Catholic Caucus” meaning if you are not currently, actively Catholic then do not post on this thread.
I’m gone ...
LOL! Now that made me laugh ;) Dry sense of humor or you’re messin’ with me :) Either way, it was funny and provided much needed levity. IMO of course.
Have a nice night :)
You, too. (and a belated LOL)
Sorry, didn't know. It was a recent post and Santorum's name (I'm a fan, have met the man and worked on the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act) and the pro-life topic (I'm pro-life) caught my eye. I won't darken your thread again.
We know a lot of material facts that are rejected by the courts as immaterial. The point of Roe, Wade was not that the unborn child is not a person but that it is helpless, and if a mother, who more than anyone else ought to protect it but chooses not to, who is the state to prevent her from obtaing an abortion? Lawrence Tribe has written a book about the abortion issue called “A Clash of Absolutes.” It does boil down to what one believes about the facts at hand. The Left has gone for apologizing about abortion to looking placidly on the horrors of abortion. This is why they get very upset when pro-life people show a barrel of dead babies behind an abortion clinic. And even some prolife people get upset about this, because they don’t want to make the poor souls angry. /sarc.
I haven’t watched ‘’Meet the Press’’ in seven years. One of the last episodes I saw was in 2004 when Jim DeMint gave a similar poor performance; so bad it was, I thought he would lose the election for the Senate. I can see how Santorum failed in his response. It is hard to tell a politician’s true convictions from his canned responses to “routine” questions. It sounds as if Santorum’s poor response is akin to Michael Stanley Dukakis not catching on to the “rape” question posed by Bernard Shaw in 1988.
Excellent article, Mary.
This transcript supports what I’ve observed about Santorum: that he’s been in politics too long. He’s forgotten that FACTS exist, not just opinions, and that a person who wants respect needs to take a firm stand, not just tentatively proffer a suggestion that can quickly be withdrawn ... “Just sayin’ ...” if the listener disapproves.
And he’s obviously scared spitless of the media. We just freepin’ can’t have that, in this time of crisis.
Agree with the first response. This post is an example of the perfect being the enemy of the good. I don’t think there is a better defender of the pro-life position and this poster rips him. How about ripping the 70% of Catholics who don’t go to church, or the number of Catholics who vote for pro-abortion candidates, or even rip the Catholic Church for allowing people who have been married for decades to purchase annulments, saying they were never married. No, better to nitpick Rick Santorum, solid pro-life guy with at least eight kids and a very solid record. Geez!!!!
Thank you, and thanks to all who read it and commented. I would be grateful if some of you found it worthy to send the link to it around to some of your friends by email. Catholic Lane is gradually getting known, we have writers doing Catholic radio spots regularly now, but anything you do to help get word out about the site is MUCH appreciated!
Pentecost blessings to all.
The problem is that we get so excited about pro-life Catholic candidates, that we really don’t even consider their competence in delivering a pro-life message. We constantly settle for them as though that was the best we could do.
It is going to take both, Kent. It is going to take real conviction and passion for the unborn — which he may have, but certainly did not demonstrate yesterday. And it is going take an ability to put that message across in the national media. We have to demand BOTH from our candidates, and not just settle. Perhaps if he knows that we expect better, he will deliver better.
As for all the stuff about the Church etc. I think you are asking for a bit much to go into one article. But if you ever read the full body of my work, which consists of hundreds of articles, you will see that I have addressed and continue to address many of those other issues.
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