Thursday, June 30, 2005

Santorum

The world is full of zealots and fools. One of the most prominent of these is the three-tassle-hatted, black and white harlequin Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. He is beyond any doubt one of the most self-righteous, pompous, and misguided people of the Commonwealth working in Washington, D.C.

In a publication called Catholic Online Mr. Santorum professes the opinion that the pederasty committed by members of the Catholic clergy of Boston was due the cultural liberalism plaguing our Catholic seminaries and public universities. All the more so, he says, for Boston the capital of cultural liberalism in America! Perhaps he does not know about conservative Dallas, Orange County, Santa Rosa, Denver, Springfield, IL, Albuquerque, Milwaukee, or Philadelphia. Perhaps Mr. Santorum cannot see at all! Perhaps he does not understand the corruption within for what it really is—corruption within!

You have to read this piece of poppycock to believe anyone could have written it, much less a United States Senator.

Santorum represents a state of mind shared by many people out there who, in their fear of the perpetually unknown future, in their fear of changes in family life, changes in the economy, changes in technology, changes in communications, changes in the mix of the American population, give up and strike back against all of these with a rigid dogmatism that vilifies liberalism, particularly cultural liberalism, as a sickness of the mind and spirit. It is their sickness, not ours.

Yes, the culture in which Santorum and we grew up has changed. He sees change as disease, and that is just a too-easy metaphor for the obvious incapacity of his childlike beliefs and illusions to stand up to modern facts of life. Santorum and his friends are infected with a fear of reality that binds them and blinds them to everything but the throbbing of their own pitiful egos, to their overwhelming fear of life.

Yes, the old culture is all but gone and with it the justifications for slavery, race prejudice, economic subjugation, misogyny, pollution, depredation of the natural world, and much more. Santorum and his followers would have it all back just to assure themselves of an unchanging verity and truth about life. There have been these fools throughout history, and not one of them has found real peace in this rank and despotic dogmatism.

Nothing stays the same, not even in the Dark Ages when the Catholic Church was consolidating its economic and political hold on Europe. You can call the fluidity of time "relativism" but it is nothing more than history NOT repeating itself. You can say that material progress creates "moral relativism, and situational ethics," but it does not explain why slavery and racism and misogyny are now abhorred, but were accepted when your "golden age" of doctrinal purity supposedly existed.

The truth is, Santorum, that your brand of metaphysics is based on rigid dogmatism grounded in absolutism; it hopes for truths that do not exist in the real world. You are welcome to drink deeply from this fountain of acrid dust, but you will not find an end to your thirst there. You will always find an opinion divergent from your own and you will always seek to destroy it. Dogma is the opposite of rationality. Dogma is the enemy of democracy and freedom.

The Liberal call to Catholic laity is this: yes, by all means express yourselves and your anguish at the corruption within the clergy. Read history and know that corruption arises when those in positions of power put their own beliefs and egos before the ethics and culture of their fellow man. This is the real moral relativism, the disease of hubris, which infects all who believe themselves purer and more righteous.

Mr. Santorum, the liberals of America do not despise you. We pity your narrow-gauge intellect and your moral ineptitude. And, yes, we are disgusted with your self-righteous mendacity, your ethical lapses, your money-grubbing pandering. Liberals across the country are going to do everything we can to see you out of Washington for good!

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