Rick Santorum vs. LDS.org

By: hawkgrrrl
February 28, 2012

I recently chortled my way through an article that listed 9 controversial Rick Santorum quotes.  About halfway through I paused and thought, “Hey, some of these aren’t that far off things I believe might have been said in various church publications on LDS.org.”  Let’s see if I’m right.

Feminism & Family Values

Santorum on birth controlQuote: “One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country…. Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s okay, contraception is okay. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” (Speaking with CaffeinatedThoughts.com, Oct. 18, 2011)

LDS.org on birth controlQuote:  “When husband and wife are physically able, they have the privilege and responsibility to bring children into the world and to nurture them. The decision of how many children to have and when to have them is a private matter for the husband and wife. . . Sexual relations within marriage are not only for the purpose of procreation, but also a means of expressing love and strengthening emotional and spiritual ties between husband and wife.  Husband and wife are encouraged to pray and counsel together as they plan their families. Issues to consider include the physical and mental health of the mother and father and their capacity to provide the basic necessities of life for their children.” Official church statement on Birth Control.

ConclusionSantorum should take that aspirin he’s promoting for the headaches this stance is going to cause him and get out of our bedrooms; at least in 2012, the LDS church isn’t nearly as pushy as he is.

Santorum on working moms. Quote: “In far too many families with young children, both parents are working, when, if they really took an honest look at the budget, they might find they don’t both need to. … What happened in America so that mothers and fathers who leave their children in the care of someone else — or worse yet, home alone after school between three and six in the afternoon — find themselves more affirmed by society? Here, we can thank the influence of radical feminism.” (Santorum’s 2005 book, It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good)

LDS.org on working momsQuote:  “Do you work, or are you a full-time mother?” Any woman who has children recognizes the irony in this question. All mothers work, full-time. And motherhood can never be a part-time job. But the messages behind this question can undermine women’s peace of mind and polarize them.  The first message—one that our society often promulgates—is that only women with careers outside the home do work that really “matters.” . . . As a result, many of these women feel undervalued. . .  The second message troubles many who work outside the home to help support their families. That message is that women are mothers only when they are at home. Of course, a woman no more stops being a mother when she is at the office than she ceases to be a Latter-day Saint when she is not at church. But some who work outside the home may feel unnecessary guilt, which hinders their ability to enjoy a sense of well-being and convey that feeling to their children.”  Working Double-Time:  The Working Mother’s Dilemma, Jan Underwood Pinborough, March 1986.

Quote:  “Contrary to conventional wisdom, a mother’s calling is in the home, not in the marketplace.” (To the Mothers in Zion, pamphlet, 1987)  He is not the first prophet to urge mothers to stay at home; for years, others have stressed the importance of a mother’s influence—an influence too vital to be left to others. . . On numerous occasions, President Spencer W. Kimball urged mothers to “come home … to your children, born and unborn. Wrap the motherly cloak about you and, unembarrassed, help in a major role to create the bodies for the immortal souls who anxiously wait. . . Of course, some mothers with children at home must work outside the home as a matter of necessity. Such need our understanding and help and appreciation for all that they do in behalf of their families.”  Mom–At Home, Derin Head Rodriguez, October 1989.

ConclusionSantorum:  Radical anti-feminist in 2012; LDS:  Hardly progressive, but balanced by contrast and less judgmental.  And these quotes are 25 years old!

“Christian” Worldview of History

Santorum on the CrusadesQuote: “The idea that the Crusades and the fight of Christendom against Islam is somehow an aggression on our part is absolutely anti-historical. And that is what the perception is by the American Left who hates Christendom. … What I’m talking about is onward American soldiers. What we’re talking about are core American values.” (South Carolina campaign stop, Feb. 22, 2011)

LDS.org on the CrusadesQuote:  “The crusades dispelled this peaceful image, as “Christian” armies destroyed whole Jewish communities by killing all their inhabitants and burning their homes and synagogues.”  Jewish Migrations, Victor L. Ludlow, May 1972.

Quote:  “In times past, great throngs journeyed in the crusades of Christianity, feeling that if only the Holy Land could be secured from the infidel, then Christ would be found in their lives. How mistaken they were! Thousands upon thousands perished; many others committed heinous crimes in the very name of Christianity. Jesus will not be found by crusades of men.”  The Search for Jesus, President Thomas S. Monson, December 1990.

ConclusionSantorum:  Dark Ages, LDS:  Age of Enlightenment.

Santorum on Palestine.  Quote: “All the people who live in the West Bank are Israelis, they’re not Palestinians. There is no ‘Palestinian.’ This is Israeli land.” (Campaign stop in Iowa, Nov. 18, 2011)

LDS.org on PalestineQuote: “The land later known as Palestine, and spoken of by Christian peoples as the Holy Land, was in a large measure the same area that had been given to the Twelve Tribes of Israel as an inheritance, after their captivity in Egypt. Through the centuries, many changes had occurred in the control of the land, changes which had brought much outside influence and many people within its borders.”   The Provinces of Palestine, Ensign, Sept. 1974. 

Quote:  ” There is an aggressiveness everywhere that gives one a sense of both uplift and foreboding. The cost of such aggressiveness is great—the hatred of the Arab world. It is felt wherever one goes in the surrounding Arab nations. It seethes in the poverty-stricken camps of displaced former occupants of Palestinian cities. And it is not without cause. Under the steadily increasing immigration of Jews, Palestine has become Jewish. Even in cities where the Jewish population is still in the minority, the controlling power and influence is Jewish. The thousands of Arabs who remain in Palestine have, in the main, accepted the inevitable. They are more prosperous than before. They find employment at higher wages than they have ever known.  Prosperity has a way of smoothing over old animosities. But not so among those who fled into adjacent lands during the war periods. These are in idle and abject poverty, most of them crowded into refugee camps of the lowest order, feeding on bitterness. While Israel’s borders are open to them to return, they rarely do so, and to remain away becomes tantamount in their minds to being driven out without recourse. War is ruthless at best, and the wars between Jew and Arab have so far brought bitter reprisals from both sides of the conflict.”  For the Law Shall Go Forth from Zion, William E. Berrett, May 1972.

ConclusionSantorum 0, LDS 1.  Somehow, Santorum is making the LDS church of the 1970s sound rational and balanced in its views by contrast to his ill-informed radical notions.  As has been pointed out, even Israel acknowledges a Palestinian state.

Religious Tolerance

Santorum Reminding America that some view Mormonism as “a dangerous cult.”  Quote: “Would the potential attraction to Mormonism by simply having a Mormon in the White House threaten traditional Christianity by leading more Americans to a church that some Christians believe misleadingly calls itself Christian, is an active missionary church, and a dangerous cult?” (Santorum’s Philadelphia Inquirer column, Dec. 20, 2007)

LDS.orgQuote:  “11 We claim the aprivilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the bdictates of our own cconscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them dworship how, where, or what they may.”  Articles of Faith, Joseph Smith, 1842.

Quote:  “Name calling has often been used in religious controversies. At one time, Catholics called Protestants “heretics,” and Protestants called Catholics “papists.” But this sort of tactic amounts to nothing more than saying, “Boo for your religion, and hurrah for mine.” The negative term most frequently flung at the LDS is “cult,” a term which can suggest images of pagan priests and rituals. But the truth is there is no objective distinction by which a cult may be distinguished from a religion. Use of the term cult does not tell us what a religion is, only how it is regarded by the person using the term. It simply means “a religion I don’t like.”  Though non-LDS scholars have made many attempts to define a “cult” in a way that would distinguish it from a “religion,” to date every such attempt has failed. So far the major difficulty has been that any definition of “cult” that fits the LDS Church also fits New Testament Christianity! But that’s not bad company to be in.”  Are Mormons Christians?, Stephen E. Robinson, New Era, May 1998.

Conclusion:  Flinging this term around just makes Santorum look like a bully.  It might play to other discourteous religious bigots, but not to anyone else (including hypocritcal Dems who will pounce on anti-Mormonism the second it suits their re-election purposes).

Racism

Santorum on WelfareQuote: “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money; I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.” (Campaign stop in Iowa, Jan. 2, 2012)

LDS.org on WelfareQuote:  “President Romney recently said, “Welfare is not a program of the Church; it is of the essence of the Church.” I truly believe that. Welfare is more than just furnishing the temporal needs of the Church members. Welfare is for every single member of the Church. It involves the 96 percent who do not need to be assisted by the commodities and by those things furnished by the bishop’s storehouse. Welfare is for those who have, to give, as well as those who have not, to receive.”  Now Abideth Faith, Hope and Charity, Vaughn J. Featherstone, April 1973.

Quote:  “Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance … for his punishments are just— “But … whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God. For behold, are we not all beggars?”  Mosiah 4: 16-18.

Quote:  “The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.”  Born of God, Ezra Taft Benson, November 1985.

ConclusionSantorum came off racist and miserly in his quote. LDS:  King Benjamin’s speech is holding a light up to Christian behavior and pushing for more charity.  Even Pres. Benson’s talk sounds inspiring, not insulting.

Race & Abortion (2 for 1 quote)

SantorumQuote: “The question is — and this is what Barack Obama didn’t want to answer — is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says no. Well if that person — human life is not a person, then — I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, ‘We’re going to decide who are people and who are not people.’” (CNS News interview, Jan. 19, 2011)

LDS.orgQuote:  “He believed that the Civil War was one of the punishments God brought upon America because it tolerated slavery. He knew that slavery was wrong, and that the nation could not endure half slave and half free, and therefore took the necessary steps to free the slaves.”  The Savor of Men, Mark E. Petersen, October 1976.

Quote:  “Concern for the health of the mother is a vital one. But circumstances in which the termination of pregnancy is necessary to save the life of the mother are very rare, particularly where modern medical care is available. Another concern applies to pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. This tragedy is compounded because an innocent woman’s freedom of choice was denied. In these circumstances, abortion is sometimes considered advisable to preserve the physical and mental health of the mother. Abortions for these reasons are also rare.  Some argue for abortion because of fear that a child may have a congenital malformation. Surely the harmful effects of certain infectious or toxic agents in the first trimester of pregnancy are real, but caution is needed in considering the termination of a pregnancy. Life has great value for all, including those born with disabilities. Furthermore, the outcome may not be as serious as postulated.  Relatively few abortions are performed for the special circumstances to which I have referred. 8 Most abortions are performed on demand to deal with unwanted pregnancies. These abortions are simply a form of birth control.  Elective abortion has been legalized in many countries on the premise that a woman is free to choose what she does with her own body. To an extent this is true for each of us, male or female. We are free to think. We are free to plan. And we are free to do. But once an action has been taken, we are never free from its consequences.”  Abortion:  An Assault on the Defenseless, Russell M. Nelson, October 2008.

Conclusion:  Really, the Santorum quote is just one of those out of left field remarks that one hopes his handler will help him unbox after the fact.  He is decrying abortion, but in a weirdly racist way and also equating abortion to slavery.  It’s a head scratcher.  LDS church FTW.

Homosexuality

Santorum.  Quote: “Is anyone saying same-sex couples can’t love each other? I love my children (so he does!). I love my friends, my brother. Heck, I even love my mother-in-law. Should we call these relationships marriage, too?” (Santorum’s Philadelphia Inquirer column, May 22, 2008)

Quote: “If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does. … That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing.” (AP interview, April 7, 2003)

Conclusion:  Santorum’s mother-in-law analogy almost sounds like a Freudian slip.  Is she hawt?  For a guy who wears a lot of sweater vests, he sure does harp on homosexuality.  Hmmm.

LDS.orgQuote:  “Homosexuals and lesbians seldom are happy people. Theirs is a relationship that is unnatural, one not bound by fidelity, trust, or loyalty, and one totally lacking in the meaningful family relationships that marriage offers. Homosexuality often espouses emotional problems because of the constant insecurity inherent in a relationship neither sanctioned by nor protected by the law.  Because there is no legal bond, homosexuality too often encourages, or at least permits, promiscuity.  . . Many homosexuals seek to introduce others into their practice, often those in their tender, impressionable years. Many studies have indicated that such early homosexual experience may interfere with normal sexual adjustment in subsequent marriage. . . To “persecute” homosexuals would be wrong, just as it would be wrong for us to persecute anyone.”  I Have a Question:  Why Does the Church Oppose Homosexuality:  Why Is It Wrong?  Dr. Lindsay M. Curtis, M.D., July 1974 Ensign.

Quote:  “Speaking of society’s tolerance of homosexual behavior and yet the majority’s opposition to same-sex marriage, he said, “Most people intuitively recognize that if the law endorses everything it tolerates, we will eventually tolerate everything and endorse nothing—except tolerance.”  [Elder Hafen]  In his address, Lynn Wardle discussed how “there is strong support for same-sex marriage in certain subgroups of society,” particularly the entertainment media and academic communities. In contrast, Brother Wardle observed, “Heterosexual marriages have been given special legal preference because they make uniquely valuable contributions to the state, to society, and to individuals. . . Claims for same-sex marriage challenge us and our entire generation to reexamine the importance of the institution of marriage.””  News of the Church, “Church Delegates Attend World Congress of Families,” June 1997.

Conclusion:  Neither Santorum nor the LDS church support homosexuality. This LDS quote from the 1970s sounds compassionate at least (especially for its time) if misguided. 

Summary

I was quite surprised to discover that the only areas where Santorum’s quotes come close to LDS quotations is during the 1970s, and even then, the LDS stance was much more moderate and tempered with an ability to see opposing viewpoints that I am not hearing from this presidential candidate.  One reason for this is certainly that LDS.org is selective in what it publishes; however, it’s not that selective.  And if I were running for President, one would hope I’d also be selective in what I say and publish.

Still, I’m glad to see we aren’t that close to his extremist views, and that our publications are much more even-handed.  While Mormons may self-identify as social conservatives, on the whole we’re not nearly as obnoxious about it as others seem to be.

What do you conclude?

Discuss.

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50 Responses to Rick Santorum vs. LDS.org

  1. Stephen M (Ethesis) on February 28, 2012 at 6:28 AM

    Interesting.

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  2. Paul on February 28, 2012 at 6:56 AM

    HG, thanks for this. I confess, I was pleasantly surprised at the moderate tone of the LDS quotations you chose. Hopefully our membership also reflects that moderate tone in its behavior and commentary.

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  3. Jon on February 28, 2012 at 8:04 AM

    Pretty good. Not a big fan of Santorum but I’ll have to defend him on this one:

    Santorum on Welfare

    I believe he is referring to when you steal from some to “help” others. There is a fundamental difference from the church giving from voluntary contributions and the state “giving” from monies that were stolen (even Frederick Douglass – the former slave – agrees that the theft from people through income taxes is pernicious and worse than slavery itself).

    And it seems he is saying it is better to teach a man to fish rather than just give him fish. I think this is what he is referring to (granted I never listen to him nor any of the other war whores so I can’t say for certain). So, if that is what he was meaning to say and his true beliefs then I don’t see how his views and King Benjamin’s are in contrast to one another.

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  4. Jeff Spector on February 28, 2012 at 8:06 AM

    OK, I will say it. Santorum is an extremist jerk. it is even laughable that he is a contender for the nomination. I realize that some republicans want to go back to the 1700s, but this guy is ridiculous in these times.

    The conservatives are assuring an Obama reelection.

    I too am glad the LDS views appear reasonable next to him.

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  5. Childe Jake on February 28, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    Well, when it comes to social progress via Mormonism, I don’t share the Yay-Us! sentiment that you seem to express in your conclusion. But then again hawkgrrrl, you have a much better lay of the land than I do on current Mormon culture. And taken in a larger historical context, I think there is a case to be made that Romney’s ability to gain serious traction in a Republican establishment where Protestants have such a powerful hold suggests a sliver, just a sliver, of social progress in the GOP. Just as John F. Kennedy’s election as a Catholic chipped away at the de facto hold Protestant candidates tend to enjoy, Romney represents a brand of Christian conservative that opens the gates a tidbit wider for candidates of all orientations. That being said, I long for the day when candidates’ touting their belief in unproven deities isn’t such a selling point.

    Posted this on the day of the Michigan and Arizona Primaries. Nicely timed.

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  6. Bob on February 28, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    Why can hawkgrrrl base her arguments on 40 year old thinking (1970s), and not Santorum?

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  7. Rebecca J on February 28, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    I’m not a fan of Rick Santorum, and I hope to heck he isn’t the GOP nominee, but taking the quote on Romney’s Mormonism out of context is grossly unfair. I sympathize with anyone who does not wish to subject themselves to an entire column by Rick Santorum, but if you do read the entire column, it is clear that this excerpt was a rhetorical question about the elephant in the room, not a “reminder.” And while Mr. Santorum probably doesn’t think Mormons are Christians, the thrust of the piece is not “Mormons aren’t Christians” (which he never says) but “when it comes to politics, theological beliefs are not as important as moral values, and Mitt Romney could do a much better job of explaining that” (which is absolutely correct).

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  8. Rebecca J on February 28, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    And I just realized that the column is called “The Elephant in the Room.”

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  9. GBSmith on February 28, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Bob on February 28, 2012 at 11:11 AM
    Why can hawkgrrrl base her arguments on 40 year old thinking (1970s), and not Santorum?

    I don’t think there’s been much more said publically on these subjects since the 70s and other than for prop 8 it seems things are better.

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  10. Douglas on February 28, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    HG, well-researched! I would only add a caveat that these quotations, whether 40 years old or contemporary, reflect views and attitudes that are typically LDS but not necessarily the “party line”. Mitt’s views may lean conservative but he has some of Dad’s semi-liberal views. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. These views served George Romney well to run American Motors (he emphasized making labor peace and promoted smaller, more fuel-efficient cars in the era of the land yachts, and governed Michigan in the Motown heyday) and Mitt was able to credibly challenge Ted Kennedy of Chappaquiddick infamy and function as Mass Gov.
    Santorum shows that Catholics can be arch-conservatives, and I’ll credit him that he’s as solidly Catholic as Mitt is LDS. But let’s call a spade a spade. Santorum is nothing more than the latest “I’m not a Mormon” concoction to be thrown against the wall to see if it sticks. The party faithful are deathly afraid of alienating their Evangelical faction by promoting someone from THAT cult. Never mind that Mitt’s managerial credentials and record as Mass gov place him as far better qualified and selectable than the rest.

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  11. el oso on February 28, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    HG,

    Very good comparison done here.

    Does anyone really think that ET Benson is less conservative than Rick Santorum? I believe that on the still relevant issues, ETB was very conservative. Everyone knows about anti-communism, but he had many other solid conservative ideas.
    Actually, I think that a Benson type conservative is what is really being sought by many republicans this year. ETB was a very forceful advocate of conservative policies and could explain them with good and inspiring rhetoric. His economic policies would fit in well with the TEA party and other current conservatives. Of course, he did not have to put up with lots of semi-hostile media for the most part back in his political days.

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  12. el oso on February 28, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    The bottom line is that it is possible to be a strident and forceful advocate of conservative positions, and not alienate as many people as Rick may with some of these quotes. It does take a lot of skill and practice to articulate your message well.
    It seems that LDS.org and the GAs are relatively good at this. They do have fewer hostile press conferences though.

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  13. Douglas on February 28, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    ETB had no political aspirations. By being nominated as Secretary of Agriculture while already an apostle, he was doing what Reed Smoot had done – in effect serve a ‘mission’ in the District of Criminals. Kinda like Ammon going to the Lamanites. ETB’s outspokenness and disregard for sound bites and polls reminds me of the naval dictum about “Iron men in wooden ships being replaced by wooden men in iron ships”.

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  14. hawkgrrrl on February 28, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    el oso – I agree that John Birch society lover ETB was probably as strident as Santorum, although he’s been gone for 20 years now, and his rhetoric as president of the church was very softened compared to his political rants as an apostle. Either way, I found it interesting that lds.org is teed up in such a way that the moderate tone prevails. That was a nice surprise!

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  15. GBSmith on February 28, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    Douglas on February 28, 2012 at 5:15 PM
    “ETB had no political aspirations. By being nominated as Secretary of Agriculture while already an apostle”

    Actually he did ask Pres. McKay’s permission to run as VP candidate to I think George Wallace and was told no.

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  16. mh on February 28, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    yes, gbsmith is right. there was also a plan to ‘draft’ benson as a presidential candidate with strom thurmond as potential vp. this is all documented in the mckay biography.

    as for santorum, I don’t know how much of these quotes are his attempts to appeal to tea party wackos, and how he much he will moderate if he becomes the nominee. frankly, mitt and everyone else is trying to sound wacky right wing to get the nomination, and then will suddenly sound more moderate when they get the nomination to appeal to independents. thanks hawk, for putting this together. it is nice to learn more about santorum. I hope he isn’t as wacky as these quotes make him sound, but these quotes don’t endear me to him.

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  17. hawkgrrrl on February 28, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    Andrew Sullivan did a piece on Santorum, including this money quote: “It is not social conservatism, as lazy pundits call it. It is a radical theocratically-based attack on modern liberal democracy; and on modernity as a whole. It would conserve nothing. It would require massive social upheaval.” Now, obviously, nobody could mistake Andrew Sullivan as an objective writer with no dog in the fight, but he’s spot on, IMO. You can’t repeal women’s rights to work and contraception, gay rights, and abortion laws without going back in time (as the quotes above also indicate), possibly to a time that never really existed.

    Another writer calls Michigan the GOP’s “waterloo.” If Romney loses Michigan, the GOP has gone from a 3-legged stool (social, foreign policy, and fiscal conservativism) to a one-legged stool (the religious right).

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  18. NewlyHousewife on February 28, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    And he was such a cute guy…

    Must be a closet gay.

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  19. Douglas on February 28, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    It appears that Mitt will pull out the ‘bragging rights’ to MI as of the latest count. In the scheme of things, it’s but a few Republican delegates. It was more a symbolic issue since Mitt was raised in MI, the scion of one of it’s most renowned Governors. However, Mitt may have been raised in MI but he’s not necessarily OF it. Where Santorum had a fighting chance in MI was that non-Republicans could cast votes in this Primary on the Republican ticket. He cagily appealed to the conservative working class Catholics that typically vote Democrat (the “Francis Griffin” of Family Guy fame type) to vote for him to slam down the “rich boy from Bloomfield Hills”. I’m also surprised that Ron Paul did better than “Newt” in MI and worse in AZ, I would have expected it to be the other way around.
    The MI primary the Republican “Waterloo”? Awfercryinoutloud!!! These primaries are the political “silly season”. Right now, Mitt, Newt, and Rick are each selling themselves to the GOP faithful as the geniune “anti-Obama”, never mind their respective political histories. Only RP is calmly stating what he believes and would do as President and letting it fall where it may (it’s getting better but not nearly good enough to win). A good bagatelle is hardly unusual for the party not occupying the White House. Regardless of who gets the nomination, whether outright capture of the delegate in the primaries or the proverbial “smoke-filled back room” (if the latter, I can’t wait for how the cartoonists Groening and McFarlane lampoon it), Republican voters are going to be more interested in unseating Obama than who they’re electing as replacement. What will actually swing the general election is NOT how this plays out amongst the Republican faithful but how well the uncommitted are pulled to one side or the other. Face it, the Obama campaign did a bang-up job in 2008. It’s different now as an incumbent, and he’s got similar voter discontent to deal with. McCain, not only being of the same party but also being similar in views to Bush 43 was for all practical purposes running as an incumbent on the defensive.
    Obama at least has some cheerful news with regards to the recent surge in American auto demand and production. Whether it’s real, or “manufactured” (pun intended) as I’ve already seen alledged (e.g., large Federal fleet purchases and incentivizing same in the private sector) remains to be seen. I hope that it IS real, because being a car buff, I want our auto industry to do well. Not just because of the economic significance, but also because the automobile is inherently part of America.

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  20. Amanda L on February 29, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    My thought is that the official church stances on these topics might come out sounding better than the Santorum quotes, but it wouldn’t be too hard to find individual members who agree with him on pretty much all of those points and use the Church as their justification for those strong beliefs. (My mother for one…ACK!)

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  21. Jeff Spector on February 29, 2012 at 8:26 AM

    He’s a walking contradiction, if you heard his remarks about his Mother and his wife. Hard to believe these comments come out of the same mouth.

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  22. Douglas on February 29, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    “A walking contriadiction” – considering how Santorum is appealing to emotions rather than discussing facts or his own record, it might seem that way. At least you’re not resorting to the pathetic behavior so typical of liberals, e.g., engaging in name-calling and defamation when you’re losing the argument. Please cite an example of Santorum’s contriadictions. Look, I don’t care for him either. He managed to alienate his PA constituents enough to be voted out of the Senate by one of the widest margins ever. Likewise I questioned his ability to serve as President.
    A further question I would ask: if the Demos are so sure that their boy is a shoo-in for reelection, why even bother to pay attention to the Republican primaries, let alone interfere as has already been done?

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  23. mh on February 29, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    douglas, why do you assume anyone on this blog is liberal? dan is the only one who self-identified as a liberal, and he hasn’t commented at this blog for a while.

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  24. Jon on February 29, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    I think the term Douglas is looking for is progressive not liberal since there are very few true liberals on this blog. But I would agree with him, most people on this blog are progressives, even some of those that self identify as conservative.

    Reminds me of my aunt that says, “I’m independent!” But has never voted for anyone besides the democrats. She may be registered independent but truly is a progressive at heart.

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  25. Will on February 29, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    Santorum is an idealogical Senator who has never really had a significant job in the private sector. This is what we currently have and it is not working, even though his ideas are right and the current President has the wrong ideas.

    We need someone who can effectively convert the right ideas into results — we need a practical nuts and bolts guy and Santorum is not that guy.

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  26. mh on February 29, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    who out there identifies themselves as a progressive?

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  27. Douglas on February 29, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    MH, “I don’t ‘assume’ anything, since we know what that makes of “U” and “me”. I let the posters speak for themselves. “Liberal”,”Progressive”,”po-tay-to”,”po-tah-to”. The label “Progressive” is IMO an utter oxymoron since most of what they advocate tends to hinder rather than stimulate progress.
    I wholeheartedly agree with Will about Santorum’s lack of qualifications. Same could be said of Newt. I may like Ron Paul’s positions by and far the best but his candidacy is not progressing to nomination. So it shaping up as “Barry vs. Mitt, fifteen rounds for the Heavyweight Champeenship…”. The choice for me is obvious even if it isn’t all that I’d hoped for.
    If Mitt would just be real and snarl every now and then. Then my “Inner Klingon” would be more comfortable with him.

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  28. Andrew S on February 29, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    I think one major issue is that conservatives have been shifting the Overton window hard to the right, so that “moderate” ends up looking like “progressive/liberal.”

    But in fact, America doesn’t have any substantial leftist parties. The Republican primaries show how far rightward things are going, however.

    That being said,

    re 22,

    Douglas,

    At least you’re not resorting to the pathetic behavior so typical of liberals, e.g., engaging in name-calling and defamation when you’re losing the argument.

    You’re not going to get very far with rhetoric like that. Tone down the GRAR! in the future.

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  29. Jon on February 29, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Douglas,

    Actually, the wording is important from a historical context. Liberal used to mean people that didn’t like war and big government but do like individual liberty and the freeing of ones own mind, unfortunately the word’s meaning has been bastardized so that people have to refer to true liberals as “classical liberal.” So, most people that identify as liberal truly don’t deserve the title that that bestows them.

    MH,

    It doesn’t matter who self identifies as progressive, the political views that a person a person espouses shows their colors. Really, we should just boil it down to collectivist, since that name better identifies the person’s beliefs.

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  30. Justin on February 29, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Really, we should just boil it down to collectivist

    Jon — now you’ve got me wondering if there is such as thing as a “common-ist”:

    and all things shall be done
    by common consent
    in the church
    by much prayer and faith
    for all things you shall receive by faith
    amen

    and

    and all that believed were together
    and had all things common

    and

    beloved
    when I gave all diligence to write unto you
    of the common salvation
    it was needful for me to write unto you
    and exhort you
    that you should earnestly contend for the faith
    which was once delivered unto the saints

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  31. Douglas on February 29, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    MH – GRAR? Googling the term turned up nothing.

    Jon – excellent point that yesterday’s liberals are today’s libertarians. You exactly right that both types that esteem themselves as either liberal or conservative turn to big government for solutions. I’m not deluded into thinking that a Romney presidency would substantially change the status quo.

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  32. Andrew S on February 29, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    re 31,

    Douglas,

    You’re responding to the wrong person. Grar! is onomatopoetic to something like a lion roaring. Which, needless to say, you shouldn’t have comments that are reminiscent of animal roars. Just bad form.

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  33. Douglas on February 29, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    Andrew – thx for the clarification. Like Alex Trebek from “Jeapordy”, I would have also accepted “bombastic”.
    Eve my trusty HTC7 can still be tough to use. Using a “smartphone” often produces “dumb” output!

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  34. Douglas on February 29, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    BTW, Santorum’s popularizing the sweater vest has caused me to reconsider my habit of wearing one. If it warms up, I can just blame the weather.

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  35. Jon on February 29, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    Justin,

    Or Kindom of Godist. But Commonist seems nicer.

    The commonist that don’t use violence as a means to an end and the collectivist that do.

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  36. hawkgrrrl on February 29, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    Is Jon an Ayn Rand acolyte?

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  37. Peter Brown on February 29, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    While I was leaning at one time toward Santorum, and would have been okay had he gotten the nomination (as opposed the the slimy Newt), now I’m just as disgusted with Rick. Romney and Paul are my only viable options now.

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  38. Jon on February 29, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    hawkgrrrl,

    I’ve never read any of her work. I’m sure she had a some good and some bad ideas.

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  39. Mormon Heretic on March 1, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    Douglas, you said

    “A walking contriadiction” – considering how Santorum is appealing to emotions rather than discussing facts or his own record, it might seem that way. At least you’re not resorting to the pathetic behavior so typical of liberals,

    Jeff was the one that called Santorum “a walking contradiction.” I’d hardly call Jeff a liberal. So, if you weren’t “assuming” Jeff was a liberal, just what were you saying?

    Then I loved this little oxymoronic quote.

    Jon – excellent point that yesterday’s liberals are today’s libertarians.

    Douglas, did you know that Jon is the ultimate libertarian? He’s so libertarian in fact, that he calls himself an anarchist. So, I guess you just called Jon “yesterday’s liberal.”

    Gosh these liberal/progressive labels just don’t fit into these nice neat categories, do they? Whoda thunk Jon was really a liberal?

    Jon, you keep the name calling up, but you call it “labeling.” It seems that you still fail to recognize how arrogant you are when you call people names.

    It doesn’t matter who self identifies as progressive, the political views that a person a person espouses shows their colors.

    Ok, so YOU get to decide the labels now, eh? You can lable anyone that doesn’t agree with you as a liberal or a progressive, because YOU are the best judge of such things, obviously not the person you’re talking to. Don’t you think that’s a bit arrogant?

    Douglas just called you a liberal. Do you agree with that characterization?

    Perhaps we ought not heap stupid labels on people that they don’t identify with. I guess I can now legitimately call you a liberal now, just like Douglas did, you liberal ultimate libertarian anarchist.

    Perhaps we ought to really try to communicate, rather than mischaracterize/mislabel others, don’t you think? I could call you a blankety blank, but I don’t think you’d like my label, would you?

    Label yourself. Don’t label me, because you keep getting it wrong. If you insist on labeling me, then I will continue to label you a blankety blank.

    I’m so glad that Douglas and Jon don’t resort to name-calling. They are obviously so above that with their perfect labeling.

    Jon, two piece of advice. (1) Justin and LDSA are anarchists too. Take some writing lessons from them. We think they really add to the discussion here. We think you don’t. Learn to communicate the anarchist lingo like they do. You’ll get fewer dislikes here.

    (2) I thought you were taking a break from political posts. I can see that you just can’t resist. Perhaps you could try a moratorium on political posts here (say 2-3 months), and instead try to comment on non-political posts to see if you can build a better reputation like LDSA and Justin. My hope is that you can learn some communication skills and become a better spokesman for anarchy, like them.

    After the moratorium, perhaps then you will have learned to better comment on the political posts without labeling others.

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  40. Jon on March 1, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    mh,

    Contrary to political corrections grouping people in different categories is important on their belief systems, even if they don’t fit nicely in a single term. So yes, I will label you as I see it but I will recognize when you depart from said label because I also recognize people are individuals and have their own views. Just like calling people Mormon because they espouse many of the views in the Book of Mormon and profess to believe the book to be something they adhere to.

    As of yet, you, MH, have not given me any reason to believe that you are not a progressive, or rather, collectivist. You continue to push those ideas in your posts and comments.

    1) Justin and LDSA typically stay out of the economic and political posts altogether as it is, so what you are telling me is that I shouldn’t stand up for the ideas of liberty and freedom?

    2) If you take a break from all political and economic posts I’ll take one too, the other day you lost it and have shown no remorse nor introspection on what you have written. If you weren’t a perma I’m sure you would have banned like Dan & Will were. I’m sure that is why I wasn’t banned with you.

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  41. Justin on March 1, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    Justin and LDSA typically stay out of the economic and political posts altogether as it is,

    Maybe that’s why we have such a good reputation??

    Since anarchy is the opposite of statism — it seems to make since that [as an anarchist] I’d do the opposite of participate in threads on statism — which would be to “typically stay out altogether“.

    who out there identifies themselves as a progressive?

    What’s “liberal“, what’s “progressive“, what’s “independent” — whatever — it’s like arguing “what’s a Christian” or “what’s a Mormon“.

    Liberal = I’d like to be “Free in giving; generous” and “Free from restraint; free from bias or prejudice“. I’m liberal.

    Progressive = I’d like to be “Characterized by continuous improvement or advancement“. I’m progressive.

    Independent = I’d like to be “Not subject to external control or rule; self-governing, autonomous, and free“. I’m independent.

    Now someone can characterize all of these “positions” in different ways to suit their own needs. What labels I pick-and-choose to use [for myself or for others] are just a name or a label used for appearance’s sake — it tells more about what perception of me [or of others] I want someone else to have — but it doesn’t really say anything about me [or the other people].

    It’s the same thing with “Christian” or “Mormon”. People don’t exist as Platonic Ideas — as pure representations of terms or concepts.

    Being Me means that I represent the unique symphony that is the total arrangement of my Life. I can’t pour the entirety of Me into your brain all at once. Each human being is a storytale that has to be shared in order to be known.

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  42. Mormon Heretic on March 1, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Jon,

    As of yet, you, MH, have not given me any reason to believe that you are not a progressive…

    Well, Jon, I’d call myself an independent. I’ve voted for Carter, Reagan, Bush 1, Perot, and Nader. I will vote third party if I don’t like D or R candidates. So, I’m not a single party or single issue voter. I liked Huntsman ALOT this election cycle, and I’m really disappointed that he dropped out of the race.

    I don’t have much of an opinion on Santorum. I would vote for Obama over Newt. I’d vote for Huntsman over them all. I’m undecided about Mitt and Santorum. I don’t think it would be the end of the world if Obama or Mitt or Santorum wins (but I do if Newt wins.) If Paul won, I’d be seriously concerned. I’d love to see Warren Buffet run the economy. I liked Colin Powell, I like Leon Panetta. I like Obama more than I liked Clinton, but I really disliked Clinton. I liked Sec of Defense Dick Cheney, but VP Cheney was HORRIBLE! I liked Bush 2 over Kerry, though I voted for neither.

    So, no I don’t think the label “progressive” fits me as well as “independent.”

    After that tangent, anyone care to talk more about Santorum?

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  43. Jeff Spector on March 1, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    MH,

    I guess it is time for true confessions.

    My first vote was in 1972 and it was not for Richard Nixon. I didn’t buy into his secret plan to win the war.

    I come from a progressive background as a Jewish kid growing up in SoCal. I was against the war in Vietnam as I am now against the ridiculous wars we are now fighting.

    I have been a registered Democrat most of my adult life. However, I have been known to change by party affiliation during primary season to vote for someone I liked. I did that for John Anderson, whenever that was. I was considering doing it again this primary cycle to vote for Romney and against the idiot we have as a Congressman, but because I serve as an election judge, I am better off as a Democrat because we are in short supply in these parts.

    I am not opposed to voting for someone like Mitt Romney because while I have a real problem with the way he is campaigning and his tax plan is a joke, but I think I know his heart and how he will conduct himself in office. But I am undecided. I would not vote for any of the other republicans now running.

    I have found that as I have been in the Church 30 years now, I am definitely more conservative than I was as a kid.

    but I still have a heart for people in need. My religionous beliefs and conscience dictate that.

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  44. Heber13 on March 1, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    HG, I wonder if Mormons would actually like Santorum’s Christian conservatism if he wasn’t attacking Romney’s beliefs and trying to make Mormonism look scary. Even the quotes you gave from church publications were mild compared to many of the comments I hear by local ward members who are very conservative.

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  45. hawkgrrrl on March 1, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Heber13 – I agree that Santorum is aligned with what some people think is Mormonism (which is why I was so surprised that “official” stances were much more moderate – not just now, but even in the 1970s). To me, that’s evidence of something I’ve said all along, that our strident positions are actually outlier positions, just loud ones that get far more play and credibility than is their due.

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  46. Jon on March 1, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    Justin,

    You’re right, statist is the best term, since it embodies the view of using violence to bend people to your will.

    I enjoy talking about liberty and freedom and trying to get people to see what it truly is, so I guess that is why I participate in these discussions. It is apparent that most people got want to get down to the core issues and see that awful that we are in. It is quite fascinating how Frederick Douglass (I’ve been learning a little about him lately, I’ll have to read his whole book sometime) talked about how slaves would be taught that their situation was normal and good and how they would pull each other down if one would try and say that their state of slavery is not only bad but immoral. I’ve been trying to convey that message for quite some time on W&Ts but haven’t gotten very far. If anything, it seems I’ve won over quite a few haters. I know I’m not always tactful but I would think people would be able to overlook that and see the core message, apparently not.

    I see spreading the ideas of freedom and liberty as spreading the gospel of Christ, since teaching and accepting any of his teachings will bring one closer to him. I find it fascinating how some see the coming of Christ and his reign in a worldly since like he’ll be a dictator or like an earthly king, when, in reality it seems to me that he’ll be more of a teacher and maybe even a judge but mostly we will just be living our own lives and trying to learn His ways, very similar to how we do it now. Anyways, I’m rambling.

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  47. hawkgrrrl on March 1, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    Jon – I think people find your tone condescending. Also talking about freedom may be your hot button issue, but if someone doesn’t agree that it’s a big issue or frame it as the awful situation you see it to be, your comments may not thrive in the marketplace of ideas. But I don’t really see anything inherently offensive in what you are saying on freedom. It just feels like hyperbole to me (which you are implying is because I’ve been deluded into a false sense of security – maybe so, but you haven’t convinced me of it yet).

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  48. Jon on March 2, 2012 at 8:03 AM

    Yes, my tone can be condescending, but it is more so when people do likewise to me it becomes more extreme. I think when we bring it down to principles it probably sounds condescending like saying people shouldn’t steal. If someone said you shouldn’t have your friend steal a candy bar at the store no one would have a problem with a statement like that but when I say you shouldn’t have the government steal birth control for you then people have a problem even though they are equivalent statements. Is this what is condescending?

    Or telling people that we should listen to Christ, is that condescending?

    Hyperbole. Well, it may seem like hyperbole but if you don’t follow MSM you find out that there is a lot of nasty stuff going on and that we sit as white middle class people, but if you are the poor non-white person you find that it is not hyperbole, if that is what you are referring to. And a government with the iron fist in the velvet glove I wouldn’t think would be hyperbole, just reality if you try and exercise your natural rights, like if you go to the airport and refuse to be searched (4th amendment right) you’ll find that the officials won’t be too kind at all. Is that what you are referring to when you say hyperbole? I wouldn’t see it as hyperbole, just a recognition of reality.

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  49. hawkgrrrl on March 2, 2012 at 8:15 AM

    How is the government compelling companies or insurance companies to provide birth control stealing? It saves insurance companies money (therefore isn’t stealing), and it also makes it more likely people will want to work for those companies. Wherein lies the stealing? Or are you considering it stealing that companies are compelled to provide insurance at all?

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  50. Jon on March 2, 2012 at 8:42 AM

    Compelling companies to provide insurance is stealing and, as a side note, creates a type of monopoly for larger companies since upstart companies have a harder time competing, I know your company has to be certain size before the requirement kicks in but once it gets that size many times employers will just stop growing to avoid the extra expense. So, yes, that would be stealing. Getting something you want at the unjust expense of another.

    Just because you could be benefiting the company that you are making the requirement of doesn’t make it OK, and if it did benefit them wouldn’t they just do it themselves without coercion? Or are there unseen things that would make them not provide the service? A good economist not only sees the seen but also sees the unseen, as the broken window fallacy illustrates.

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