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Rick Santorum and Religious Voters

Rick Santorum’s surge and second place finish in the Iowa caucus represents one of the most cynical aspects of this already bizarre and empty presidential campaign. And that is the so called “Evangelical” vote.

Who are these people? Some of them are good and decent church going folks who think they are supporting Christian values. They simply like anyone like Santorum who says religious and conservative things and so they give him their full trust. They are often fearful people who think the world is evil and hope someone will rescue them from life’s hard realities and get rid of drugs and terrorists and divorce and so forth. They think someone like Santorum can do this by legislating morality.

Others are angry, ungenerous, bigoted people who hide behind their religious faith and use it to sanction their rejection and dislike and in some cases hatred for gays, blacks, immigrants, and liberals. They do not follow Jesus. They do not really believe his teachings. Read the Sermon on the Mount or any of the Parables of Jesus. You won’t find the rage and hatred there that these people advocate. They go to church and pretend they are righteous and convince themselves they alone have the truth. Luther once spoke of the “hammer of the Law,” all of those rules and restrictions of religion, contrasted with the “freedom of the Gospel,” which he saw as the call to grace and love and openheartedness. Believe me; these folks live by the hammer.

Others of the so called “Evangelicals” are just manipulating users who feign religious convictions in order to get people to vote for them or to get people to support their political candidate or to fund their own TV ministry or to validate their corporate greed.

Rick Santorum hardly has the wherewithal to lead this country. He is a one-dimensional candidate. He wants to moralize the nation according to his authoritarian, sanctimonious belief system. He has publically said he thinks states should have the right to ban birth control and gay sex. He seems completely obsessed with controlling people’s sex lives saying in a blogger interview that sex is getting to “where’s it’s simply pleasure.”

Yes, all good religious people know that sex is a filthy, ugly, shameful act, engaged in only in total darkness and only for procreation, followed by waves of guilt and prayers for forgiveness.

Why would any emotionally healthy person want to vote for this kind of puritanical nonsense?

Religion in this country is getting frighteningly abusive, offensive, dopey, laughable, and utterly pointless. Evangelicals, or whatever you want to call them, supposedly religious voters, are being courted by cynical politicians whose phony expressions of faith should be insulting to believers. Instead, they blindly follow, support and fund them.

Christians now cry for war. There is nothing of the heart of Christ in their actions. They hate. They judge. They ignore. They condescend to. They are often ruthlessly critical of other faiths, other races, other cultures, other political beliefs, learning nothing from the one they claim to follow.

Rick Santorum may be a decent family man. But his religious views are offensive and dangerous. He sadly represents a crowd of people who want government to enforce very narrow, selfish, and fearful religious conduct on all of us. There is nothing of God or freedom or democracy in any of that.

© 2012 Timothy Moody

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