I'm not sure he meant to do it, but until he walks it back, Santorum's remarks today in Ohio, stumping for the Romney/Ryan Go Back Team, clearly endorsed a belief in the supremacy of personal religious practice over the most indirect and incidental, generally applied governmental burden.
On it's face, Santorum's dream world of religious freedom clearly dictates that religious zealots like the splinter groups of Mormons who still strive to live what some call The Principle, ought to possess a Constitutional right to practice their religion notwithstanding the public interest in suppressing their practices. The present state of government interference with the religious practices of such Mormons is much more intrusive into religion than any burden on the beliefs or practices of employers whose health plans for their workforce include services that they happen to object to on religious grounds. Santorum is arguing that government can't ever tell him to do something that his reliigion forbids, or forbid him to do something his religion demands. That is why I say that Santorum endorses Morman polygamy.
The existence of such true believing practitioners of a certain kind of Mormonism has been the subject of fictional hit TV, sleazy reality TV, and crime reports for many years. Here are the remarks by Santorum that I find most chilling in their implications:
"We have a president who, for the first time in American history, is directly assaulting the First Amendment and freedom of religion,”Santorum also praised Romney for getting an award a few years ago from The Becket Fund, an organization claiming this dubious distinction:
He is going to tell you what to do in the practice of your faith. He is forcing business people right now to do things that are against their conscience
What Paul Ryan stands for in conservative circles and in the media and in this country, for those who know him, is someone who is willing to challenge the status quo and have bold ideas to confront the problems of this country in a truthful fashion.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty led the charge to legally challenge the Administration’s HHS mandate. This controversial rule requires religious institutions, in violation of their deeply held religious beliefs, to pay for drugs and services contrary to their teachings, or pay a severe fine.The very premise of these sanctimonious SOBs is based upon a demonstrable lie, that they are forced to "pay for drugs and services". Under the actual HHS rule they attack, the services and medications in question are beneficial to women's health and are absorbed as savings by the insurance companies, not passed on to the policy holders.
But here is what really intrigues me about this story. Why is the Romney/Ryan campaign still desperately focused on the GOP base of deluded voterbots? Do they really believe they can win with just the frenzy of the GOP base, voter suppression tactics and billionaire money bomb TV ad carpet bombing? I also wonder if Mitt Romney would become a champion of marriage equality if it was extended to the fringe elements of his own church. I wish that journalists with access to the Romney campaign (are there any?) would ask the candidate questions about batshit crazy stuff like this from his surrogates and his own campaign. If this is the kind of stuff that the Romney/Ryan ticket believe in, where does it stop? Man on dog, perhaps?
In the meantime, I'm glad I've got a little retirement money invested in Jiffy Pop.