The funny thing is (maybe it's not so funny) Michael and I couldn't be more different politically speaking; but it is amazing how often we agree in principle. I guess it is just proof of how polarized this country has become in its politics and in its citizen's viewpoints.
I'm not one of the 1% we hear so much about these days. I'm not one of the 99% either. I'm one of the top 10% and Michael probably is too. I'll admit I'm proud to be in the 10%. I don't see it as making me better than anyone else, but it does tell me I made the most of the opportunities this great country and my parents afforded me. It tells me I had what it takes to become a success given an even chance. Michael is a success too. Yet even sharing that and agreeing in principle a lot of the time, our politics are far different and that's ok. That is what this country is about.
I've been a moderate Republican for many years. I have come to resent that from my own fellow Republicans on the radical right, I am referred to as a RINO, a Republican in name only; because I refuse to tout the Party line concerning sexuality, birth control, abortion and separation of church and state.
Because I think for myself and make on own decisions on these very personal matters, I am seen not to be a good Republican by those who demand a political litmus test of ideological purity before one can really be called Republican. My thoughts do not count. I am a citizen in the country of my birth, yet I am an alien. How could we have gotten to this place? How did Republicans get to this place? I suspect that my ideals are much more in step with the greatest Republican of them all, Abraham Lincoln, than are the political snobs which make up the ideologically pure radical right, yet I am the outcast.
I came to know Rick Santorum through his own words. I heard him and saw him on National Television saying that the words of fellow Democrat, President John F. Kennedy, concerning separation of church and state made him sick to his stomach. I have heard him take the self appointed role as arbiter of public morality in America in suggesting that sex for any other purpose other than for procreation is wrong. I have heard him say with his own voice that separation of church and state has no place in American culture.
I'm sorry, I'm a Christian too. I've been a Christian all my life and as a life long Christian I don't want Rick Santorum in all his self-righteousness deciding for me and my family what is moral and what is immoral. Neither do I want his Church deciding what is moral and immoral for me and my family. As a true Christian who knows that God created all that is and called it good, I know that sex played a much bigger role in my married life that just procreation. Long after my wife and I made the decision to have no more children, our sexual intimacy bonded us and supported us and gave us joy and a sense of oneness in our marriage. Santorum is evidently too stupid and too morally superior to the rest of us to conceive of that sort of thing and to see it as a part of God's plan.
Frankly in my heritage as a Christian my church has never once killed or persecuted someone for exposing a principle based on science that later came to be commonly accepted as scientific fact. The Church of Mr. Santorum has involved itself in such persecutions time and time again. Modern Popes have seen fit to apologize for such foolishness, yet they have never quite seen their way clear to refrain from repeating their errors. Their apologies have not restored the life of a single person they murdered in the name of God.
In my church, just last Sunday, my preacher stood before his congregation and told us there are many paths to God and that we should not think that the path we choose to follow is the only path recognized by God. Mr. Santorum's church takes quite the opposite approach. They see themselves as the only true church and they see their leader as the exalted representative of Christ on earth. The rest of us who call ourselves Christians are misguided and most likely damned in their eyes.
I'd rather not be subject to the reasonings and the rationales of men who are capable of such beliefs. The last time I checked, our forefathers came to this country to remove themselves from this kind of foolishness and pontification.
Mr. Santorum and all he represents are politically and socially dangerous to those who wish to remain their own arbiters of faith and choose their own paths to redemption in a country that has freedom of and freedom from religion. And many to whom I refer are not members of Mr. Santorum's church at all. The misguided fundamental Christians from the Protestant radical right are just as dangerous if not more dangerous than Mr. Santorum.
I've been a Republican all of my adult life, but if Rick Santorum is the Republican nominee for President, as much as it pains me; and it will pain me, I will be voting for Barack Obama for a second term. There is much I fear from an Obama second term; but I do not fear for the freedom to exercise my social conscience in a second Obama term. I do fear that in a Santorum Presidency.
And just to be clear, if worse comes to worse and I vote for Obama, it will not mean that I have accepted the mantel of Democrat. It will mean I have rejected the mantel of Republican Right Winger.