Rick Santorum's twisted logic

The former senator's latest column is one long complaint about the way the Bush administration is now referring to terrorists.


Alex Koppelman
May 9, 2008 3:31AM (UTC)

Rick Santorum is upset. No, not about men and dogs -- this time it's about those liberals in the Bush administration who want us to stop calling terrorists "Islamo-fascists."

In his latest column for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Santorum writes:

It's official: We're fighting ... terrorists.

You can also call them violent extremists if you like, but never use jihadist or mujahedeen or Islamo-fascist to describe our enemy. These words are deemed pejorative and offensive, according to a recent Bush administration memorandum to federal employees whose jobs involve explaining our ongoing war to the public.

Actually, that's not really what the memo says. As the Associated Press pointed out, what the memo says is that the banned "words may actually boost support for radicals among Arab and Muslim audiences by giving them a veneer of religious credibility or by causing offense to moderates ... U.S. officials may be 'unintentionally portraying terrorists, who lack moral and religious legitimacy, as brave fighters, legitimate soldiers or spokesmen for ordinary Muslims.'"

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But Santorum doesn't stop there. At one point he complains:

Our government in this memo is teaching us a politically correct version of the truth. For example, it tells us that democracy and Islam are compatible. But Islam is less compatible with democracy than is Christianity. Jesus said, "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's." There was from the beginning a recognition of two realms -- the sacred and the secular. From Islam's inception there has been one realm. Islamic law (sharia) is the law of the government.

But there are some Christians who disagree with Santorum, and they're hardly on the fringe. For example, there's George Grant, who coauthored a book with former Arkansas Gov. -- and recent Republican presidential candidate -- Mike Huckabee. In a book of his own (edited and with an introduction by a man who advocates a return to the stoning of disobedient children) Grant wrote:

The goal of Christian political action is not to usher in a theocracy but to acknowledge the theocracy that already exists (Proverbs 3:6) ...

Christian political action is supposed to place politics openly and publicly under God, in the same way that Christian action in every other area of life does. Civil government is not uniquely immune from the rule of God. Nothing is immune from the rule of God.

And in one interview, when asked, "Wouldn't a Christian Republic run according to God's Law become oppressive to non-Christians?" Grant said:

When we start to pick and choose which Old Testament laws we will adhere to and which ones we won't, we ultimately set ourselves up as judges over God and over all of history. If we start to pick and choose which parts of the Old Testament Law we like and which parts we think are judgmental and which parts are helpful, we have established man as the ultimate standard, the ultimate arbiter of all of law. That means we are ultimately vulnerable to whoever is in power, whoever has control, whoever is able to wield the most authority in the society. That puts us in a very vulnerable state.

I would much rather be judged by God than by a man who I do not know. I would much rather be judged by the merciful, loving Creator of heaven and earth than by an accumulation of men, however wise they may be, and no matter how educated they may be. The foolishness of Christians in our day to negate God's law in favor of politics is absolutely frightening. What we are saying is that we would prefer man-made law over God. Didn't we see enough of that with Hitler and the tyrants of the world?

In the history of the world, societies that adhere to biblical principles are always the most free -- economically, socially, culturally, racially -- if we want freedom, opt for the freedom giving, liberty giving standards of Almighty God. If on the other hand, you like the standard of Stalinism, Leninism, Nazism, or Maoism, then go ahead and walk down the path of the wisdom of the 51 percent, the wisdom that flows out of the barrel of a gun.


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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