Sunday, March 11, 2012

"Santorum & Christendom" according to Tony Jones


First, I do not think America is or ever really was a Christian nation. I think it looks nothing like the example given to us in Jesus Christ. I think we potentially shame Him by attributing our nation to His example.

Second, I almost expect the governing body to enforce tolerance/intolerance as they see fit. For them not to do so would be a healthy reminder that cynicism is poisonous to my self-esteem.

Third, the separation of church and state is often touted by many to exclude religious convictions from the public office. I do not see this as possible, nor even necessary. What I interpret the First Amendment to say is that there must be no state run church, see England's Monarchy from which we "fled." Meaning, Rick Santorum cannot start up the "Church of Santorum" but he certainly has the ability to act upon his convictions.

Fourth, I do not think the American Rick Santorum believes in exists. I do not prescribe to idealism within the cesspool of politics for the same reason I do not promote the forcible inhaling of legos through one's nasal cavity.

Fifth, nor do I prescribe to Tony Jones' perspective on american government and politics, and I think he is inconsistent with whom he supports and doesn't support. This, of course, is entirely relative to my own positions. ;-)

Onto the brief responses offered by Tony Jones.
Here’s the thing: the rights afforded us by the First Amendment are sacrosanct, at least in a non-religious sense. But, as a religious person, I abdicate some of my rights when I submit to living in a country with laws. If my religion dictates that I smoke weed, or that I sacrifice cats, I don’t get to do that. My religious rights are not absolute — they are relative, because they are judged in the relative weight with the good for society.
I'm not certain utilitarianism ought to be the guiding principle here. In fact, I see utilitarianism itself as possible relative. So I'm not convinced Tony has quite made his point, even if I think I know what he is getting at.

I would rephrase his comments as "my religious rights are absolute, but how I act upon them is relative to society and the /possible/ damage that can be done to others."
But neither are First Amendment rights absolute. You don’t get to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater, and you don’t get to post kiddie porn on the internet. Again, the good of the society trumps your individual rights.
I think I agree.
That’s why Santorum’s views on contraception, for instance, are reckless. He may be personally appalled that men and women use contraceptives, and he can use his bully pulpit to promote those views. But to impose those personal views on the rest of us is the equivalent to Mitt Romney forcing us all to wear sacred undergarments, or Barack Obama making women wear burkas.
I'm not certain where the leap in this comes from. Santorum acting upon his conscience is no different than the President authorizing partial-birth abortion. We elect people BASED on their personal views and how they will (or say/lie) enforce them. Many of us knew what we were getting when we elected Barack Obama, and in a way, most/all of us know what we will get if we elect Rick Santorum. At least we have that going for us. . . . . .

I would argue that Tony is operating out of an idealistic view of government when history ought to dictate the reality of government and the opinion and policies of individual people and how they act towards their constituents. Contrast Hitler with Barney. One preached utilitarianism from a TV screen and one was purple. ;-)

To impose those personal views upon people is simply how government works in the mind of a cynic, and dammit Jim, what is more recklessly American then that?

Tony Jones/ Rick Santorum

--Nick

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