Thursday, October 20, 2011





Rick Santorum Spills The Beans


On Wednesday, I referred to Repub presidential candidate Rick Santorum and wrote that his party's attack on family planning "may stem from an antipathy to personal freedom or to the rights of women, but more likely from a decidedly pro-conception bias."

At almost that exact moment, Kalli Joy Gray would blog on Daily Kos about a recent interview (video, below; relevant portion begins at approximately 17:48) caffeinatedthoughts.com held with Santorum, in which the latter commented


One of the things I will talk about that no president has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea ... Many in the Christian faith have said, "Well, that's okay ... contraception's okay."

It's not okay because it's a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be. They're supposed to be within marriage, for purposes that are, yes, conjugal ... but also procreative. That's the perfect way that a sexual union should happen. We take any part of that out, we diminish the act. And if you can take one part out that's not for purposes of procreation, that's not one of the reasons, then you diminish this very special bond between men and women, so why can't you take other parts of that out? And all of a sudden, it becomes deconstructed to the point where it's simply pleasure. And that's certainly a part of it—and it's an important part of it, don't get me wrong—but there's a lot of things we do for pleasure, and this is special, and it needs to be seen as special.

Again, I know most presidents don't talk about those things, and maybe people don't want us to talk about those things, but I think it's important that you are who you are. I'm not running for preacher. I'm not running for pastor, but these are important public policy issues.


In character, the former Pennsylvania senator appears earnest and exhibits a self-awareness lacking in most of the GOP presidential candidates as he concedes "I'm not running for preacher. I'm not running for pastor."

Nonetheless, Santorum is wrong and not merely because his idea of sex is a little antiquated. His concept will not catch on, as he evidently realizes; I've heard that even Independents and Republicans find a "pleasure" in sex which Santorum apparently believes is contrary to his Christian faith.

But if Santorum's view that sex needs to be "special" is quaint and out-of-fashion, his idea that procreation be a major objective of intercourse is neither.

There is a view that conservatives are somehow exempt from what Santorum correctly identifies as a "libertine" trend in society. But, alas, libertinism is an offshoot of individualism, to which many on the right are prone, as their own personal behavior and political approach demonstrate. Whether it's regulation of the financial industry, public transportation, creating greater job opportunities for teachers and police officers, or practically anything which would benefit the community, the GOP stands opposed.

Opposition to popular fashion, such as sex undertaken upon non-traditional impulses, is not the guiding principle of today's right wing. But for the cultural right, procreation is not only a right but a duty, and one which the rest of the conservative realm (loathe to alienate the GOP's popular base) can appear to endorse by its effort to stamp out abortion and birth control.

Be fruitful and multiply, adherents believe. The Republican Party is a pro-life, or at least pro-conception, party (at least until the baby is delivered, at which time ardor wanes). Conception is a value many of them hold dear, one in which many of the faithful find Biblical confirmation, and one which holds together disparate elements of the party whose members clearly are not nearly as fastidious about traditional values. The interest in encouraging births throughout the population may be impractical and even counter-productive in modern society- but as a guiding principle in opposition to abortion rights and access to birth control, effective nonetheless.






1 comment:

N. Nabobs said...

The guy's an a-hole but where does he say sex is not pleasurable or that the pleasure of sex is contrary to his Christian faith?

I read, "all of a sudden, it becomes deconstructed to the point where it's simply pleasure. And that's certainly a part of it—and it's an important part of it, don't get me wrong—but there's a lot of things we do for pleasure, and this is special, and it needs to be seen as special."

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