Watch Rick Santorum Violate the Ninth Commandment!

While Rick Santorum isn’t quite the World-Class Serial Liar — Mitt Romney holds that trophy — he’s not above spreading a few frothy half-truths. Consider Monday’s attempt at Holy War, delivered to the good people of Muskegon, Michigan:

“When you have the President of the United States referring to the freedom of religion and you have the Secretary of State referring to the freedom of religion, not as the freedom of religion but the freedom of worship, you should get very nervous, very nervous.”

Wait, what? Aren’t the two interchangeable? Well, not quite:

“Because there’s a lot of tyrants around the world who will talk about freedom of worship, but they won’t talk about freedom of religion. Freedom of worship is what you do within the four walls of the church. Freedom of religion is what you do outside the four walls of the church. What the President is now seeming to mold, in the image of other elitists who think that they know best, is to limit the role of faith in the public square and your role to live that faith out in your public and private lives.”

That’s a pretty subtle distinction, coming from somebody who can’t tell the difference between two dudes, and a dude and a dog. And sure enough, it’s not his.

If you Google “Obama Freedom of Worship”, you’ll see a curious series of hits from 2010 — a fair number of them from Catholic publications and writers, and all stemming from a February 22, 2010, article in First Things.

First Things, if you’re not familiar with it — and why should you be? — was founded by Father Richard John Neuhaus. The article was written by Ashley Samelson of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, whose founder Kevin Hasson signed a notorious 2008 New York Times ad (cosigned by Catholic Bigot-in-Chief Bill Donohue) that decried anti-Prop 8 “mobs”.

Just so you know what corner of the pond they fish in.

The article itself, if you read it today, sounds immediately familiar:

Recently, both President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have been caught using the phrase “freedom of worship” in prominent speeches, rather than the “freedom of religion” the President called for in Cairo.

If the swap-out occurred only once or twice, one might appropriately conclude it was merely a rhetorical accident. However, both the President and his Secretary of State have now replaced “freedom of religion” with “freedom of worship” too many times to seem inadvertent.

Why the concern? “Any person of faith knows that religious exercise is about a lot more than freedom of worship,” writes Samelson.

Well, that would be worrisome — if true. But when we search the White House website for “freedom of worship”, we only get five hits — four from 2009, and one from 2011. And when we search instead for “freedom of religion”, we get forty-three hits — including twenty from 2011, and three so far this year.

Like this one, from January 6: “As events in Egypt and elsewhere have illustrated, and as history repeatedly reminds us, freedom of religion, the protection of people of all faiths, and the ability to worship as you choose are critical to a peaceful, inclusive and thriving society.”

Or this one, from ten days ago: “Part of our goal with respect to this visit is for Vice President Xi to understand the issues that are important to us, and that includes issues like the situation in Tibet, like freedom of speech and freedom of religion, and so on.”

And, since you didn’t ask, “freedom of worship” shows up twenty-seven times at the White House website of known heathen George W. Bush.

So, what happened? The usual: Some idiot got upset because President Obama used the same language as his predecessor, it became a Wingnut Meme, and now it’s being spouted by a Republican presidential candidate who won’t Google it because Google makes him feel like shit.

Only Rick Santorum should know better, and very likely does. But hey, that still leaves nine Commandments unsullied.

4 comments:

9:02 am • Tuesday • February 21, 2012

But the sad part is that Ricky doesn’t believe he has.

9:17 am • Tuesday • February 21, 2012

Why do I have this feeling that Santorum has some embarrassing incident involving him and another man, just waiting to be broken on the news? Or perhaps it’s just wishful thinking.

10:49 am • Tuesday • February 21, 2012

Oh for goodness’ sake, it’s a distinction without a difference.

12:52 am • Wednesday • February 22, 2012

Every time he speaks, another woman goes lesbo.

Ayatollah Santoruh’s mouth is like a Gatling glitter gun.

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