Santorum Deploys Secret-Muslim Dogwhistle

Speaking to a crowd in Ohio yesterday, Rick Santorum invoked fear of The Other and implied that President Obama bases his policies on some shadowy text or belief system rather than the bible. The obvious implication being that he is a secret-Muslim.

The “president’s agenda” is “not about you,” he said. “It’s not about you. It’s not about your quality of life. It’s not about your job.

“It’s about some phony ideal, some phony theology,” Santorum said to applause from the crowd. “Oh, not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology, but no less a theology.”

Not a theology based on the bible. Is Santorum implying he bases it on the Quran? The Necronomicon? The Similarion?

Santorum probably isn’t familiar with the later, so I can only assume this is his way of intimating that President Obama is a secret-Muslim who bases his presidency on the Quran rather than the bible. And while the Santorum campaign insists he was referring to secularism rather than the president’s religion, I find that hard to believe because one month ago Santorum smiled and looked the other way as one of his supporters said the president was an “avowed Muslim” right in front of him.

Concerning the inspiration for the president’s policies — I don’t believe he does, or needs to, base his policy on any particular religious or creationist text. Because what Republicans see as a matter of faith and theology, the rest of us see as simply a matter of competent governance. Supply-side economics relies on faith that it will work rather than hard evidence, because the hard evidence doesn’t exist. What the evidence we do have supports is what the president’s economic team is basing its diagnosis on.

There is a big risk for Republicans in continuously equating President Obama’s policies with secularism. The risk being that people are going to decide they like secularism, just as they are learning that a little socialism isn’t so bad either.

And while we’re on the subject — the president’s economic philosophy and economic agenda, contextualized in his budget, appears far more Christ-like to me than the Republican agenda of giving to the rich and fucking the poor. And I am a non-believer, but it seems to me that if you actually follow the lessons of the bible rather than slap it on a bumper-sticker, you would necessarily fall in line with the Democratic world-view of economic fairness.

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  • Christine Mitchell

    I agree, and I am a Christian. I’ve been completely disheartened by the right-wing rancor toward the poor, and their hatred for their president. Even in Bush’s worst hour I had no hatred for him as a person, I just disagreed heartily with his policies.

    Dog whistle is a perfect way to describe the messages from this crop of Republican hopefuls. They want to play both sides of the street as if there isn’t a racist bone in their bodies while continually throwing raw meat to their constituencies, then trying to explain it away as if everyone is an idiot who can’t understand what they’re saying.

    I think in President Obama they have picked the wrong bluh-person to mess with. He’s going to win again, there will be a Democratic majority in the House and Senate after this year’s election, and we’ll finally get things done.

    • West_of_the_Cascades

      I belong to the same denomination that President Obama does and wholeheartedly agree with Christine.

      While this definitely was a dog-whistle, it may have been a very different dog-whistle than “secret Muslim.” I don’t think that’s a card Santorum has ever played (although he turned down a chance to correct one of his supporters ranting about that a few weeks ago).

      Instead, this may have been a “President Obama isn’t the RIGHT kind of Christian” whistle which you have to be tuned into the zealot religious right to hear: the only “theology of the Bible” these people care about are the parts that allegedly address homosexuality and abortion/family planning. So if the President doesn’t follow those Old Testament (and misunderstood) passages, he has a “different theology” than the people Santorum wants to appeal to.

      If I’m right, what’s ironic is that there are two Catholics and a Mormon trying to sell themselves to the fundamentalist right wing voters as more “Christian” than a liberal Christian President whose professional (and seemingly personal) views are much more in line with the New Testament theology of Jesus.

      • West_of_the_Cascades

        This article at Washington Monthly about a speech Santorum gave four years ago makes me even more confident he has something far, far weirder going on than “secret Muslim” dog whistling here –

        http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2012_02/santorum_to_mainline_protestan035489.php#comments

        Political Animal
        Blog
        February 17, 2012 2:30 PM Santorum to Mainline Protestants: You Are Satan’s Spawn

        By Ed Kilgore
        Facebook Twitter Digg Reddit StumbleUpon Delicious

        Kyle Mantyla of People for the American Way’s indispensable Right Wing Watch has come up with an audiotape of a Rick Santorum address to the students of the conservative Catholic Ave Maria University in Florida, delivered in 2008. It’s an altogether remarkable speech depicting Rick as a leader in a “spiritual war” against Satan for control of America. Much of its involves the usual right-wing stuff about the conquest of academia (outside bastions like Ave Maria) by the forces of moral relativism, but then there is this Santorum assessment of mainline Protestantism:

        [O]nce the colleges fell and those who were being educated in our institutions, the next was the church. Now you’d say, ‘wait, the Catholic Church’? No. We all know that this country was founded on a Judeo-Christian ethic but the Judeo-Christian ethic was a Protestant Judeo-Christian ethic, sure the Catholics had some influence, but this was a Protestant country and the Protestant ethic, mainstream, mainline Protestantism, and of course we look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is in shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it.

        Now there is no uniform definition of “mainline Protestantism,” but most people would understand it as including the religious denominations affiliated with the World Council of Churches (which claim 560 million members), or in the U.S., with the National Council of Churches (about 45 million members). That’s a lot of church-going Christians. And while it’s not unusual to hear the occasional Protestant fundamentalist or Catholic traditionalist mock us mainliners as morally and theologically lax, excessively “secular,” too “liberal,” too friendly to feminists and sodomites and so on and so forth, you don’t hear many politicians publicly talk that way, much less suggest all these Christians are really in the grasp of Satan.

        I’d say Rick needs to be held accountable for these remarks, unless he chooses to repudiate them. I hope the Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Disciples of Christ, Congregationalists, etc., who encounter him on the campaign trail ask him about it. It’s not as though the man can claim he believes in a strict separation of religious and political viewpoints.

  • http://twitter.com/stanchaz stan chaz

    I’VE HAD ENOUGH! In this Holy War on Religion, of Religion, and by Religion, I SURRENDER! I’m a lover, not a fighter.  Instead… I’m gonna start my OWN religion, and get in on the good stuff: tax exemptions, and lots of taxpayer money to do what I want, in the name of religious liberty. Most definitely! Hey NEWT -wanna join? We’re gonna have open marriages and multiple wives and all SORTS of neat stuff that you’re just gonna love! But don’t you worry your little head Newt : we’ll have no , I repeat, NO nasty stoning of adulterers. None of that stuff. I Promise! As for SANTORUM, he just LOVES to tell other people how to live. He’ll make us a REAL fine preacher-man. In fact, we’ll make him Saint Santorum. AND fix his Google search results! As for Mr. Obama,  obviously, we’ll need to (severely) demonize him, even further. And his dog Toto too. Last but not least: MITT and RON. Hmmm. Hey, just for you two guys: we’ll insist on NO TAXES AT ALL for church members…AND human sacrifice of illegal aliens. Out with their hearts! Televised! Live! Whoooppee! WHAT A COUNTRY!  :-)
    By the way, please don’t mention the REASON that Mitt Romney’s dad was born in Mexico (i.e. The fact that Mitt’s Mormon grand-dad left the United States in the 1880’s. He went to Mexico BECAUSE laws against polygamy were passed in the U.S. ; Being a Mormon back then, Mitt’s grand-dad wanted to keep his multiple wives. Hey, who wouldn’t?) Bottom line: if we follow the “logic” of the people crying crocodile tears about a non-existent “war on religion”, then the U.S. should have allowed polygamy (and who knows what else) just because a particular religion claimed it as their cherished belief. GIVE ME A BREAK!
    Absolutely NO ONE is coming into our Churches or places of worship and trying to tell parishioners what to believe…..or forcing them to use contraception. BUT If the Bishops (and other denominations) want to continue running businesses that employ millions of people of varying faiths -or no “faith” at all- THEN they must play by the same rules and rights that other workers have and enjoy…especially if their businesses use our tax dollars (and skip paying taxes) in the process. This is not a “war on religion”. It’s a war on women and men who simply want to plan their families and control their future. Now that’s REAL religious liberty!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZO6YMHMIYX6J4BX6UU7HZ52SMQ Kevin Krupski

    And what is even worse about anal fluff is that he views on social issues are shared with only the most hardcore of the USA. Not only does he not want abortions and birth control of any time, He hate casual sex (which, lets face it is the one of main reasons people get married) woman in the work place and armed forces and what to run a Roman Catholic Empire. As a Catholic, he is a FRAUD!!! Jesus Christ never preached this shit he spreads. Still, I hope he does win because it will lead to the biggest Dem win in November since the 64.

    • http://cousinavi.wordpress.com cousinavi

      Anyone who thinks people get married for casual sex is probably wrong about a lot of other things, too.

  • Dan_in_DE

    I would describe myself as a rationalist. I would of course prefer to have an areligious president. But I’m not too dense to recognize that what Santorum is putting out is the most dangerous rhetoric imaginable. Putting aside the whole secret-muslem thing for a moment. Just insisting that President Obama is more areligious and secular, despite his obvious, truly sincere dedication to the Christian faith, is highly irresponsible. This is as much an incitement to hatred as anything we have seen from the right over the last few years. The credulous wingnuts lap this up, and believing that Obama wants to destroy “their America”, they are livid with hate.

    Interesting how the most devout and faithful among us are the most easily inspired to hate, isn’t it?

    • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

      I wholeheartedly agree. I’ve had many conversations with supposed Christians who question the President’s faith. They either think he is a secret Muslim or they question how sincere he is in his faith. I usually end up showing them that he is much more of a Christian based on his actions they they are. But they refuse to believe…and that’s what it is…a belief with no basis in fact.

      • Dan_in_DE

        And it’s dangerous.

        This is what I’m really getting at: The greatest threat to democracy is encouraging the faithful in their irrational convinctions about political opponents being evil and dangerous. This is what creates nutcases like the one that shot Giffords and her supporters, and the Norwegian nutjob that cold murdered around a hundred aspiring social democrats at a political youth camp. The likes of Santorum, and Glenn Beck of course, are responsible for their incitement to religious hatred. And neither is it an exaggeration in this case nor a violation the intertubes’ beloved Godwin’s law to point out that, this is the rhetoric that leads to fascism. Because it is. Inspiring people and incouraging them in their convictions of hatred for other groups and their convictions of their own moral superiority is simply the most dangerous thing in the world.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Norris/1597765442 Michael Norris

    amen…

  • D_C_Wilson

    It’s true. Obama’s governing philosophy is not based on the Bible.

    You know what else isn’t based on the Bible?

    The US Constitution.

    • Dan_in_DE

      The level of obliviousness is just astounding.

      What this is, at its core, is the typical projection of the faithful, insisting that secular philosophy is the just another form of religious belief, which of course is some kind of threat to their religions. Of course, in actuality, the secular ideals that the US was founded upon are exactly the thing that has made it possible for them to freely believe and safely espouse their ridiculous superstitions!

  • Victor_the_Crab

    Little Ricky Baby-Boy is gonna have a lotta splainin’ to do if he does wins the Republican nomination and has to face Obama in a televised debate. He’ll be packin’ a plastic spork to a gunfight.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Madwriter Danny Adams

    Dear Mr. Santorum: I’ve read the Bible. All the way through even. I do not think it means what I think you think it means.