Any chance Rick Santorum will give up bigotry for Lent?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

17 thoughts on “Penance”

  1. Short answer: Naah.

    Longer Answer: Not as long as the infernal legions of Satan Mekratrig, the Olde Deluder himself, are on the march behind the twin standards of crypto-Muslim Obama and crypto-polygynist Romney, seducing the potentially faithful with adult behavior and mid-road progressivism on one hand, and plausible-until-you-listen-to-it Chamber of Commerce-inflected twaddle on the other.

    Sorry. I _so_ tried to give up sarcasm for Lent.

    1. I would think chiefly regarding Muslims, protestants, jews and especially homosexuals regardless of their religious beliefs.

      1. Props to James Taranto at WSJ for tweet of the day – “Weird religion: Satan is against America. Normal religion: God damn America.”

          1. Yeah, that’s right, Bux/Taranto! Why didn’t Obama ever have to disavow Rev. Wright? Not to mention the fact that Wright was able to continue his presidential candidacy uninterrupted by criticism.

            Bux/Taranto world is a strange, strange place, but I think I’m getting the hang of it.

          2. There isn’t nearly enough room in the countable sets for human stupidity. It’s got to be Aleph-2, at the very least.

        1. Good religion – God hates gays, liberals, Muslims, feminists, environmentalists, secularists and taxes.
          Bad religion – God hates America’s foreign policy, torture, and neglect of the poor, infirm and aged.
          My religion – I’m not sure if there’s an afterlife, but if I wind up spending eternity next to James Taranto, I’ll know I screwed up big time.

        2. I notice that you do not seem willing or capable of defending Rick Santorum against Mark’s charge of bigotry. You ask “what bigotry?” but that is a particularly hollow reply in light of Santorum’s long history as a culture-warrior of the Catholic extreme-right. He attacks on other faiths, including the ones recently made public which I read as denouncing main-line Protestants as little more than Satanic fellow-travelers, are too numerous to catalog here. His attacks on homosexuals are legendary (Google “Santorum” or “Santorum man on dog” and you’ll see what I mean).

          Mark obviously believes (as do I) that many of these infamous statements reveal Santorum to be a bigot and (speaking for myself only) a dangerous religious fanatic who should be shunned by respectable society. Now, you would seem to disagree but instead of offering a defense of Santorum (such as advancing an argument that these are not the words of a bigot), you simply try to shift the argument by pointing out that there are people that you apparently dislike who might be bigots, too. But this is not relevant to rebutting Mark’s claim (and mine) that Santorum is bigoted against other religions and most particularly against homosexuals.

          So my question is this: Can you offer a defense of Santorum on the merits?

  2. He’s not the only bigot. I guess I have my moments too. Waldman’s words – “To a degree rarely discussed, many conservative Christians truly doubt both the theological truth and the spiritual authenticity of liberal Christians.” – sum up how I sometimes feel about conservative Christians. That is, I wonder how they lost sight of Jesus, who was not in any way conservative as far as I can tell. (That stuff is usually St. Paul or the OT, imho.)

    But I bet we would go 15 rounds on that, and get exactly nowhere. It is really just feeling up different legs of the elephant at that point. No use having the conversation at all, I think.

    1. Good point. It explains why right-wing fundies like to quote “The Apostle Paul” so much. I’ve actually had Paul’s words quoted to me in rebuttal to quoting Jesus.

  3. Not sure what any of this has to do with the Presidential race – and certainly nothing to do with bigotry. I prescribe a dictionary for Mark and the other left wingnuts here. However, the theological debate is completely out of hand for which there is plenty of blame to go around. It didn’t resonate much in 2008 so why revive it now when there are real issues we can argue about? I don’t even care what Rick, Mitt or Barack believe about God. More concerned about the ongoing role they see for our country and federal government. About that, I am sure we would also disagree, but at least then we are talking about issues that matter to the election.

    1. Redwave:
      I agree that we should be concerned about the ongoing role the candidates “see for our country and federal government”, not their religious beliefs. However, a number of candidates seem to think that the proper role is that of a theocracy. At this point, the content of their religious beliefs become relevant, unless you choose to reject any theocracy out of hand. In which case, you are obligated to reject these candidates out of hand.

    2. It is relevant for presidential and other federal elections because being non-religious is one of the greatest stigmas you can attach to an American politician. Note that there are more openly gay members of Congress than there are openly atheist members of Congress.

      As to the dictionary definition of bigotry, it seems to be a pretty good match. Rick Santorum espouses a very narrow definition of Christianity, accusing Obama of “phony theology” and arguing, essentially, that liberal Christianity is an oxymoron:

      “However, he questioned whether liberal christianity was really, well, Christian. “You’re a liberal something, but you’re not a Christian.”

      1. Regarding the General election:

        The culture war is relevant again because the economy seems to be improving.

        Regarding the Republican primaries:

        The culture war is always relevant. The base they are shilling for has a mean age of 70 and watches Fox News exclusively.
        They are preaching to a captured pre-Alzheimer choir at best… And you expect policy discussions?

  4. No, but Gingrich might give up his third wife for Lent.

    (Shamelessly stolen from someone else, I don’t recall who.)

  5. Mark, if one gives up things for Lent, one doesn’t give up the essentials of life. For example, going on bread and water only would be acceptable, but giving up bread would be too much.

    For Santorum, giving up bigotry would be like giving up bread.

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