HAF Profoundly Disappointed by Rick Santorum's Take on
D.C. (February 28, 2012) --
The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) expressed profound disappointment
with Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum's latest comments on religious
liberty. Appearing this past Sunday on ABC's This Week with George
Stephanopoulos, Santorum defended prior remarks from 2011, where he said he
"almost threw up" when reading John F. Kennedy's 1960 speech on the
importance of the separation of church and state. In Kennedy's address to
the Greater Houston Ministerial Association in 1960, he emphasized the need to
keep religion out of public policy and avoid government preference for one
religion over others.
Santorum said he did not believe in the absolute separation of church and state and that Kennedy's speech on the subject was "antithetical of the objectives and vision of our country."
"Mr. Santorum's views are indeed troubling and speak directly to the concerns we expressed last week with an interfaith coalition in the Interfaith Statement of Principles," said Suhag Shukla, Esq., HAF's Managing Director and Legal Counsel. "It is our hope that Mr. Santorum and the other candidates run their campaigns in accordance with core American values, which include respecting religious liberty and not using religion as a means of dividing America."
HAF leaders previously criticized Santorum for claiming that the concept of equality did not come from "Eastern religions," but rather from the "God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."
"This is not the first time Mr. Santorum has made questionable comments about religious liberty and the role of religion in the public sphere," said Samir Kalra, Esq., HAF's Director and Senior Fellow for Human Rights. "While he is free to openly express his religious beliefs, he must respect the constitutional safeguards built into both the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution."
CATHOLIC CONTENDERS ELICIT HATRED
Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments as follows:
Some of the critics of Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have gone beyond Catholic bashing.
Garry Wills is so excited he sees Santorum as a modern-day Torquemada, a man who “equates contraception with the guillotine.” That this lunacy appeared on the blog site of the New York Review of Books speaks volumes. On examiner.com, Michael Hughes compares Santorum to the Taliban, arguing he wants “a Christian form of Sharia law.” Mark Morford at sfgate.com says Santorum reminds him of a molester, someone who is trying to save “the dying Catholic church.”
Larry Doyle at Huffington Post went beyond the candidate to slam all Catholics for participating “in a barbaric ritual…a ‘mass’ in which a black-robed cleric casts a spell over some bread and wine...[resulting] in a cannibalistic reverie.” Sexpert Dan Savage said that when Newt Gingrich was married to his second wife, he was “still f***ing the consecrated host out of his ‘devout Catholic’ mistress.”
The Catholicism of these candidates only explains some of the hatred. John Cassidy in The New Yorker says that Santorum “with his seven kids” (which he notes first and foremost) is radically different from the magazine’s readership. He is right: those for whom abortion is the most precious right can’t figure Santorum out. Neither can Ivan Strenski at religiondispatches.com. While he says photos of Santorum and his daughter who suffers from Trisomy 18 “touched his heart,” he also wonders, “Why would one choose, in effect, to take the risk of bringing a doomed child into the world?”
These people may be threatened by Catholicism, but what gives them the chills are babies. And they really flip over couples like the Santorums and the Palins who don’t abort their disabled children.