In Lockstep With the Vatican

The things that make little Ricky vomit:

Former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) on Sunday defended a statement he made last October in which he said that he “almost threw up” when he read John F. Kennedy’s 1960 Houston address on the role of religion in public life.


He went on to note that the First Amendment “says the free exercise of religion — that means bringing everybody, people of faith and no faith, into the public square.”

“Kennedy for the first time articulated the vision saying, ‘No, faith is not allowed in the public square. I will keep it separate.’ Go on and read the speech. ‘I will have nothing to do with faith. I won’t consult with people of faith.’ It was an absolutist doctrine that was abhorrent at the time of 1960.”

Later in the interview, Stephanopoulos asked Santorum, “You think you wanted to throw up?”

“Well, yes, absolutely,” Santorum replied. “To say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes you throw up. What kind of country do we live that says only people of non-faith can come into the public square and make their case? That makes me throw up.”

Of course, that isn’t what Kennedy said at all. What Kennedy was stating was that his decision-making would not be held hostage to the demands of the Vatican (or any other church leadership):

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials; and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jew— or a Quaker or a Unitarian or a Baptist. It was Virginia’s harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that helped lead to Jefferson’s statute of religious freedom. Today I may be the victim, but tomorrow it may be you — until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped at a time of great national peril.

Nowhere in the speech did he dictate that people of faith could have no role in public life. Nowhere. Santorum is lying or stupid or both, and I’m going to go with both and throw in a dash of evil.

What Santorum wants is not religious freedom. What he wants is the freedom to force you to live by his religious beliefs.

69 replies
  1. 1
    Nutella says:

    Questions like this: “Is Santorum lying or stupid or evil?” always have the same answer: All of the above.


  2. 2
    gbear says:

    A subject so nice it got posted twice.

  3. 3
  4. 4
    eemom says:

    I think I am going to die if I have to read another word about Rick Santorum.

  5. 5
    BGinCHI says:

    I didn’t see the interview, but if he didn’t ask how Santorum would bring his religious beliefs to hear on “public life” then GS missed an opportunity. It would have been helpful to have let Rick go down the garden path of his policy desires in terms of how they’d be influenced by his beliefs.

    Let’s get the specifics of this on the table.

    Let’s get the underbelly of the GOP out for everyone to see.

  6. 6
    BGinCHI says:


    I think I am going to die if I have to read another word about Rick Santorum.[!]

    There you go, fixed.

  7. 7
    Jeff Boatright says:

    Hey, if the GOP wants to run against the memory of JFK, who are you to get in their way of (yet again) stepping on their underutilized ventral appendages?

  8. 8
    eemom says:

    also too, “people of faith.” I SO fucking hate that phrase, I want to fashion the word “faith” out of a bunch of asiangrrl’s best rusty pitchforks and shove it up Santorum’s ass. That’s as close as he’ll ever get to an accurate exemplar of that concept.

  9. 9
    gbear says:

    I’m not sure that I’d call him evil. He’s just an asshole. A total fucking asshole. A major league asshole.

  10. 10
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Yeah, it’s pretty ugly when combine Santorum and vomit.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    eemom says:

    and STOP calling him “little Ricky.” That is the name of an innocent child character on my beloved I Love Lucy series. Must EVERYTHING be destroyed??

    [wanders off muttering in search of lost fucking mind]

  13. 13
    hells littlest angel says:

    JFK made baby Jesus cry throw up.

  14. 14

    Rih always looks and acts like someone who has been in dire need of an enema. For years now.

    I do believe the only pleasure he gets is power over others. And for that reason alone he’s not qualified to be so much as a WalMart greeter.

  15. 15
    rikyrah says:

    of course, he wants to shove down his religiousness down your throat.

    keep on talking, Little Ricky.

  16. 16
    MikeJ says:

    @Jeff Boatright:

    Hey, if the GOP wants to run against the memory of JFK, who are you to get in their way of (yet again) stepping on their underutilized ventral appendages?

    After all, that period is so hated that people refer to it with the shorthand name of Camelot. It expresses how people thought of the era as backwards, primitive, barbaric…
    Please GOP, please remind people how much that hate JFK. I want to see Santorum’s wife burn a pillbox hat!

  17. 17
    MaxxLange says:

    Is he aware (hah) that anti-Catholic bigotry was a huge political problem for Kennedy? I’ve talked to Catholics who grew up in the South, and many of them said that they realized that other children were being taught that they were not even Christians, that they were idol worshippers. Is he aware that the Kennedy presidency was instrumental in advancing the mainstream acceptance of Catholicism in America?

  18. 18
    Poopyman says:

    What Santorum wants is not religious freedom. What he wants is the freedom to force you to live by his religious beliefs.

    Right. Which to my mind (sorry gbear) is much more than a dash of evil. He wants to control you.

    It’s stupid to be so forthright about it this early in his rise to world domination, though. Probably not gonna make it to the top that way.

  19. 19
    suzanne says:

    Santorum is lying or stupid

    Come on now. We’re postmodern, Both/and, not either/or.

    I really can’t decide which one of those shitstains I hate the most. Every time I think I make up my mind, one of the others will do/say something so odious that I change my mind.

  20. 20
    Anya says:

    Little Ricky is one of the few things that make me want to vomit. As Zbigniew Brzezinski said, Sanatorium “sounds like a medieval Savanarola.”

  21. 21
    muddy says:


    They love rights so much they want to take yours.

  22. 22
    Emerald says:

    What’s marginally interesting about Santorum’s position on this is that although he’s supposedly a rigidly conservative Catholic, he doesn’t follow the Vatican when it conflicts with Republicanism.

    Examples: The Vatican agrees that there is human-caused global climate change. Rih repudiates that. The Vatican agrees that evolution happened. Not Rih. The Pope praised the Occupy movement. Rih disagrees.

    So who’s he gonna follow when he’s prez? Not the pope, apparently. James Dobson? Frank Graham? Will Rih become a Dominionist protestant in order to get the White House? (Sorta like Paris being worth a mass)

    Thomas Jefferson can sleep secure in the surety that Rih won’t choose Anglicanism, at least.

  23. 23
    BGinCHI says:

    @Emerald: Between God and Mammon, Rick takes Mammon.

  24. 24
    wrb says:

    It was Virginia’s harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that helped lead to Jefferson’s statute of religious freedom.

    It was also due to the insufferabe pigheadness of the women of my family.

    One of my umpteenth grannies, after being packed off to Rhode Island by the Mass. governor for Quakering, would march right back and Quaker at him. Finally the poor guy was overcome by a temptation felt by many men since, when confronted by my female relations- he went and hanged her.

    Those who didn’t understand the extremity of provocation frowned on this, and the causes of religious conformity and male peace of mind were grievously set back.

  25. 25
    Baud says:

    It was an absolutist doctrine that was abhorrent at the time of 1960.

    Actually, most historians agree that it was Kennedy’s rigid intolerance of religion in public life, more than anything else, that handed Nixon the presidency in 1960. (Source: Conservapedia).

  26. 26
    BGinCHI says:

    I dreamed last night that Obama sang The Silver Jews’ song “Rebel Jew” to Rick Santorum in a WH ballroom:

    Rebel Jew

    In the times I dream Jesus
    it’s like he’s coming through the walls
    when I’m working at my desk at night
    I hear his footsteps in the hall

    you can believe me not believe me
    I’m just a bird upon the sill
    and these words just pour right through me
    like water through a mill

    he was a rebel jew
    he was a rebel jew
    and he died for you and your sins
    he was a rebel jew
    he was a rebel jew
    let him in

    sometimes I dream of Texas
    yeah, it’s the biggest part of me
    and the planes look like the sea at night
    oh, she wants to be so free

    she is a rebel state
    she is a rebel state
    and it’s not too late for her to break
    from a sick, sick union
    an unhealed wound and separate

    all the time I dream of Michelle
    and the towers in her mind
    some women lie down with killers
    oh, my baby’s not that kind

    she is a real good girl
    yeah, she’s a real good girl
    and she stops the world so I can’t see
    that she’s a good, good girl
    a good, good girl to me

  27. 27
    Yutsano says:

    @BGinCHI: Rih already has taken Mammon. He just wraps himself in the robes of piety to obfuscate his true Lord and Master. All he wants is the trappings of power, then he will think himself holier than even the Mother Church. It’s a tale told many times before.

  28. 28
    4tehlulz says:

    Santorum is a self-hating Catholic.

  29. 29
    wrb says:


    Felt, not succumbed, He’s the only one who succumbed, so far as I know.

  30. 30
    trollhattan says:

    Thing that makes me want to vomit–Jan Brewer–passes on Rih and endorses Romney. Jerry gets in some shots. Love Jerry!

    Brown, in Washington for the winter meeting of the National Governors Association, accused Republicans of making an “extreme move to the right.” He said of a match-up between President Barack Obama and any of the Republican candidates, “What we’re looking at is a reasonable man versus reckless men.”

  31. 31
    el donaldo says:

    Given how people tend to respond to little Frothy, he’s going to regret introducing “makes me want to vomit” into the discourse.

  32. 32
    trollhattan says:


    True dat, to which I respond, “Keep f*ckin’ that chicken.”

  33. 33
    Citizen_X says:

    @el donaldo: Maybe he’s trying to get glitter-bombing replaced with puke-bombing.

    Me, I’m just going to show up at his rallies carrying a sign that says, “‘MAKES ME THROW UP’–Rick Santorum”

  34. 34
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I’m telling you, he has no idea that the kinds of religious belief and religious practice protected in the notion of “religious liberty” are inward and personal, not outward and public. It’s about being able to believe and worship, _not_ being able to discriminate and coerce. And there are millions of people out there making the same mistake, either by willful choice or by willful ignorance.

  35. 35
    Mark K says:

    Santorum is a fucking liar. Thats the one word we all need to use over and over again. Santorum is a LIAR.

  36. 36
    scav says:

    Rick Santorum, 2012: Restoring Dignity and Righteousness to the White House by Puking on past co-religionist Residents.

  37. 37
    Frank says:

    In Lockstep With the Vatican

    I wouldn’t go that far. Heck, as with most other things, Santorum and his ilk make up whatever they want to believe from the bible.

    The Pope more than once clearly argued strongly against the US invasion of Iraq. Santorum objected to the Pope and voted for the war.

    Hell, when they claimed “we are all Catholics now”, I really wonder which catholic church they referred to.

  38. 38
    BGinCHI says:

    What might have been:

    George Steph: “Does the Catholic Church’s suppression of evidence of the molestation of dozens of boys by priests make you want to throw up? What, as President, would you do about it?”

  39. 39
    Wordsmith says:

    @MaxxLange: In other words, JFK broke ground for the likes of the Catholic Santorum to run unhindered without pressure to renounce his religious ideology.

    Did I say that correctly? I know what I’m thinking. Lately when it comes to the likes of Santorum & his shit (not to mention the OTHER dipshits) I’m having to talk myself out of buying a gun. Somehow listening to them makes it seem like I should have a gun…somewhere.

  40. 40
    jl says:

    Let Rih the Rabid rail.

    Rih must be considered a critical test of peak wingnut. However the test comes out, seems like good news, since he is ripping the mask off the current debased version of the GOP.

    Lemme see what Rih has been up to lately

    Public education is bad, and against the U.S. tradition (I guess Satan has misled us on the real meaning of Jefferson, Madison and Franklin’s public and private statements on it)

    Kollej turns people into atheistic rootless cosmopolitan sex dope drug addict DFHs.

    It is elitist for everyone to go to kollej.

    Rih the Rabid and his friends are in a heavy weight title match over the soul of America.

    Either this nut case wins, or he drags the rest of the GOP field over the cliff with him, if recent experience is any guide.

    And if he stays near Romney, sooner or later Romney is going to go after Rih’s political history, which is not that of a constant religious fanatic, but that of an opportunist.

    The Young Turks has some good ones on Rih’s dubious sincerity in their youtube clips.

  41. 41
    elmertfudd says:

    Spreading Santorum far and wide. Got to keep his google stats high.

  42. 42
    celticdragonchick says:


    I think I am going to die if I have to read another word about Rick Santorum.

    You may not be interested in War Rick Santorum, but War Rick Santorum is interested in you.

    Not to mention anybody else who has an XX chromosome.

  43. 43
    scav says:

    @BGinCHI, BGinCHI, BGinCHI, BGinCHI: You’ve clearly been indoctrinated to think that this all isn’t safely covered by Religious(tm) Freedom(tm) Holy Holy Holy †††. Have you or anyone you know ever stepped on or near a college campus? Case closed.

  44. 44
    Commenting at Ballon Juice since 1937 says:

    When it comes to Little Ricky, I vote stupid. Mind deadening, heroin hazed, back woods inbred level of stupid.

  45. 45
    Triassic Sands says:

    If Ricky becomes president, I have no doubt that the model for future SCOTUS appointments would be Alito, whose every decision is seen through his faith first. In the event that his faith doesn’t provide his answer, he may then consult the Constitution. Justice Alito represents the exact opposite of what Kennedy said and what every public official should strive to be. With Alito on the bench, I feel like the Pope is part of every Supreme Court decision. And it’s wrong.

    People don’t need faith to have a sense of right and wrong. Faith is unnecessary to understanding the Constitution. Therefore, faith and religious beliefs should have absolutely nothing to do with judicial decisions and making government policy. Faith is like the coccyx — it is primitive, unnecessary, and irrelevant. There was a time when our evolutionary ancestors used their tails to good effect. So, too, religious belief may have once served a useful role in human society. Both are unnecessary today. Sadly, while our coccyx, which only shows up on x-rays, is all that is left of the tail we no longer need, we have not been as successful at ridding ourselves of faith and religious belief, both of which have outlived their usefulness.

  46. 46

    @efgoldman: #22

    As a Jew, Senator Savonarola scares the living shit out of me.

    I’m not Jewish but he scares me, too. He is such a true believer and could do such harm to so many people.

    And that is one reason why I think that crossing over to vote for Santorum in a Republican primary is dangerous. What if he actually won? It would be horrible.

    I don’t live in Michigan so I don’t have to make a decision about that yet. Fortunately.

  47. 47
    celticdragonchick says:


    I think I am going to die if I have to read another word about Rick Santorum.

    You may not be interested in War Rick Santorum, but War Rick Santorum is interested in you.

    Not to mention anybody else who has an XX chromosome.

  48. 48
    BGinCHI says:

    @scav: Well, I did read Marcuse once. And the dirty parts of Hegel.

  49. 49
    Unabogie says:

    You know what makes me want to throw up? Googling his name.

  50. 50
    celticdragonchick says:

    Weird. Duplicate comment.

  51. 51
    slightly-peeved says:

    So has everyone in the Republican party forgotten the concept that politicians are meant to hold to a higher standard of behaviour than ordinary people? It’s like Romney with the ‘why shouldn’t I dodge taxes?’ attitude. Even W. made the occasional attempt to act in a statesmanlike manner.

  52. 52
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Frank: They really mean Roman Catholic (I know, it’s shorthand) but there are also Old Catholics, Ukrainian, Moravian Catholics (German/Austrian), Marionite Catholics (Lebanon, IIRC), Egyptian (Coptics), Byzantine (Greek and Eastern Orthodox). Lots of splinter groups too. And they all aren’t Roman.

  53. 53
    General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zero) says:

    and I’m going to go with both and throw in a dash of evil.

    He will still get 40 percent of the vote if nominated. At least. And it is ironic, that Kennedy made that speech on separation of church and state to mollify protestant busy bodies in this country, that he would not be taking orders from the Pope while presidenting.

    My brane isn’t working well enough today to describe that irony, or whatever it is. Other than to say it is all fucked up that a religious nutball like Santorum has a national stage, and still the national lead of the GOP. And sees fit to hammer a beloved dead president for reciting the constitution. While every Sunday, protestant right wing proletariat takes to the peeuus, and whisper all sorts of nasty shit about them Catholics, and likely agree with Rick on the more religion in government stuff, but just not his kind of religion. How did we get here? I’ll tell you how. The wingnuts bribed the moron voters with easy cheap plastic money for 3 decades, while they heisted the national treasury, all the while singing Rock of Ages and You’ve Got A Friend In Jesus and dropping bombs when they could. We don’t need an election, we need a secular exorcism to rid ourselves of blowhard preacher peckerwoods like Rick Santorum et al, who apparently can’t read nor tell the truth.

  54. 54
    cathyx says:

    I, too, am republican presidential candidated out. It is now making my brain hurt to think and discuss them.

  55. 55
    elmertfudd says:

    Santowum won’t spwaed vewy faw.

  56. 56
    jl says:

    Rih is right about some things. In grad school I taught at community colleges in Southern CA, and to get my certificates in econ and stats, I had to agree to use subtle mind programming to turn people into elitist debauched godless atheists and commies.

    Yeah, sure, they would sign up for some class like intro business econ, or technical math for some training certificate.

    But I taught them about limited liability for corporate shareholders. I did NOT teach them that corporate shareholders bear all the risks and should get whatever they want.

    I also fomented class war in my stats classes by teaching that the mean, median and mode (whichever appropriate for the data) could not be above the 99th percentile.

    In other words, I taught Godless LIES, because I hate goodness. And you wonder about the horrors you see in the news about all those tradespeople and accountants who went to kollej for technical math, are now drinking Absinthe and smoking dope, having sex with stray dogs, and destroying the Christian fabric of Southern California? The wreckage produced by Democratic Reps from Orange County? Well, I am Satanically proud that I played a part in it.

    There was also some secret lesbian/abortion mind programming material from the Girl Scouts that I never understood, but I taught it anyway. Just because I am evil.

  57. 57
    BGinCHI says:

    @PurpleGirl: Same with candles and numerals. All different kinds.

  58. 58
    PeakVT says:

    In Lockstep With the Vatican

    True. But neither Rih nor the Catholic Church is in lockstep with actually Catholic teachings, which would be a major story if our media didn’t suck.

  59. 59
    jl says:

    Oops, just thought of weird distributions that you will never see where mode is above 99th percentile.

  60. 60
    scav says:

    @efgoldman: Apply same HahahahahahahahahahahahaBwahahahahahaha to the rewrite

    So has everyone in the Republican Sactomonious party forgotten the concept that politicians the Holierthanthou are meant to hold to a higher standard of behaviour than ordinary people?

  61. 61
    Tonal Crow says:

    Oh Rih, more sins than merely lust your God calls deadly:

    Yes my precious! Oh my precious! But “faith” is what I say!
    “A snob is he who educates his ignorance away!”
    But what I really, truly want,
    Slinks hid beneath my hate:
    To take as slave, who fly now free: thus envy I may sate.

  62. 62
    jl says:


    Loretta Sanchez

    California’s 47th congressional district

    Demographics have something to do with it.
    17.8% White, 1.5% Black, 13.9% Asian, 65.3% Hispanic, 0.3% Native American, 0.1% other.

    A lot of Hispanics, and also, when I was there, large swing in younger Vietnamese from GOP to Dem.

    So, Satanic win in central Orange County.
    Sanchez is a Blue Dog, so let’s say ‘semi Satanic’, but it’s a start.

  63. 63
    jl says:

    @efgoldman: My original reply to you is in moderation for some reason.

    But, Loretta Sanchez, CA 47.

    She is a blue dog, so only semi Satanic, but it’s a start.

  64. 64
    john says:


    No, he isn’t aware. He is actually that ignorant.

    And, as many have already pointed out, Santorum is far from Catholic teaching on numerous things.

  65. 65
    jrg says:

    I really wish someone would tell the “small government” crowd that every four years, we elect a president, not a fucking ayatollah.

    The notion that religion plays no role in policy debates is cute, too. As if the fundies don’t give us Jehovah’s opinion on everything under the sun from birth control to foreign policy.

    Someone really needs to ask this clown about his opinion on Terri Schiavo… But the village would probably consider that line of questioning “rude” or “irrelevant”.

  66. 66
    WyldPirate says:

    @General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zro):

    Rock the fuck on, General Stuck.

    We disagree on a lot of things, but I’m in lockstep with you on this issue.

  67. 67
    ReflectedSky says:

    @Emerald: That’s one of the most interesting points I’ve read about him. Ever. I hadn’t thought it through, because I find his mix of reactionary Catholicism, reactionary conservatism and garden variety corruption so very repellent.

    It would make me very happy if ANYBODY in the government/media elite would start explaining what the First Amendment actually guarantees. This is another crucial support beam of democracy that is being destroyed by double-speak, as the vast majority that really doesn’t want to think very much is reeducated to believe governing by religious fiat is in the American tradition.

  68. 68
    Delia says:


    Wait! What Democratic Reps from Orange County? That’s the origin point of the original Little Old Lady in Tennis Shoes™.

    You are clearly not up to date on your SoCal mythology. As mind-numbing as life behind the Orange Curtain can be, it is not the birthplace of the Little Old Lady in Tennis Shoes. That honor goes to Pasadena.

    And re Little Ricky: I have spent a quiet weekend wondering why Mr. Frothy doesn’t hire Mel Gibson as his campaign adviser. I’m sure they could have some satisfying theological discussions. Or something.

  69. 69
    Paul in KY says:

    @Jeff Boatright: I can’t wait to see a campaign commercial contrasting our beloved Pres. Kennedy (showing him giving a typical excellent speech), with Rih foaming at the mouth.

    I bet they are dancing around at whatever media company the Obama campaign is using.

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