Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Keith A. Fournier

2/22/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Rick Santorum regularly reminds all of us that America is a Moral Enterprise and that freedom must be set free

Rick Santorum's view of government - and economics - is from below, with the family as the first government and the first economy. All other government must assist and not usurp its primary role. It must proceed from the bottom up. This is about more than "limited government", though it certainly is that. This is about good government. Can government be good? Yes,when freedom flourishes. Good in the sense of efficient, deferring to mediating structures first - and good in the sense of recognizing the moral foundation needed for a truly free society.

Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum

Highlights

By Keith A. Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/22/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, populist, campaign 2012, contraception, HHS Mandate, Republican, Democrat, liberal, conservative, presidential campaign, Michigan primary, Georgia Primary, Arizona primary, Keith A Fournier


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - Finally, we might have it; a real Presidential campaign - with a real choice between two candidates with two very different worldviews. This election will also be a choice about who we are - and who we will become. It is a choice which addresses the foundation of our identity as Americans and the nature of true freedom.

President Obama is in full reelection mode. His campaign theme is that our Nation is divided between the "1%" and the rest of us; between the super rich and everyone else. His rhetoric purports to be "populist", peppered with the mantras of "fair share", and "fair shot". He adds that we should all be playing by the same set of rules.  However, his populism is top down; the federal government is the one to ensure that we are somehow all equal through wealth redistribution, legislative compulsion and coercion.

The Obama 2012 campaign wants to take on Mitt Romney in the General election. He is a perfect "uke" (ookie). The term is from the Martial Arts. It refers to the one used in class demonstrations to receive the strikes and techniques from the instructor. Mitt Romney looks as though he stepped out of "central casting" as a caricature of a "1%"er. The Obama reelection campaign believes he is suited for a campaign of caricatures and class warfare.  Romney is, from all indications, a good man. However, that is not why they want him to face him in the general election. He fits their narrative.

Rick Santorum strikes a very different image. He is also a populist. He is the grandson of an immigrant coalminer who communicates well with real folks because he is one of us. He does not pit groups against one another but speaks the language of a very different form of populism; one which calls for expanded economic opportunities for all in a free market. However, he recognizes that freedom is a good of the human person. He knows the market is truly free when it recognizes the primacy of "human capital" and expands to offer increased opportunity to all. 

President Obama is a big government candidate. He has presided over the largest expansion of Federal power in my lifetime. His solution to perceived needs is to expand federal programs. His concentration of governmental power favors the executive branch. He favors centralized federal economic controls. His multiplication of unelected Czars, a practice begun under his Republican predecessor, has placed the principles of representative democracy and separation of powers in jeopardy. The most blatant example of his misguided governmental philosophy is federalized health care.

Rick Santorum's view of government - and economics - is from below, with the family as the first government and the first economy. All other government must assist and not usurp its primary role. It must proceed from the bottom up. This is about more than "limited government", though it certainly is that. This is about good government.

Can government be good? Yes,when freedom flourishes. Good in the sense of efficient, deferring to mediating structures first - and good in the sense of recognizing the moral foundation needed for a truly free society. Santorum is not afraid to say that America is a moral enterprise. He may be mocked for doing so - but he stands on the shoulders of giants, including the American founders. 

During the last campaign, President Obama spoke of our obligation in solidarity to the poor. Yet, he refuses to hear the cry of the poorest of the poor, children in the first home of the human race, their mother's womb. He does not respect the fundamental human right upon which all other rights are founded, the Right to Life. His administration mouths the sophistry of those who promote abortion throughout all nine months of life. However, he does much more; he is their enabler in chief.

Rick Santorum is a champion of the Right to life. He also walks the talk. His Pro-Life record of public service is the strongest of any candidate who has ever run for the Presidency. His family life speaks even more loudly. During this Presidential campaign, the smile of his little daughter Bella Santorum, who has trisomy 18,spoke the truth of the Pro-Life message more eloquently than words ever could. America knows the truth about life. It is revealed in little Bella's smile.

We operate on our neighbors in the womb. We send sonograms of their movements in gift cards. We prosecute criminals who, in the course of another crime, kill them. Efforts to call Santorum's Pro-Life position "extreme" are failing. So, the opponents of the Right to Life are resorting to fear mongering. They want the American people to think that Rick Santorum is a religious "extremist". 

The recent efforts to denigrate Rick Santorum have nothing to do with the availability of contraceptives. One only has to go down to the corner drugstore and see whether contraceptives are available. What is at issue is the Federal Government seeking to compel the Church to dispense abortion inducing drugs, contraceptives and sterilization, against their conscience and deeply held religious beliefs, or face the punitive measures of the Federal Government.   

Rick Santorum's stalwart support of the Free Exercise of Religion - in the face of the recent unconstitutional HHS Decree - is rooted in his proper understanding of the facts. This is a First Amendment issue. His courageous response stands as one more contrast between his candidacy and the reelection campaign of President Obama.

Santorum understands that religious freedom is a fundamental human right. So did the American founders. They called it the "First Freedom." He also understands that the First Amendment, with both its establishment and free exercise clauses, protects religious freedom precisely because it is a fundamental human right. Finally, he believes that people of faith, religious institutions, and the ideas informed by religious faith are not a threat to liberty but help to secure its promise for all.   

President Obama has a jaundiced and severely limited understanding of the Free Exercise of Religion. He has an equally poor understanding of the Establishment Clause. He seeks to confine the practice of Religion, at least the Christian religion, to the four walls of a Church building. He is at odds with the American founders and the Western tradition in attempting to redefine the Free Exercise of Religion as a Right to Worship rather than a robust Right to practice the faith in the public square.  

This election has everything to do with how we will define freedom and how we will pave the path to our future. Authentic freedom must be exercised with reference to what is true and what is good. Human persons can only flourish when they choose the good. In an age that has mistaken a "right" to do whatever one wants as 'freedom," the former Senator from Pennsylvania affirms a freedom to do what is right, grounded on what is good, with a responsibility to one another and at the service of the real common good.

He reminds all of us that America truly is a Moral Enterprise and that freedom itself must be set free. Campaign 2012 may present us with two populist candidates with two different visions of freedom and the future. What a refreshing change that would truly be. 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

U.S. Bishops say Obama's executive order 'implements discrimination' Watch

Image of Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, pictured, and Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo in a statement noted that the executive order, which will impact a fifth of the U.S. workforce, discriminates against faithful Catholics.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new order by U.S. President Obama that forbids federal contractors from discriminating "on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity," has been denounced by U.S. bishops as "unprecedented and extreme and should be opposed" and, in effect, ... continue reading


Israel harshly critical of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, called 'an Alien' Watch

Image of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's apparent decision to use Qatar as a conduit through which to communicate with Hamas, effectively ditching an earlier Egyptian proposal which the group had rejected has stirred the pot.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The United States and Israel have been the staunchest of allies since Israel reached statehood following World War II - but this doesn't mean that the nations have always seen eye-to-eye. Indeed, the right-wing faction of the Israeli government are harshly ... continue reading


President Obama is 'mailing it in', bought the farm - spending lots of time golfing and goofing off Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lackadaisical. That word is used to define "lacking enthusiasm and determination; carelessly lazy." Lackadaisical appears to described U.S. President Barack Obama as of late. The president is pending an awful lot of time playing golf while the nation and the ... continue reading


In President Obama's war on religious freedom the people suffer another loss Watch

Image of A July 21 executive order has dealt a huge blow to the cause of freedom of religion in the United States.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama's July 21 executive order prohibiting discrimination based on sexual-self-identification has lead to strong criticism from several prominent U.S. bishops, calling the executive order "unprecedented and extreme." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Efforts against female genital mutilation could be thwarted by population growth Watch

Image of Due partly to community activism and legislation, the prevalence of FGM, which involves the cutting away of the external female genitalia, and the marriage of girls under the age of 18 has decreased slightly over the last 30 years, UNICEF said.

By Lisa Anderson, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Advances in fighting female genital mutilation, or FGM and child marriage could be offset by population growth unless the rate of progress increases, according to new data released Tuesday by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). (Thomson Reuters ... continue reading


FREE SPEECH VIOLATED: Tea party groups' lawsuit against IRS proceeds Watch

Image of Among the individuals named in the lawsuit is Lois Lerner, who headed the division that processes applications for tax-exempt status at that time.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

They're not going to take it - and they're taking their claims to court. A federal judge has allowed a lawsuit by 10 tea party groups to move forward against the Internal Revenue Service. The judge rejected a request by the federal government to dismiss all the ... continue reading


'Suing the president is the right path to go down here,' Boehner declares Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The House of Representatives has no plans to use its own constitutional authority to withhold funding from actions by President Obama. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) indicated that if the president takes actions that exceed his constitutional authority, ... continue reading


Federal government says state death penalties are 'unconstitutional' Watch

Image of A federal judge has called California's death penalty unconstitutional. Surprisingly though, this judge is a conservative republican, a party that has long opposed federal overreach into state rights.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A federal judge ruled that California's death penalty is unconstitutional on July 16, claiming that the state's system is arbitrary, unfair, and cruel and unusual because of a lengthy process that leaves prisoners in the dark about their actual death row status. ... continue reading


'American people have a right to know,' Issa proclaims Watch

Image of Darrel Issa says that Simas' testimony was

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa of California said administration claims that White House political director David Simas was immune from testimony were "absurd" and "deeply disturbing." Defying a subpoena, Issa has now set up a new high-profile fight ... continue reading


Cheat on your taxes? It just got a lot easier Watch

Image of If you still fear a knock at your door anytime soon, it must be noted that one's chances of getting audited vary greatly and are based on income.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you cheat on your taxes - or senselessly worry that some indiscretion in your recent past will have the Internal Revenue Service shortly breathing down your neck - things just got a little bit brighter. The GOP-controlled House has voted to slash the budget ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 13:1-11
1 Yahweh said this to me, 'Go and buy a linen ... Read More

Psalm, Deuteronomy 32:18-19, 20, 21
18 (You forget the Rock who fathered you, the God who ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:31-35
31 He put another parable before them, 'The kingdom ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 28th, 2014 Image

St. Innocent I
July 28: Innocent was born at Albano, Italy. He became Pope, succeeding ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter