Friday, September 02, 2011


Or can you? Well, yes, you can. I mean, obviously.

From Crooks and Liars courtesy of one of my facebook friends:

Santorum: I Stand By My 'Man on Dog' Comment

"I have to say that your views you espoused on this issue are bordering on bigotry, aren't they?" Morgan asked.

"No. I think just because we disagree on public policy, which is what the debate has been about which is marriage, doesn't mean that it's bigotry," Santorum opined. "Just because you follow a moral code that teaches something wrong doesn't mean that -- are you suggesting that the Bible and that the Catholic Church is bigoted?"

"I think that is -- that's contrary to both what we've seen in 2,000 years of human history and Western civilization and trying to redefine something that has been -- that is seen as wrong from the standpoint of the church and saying a church is bigoted because it holds that opinion that is biblically based I think is in itself an act of bigotry."

More here, with video.

To be fair to Man-on-Dog Santorum, I've got to say that he's always very pleasant. I mean, he's always ramming his foot down his throat, but he's very personable about it. So that's, at least, a start.

The problem here, as always, is that, while religion, as culture and identity, deserves a fair amount of tolerance and respect simply for what it is, culture and identity, it necessarily gives up some of that protection the moment it begins to assert itself into the wider secular world. That is, it's one thing to require believers or parishioners, whatever, to behave in a particular way: it's quite another to insist that the government require everybody to behave that way. So when guys like Santorum start to say things like this publicly, the kid gloves are off. He's now competing in the marketplace of ideas, and competition there is fierce. Consequently, ideas and statements that may very well be the greatest ever within the confines of a particular religious point of view can very easily be considered bigoted elsewhere.

This is actually a pretty simple concept: say and do whatever crazy shit you want among your brethren, but be ready for stiff resistance from others when you start talking shit out on the street. You don't get a free pass just because you're religious. This is a democracy, not your church. Why is this so tough to understand?

And it's not like Christians, some Christians, anyway, have a problem with criticizing religion. Muslims, for instance, and Mormons, too, for that matter, have faced scathing and sometimes vicious rhetorical attacks from fundamentalist Christians for decades. Isn't that bigoted, too? Well, no, of course not. In the public realm, most ideas are fair game. It's just that it would be nice if these whiny Christians could take it as well as they dish it out.