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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Staff Editorial

Religion has no place in presidential campaigns


Presidential candidate Rick Santorum would like to see America on its knees — in prayer. The financial crisis has already left America in more of a prostrate position, so lifting the nation onto its knees is not entirely a bad idea.

However, there are a number of methods that could bring America to this position that do not involve Santorum’s narrow version of Christianity — secularism comes to mind.

Religion has no place in civil affairs, and it definitely has no place in presidential campaigns. Candidates on both sides of the aisle exploit religious Americans every election cycle because it is easy for them to do so. Religious Americans should be furious that this happens every cycle, but there is seldom any outrage. When you ascribe to theology that, when expressed radically, is so diametrically opposed to democracy, conflicts of interest are bound to occur.

Santorum has spent his campaign courting the Christian vote by capitalizing on this conflict of interest, blurring the line between church and state as he moves along the campaign trail.

On Sunday, Santorum told a Georgia audience that Obama’s agenda is not based on the Bible, but instead on “some phony theology.”

Santorum later clarified to CBS’s “Face the Nation” that he wasn’t talking about Obama’s Christianity when he mentioned his theology. He said he was talking about Obama’s worldview and “the way he approaches problems in this country.”

Santorum’s labeling of Obama’s worldview as his theology is beyond troubling. His inability to speak without relying on religious jargon should signal to skeptical Americans that something is amiss. Either he is trying to be quaint when he says things like Obama’s worldview “elevates the Earth above man,” as he said on “Face the Nation,” or he actually believes man was placed on earth to dominate it.

Santorum isn’t campaigning to be a member of the clergy — he’s running for president of the United States. He needs to remember that.

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