Feb
19

Ayatollah Santorum Excommunicates Obama, Mainstream Protestants

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Rick Santorum attacked President Obama on Saturday for his theology. Although people assumed that Santorum was, like other conservatives, hinting around that Obama is not a Christian but rather a secret Muslim, Santorum denied this allegation. And, likely he meant instead to lump Obama with the 45 million members of mainline Protestant churches in the US who he considers to be pagans. You see, for Santorum, Methodists and Lutherans and Episcopalians may as well be Muslims, since he does not believe that they are Christians.

What is remarkable is that it is Santorum who sounds like a Muslim fundamentalist. And ultimately maybe what he is saying is that Obama isn’t Muslim enough.

Santorum told his audience in Ohio that Obama’s policy is “not about you. It’s not about your quality of life. It’s not about your jobs. It’s about some phoney ideal, some phoney theology — not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology.”

Likely Santorum was condemning Obama for being a theological liberal. Despite the Obamas’ occasional attendance at African-American Baptist churches just before Martin Luther King Day, they also have gone to the Episcopalian church.

Rick Santorum does not think Episcopalians are Christians.

As Alan Seitz-Wald argues, Santorum has excommunicated Christian liberals. He said in a 2008 speech,

” We all know that this country was founded on a Judeo-Christian ethic but the Judeo-Christian ethic was a Protestant Judeo-Christian ethic, sure the Catholics had some influence, but this was a Protestant country and the Protestant ethic, mainstream, mainline Protestantism, and of course we look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is in shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it. [...]

Whether its sensuality of vanity of the famous in America, they are peacocks on display and they have taken their poor behavior and made it fashionable. The corruption of culture, the corruption of manners, the corruption of decency is now on display whether it’s the NBA or whether it’s a rock concert or whether it’s on a movie set.”

Mainline Protestants make up roughly 18 percent of adults in the United States; Seidz-Wald estimates them at 45 million, roughly the number of adult adherents of churches belonging to the National Council of Churches. These denominations for the most part reject a literal approach to the Bible and accept a social gospel, the idea that Christianity mandates good works and care for the poor, needy and vulnerable. The scriptural bases for this belief are quoted here.

As I argued last Sunday, Santorum has his own weird social ideas not grounded in papal encyclicals or the teachings of the Roman Catholic church. (Thanks to James Downie at WaPo for providing further proof that Santorum is a cafeteria Catholic, holding views that directly contradict a raft of papal encyclicals).

So the most likely explanation of Santorum’s outburst is that he believes the social Gospel and non-literal approaches to the Bible are un-Christian, and he has thrown President Obama out of Christianity along with 45 million other mainline Protestants. Santorum does not believe that the Bible suggests you care for the poor and needy.

In fact, Santorum by declaring the social Gospel to be un-Christian has not only excommunicated liberal Protestants from Christianity, he has excommunicated the majority of American Catholics, along with the US Council of Bishops and the last few popes, all of whom speak of an “option for the poor.”

So if Santorum doesn’t believe in this sort of thing is Christianity:

Mt. 25:31-46. “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on His left.

Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’

Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite you in, or naked, and clothe You? And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’

And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”

what does Santorum think Christianity is about? He thinks it is about moral puritanism.

Thus, he condemns fornication and adultery, but also implicitly revealing clothing. And he is against condoms and birth control pills because in his view they encourage sleeping around (though he doesn’t approve of them for married people either; go figure).

Rick Santorum does not adhere to any recognizable Catholic theology of the social. Rather, he is a Puritan in the Calvinist tradition, staying awake at night afraid that someone somewhere might be committing fornication at the same time that he takes worldly success as a sign of divine favor.

Moreover, Santorum’s approach to religion and social policy is almost identical to that of Muslim fundamentalist parties such as al-Nahda in Tunisia.

Just as Santorum has excommunicated Obama and the other mainline Protestants, so Muslim fundamentalists such as Sayyid Qutb (d. 1966) in Egypt declared mainstream Muslims to have departed from the faith. In Islam this is called Takfir or declaring someone to be an unbeliever even if the person considers him or herself a believer. Sunni Muslim authorities, and even the Muslim Brotherhood, reject the practice of takfir. Thus, Santorum is more extreme in this regard than the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.

And, for instance, the new fundamentalist government in Tunisia is prosecuting three journalists for reprinting in that country a German GQ cover showing Tunisian-German soccer player Sami Khdeira with his mostly unclothed German model girlfriend (Lena Gercke), and him providing her with a hand bra. Santorum? He wants to ban pornography. I presume that if it is banned, then publishing it will be prosecuted.

And, the minister of culture in Tunisia is refusing to allow Lebanese singers Nancy Ajram or Elise, or Egyptian performers Tamer Hosny and Shirin Abdelwahab, to appear at the Carthage music festival. He is excluding them because at one time or another they have made a music video he considers to be immoral, i.e. sexually provocative.

So Mahdi Mabrook of the al-Nahda Party agrees with Santorum about the decline of morals in mainstream society, “whether it’s the NBA or whether it’s a rock concert or whether it’s on a movie set.”

In fact, President Santorum might like to bring Minister Mabrook over to head our National Endowment for the Humanities, since the two of them see eye to eye so much about culture.

And, one al-Nahda member of parliament in Tunisia has equated unions striking to the sin of ‘wreaking corruption on the earth’ in the Qur’an, implying that the striking workers should be executed.

Many big capitalist bosses in the US have had striking workers killed over the decades, but they don’t mostly appeal to the teachings of Jesus to justify it. Don’t tell the Republicans about that Tunisian parliamentarian’s weird interpretation of the Qur’an, or the GOP will all convert immediately to Islam, and that religion already is struggling to deal with its own fringe of nut jobs.

from Juan

via http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/juancole/ymbn/~3/lvie_KdpLcE/ayatollah-santorum-excommunicates-obama-mainstream-protestants.html

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