Rick Santorum - Leader of Christian Men

The bad thing about being a freelance writer is you don’t get paid.   The great thing about being a free-lance writer is nobody is going to fire you if you speak your mind.  Thank goodness for the latter this morning, because I’m ready to blow at any second.  “The problem?” you ask.  The problem is the current front-runner in the Republican Presidential Race, Mr. Rick Santorum.  You’ll notice I’ve tagged this post “Part I” and the reason is, there’s way too much to say about Santorum and I’m going to need at least three posts to make a dent in the issues.  But man, I’ve got a LOT of stuff to discuss.

Some of you may know I’ve recently been writing a series of pieces related to what I see as a concerted and focused War Against Women coming from the right.  But Rick Santorum has somehow managed to escalate that war…into a religious CRUSADE.  You can almost see him riding on a big white horse, with a giant cross on his vestments, wielding a lance and rallying his forces for the upcoming conquest.

How specifically has he attacked women?   Throughout history, men have found the best way to keep women under control, is to keep them “barefoot and pregnant”.  How do you keep your woman barefoot and pregnant?  Well, first you restrict her access to  shoes.  Then, you restrict her access to birth control.  It’s simple really.  Load her up with kids and she’ll stay in her place…at home and cooking her man’s dinner.  Rick Santorum has been very clear in his position on birth control.  “Many people of the Christian faith have said, ‘Well, that’s OK.  Contraception is OK.’  Well, it’s NOT OK.  It’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.  It’s not for the purpose of procreation.”  This man, the front-runner for President of the United States has a problem with women using birth control.  And heaven forbid human beings might somehow experiment in the sacred “sexual realm”.  He’s said he “doesn’t want to ban it, but individual states should be allowed to ban it if they want to”.  Woooo Hooooo…..get ready all you redneck fella’s in Alabama.  You’re gonna be allowed to wear the pants again!  The arrogance of this one statement should disqualify Rick Santorum for President. 

But what if a woman gets pregnant and, for some reason, decides she cannot go through another pregnancy or she cannot afford to raise another child.  Hey America, abortion is still LEGAL in the United States.  When I was a kid, they were NOT legal, but they were still plentiful.  They were performed by untrained and often unwashed women and men in back alleys and tenement houses and OFTEN resulted in the death of the mother.  Rick Santorum has been highly vocal in his opposition to the US Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.  He favors a constitutional amendment to ban abortion in all instances, including pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, and when the health of the mother is at stake.  He apparently isn’t aware of the history of abortion in the US, nor does he have a clue about the moral and personal concerns of women and families.  He has stated that life begins at conception.  Nobody else’s opinion seems to matter.  I think this is obviously a question that still hasn’t been answered.  Other questions such as “when does a fetus become viable?”. “When does the ‘soul’ enter the body?”, “What does ‘viability’ mean?”, “What is the moral decision when the fetus is physically/mentally impaired?”, “What amount of physical/mental impairment is acceptable?”.  TONS of questions that apparently to Rick Santorum, are irrelevant because HE has decided and HE knows the answers.  He’s gone so far as to say that doctors who perform abortions should be imprisoned!

Santorum recently came out with his personal view that pre-natal testing of pregnant women should not be covered by health insurance companies.  His reasoning?  If a woman finds out her child is impaired, she might opt for an abortion!  Again, Mr. Santorum, abortion is LEGAL in the US.  Terminating a pregnancy is a PERSONAL question that must be answered according to a person’s PERSONAL sense of morality…not YOURS.  I can’t imagine the pain a woman or couple might go through when they find out their child is going to be born with no possibility of having any semblance of normal life.  Will their child suffer?  Will their child be in pain?  Will the cost of their child’s care be bearable?  Will their child have any quality of life?  Apparently Santorum thinks he is the best person to answer those questions and he wants to remove any opportunity for women to make informed choices about their own bodies and their own families.  Of course he says women can still get pre-natal screening, but they would have to pay for it out of their pockets.  I wonder which “class” will benefit from that distinction?

Santorum of course is also on record as blaming “radical feminists” who have undermined the traditional family by “convincing women that professional accomplishments are the key to happiness”.  (I’m guessing that takes away some of his “barefoot and pregnant” options.)  He doesn’t want women in the work force, and he’s come out and SAID it….and people APPLAUDED!  That’s frightening, misogynistic, and un-American. 

Our good friend Rick has also spoken out against women in combat.  He claims that fighting “men” would be distracted by their “natural instinct” to protect the poor women-folk.  After all, the women might be barefoot!  They SHOULD be pregnant and if they’re not, then some negligent man is to blame.  But they should certainly NOT be in the military.  After all, they have no testicles.

All of these ideals taken together, paint a picture of a man who honestly (this isn’t fake on his part….it’s what he really believes) thinks that women are inferior to men.  His view is that women are here to provide an opportunity for men to procreate and that women should be, and naturally are, subservient to men.  There’s no other way to look at it.

Now I know there are some women who agree with Santorum’s worldview.  I know there are some women, particularly fundamentalist religious women, who feel they should be submissive and subservient to their man.  I know there are people who feel women should not be in combat alongside men.  What I CAN’T believe though, is that a significant number of Americans are in this camp.  Women have been subjugated and relegated to second class citizenship for many millenia and only within the last century have those shackles been lightened.  Many brave and noble women (and some men) gave their all so that women could live with some level of dignity and respect.  People like Susan B. Anthony, Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, and so many others have dedicated their lives for the future of American women.  They fought those battles AGAINST men like Santorum.  They fought hard and they fought tirelessly.  I simply refuse to believe that America is ready to go backwards to a time when women were considered chattel. 

So, now it’s clear that Rick Santorum is anti-woman.  Tomorrow, I’ll show you why you need to fear the coming THEOCRACY if Santorum is elected.

Mike Walker