A “leaven at work” in the world of politics?

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The Associated Press has published a list identifying several of the ways Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s absolutist principles render him completely unacceptable to the majority of American voters as a potential President of the United States.


According to the Associated Press report, just how unacceptable is Santorum?

Birth control: Santorum says he wouldn’t take away the pill or condoms, but believes the 50 states should be free to ban them if they want.  He also argues that the Supreme Court erred when it ruled in 1965 that married Americans have a right to privacy that includes the use of contraceptives. If that’s not bad enough, Santorum told the Christian blog “Caffeinated Thoughts” that as President he would warn the nation about “the dangers of contraception” and the permissive culture it encourages.

Thought it couldn’t get worse?

Santorum told “CBS This Morning” that he wants to promote abstinence “as a healthier alternative” to birth control.

Working women: Santorum believes that parents in two-income families aren’t doing what’s best for the kids.  He has written:

For some parents, the purported need to provide things for their children simply provides a convenient rationalization for pursuing a gratifying career outside the home.

Santorum believes the ideal of a family where both parents work in order to accrue greater material benefits was created by “radical feminists” who are “convincing women that professional accomplishments are the key to happiness.”

Women in combat: Santorum is against women in combat, especially closer to the front.  Santorum also says the differences in physical abilities between men and women aren’t being taken into account.  And, get this: Fighting men will be distracted by their “natural instinct” to protect women, Santorum believes.

Homosexuals in the military:  As President, Santorum will reinstate the “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” policy.  Lifting the ban was social engineering, he believes, and “sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military.” He added:  “Keep it to yourself whether you’re a heterosexual or a homosexual.”

Abortion: Santorum favors amending the Constitution to ban abortion.  Believing that human life begins at conception, he also believes that doctors who perform abortions should be charged as criminals.  Santorum likens women who have abortions to 19th-century slaveholders and has written that “unlike abortion today, in most states even the slaveholder did not have the unlimited right to kill his slave.”  Previously, Santorum supported allowing abortions in cases of rape or incest, but now says “no” to those exceptions.


Obviously, Rick Santorum’s stands on these social issues are so far out of the mainstream, the Associated Press suggests, that he’s absolutely and completely unacceptable as a candidate for President.  The Associated Press writes:

Most Americans don’t share Rick Santorum’s absolutist take on abortion. He’s out of step on women in combat. He questions the values of the two-thirds of mothers who work. He’s even troubled by something as commonplace as birth control — for married couples.

The problem with this particular analysis is that Rick Santorum is generating serious interest on the part of Republican primary voters.  Polls indicate that he may beat Mitt Romney in his home state of Michigan.

In light of these facts, it may be that the Associated Press’ editors thought that it’s time to run some articles scrutinizing Santorum’s “negative” record on social issues.  And, why not use polls to “prove” that the candidate is way outside even the Republican mainstream!

Think The Motley Monk crazy?

Read the Associated Press comment:

And if he becomes the GOP nominee, some of his ideas would probably be surprising, even puzzling, to general election voters.

Suprising?  Puzzling?


How about “countercultural,” “principled,” and rooted in the faith of the Catholic Church?

Might it be that Rick Santorum’s candidacy is one envisioned by Vatican II in the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity and is just the tonic needed for a culture many of whose members have been charmed by the false promises of  secularism, materialism, and consumerism?

The Council wrote:

In the Church there is a diversity of ministry but a oneness of mission. Christ conferred on the Apostles and their successors the duty of teaching, sanctifying, and ruling in His name and power. But the laity likewise share in the priestly, prophetic, and royal office of Christ and therefore have their own share in the mission of the whole people of God in the Church and in the world.

They exercise the apostolate in fact by their activity directed to the evangelization and sanctification of men and to the penetrating and perfecting of the temporal order through the spirit of the Gospel. In this way, their temporal activity openly bears witness to Christ and promotes the salvation of men. Since the laity, in accordance with their state of life, live in the midst of the world and its concerns, they are called by God to exercise their apostolate in the world like leaven, with the ardor of the spirit of Christ. (#2c-d)



To read the Associated Press report, click on the following link:

To read the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, click on the following link:

To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, click on the following link:


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  1. I admit the working women comment troubles me. The point I would make is that not all families do this just because they want to. Sometimes they are financially strapped and have no choice.

    Also, however, is the issue of choice. When I have asked questions like “what if a woman wants to be a CEO” and “What if a woman wants to serve on the front lines in combat” I have sometimes heard the argument that just because a person wants something doesn’t mean they should get it. The problem I have with this idea is that we as a society would say, for example, a son doesn’t have to choose the career his father had. He can make his own path. We do take choice into account on such matters. Why shouldn’t women be accorded that?

    Finally, I would point out the Catholic Church has not expressly banned such things. In fact, in the Middle Ages women in Catholic England were allowed to manage storefronts, and great Saints like Joan of Arc lead men in battle. We even have a couple of saintly Catholic queens who have been military and political rulers in their own right. I just don’t see the contradiction.

    I don’t say any of this out of hatred for Mr. Santorum. Rather than hate him, I feel curiosity about where his campaign will go. However, when I hear comments like this about women I get concerned.

  2. I am afraid AP may be correct.

    Obama needs his trillion-dollar propaganda apparatus to rant 24/7 about sex while America’s going broke.

    Santorum will not be elected if he allows the “conversation” to be diverted from pharaoh’s assaults on all liberty and the horrid economic ruin which Obama has unleashed.

    Rick’s response to all detractions should be: “There you go again!” He needs to keep responding with how bad Obama is doing and how he will save our country and our way of life.

    Re: The “majority of the electorate”:

    What percentage of the electorate are women who, if economic necessity (high food/fuel prices, high rents, high local taxes, low wages) did not require it, would rather spend their days with their children? In other words, how much of the electorate think their children are burdens?

    What percentage of the women electorate wishes to have the opportunity to be a combat casualty?

    What percentage of the electorate is both gay and wants to be a combat casualty?


  3. It is interesting that suggesting that most two income families would be better served by one person staying home is interpreted as being about women, not about being about children.

    Many families long to make that choice and it need not be the mother who stays home.

    In only one household I know, have the parents made the choice of the father staying home. Their house is great because the projects don’t linger like they do at my house. (Imagine beginning an household project and working on it every day until it was done!)

  4. I don’t think Rick has the discipline to keep from being soundbitten to death. Even if just one question in twenty, or five minutes out of an hour, is devoted to a social issue, that’s all Obama’s Media Auxiliary (see, e.g., the oily crapweasel Charlie Rose) is going to highlight. Even though it’s abundantly clear that the President is quite the hard-left culture warrior himself.

    Yes, social issues can be a winner, but only as part of an overall package of concerns. He needs to swing the economic populist hammer and the his proxies fight the culture war. He has to frame the narrative, starting now. He’s too easily distracted and led down the primrose path.

  5. One of the female attorneys in our office, who is quite liberal, often remarks that she would rather be a stay at home mom. Go figure.

    Yes, materialism is a problem. But I think, sadly, the AP is right about the mainstream American views on most of these issues. It may be hard to come up with sound bites that explain the connection between Rick’s social views and prosperity as a nation, but I suggest his team come up with some.

    As for the career choice of women, I do not have a problem with it as long as it is truly based upon merit and ability, and not just a quota thing.

    I also tend to disagree with him on the cause/intent behind the two income family (but not the resultant harm). Feminism may have something to do with, but feminism is just being used as the tool. The state wants to destroy the basic family unit (particularly the middle class one), and by increasing the cost of living beyond the means of a single wage earner, it has effectively done so. With the parents gone most the day and burnt out when they get home, the state (including its megaproduced culture) gets the kids dang near 24/7. This way the state has no competition for the minds and morals of its citizens. The Church is also in the crosshairs, as we have seen.

  6. He kind of looks like a younger Tom Hanks. Maybe that will confuse some of the liberal voters and he will pick up some.

  7. The phrase “be in the world but not of the world” comes to mind for Catholics who wish to remain faithful yet engaged. Santorum has yet to figure out how to do this on a Presidential scale.

    His stand is courageous but he is not electable. He is not someone any conservative Catholic voter should be serious in considering as he not shown the crucial ability to market conservatism to the great unwashed. The Alan Keyes syndrome is on full display.

  8. The thing is Paul, I would rather vote for someone who is, well, authentic… I don’t trust my ability to figure who the general electorate will vote for. I recognize an authentic Christian when I see one though.

    Santorum probably won’t make it to the General Election but he has my vote in the April Primary.

  9. Paul D:

    Well, the Keyes comparison is ridiculous. Santorum won four elections in Pennsylvania as a socon, which counts for something.

    Keyes never won squat.

  10. Santorum earned $923,000 in 2010 and he does the selfish two earner routine on couples saving for their kids’ colleges…. as though they are saving to buy his Audi? Bring back Newt with the moon colony….it’s starting to look sane.

  11. I want the strongest possible Republican to run against Obama in the fall and that is one of the reasons I am backing Santorum. Romney has shown himself to be overall a lacklustre campaigner in the primaries and I believe in the general election he would be just as lifeless. In trial heats against Obama, Santorum tends to run just as well against Obama as does Romney, which is remarkable considering how much money Romney has, how little Santorum has, and the predictable bad press Santorum has been getting from Obama’s unpaid press agents in the mainstream media. I also suspect that we are now seeing Obama at his top in the polls. Gas prices are expected to hit $5.00 in the Summer, and that could be optimistic if we are faced, as I think we may well be, with a war with Iran. I believe this election is quite winnable for any Republican and particularly Santorum with his blue collar Reagan Democrat appeal.

  12. “won four elections in Pennsylvania”

    His first run for Congress he beat a seven term Democrat in a 2-1 Democrat district. In his second run, after redistricting, he won in a 3-1 Democrat district with 61% of the vote. People look at his election defeat in 2006, but his other campaigns, and his performance in the primaries, indicate that Santorum is a formidable campaigner who has a record of winning Democrats to his side.

  13. What Dale Price said. I’ve warmed up to Santorum lately, as I’ve reviewed his record and have seen that he is more fiscally conservative than I thought he was and more fiscally conservative than Mitt. But if he’s the nominee, the treatment he’ll receive from the MSM will make their treatment of Palin look gentle in comparison. The SNL skits write themselves. We will hear 24/7 about how medieval Rick wants all women barefoot and pregnant and chained to the stove – and not only independents but some Republicans will buy it. I am disgusted with my own gender sometimes – how easily many women are played for fools by the MSM and organizations like PP.

    You have to hand it to the Dems – they don’t know how to govern, but they sure do know how to run, with help from their media friends. Distraction, diversion, the Big Lie: Goebbels would be proud of them.

    And then I look over at Mitt and see Flipper is praising the trees of Michigan – and I just want to start crying. I find myself actually hoping for $5 a gallon gas this summer, which would hurt me and the rest of America – and then I feel unpatriotic.

    However, if things get bad and the GOP candidate pulls ahead of Obama in the polls in the fall, well, I expect the Dems will have their own version of the Reichstag Fire in October. I don’t put anything past them.

  14. Prudence dictates submitting the strongest conservative candidate to the coliseum in hopes that he survives the gladiatorial onslaught. One of the qualities of a battle hardened conservative, especially true for a sincere catholic, is the ability to express a worldview steeped in conservative philosophy/theology that is easily palatable for consumption.

    Santorum for all his conservative bona fides hasn’t demonstrated an ability to effectively communicate his deep seated, perfectly sound beliefs. One theory would be that these were not on the table in his state elections (eg, during which one of his four election wins did he last discuss contraception vis a vis the Culture of Death). The distinct impression is that these issues were glossed over and he is only now giving voice to them for the first time in any significant way. On the national stage there has been scant evidence that he can successfully navigate these issues without appearing as an out of touch preachy puritan, a la Alan Keyes.

  15. I suffered through Alan Keyes’ miserable campaign for the US Senate in Illinois in 2004 when he handed Obama a Senate seat losing 70-30. Santorum has absolutely nothing in common with that joke.

  16. Don, Santorum has a huge problem with women voters – not only in 2006, but also in 2000, when it was white male voters who dragged him across the finish line. While single women always overwhelmingly vote Dem (I am very aware of being an anomoly), if you can get enough married suburban women to vote for you (as Dubya did), you can win. I honestly don’t see Santorum overcoming that, especially when he keeps right on feeding the MSM soundbites which will be used against him.

    As Glenn Reynolds – no socon – has noted, “Ladies, you’re being played.” Yes, they are, but unfortunately, I think the Dems’ play will be successful. That’s not saying much for my fellow women, but what I want to be true and what actually is are 2 different things. I remember how confident I felt in early 2008 that Americans would never elect anybody as far to the left as Obama – and here we are.

  17. Santorum won in 2000 Donna by 52%-46%. That is landslide territory in a Presidential contest. That was the same election that Bush was losing Pennsylvania with 46.43% of the vote. Santorum’s vote among white women was 52%-47%.

  18. “In fact, only once in polling since July 2011 has Santorum performed better in a polling matchup against the president”

    Not exactly a vote of confidence. Every trend starts somewhere but nothing to hang one’s hat on.

    Is there any better evidence in how he is campaigning today that suggests he is a worthy spokesman for conservatism?

  19. Don, in 2000, Santorum won 48 percent of of the votes of women as a whole.

    In 2006, Casey won 61 percent of the female vote.

    Believe me, Don, I dearly hope I am wrong and you are right. But I think the Dems have set a trap and Santorum has walked right into it.

  20. Considering Donna that Santorum got 41% of the vote in total in 2006, his drop off in the female vote in that race from the male vote would seem to be minimal.

    That same year Lynn Swann, the Republican candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania, got a whole 39% of the vote. 2006 was a bad year for Republicans in Pennsylvania.

  21. That is definitely moving in the right direction. As someone who is interested in his success that’s welcome. The analysis though is more on electability in the general election and in that capacity is where he will have the most difficulty.

    As a rule of thumb the more conservative one is the more deft one has to be at communicating. Santorum is thankfully more conservative than Romney but unfortunately less deft. His conservatism is writing checks his mouth can’t cash.

  22. The main stream media will do everything in its power to destroy Santorum, and if by some miracle he wins, they will never let up villifying, condemning and ridiculing him. He will be mercilessly persecuted. But Obama is given a free pass.

  23. “I suffered through Alan Keyes’ miserable campaign for the US Senate in Illinois in 2004 when he handed Obama a Senate seat losing 70-30. Santorum has absolutely nothing in common with that joke.”

    At the point Keyes jumped in, Obama basically had that race wrapped up anyway. Keyes certainly helped Obama with the terrible campaign he waged as well as being an obvious carpetbagger. Keyes was also stupid enough to allow himself to be the GOP’s sacrificial lamb and allow them to get rid of him once and for all.

  24. Political leavening appears to be working.

    The liberals at “Public Policy Polling” asked “Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of” each president by name?

    The results: Pharaoh worse than Dubya: who up to this poll was worse than Hitler.

    The poll has 45% favorable for Bush 43, while 46% are unfavorable = net unfavorable -1.

    Obama now 46% favorable and 49% unfavorable = higher unfavorable net -3.

    Another four years of Obama and we are ruined.

  25. “Keyes certainly helped Obama with the terrible campaign he waged as well as being an obvious carpetbagger.”

    I still voted for him Greg, but by the end of it I cringed to see him. He was obviously just on a vanity trip and had no intention to attempt to mount a serious effort.

  26. The lame stream media response makes me keenly aware that as Catholics, we are now considered strangers in their “land”. What is considered bad soundbite material for a candidate contains what largely should be perfectly main stream. Perhaps I’m nostalgic or the world whirled by during my spiritual slumber….but I wonder who is more “out there”—a man who is shamelessly and authentically Catholic, or a man who attended a hate spewing “church” for twenty years as an Alinsky apostle, a man who would allow abortion survivors to be starved to death, a man who has no regard for any Faith save for his faith in statism. If the American ideal is to be trashed and replaced, let’s have the fight now and not in the tortured incrementalism envisioned by the establishmentarians at the Republican Party.

  27. My sister in law who has an MBA from Harvard is now saying she wants to be a stay at home mom.

    Rick Santorem would make an excellent President. The man has principles.

  28. oh my. did you all see Franklin Graham on Morning Joe!!?? please watch
    Need to leaven society. surrounded by wild dogs. Psalm 22:6-9

  29. Jasper
    Is she going to do paid business work from home in the process as the children study or sleep. Will she be in the wsj for making great consultancy fees from home while home teaching? Full disclosure.

  30. The social issues can be comfortably couched in the larger economic framework by simply staying on the message:

    “Removing the onerous burden of Government from the backs of the American people will allow them to make the decisions they wish to make, using the principles they wish to use. A minority of radicals will attempt to sway those decisions, but Americans are too smart, and too principled in the majority, to heed that failed sirens’ song. We know what works and what doesn’t, and when we are no longer being crushed under the suffocating weight of bloated bureacracy, constrictive regulations and confiscatory taxes, we will be able to return to the sane and balanced way of life that previous generations knew.

    “Only in the long run will the distractions of the Godless left fade into obscurity, but once their economic failures are exposed the rest of their web of lies will also be. Then, as we regain strength, my job will be to see that the basic framework of American Liberty, as structured in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, will be protected and that eventually the ideas and actions that made us great once before will make us great again.”

    Use that as the underlying principle and it’ll work when compared to the venom being hissed by the curent administration.

    As long as all social issues can be melded into the principles that Americans will be able to use once economic prosperity is restored, the message will fly. He just has to stay on task and not let the serpent’s tongue distract him.

    BTW, I’m a Libertarian and previous Ron Paul supporter. But, above that, I am Catholic and Mr. Santorum has my support. Once we slay the wolves that are presently at our door we can start to argue about what kind of restoration we’ll have. In the meantime, though, we have to gird our loins and work together. There may not be a 2016 election if the Obammunists stay in.

    Last aside – look for MASSIVE voter fraud in the usual Democratic strongholds in November. They are at the cusp of seizing power once and for all, and nothing is off limits. It’s a Leninist tenet that “The ends justify the means.”

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