Santorum has had an obsession with sexuality throughout his political career, and the words that come out of his mouth are often laced with bigotry that might have been better-suited to cultural attitudes a century ago. For example, on gay marriage:
"In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge include homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing." —Santorum
"When you marginalize faith in America, when you remove the pillar of God-given rights, then what's left is the French Revolution. What's left is a government that gives you rights. What's left are no unalienable rights. What's left is a government that will tell you who you are, what you'll do and when you'll do it. What's left, in France, became the guillotine." —SantorumThe comparison of gay marriage to pedophilia and bestiality is what earned Santorum the Google campaign to associate his name with a certain unpleasant substance. The comparison of repealing California's gay marriage ban to the violence of the French Revolution just earned him blank stares of disbelief. On sodomy laws, he's said:
"We have laws in states, like the one at the Supreme Court right now, that has sodomy laws and they were there for a purpose. Because, again, I would argue, they undermine the basic tenets of our society and the family. And if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does." —Santorum
"The right to privacy is a right that was created in a law that set forth a (ban on) rights to limit individual passions. And I don't agree with that." —SantorumThis man wants to be the leader of the free world, and he doesn't believe you have the right to consensual sex within your own home. Unless you're a 16th-century Puritan, I don't think anything else needs to be said. Finally, on contraception and Don't Ask Don't Tell:
"One of the things I will talk about that no President has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea. Many in the Christian faith have said, 'Well, that's okay. Contraception's okay.' It's not okay because it's a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be." —Santorum
"I would say any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military. And the fact that they're making a point to include it as a provision within the military that we are going to recognize a group of people and give them a special privilege to—to—and removing "don't ask/don't tell" I think tries to inject social policy into the military. ... I would just say that, going forward, we would—we would reinstitute that policy, if Rick Santorum was president, period." —SantorumNotice the stammer after he says removing DADT gives gay people a special privilege. It's as though he's sure they must get something he doesn't want them to get, but he's not quite sure what. The word he's looking for is "equality."
Virtually all the GOP candidates reject established science in some respects, but Santorum goes a bit further than most.
"One of the issues that I always got hammered for was the issue of evolution. I was the guy who actually put words in the No Child Left Behind Act ... I had an amendment, it’s a great story, I had this language, because what’s taught in our school system as a result of liberal academia, is evolution is an incontrovertible fact. ... I obviously don’t feel that way. I think there are a lot of problems with the theory of evolution, and do believe that it is used to promote to a worldview that is anti-theist, that is atheist." —SantorumThe added language he's referring to here is the Santorum Amendment, which advocated "teaching the controversy" and promoted intelligent design in public schools. On environmentalism:
"Speaker Gingrich has supported cap and trade for more than a dozen years. ... Who is he or who's Governor Romney to be able to go after President Obama? I've never supported even the hoax of global warming." —Santorum
"We were put on this Earth as creatures of God to have dominion over the Earth, to use it wisely and steward it wisely, but for our benefit not for the Earth's benefit." —SantorumThe second quote shows that Santorum's opposition to environmentalism stems directly from his religious beliefs. Specifically, he seems to be referring to God's command in Genesis 1 to "fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." There can hardly be a better demonstration of the harm religion can cause in the realm of politics.
Wait, I spoke too soon. Santorum has also made some terrifying statements about Christianity itself.
"The idea that the Crusades and the fight of Christendom against Islam is somehow an aggression on our part is absolutely anti-historical. And that is what the perception is by the American left who hates Christendom." —Santorum
"This is not a political war at all. This is not a cultural war at all. This is a spiritual war. And the Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies, Satan, would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country, the United States of America." —Santorum
"[America] is given rights under the god, under god, not any god, the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, and that God that gave us rights also gave us a responsibility, and laws, by which our civil laws have to comport with. A higher law. God's law." —SantorumA higher law. God's law.
If there was any sanity left in American politics, those words would be echoing in the heads of every single GOP primary voter. But apparently they aren't. Rick Santorum wants to establish a theocracy, and a frightening proportion of the nation either doesn't know or doesn't care. Some may even welcome it. And while Santorum will never be president of the United States, the public's attitude toward him illustrates just how far we still must progress as a country.