Beware! Rick Santorum is a ‘Pro-Life Statist’

Many have been critical of Mitt Romney for his religious views. Little has been said about those of Rick Santorum. It’s rather surprising that evangelicals, most of whom are Protestants, are turning to Santorum as their “Republican flavor of the week.” How much do they know about his views? Yes, he is anti-abortion and anti-homosexual marriage, but so are Rick Perry and (I think) Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul.

But it’s Santorum’s views on creation and “social justice” themes that are troubling. If he follows the directives of the Roman Catholic Church under the direction of Pope Benedict XVI, we will see that they are not that different from those of the Democrat Party or President Obama. Then there are the comments from the Pope about non-Catholics. He claimed that “the branches of Christianity formed after the split with Rome at the Reformation could not be called churches ‘in the proper sense’ because they broke with a succession of popes who dated back to St Peter.’” This comment is a slam against evangelical Protestants.

The Pope continued to argue that the Roman Catholic Church is the only “true church of Christ.” Then there’s the Pope’s view on evolution. He stated that opposition to evolution by creationists is an “absurdity” by arguing that “there is much scientific proof in favor of evolution.” The Pope added that evolution “appears as a reality that we must see and which enriches our understanding of life and being as such.”

On fiscal issues, Santorum is not much different from a Democrat. For lots of voters, because he is pro-life, they look the other way when it comes to expanding the reach and power of government. Ned Ryun, the founder and president of American Majority, describes people like Santorum as “pro-life statists”:

The mistake made is the assumption that because someone is pro-life means he or she is a conservative. Someone who is pro-life, but votes to expand the state and state spending, is in fact not a conservative, but a pro-life statist.

As someone who is deeply pro-life, and became even more so when my daughter was born four months premature, I absolutely believe in the sanctity of life. But I have a problem with many elected officials who call themselves social conservatives, as though that were all that mattered, and then go and vote for more government and more government spending.

The bigger government becomes, the more invasive it becomes, the more it becomes the enemy of life and freedom. So these pro-life statists show a deep ignorance of government and freedom: the greatest freedom is economic freedom. I say that because if you are an economic ward of the state, you can neither be politically or religiously free. Exhibit A: China. The invasive state dictates how many children you may have, the free flow of information, and political freedom is not even worth really discussing.

I believe one of the reasons that we have gotten to this stage as a country, with the massive growth of government, is because some have thought only one or two social issues are all that matter, and willingly give a pass on pretty much everything else. To those people I would say enough, stop living under an illusion. You must become more comprehensive in your conservatism.

According to CatholicVote.org, as a senator, Santorum actively supported socialistic legislation in open cooperation with liberals. One of the reasons he lost his Senate seat in Pennsylvania, in addition to supporting pro-abortion RINO Arlen Specter over the conservative Pat Toomey in 2004, was his support of earmarks. Now that he needs the support of the Tea Party, he regrets his votes. “I admit it, I once was an earmarker. And I apologize,” he said.

I’m as anti-abortion and pro-life as Rick Santorum, but I’m also anti-theft. You can’t adopt the commandment not to murder (Ex. 20:13) and dismiss the one that prohibits stealing (20:15), even if it’s for what you believe is a  good cause.

There are many pro-abortionists who believe their support for abortion is based on “high social reasons” That is, while abortion might not be the best option, it is an option that can have good results for some women and society at large. This is the same type of logic used by pro-life Statists in their support of government programs to help the disenfranchised and the poor.

Some years ago, after a debate on abortion, a discussion arose.

[M]ost of the students already recognized that the unborn child is a human life. Nevertheless, certain social reasons are considered “high enough” to justify ending that life. According to some of the women, examples of “high enough” reasons include protecting pregnant teenagers from the psychological distress of bearing a child, helping poor women who aren’t able to care adequately for a child, and preventing children from coming into the world “unwanted.” Many charged that pro‑life philosophies are not “socially acceptable” because they fail to deal realistically with these problems.1

  1. “Students Defend Abortion For ‘High’ Social Reasons,” The Rutherford Institute (January/February 1984), 8. []