Commentary: Is Rick Santorum a Hypocrite?

Some biblical advice for the Republican presidential candidate.

Posted: 02/23/2012 10:00 AM EST
Rick Santorum, politics, Presidential Election, republicans, GOP

(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Now that Rick Santorum has become the GOP’s frontrunner for president of the United States of America, he is starting to feel his political oats. Like fellow Republican candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, Santorum is intensifying his attacks on President Obama and his policies. And this is to be expected in a political campaign as crucial as this one. With the economy showing signs of improvement and the president’s popularity rising with each GOP debate, the Republican frontrunner may feel the urgent need to go beyond the customary political mudslinging that has characterized his party for the last 30 years. These are desperate political times which call for desperate measures.

Right now the GOP’s back is against the political wall and they are acutely aware of it. Perhaps this is the reason why Rick Santorum is engaging in a tried and true Republican weapon, racial and religious demagoguery.

Recently, Santorum caused a stir while speaking at an event in Columbus, Ohio, when he openly questioned the validity of President Obama’s Christian faith during remarks he made criticizing the president’s environmental policy. “It's not about your job. It's about some phony ideal, some phony theology,” Santorum said. "Oh, not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology. But no less a theology.” To add further insult to injury Santorum, in a halfhearted attempt to clean up his remarks, told a reporter that he did not mean to imply that the president wasn’t a Christian. He merely wanted to emphasize that he has “different moral values.” He continued his assault on the president’s faith by bringing up Obama’s former Pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the controversial minister of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago who was relieved of his position due to controversial remarks he made about the U.S. This was an issue that was raised in 2008. Obama put that issue to rest when he denounced the remarks, left the church and gave a brilliant speech that clearly defined his position on racial tolerance. The nation accepted his explanation and he was elected in a landslide. So why is Rick Santorum brining up this non-issue?


By calling the president’s Christian faith “a phony theology” and claiming that he holds “different moral values,” Santorum emphasizes Obama’s “otherness.” In other words, he’s Black, he has an African name and he’s a tree-hugging bleeding-heart liberal and therefore he can’t be like “us” (conservative white Christians). It is a clever way of subtly appealing to the racist element of the GOP’s largely white constituency in order to gain their votes.


As a politician, Santorum’s actions are not at all surprising. Activist Fred Hampton once said, “War is politics with bloodshed and politics is war without bloodshed.” Santorum taking aim at President Obama by pelting him with cheap shots is par for the course. The Bible says, “judge not and ye shall not be judged.” As a self-proclaimed Christian, Senator Santorum would do well to follow this biblical advice when it comes to questioning anyone's religious faith.  
 

The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.

BET Politics - Your source for the latest news, photos, and videos illuminating key issues and personalities in African-American political life, plus commentary from some of our liveliest voices.

Videos You May Like

From Our Partners