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A Morning with Rick Santorum in North Texas

by Tanya Dodd-Hise February 15, 2012

So as most people already know, we are well into an election year.  We have been watching for weeks as various Conservatives battle for the position of Republican party candidate.  It seems as if each passing week brings us new levels of crazy among them, and I shudder at the thought of any of them in a position of power or leadership.

Among the candidacy-seeking, we find Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum (thank God Rick Perry has already dropped out of the race).  Last week, Santorum visited our area and met with local pastors.  I was planning on going to cover the event in person, take photos, and try to get a question in to the ultra-conservative campaigner.  When I couldn’t find anyone to watch the baby, I thought about taking her and introducing her to all the fundies as our gaybie, but ultimately decided to just stay home and watch the live feed.

The event was to be at the Bella Donna Chapel in McKinney, Texas.  It’s not a church but a beautiful event and wedding venue not too far from where I live.  It was supposed to start at 9:30 AM, but Santorum was late.  Once he did finally arrive, they ushered him in where he and his wife, Karen, were seated on the first row pew.  One of the chapel owners, Donna, introduced the event and Santorum by talking about plans for painting angels in the arches of the chapel.  She revealed a painting of Santorum’s daughter (who battles with a childhood disability), and told them that she was to be painted on one of the arches in the ceiling (her name is Bella).  She said it was a “God thing,” and also gave Bella a key to the chapel on a necklace, saying that the family was always welcome there.  After this presentation, she introduced Rick Santorum and he stepped up to take the microphone.


Santorum started off saying that he really believes that the foundation of our country rests on two institutions:  the family and the church.  He said, “Without those two institutions, we can’t be free.  Faith + Family = Freedom.”  Now once upon a time I would have believed every word that this man said, simply because he claims to be a “man of God.”  I’m so thankful that I woke up to the blind follower that I had been raised to be, and now think for myself.  He also said that he doesn’t like the term “freedom of worship” instead of “freedom of religion” that is often used.  He says it’s not about just WHEN you worship, but what you do in public.  He says that the Obama administration’s “attack on religion” is about trying to stop people from living their faith in public.  Every time I hear one of these candidates speaking of “Obama’s attack, or war, on religion,” I am always surprised!  I have never gotten that impression from him or his family, and I thought I had been paying attention!  Silly me!
Santorum soon moved into his topic of choice:  abortion.  He said, “I don’t think that God will bless this country when this country chooses to take over one million innocent lives per year through abortion.  There’s one thing about VOTING pro-life, and there’s another thing about TALKING pro-life.  You can be the most conservative person ever, vote for no government, and you’re fine.  But once you speak out on moral issues, you will have your head out of the trenches, and you will be shot at.”  But wait a minute…didn’t Santorum’s wife have an abortion?

While fighting for moral issues and against partial-birth abortion, Santorum’s wife became pregnant with their fourth child.  When they had the sonogram, the doctor told them that the baby was going to die.  They went to a children’s hospital and had a doctor perform surgery on the baby in utero – it was successful.  Everything would be fine, the doctors warned, unless his wife got a fever, which would indicate an infection in her uterus.  Ultimately, she DID get an infection and developed a fever, and Santorum was called home.  They were told that she was going to die if she didn’t “deliver,” and the baby boy was going to die.  She labored and she delivered him alive, where he lived for two hours; they named him Gabriel.  So is it an abortion if he was born alive, just way too early and unable to sustain life?  The definition of abortion, in the dictionary, includes the following:  the removal of an embryo or fetus from the uterus in order to end a pregnancy; any of various surgical methods for terminating a pregnancy, especially during the first six months; an immature and nonviable fetus.  In the Santorums’ case, it was technically an abortion, because all parties involved knew that the baby would NOT survive once extracted from the womb.  And this is the same man who has publicly said that even in the event of rape or health crisis, that a pregnancy resulting from it should be carried to term no matter what.

He then started sharing about his daughter, Bella.  They found out about her disability four days after her birth, and were told that they were lucky that she was alive because babies usually die in utero from this particular condition.  They were told to let her go.  Bella lived for ten days in the NICU, and they brought her home on hospice care; they celebrated her birthday every week.  But she didn’t die.  Santorum said that he had to be “the rock, and had to detach from Bella a little.  I loved her, but I had to detach from her, treat her a little different.”  When she almost died, he was reminded by his other daughter that he hadn’t done anything to save her.  This woke him up and he decided that he couldn’t hold back from her any longer.  This is why, according to him, he is SO outspoken about abortion – because of his disabled daughter.  Even for a dude that I absolutely cannot stand, and I believe that he is a homophobic bigot who is brainwashed, I was still touched by his stories about his children.

Once he finished, he was supposed to take questions from the pastors and then go outside to take questions from the media and his constituents.  I guess because he was late, he was only able to take a couple of questions from the pastors.  The first question, which I couldn’t hear, was something about intolerance.  His answer started out talking about the 9th circuit court decision regarding Prop 8 the day before in California.  He said that “it is intolerance to say that people are bigots and haters if you believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.  The intolerance of the left, the intolerance of the secular ideology is a religion unto itself – it is just not a religious-based religion.  It is completely intolerant of dissent.  They want their worldview to be accepted without question.”  He was talking, and I just kept hearing “blah blah blah” and watching as countless sheep blindly nodded in agreement.

The second question was asking Santorum who his favorite Supreme Court Justice is, to which he answered Clarence Thomas.  “Because he [Thomas] sees the Constitution itself, but also sees the Constitution in relation to the Declaration.  Because he sees that there is more to America than just the Constitution itself.  Scalia seems to focus a little too much on the original words of the Constitution and its meaning….”  What the what???  Are you kidding me Rick Santorum???  See, I knew that this yahoo has probably never even read the original Constitution – well, and he and his kind are constantly trying to amend and change it to fit their beliefs.

After this, the group of pastors gathered around Santorum, laid hands on him and prayed for him.  He then went back out the side door; was supposed to answer media and voter questions outside, but the feed went dark, so I assume that it didn’t happen.

Wow.  It was pretty insightful to watch him speaking in a small forum, versus the large crowds that we typically see him in front of on television.  I’m glad I didn’t go.  It would have been hard to keep my mouth shut.  I’m very afraid for the future of equality in our country if this man has even a remote chance of becoming President here.  He has openly declared that if he were to win, he would reverse virtually every act of legislature that has occurred in the name of marriage equality, or equality in general.  I have plenty of friends and family who are hardcore Republicans, having grown up both in the south AND in the church.  It gets really hard to choke down the knowledge that people who claim to love me and my family will vote for whomever is the Republican candidate, simply because they are Republican.  The question is constantly swirling around:  If you love me, love my family, and believe in equality, why and HOW can you possibly give your vote away to a person who is openly and blatantly against ME, my family, and equality???  Just because they are Republican?  Shouldn’t our vote be behind the person who represents the closest of those values that we hold dear to our hearts?

Needless to say…it should be interesting indeed.

The post A Morning with Rick Santorum in North Texas appeared first on The Next Family.




Tanya Dodd-Hise
Tanya Dodd-Hise

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