What Does “The Privitazation of Faith” Mean (Santorum)?

A recent article in the Huffington Post discussed Rick Santorum’s desire to “have back” [not have said] that John Kennedy’s speech on religion (1960) made him want “to throw up.” One important part of that speech was Kennedy’s professed desire to keep the U.S. as a nation in which all people are free to exercise their religion/faith–including no faith; that is, he at least alluded to atheism.

Now please consider these quotations (in the Huff post) from Santorum:

“And if you read President Kennedy’s text, while there were certainly some very important things and good things he said in that, there were some things that triggered in my opinion the privatization of faith and I think that’s a bad thing.” He continued, “I think we need to have a free exercise of religion in this country and it’s important for those First Amendment freedoms to be alive and well in America and I think they are threatened here in America as we’ve seen by President Obama, not by Rick Santorum.”

I can’t fathom what he means by “privatization of faith.” If he means that faith is a matter for the society at large and not something government should dictate, then how could such “privatization” be a bad thing, even from his point of view? That is, when something is “privatized” vis a vis government, it is taken out of the hands of government. I assume he agrees that faith should remain out of the hands of government. If he means that faith should be a private matter–no one’s business but your own, unless you choose to make it someone else’s business–then, again, how could that be a bad thing, even from Santorum’s vantage point?

The only correlative to Santorum’s religious crusade against President Obama seems to be that the health-reform plan, after a recent adjustment, allows for operations run by a church (like a Catholic hospital) to contract with an insurance-company, which will then pay for contraceptives sought by an employee of such an operation.

It seems to me that this arrangement lets the decision about contraception (to the extent it is a religious one) be a matter between a Catholic (for example) and his or her Church. Church-doctrine says one thing, and Church-member may adhere to the doctrine or not. If Church-member decides to get contraceptives, then a private insurance company pays for it–not the Church.

The Church is thereby as free as it always was to promulgate its doctrine, and the Church member is free from governmental intrusion with regard to making a decision about contraception.

Such arguments as Santorum’s matter, and candidates such as Santorum need to be pressed on them. He needs to explain clearly what he means by “privatization of faith.” He needs to explain how the health-reform plan impinges on anyone’s faith. And we should recall that Catholic hospitals receive federal funding (their choice) and employ persons who aren’t Catholic (their choice).

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One Response to “What Does “The Privitazation of Faith” Mean (Santorum)?”

  1. Catholic Fascist Santorum Reveals the True Face of the Republican Party « The Age of Blasphemy Says:

    […] What Does “The Privitazation of Faith” Mean (Santorum)? (politicsandlanguage.wordpress.com) […]


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