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Jul 14, 2005 11:57 pm

O Chronology, I Love You ...

Most of you have probably heard of the recent tiff between Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy over Santorum's charge that the liberal culture of the People's Republic of Massachusetts was the soil in which priestly abuse of children would take place. Specifically, Santorum said that

Priests, like all of us, are affected by culture. When the culture is sick, every element in it becomes infected. While it is no excuse for this scandal, it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm.

Kennedy's rare personal attack on another Senator on the Senate floor demanded that Santorum retract his remarks and apologize."The people of Boston are to blame for the clergy sexual abuse? That is an irresponsible, insensitive and inexcusable thing to say." Critics of Santorum have rightly pointed out that centuries haven't much abated New England's puritan or, even, Victorian moralism. Actually, if you track the origins of the abuse scandal, as the BBC did, it first broke in the People's Republic of Louisiana. That sounds more like it. New England's rocky soil barely nurtures anything. Steamy, Mississippi-fed creole culture -- now, there's the muck to nurture licentious thoughts in the minds of holy men. Thanks to John Holbo and another source I can't remember for the tip.
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Christopher Richardson - 7/15/2005

I think the reason Santorum is not moderating and not trying to move to the center is because he thinks he will "win" whether or not he loses his Senate race in Pennslyvania. What better way to endear yourself to the rightwing of the Republican Party than to lose your Senate seat for your "Christian beliefs?" Here is a post about it Virtuo pop:

Jonathan Dresner - 7/15/2005

Child abuse, sexual and otherwise, is not limited to Catholics or Christians. Do we really want to put child abuse distribution maps up against electoral college results? I'm sorry, but anyone attempting to make political points on the back of this just goes so far beyond the pale. Of course, I didn't respect Santorum to begin with....

For the record, I said my piece about the scandals here.

Nathanael D. Robinson - 7/15/2005

If culture mattered in the way Santorum suggests, the scandal would not be limited to Catholics ... or Christians.

Ralph E. Luker - 7/15/2005

The odds of his being defeated for re-election to the Senate by Bob Casey, Jr., in '06 are pretty good. It's hard for me to see how Santorum can become a serious candidate for the Republican nomination in '08, but I've occasionally been wrong before.

Anthony Paul Smith - 7/15/2005

Man, oh man. I really don't want this to happen, but sometimes I get a bit curious what would happen if Santorum was to get the nomination in '08. It would surely give the Daily Show some funny episodes.

Ralph E. Luker - 7/15/2005

Yes, of course, Adam. I think you're exactly right.

Adam Kotsko - 7/15/2005

would probably be the culture of the priesthood, rather than the culture of "liberalism." I don't know any liberals who think that pedophilia is anything less than abhorent.

I think there's something somewhat jarring about the idea that the state that is among the pioneers of gays getting married to one another is simultaneously encouraging an anything-goes attitude toward sex. It sounds to me like they're trying to encourage monogamous, long-term relationships between consenting adults.

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