Santorum at odds with his own church on environment

  • Article by: LARRY B. STAMMER , Los Angeles Times
  • Updated: February 28, 2012 - 1:02 PM

It has long been a maxim that mixing religion and politics can spell trouble. So when Rick Santorum told a partisan crowd in Columbus, Ohio, recently that President Obama's worldview was based on a "phony theology" that drives "radical environmentalists," he must have known his comments would reverberate far beyond his conservative political base.

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twspt7Feb. 28, 12 1:13 PM

Just keep talkin', Rick. I'm sure you can manage to turn off everyone but the wingnuts.

zxserdfgtFeb. 28, 12 1:18 PM

Why should being a Christian exclude one from being an environmentalist? I see no where in the Bible where God commands his people to rape and pillage the planet.

cag0622Feb. 28, 12 1:20 PM

Amen, Larry. Mr. Santorum doesn't know anything about environmental science.

swmnguyFeb. 28, 12 1:25 PM

Santorum has an awkward straddle to perform here. He is in fact a devout Catholic. He's also a very self-interested party here, and he relies on large financial support from industries opposed to environmental legislation.

Plus, he's appealing to the very strong, if small, Dominionist Protestant constituency, which supports the likes of Michele Bachmann and had perhaps its most visible advocate in James Watt; President Reagan's first Secretary of the Interior. Remember when Mr. Watt stated that environmentalism was irrelevant because we are living in the End Times and it was our responsibility to extract all the resources we could from the environment before The Lord returns? He was serious about that, and so are the rest of the Dominionists. This group is a very small minority of Americans, but they outpunch their weight in the GOP Primaries.

When you examine all the things Santorum is trying to be to all people, his statements contradict each other and don't make any sense. Except to portray a very ambitious politician willing to pander to whomever he thinks might vote for someone besides President Obama.

fredschumFeb. 28, 12 1:40 PM

Santorum's understanding of "stewardship" is completely out of line with Catholic moral theology. When I was studying for the priesthood, over forty years ago before there was an environmental movement, the discussions of stewardship had to do with our responsibility for keeping the earth healthy for all creation and for future generations, and that we cannot take whatever we want for our own selfish desires. Santorum's view is more in line with the concept of rape and pillage.

mamazogFeb. 28, 12 1:51 PM

Putting earth above humans? But...isn't earth where humans live? Elect Gingrich, let the earth fall to ruin, and colonize the moon. Problem solved! I can't believe I didn't see it before.

efleschFeb. 28, 12 2:03 PM

The Vatican came out last year with a statement on climate change which included the following: "We call on all people and nations to recognize the serious and potentially irreversible impacts of global warming caused by the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, and by changes in forests, wetlands, grasslands, and other land uses,"

It would seem Rick Santorum's views on climate change are in direct conflict with the Vatican's and the Pope's views.

william16Feb. 28, 12 2:38 PM

Santorum's most radical views are actually out of line with those of the majority of mainstream Catholics, who believe we should all be stewards of God's blessings, including caring for the Earth as well as the less advantaged among us. The fact that Santorum would so easily toss aside such a fundamental belief in order to kowtow to his monied Tea Party and Repub supporters says much about his character (or lack thereof).

rmjeffersonFeb. 28, 12 3:02 PM

Nice try but environmentalism certainly isn't church doctrine. Santorum certainly has a "healthy" non-fanatical view of the environment as most do.

ranger1873Feb. 28, 12 3:09 PM

It is quite true that religious liberalism is a significant problem in the body of the faithful. Santorum has every right to speak his mind and is right to do so. Meanwhile, perhaps the Catholic Church has finally been awakened to the danger it faces in the form of despots like Barack 0bama.


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