Santorum before the Inquisition

By Pat Buchanan
© 2003 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

Pat Buchanan

If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to have consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything.”

Thus did Sen. Rick Santorum express his opinion that the U.S. Supreme Court should not overturn the Texas anti-sodomy laws, under which homosexual activity is still criminal misconduct.

Within hours, Democratic leaders, Big Media and gay rights groups had demanded that Santorum apologize or be purged from the Republican leadership, in the style of Trent Lott.

As of this writing, Santorum is still being lashed with curses of “bigot” and “homophobe,” as he tries to explain himself. Erica Clayton, his spokesperson, says the senator “has no problem with gay, lesbian or transgender individuals.” Well, Erica, he does now.

As with Lott and Jim Moran, these episodes - where politicians are hauled before a modern inquisition, scourged, and ordered to grovel and apologize, or be stretched on the rack - are instructive. For they reveal the real balance of moral power in a society at any given time.

What does the trashing of Santorum tell us? That America is well along into a post-Christian and even anti-Christian era.

Consider. In his statement, Santorum expressed both a legal and a moral opinion. In the legal opinion, Santorum is saying that if the court overturns the Texas anti-sodomy law, and declares that a right to privacy protects all consensual sexual activity by adults, then all other laws that outlaw consensual sex - laws against incest, adultery and bigamy - also go out the window.

Santorum is dead right. Indeed, it was fear of that result that led the court to uphold the Georgia anti-sodomy law in the 1980s.

The moral component in Santorum's remark is that gay sex - like adultery, bigamy and polygamy - is wrong. This happens also to be the moral position of John Paul II, Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church to which Santorum belongs, and of most Americans.

What, then, is Santorum's problem? It is this: The traditional Christian moral code in which he believes and which informed his remark is no longer the moral code of the American elite. Indeed, it is detested by that elite as the codification of hatred and intolerance.

America's cultural and moral elite is almost wholly converted to the doctrine enshrined in the Humanist manifestos of 1933 and 1973. These documents hold that all voluntary sexual relations are equal, all are moral, none should be criminalized and any state that does so is bigoted. Moreover, all anti-sodomy laws should be overturned, and if voters are too benighted to do so, the court should step in and do it for them.

To most observers, it would seem that it is Santorum - the target of vilification and demands for his ouster because of his views - who is the real victim of intolerance here.

And indeed he is. But in the new dispensation, where the Left now defines what is moral, Christianity and its code of moral conduct are the objects of hatred. Any who try to enforce that code are, de facto, bigots and unqualified for secular leadership of our society.

We are getting close to a religious test for high office, a test that no believing, practicing Christian is going to be able to pass. Indeed, we are becoming a society where Christians are going to discover that they are strangers in their own country.

Not so long ago, gay right groups were considered to be agents of immorality, trying to alter laws to give their immoral conduct the sanction of law. Yet the Right did not deny them a right to propagandize or expel out from office, except in the voting booth.

The New Morality, however, like most triumphant belief systems, is deeply intolerant. It simply cannot abide being called immoral. Thus, it must persecute, punish and purge.

The Democratic Party has capitulated to this revolution. As for the Republicans, they are still rooted in the old Christian morality. But when they blurt out the old truths, they find themselves having to explain what they meant. And, as they do, they must mouthe all the idiot-pieties of the new morality about “diversity,” and all life styles being equal, and having no real quarrel with homosexuals, etc. This will continue until the GOP surrender is complete.

The savaging of Santorum shows that a bold expression of belief in the old Christian moral code and its proscriptions - i.e., that homosexuality is unnatural and immoral, ruinous to body and soul, a mark of a decadent society - is now forbidden.

And as one watches “gay rights” spokespersons hurling anathemas at conservatives, who are trying inarticulately to explain what they really mean, the America we grew up in is truly dead and gone.

Used by permission of Patrick J. Buchanan and Creators Syndicate, Inc.