Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Rick Santorum - For President?

I don't think it would be a surprise to anyone that I am no fan of Senator Rick Santorum, the number 3 ranking Republican and extreme social conservative. He is bad enough in the Senate, but god help us if he ever wangled his way into the Oval Office.

My first problem with Santorum is that (along with Tom Delay) he doesn't believe that there is a right to privacy and that the government can legislate morality.

It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn't exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution,... The idea is that the state doesn't have rights to limit individuals' wants and passions. I disagree with that. I think we absolutely have rights because there are consequences to letting people live out whatever wants or passions they desire. [1]

He also links liberalism to the pedophilia that occurred in the Catholic Church in Boston.

AP interviewer: Speaking of liberalism, there was a story in The Washington Post about six months ago, they'd pulled something off the Web, some article that you wrote blaming, according to The Washington Post, blaming in part the Catholic Church scandal on liberalism. Can you explain that?

SANTORUM: You have the problem within the church. Again, it goes back to this moral relativism, which is very accepting of a variety of different lifestyles. And if you make the case that if you can do whatever you want to do, as long as it's in the privacy of your own home, this "right to privacy," then why be surprised that people are doing things that are deviant within their own home? If you say, there is no deviant as long as it's private, as long as it's consensual, then don't be surprised what you get. [1]

Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, the third-ranking Republican in the Senate, refused yesterday to back off on his earlier statements connecting Boston's ''liberalism" with the Roman Catholic Church pedophile scandal, saying that the city's ''sexual license" and ''sexual freedom" nurtured an environment where sexual abuse would occur.[2]

Now, how he links the priest abusing underage boys to liberalism is beyond me. First, the crisis happened across the country, indiscriminate of political makeup. It happened in conservative areas as well as liberal areas. If the political makeup of a parish is the determining factor in whether a priest abused children, then conservatism is equally culpable.

Second, I would have never linked the Catholic Church to liberalism.

Third, liberalism shows no linkage to the rates of children sexual abuse. in fact, the data shows the exact opposite. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human services, the rate of sexual abuse is higher in conservative states that it is in the traditionally liberal states [3][4].

For instance, according to 2002 data:
Alabama had 2353 reported cases of sexual abuse. With a child population of 1,110,914, that made a rate of 2.12 children abused for every 1000 children.

Massachusetts had 1195 reported cases of sexual abuse. With a child population of 1,482,956, that made a rate of .80 children abused for every 1000 children.

Pennsylvania (Rick's home state) but voted Democrat in the last election, had 2746 reported cases of sexual abuse. With a child population of 2,854,389, that made a rate of .96 children abused for every 1000 children.

Arkansas had 2390 reported cases of sexual abuse. With a child population of 681,975, that made a rate of 3.51 children abused for every 1000 children.

Connecticut had 557 reported cases of sexual abuse. With a child population of 837,946, that made a rate of .66 children abused for every 1000 children.

Texas had 7513 reported cases of sexual abuse. With a child population of 6,147,775, that made a rate of 1.16 children abused for every 1000 children.

New York had 3189 reported cases of sexual abuse. With a child population of 4,576,823, that made a rate of .69 children abused for every 1000 children.

As we can see, states that are tolerant of the "deviant homosexual lifestyle" actually have lower reported rates of sexual abuse.

Santorum continues his rambling by linking liberalism to other sexual behavior

Whether it's polygamy, whether it's adultery, where it's sodomy, all of those things, are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family.[1]

Now, correct me if I am wrong, but polygamy is mainly a religious practice. Whether it is traditional Mormons, Muslims, or other smaller sect Christian and Non-Christian groups, it tends to be the more conservative groups who practice this. I am not sure if anyone could consider Utah "liberal." Now, as for adultery, Massachusetts has the 2nd lowest divorce rate in the nation after Washington DC. [5]

Washington DC 2.4
Massachusetts 2.5
Pennsylvania 3.1
Connecticut 3.3
New York 3.4
Texas 3.9
Alabama 5.4
Arkansas 6.2

In fact, across the board, with the exception of Georgia and North Dakota, blue states have lower rates of divorce than red states. I have no idea why these divorces happened, but if adultery is a portion of them, then, again, Santorum has no argument.

So, with all of this said, with the rates of sexual abuse and divorce higher in conservative states (along with poverty), maybe Santorum should be looking to emulate the liberals more than condemn them.


1- Sen. Rick Santorum's comments on homosexuality in an AP interview

2 - Santorum resolute on Boston rebuke

3 - NADS State Profiles

4 - U.S. Department of Health and Human Service

5 - Marriage and divorce rates by state

4 comments:

FaerieWizard said...

Polygamy in the US probably is mainly a religiously pushed idea by those groups you have suggested. Others are probably just insane or greedy (or both).

However, there are people who honestly believe that men are biologically driven to spread their seed among as many women as they can, which is why they struggle with monogamy. They argue this all goes back to when we were hunter gatherers and had to impregnate many women in order to insure the species survived.

In many pre-civilized cultures polygamy was/is actually more about ensuring the survival of the family one had. Women brought in most of the food intake through gathering. Thus the more women you had not only the more food you could bring in, but the easier it was to tend to the children while some women gathered and the man hunted.

Oh, and hopefully Rick will lose his seat in the next election. He's a nut.

Dingo said...

Thanks for leaving your thoughts. I agree, there have been many justifications in the far distant past for polygamy. Some cultures still practice it, but I definitely don't see it as a liberal agenda though. More of a religious doctrine.

Elle said...

Good post. Santorum is perpetually out of it.

Paula said...

Too scary to imagine Santorum as Prez! Good post.