Satan over Santa: Rick Santorum Believes the Father of Lies Exists, but Not Father Christmas

It’s getting weird. Call it the Vast Bat Wing Conspiracy against Rick Santorum, for he believes Satan, not Mitt Romney, is his chief opposition.

Seriously.

I’d rather our politicians profess belief in things innocuous like Santa rather than Satan. But the DrudgeReport is circulating the below belief-in-Satan quotes coming from Rick Santorum, which he spoke to students at Ave Maria University in Florida. They were captured on audio.

Here’s the first one:

Satan has his sights on the United States of America!

And:

Satan is attacking the great institutions of America, using those great vices of pride, vanity, and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition.

And:

This is a spiritual war. And the Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country – the United States of America. If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age?

And:

He attacks all of us and he attacks all of our institutions.

And:

We look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is in shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it.

In the above quotes, notice Santorum’s obsession with Satan’s eyes. Is Santorum paranoid, do you suppose, or just deeply narcissistic and self-absorbed? If, after all, Santorum thinks the American presidency is a big deal in the cosmic scheme of things, then surely Satan must think so as well, watching Santorum on FOX News and plotting how to undermine his dangerous-to-Satan presidential campaign.

Big Satan is watching Rick. And Big Satan is watching you.

Please step back in sight of the telescreen, Mr. Winston. Thank you.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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5 Responses to Satan over Santa: Rick Santorum Believes the Father of Lies Exists, but Not Father Christmas

  1. David Yates says:

    So, what exactly is the problem here? It’s no secret that Rick Santorum is a believing Christian, and it’s certainly no secret that belief in the existence of satan is a part of orthodox Christian doctrine. In fact, although the Mormon church is not orthodox in several of its key beliefs, belief in the existence of satan is a teaching it shares with orthodox Christianity, and so it stands to reason that Mitt Romney also believes in satan’s existence — along with Roman Catholic Newt Gingrich and Baptist Ron Paul. Indeed, it’s probably pretty safe to say that virtually everyone ever elected to the office of president of the U.S. has believed in the existence of satan. What’s more, since Barack Obama also self-identifies as a Christian, it’s entirely plausible that he also believes in satan’s existence.

    Finally, although I’ve no reason to think he’s changed his mind concerning any of this, from what I understand, the quotes you’ve provided above are not recent, but rather all come from a speech Rick Santorum gave at a Catholic university back in 2008. That this has become the focus of so much attention now, just as Santorum is surging in the polls ahead of Mitt Romney, it all seems somewhat odd to me.

    • Santi Tafarella says:

      The fact that these quotes are old makes it all the worse, doesn’t it? We’re getting the thoughts, not of a politician seeking fundamentalist votes, but of a retired senator revealing the orientation of his mind toward the world.

      Do you really want a president who looks out at the world and sees the devil in events? I would no more want that than I would want a president who sees UFOs behind events.

      There’s a vast difference between profession and what you really think. No, I don’t think most presidents have taken Satan seriously as a construct, and they haven’t because it’s ridiculous (intellectually).

      As for Santorum’s jibe at mainline Protestants, he presumably says this about them because they don’t take Satan literally and thus have fallen out of “true” Christianity.

      —Santi

  2. Santi Tafarella says:

    Another thought. In the 21st century, it is no more necessary of “true” Christians to believe in Satan than it is necessary for them to believe in young earth creationism.

    And the proof of this is to ask a simple question: what is Satan’s activity in the world? In other words, what evidence is there that a malign angel actually acts and orchestrates anything that happens?

    It would be informative to hear Santorum’s answer to this question. Is there a single earthquake anywhere in the world to which one can point and say, “This was a uniquely caused event by Satan”? Or a single incident of disease? Or of a nation’s misfortune (such as 9-11)?

    What’s the difference, in other words, between the way the world has always gone, and the activity of Satan? And if there is no difference, then there is no reason to posit Satan’s action or existence in the world. “We have no need of that hypothesis.” It can be explained and attended to by other means. When someone gets sick, you call a doctor, not an exorcist.

    —Santi

    • John C Wright says:

      “And the proof of this is to ask a simple question: what is Satan’s activity in the world? In other words, what evidence is there that a malign angel actually acts and orchestrates anything that happens? ”

      Look in your own heart, sir, and see whence comes the arrogance and contempt with which you utter your condemnations. It comes from that malign angel you airily say modern Christians need not believe exists.

      As well say modern Christians need not believe in Christ.

      Christians, being rational and realistic folk, do not believe effects arise without cause. We see appalling and inexplicable evil in the world; we know this world is not the whole of all there is, on the ground that it is not self-explanatory, and so know there is a world beyond what we see; the evil we see comes from an author of evil we do not see.

      • Santi Tafarella says:

        John,

        You said, “the evil we see comes from an author of evil we do not see.”

        That’s an interesting thesis, and it might be true, but what evidence do you have for it? My point is simply this: the world can be fully explained apart from the hypothesis that Satan exists, so why complicate the explanation? If an earthquake occurs on a faultline, and we can account for it with geology and physics, whence the hand of Satan?

        Also, who made Satan?

        Satan doesn’t solve the question of why evil is in the world. Positing Satan as the cause of evil only puts it back a step. Ultimately, if God exists, then God is the author of all that happens, including evil. What’s the point of all these naughty angelic middle men but to give God cover? The buck, if you think about it, always stops with God.

        Take my own arrogance as an example. If God exists, that too comes from God, so you should be mad at God for firing my neurons to pass arrogant thoughts through my brain. God, after all, could have stopped them before I thought them (if He wanted to). So why didn’t He?

        Anger at men and the evil in the world is always, ultimately, a displaced anger at God. I’m the cat you kick when you can’t kick the Boss.

        So why are you angry at God?

        —Santi

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