The Rick Santorum Show (Papal Froth)

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) in undated photo by Eric Gay/AP.

This is why we adore Rick Santorum:

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum says he loves Pope Francis, but he wants the pontiff to stop talking about climate change.

Santorum, a devout Catholic, told Philadelphia radio host Dom Giordano on Monday that the pope should “leave science to the scientists.”

His comments come as the pope, who earned a master’s degree in chemistry before turning to the priesthood, becomes increasingly vocal about climate change. Pope Francis is preparing a groundbreaking encyclical to be released in the coming weeks that’s expected to make the case that taking action to fight climate change is a moral and religious imperative.

(Mazza)

Over at the New Republic, Rebecca Leber offers an obvious point:

But Santorum, who is not a scientist himself, has never hesitated himself to interpret climate scientist to suit his interests.

“Is the climate warming?” Santorum said on CNN in January. “Clearly over the past, you know, 15 or 20 years, yes. The question is, is man having a significant impact on that.” He’s questioned the well-established link between air pollution and diseases: “If you look at mercury … there are particles all over the place. The question is, are they having any impact on public health?” He’s even compared President Barack Obama’s climate policies to a religion. “[Obama] is against fossil fuels, for his own, in my mind, quasi-religious reasons, which is not a rationale. If someone would go forward and put forth a religious idea as to how we should regulate the environment, and it was based on a Christian or other types of religious [ideas], they would be condemned up and down.” (At least Obama’s policies are grounded in science, unlike Santorum’s rhetoric.)

This is an especially weak preview of the Republican pushback against the Pope’s expected environmental encyclical June 16. It serves to remind voters of what House Speaker John Boehner, another Catholic politician, has said about the subject: That he cannot answer questions about climate change, because he’s not a scientist. Usually, when politicians use this excuse, they then go on to question established science that humans are warming the planet.

Francis’ encyclical isn’t expected to be an education in science, exactly. The church is using its expertise precisely where it’s needed, by making a moral argument that humans must think about their relationship with, and impact on, their natural environment.

Steve Benen takes the point a step further―

It really is amazing to see conservatives, who generally want religious leaders to help guide people through the major challenges of the day, suddenly say the exact opposite when the pope demands action on the climate crisis.

―and recalls another episode when Republicans decided the Pope needed to keep his damn mouth shut:

After Pope Francis moved to recognize a Palestinian state, some gung-ho defenders of Israel suggested the pontiff should stick to preaching and stay out of politics.

“It’s interesting how the Vatican has gotten so political when ultimately the Vatican ought to be working to lead people to Jesus Christ and salvation, and that’s what the Church is supposed to do,” said Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), a hawkish defender of Israel.

It wasn’t just Duncan. Several House conservatives seemed exasperated that Francis, who will address Congress this fall, approved the Vatican’s recognition of Palestine as a state. On Wednesday, critics said Rome needs to leave the question of Palestinian statehood to be sorted out in the Middle East.

(Bade)

And there is something to it. The Pope is generally considered among the foremost faith leaders on the planet, and Rick Santorum likes to pretend he is Catholic. Yet the lawyer is going to tell the chemist to stay out of science.

It is almost as if some Republicans hope to simply confuse people if they pile enough absurdity atop itself. After all, this is supposed to be a presidential nomination contest; half-witted idiocy like this isn’t really how this goes, therefore this is not really happening.

Or something like that.

____________________

Mazza, Ed. “Rick Santorum Wants Pope Francis To Stop Talking About Climate Change”. 3 June 2015.

Leber, Rebecca. “Rick Santorum Lectures the Pope on Weighing in on Climate Change”. The New Republic. 3 June 2015.

Benen, Steve. “Santorum to Pope: Leave ‘science to the scientists'”. msnbc. 3 June 2015.

Bade, Rachel. “Israel hawks to Pope Francis: Stay out of politics”. Politico. 13 May 2015.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s