This article was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
Far Righteousness

Rick Santorum standing in for Dana Carvey as the Church LadyIn a 2008 speech at Ave Maria University, Rick Santorum, a devout Catholic, warned about the dangers of “the NBA” and “rock concerts,” but also said that while Protestants founded America, mainline Protestantism is in such “shambles” that “it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it”:

We all know that this country was founded on a Judeo-Christian ethic but the Judeo-Christian ethic was a Protestant Judeo-Christian ethic, sure the Catholics had some influence, but this was a Protestant country and the Protestant ethic, mainstream, mainline Protestantism, and of course 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. […]

Whether its sensuality of vanity of the famous in America, they are peacocks on display and they have taken their poor behavior and made it fashionable. The corruption of culture, the corruption of manners, the corruption of decency is now on display whether it’s the NBA or whether it’s a rock concert or whether it’s on a movie set.

Listen here:

Mainline Protestantism is one of the oldest and most common religious families in America. Generally considered to be non-evangelical, non-Catholic Christians, including Congregationalists, Episcopalians, Methodists, northern Baptists, most Lutherans, Presbyterians, and other denominations, they represent about 45 million Americans. Making up about 16 percent of the electorate, they’re pretty evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats.

But in his speech, first flagged by Right Wing Watch, Santorum basically says these millions of Christian-Americans are not real Christians. At a time when Santorum and his party are grasping at straws to claim the Obama administration is waging war on Christianity, it seems that it was the candidate himself who declared war on one of the biggest groups of American Christians four years ago.

Meanwhile, the rest of Santorum’s speech dwells on his now-typical hyper-Puritanical warnings about “Satan,” and the dangers of “sensuality,” “rock concerts,” and “the NBA” that sound like they were plagiarized from Dana Carvey’s Church Lady skits on SNL.

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Editor's note: This story originally published Feb 18, 2012 at ThinkProgress.org. Photo of Rick Santorum standing in for Dana Carvey as the Church Lady is a composite photo created for LikeTheDew.com. Apologies to Dana Carvey and Saturday Live for abusing this screenshot and for the whoever shot the photo of Santorum. Used as "fair use".
Alex Seitz-Wald

Alex Seitz-Wald

Alex Seitz-Wald is a reporter/blogger for ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Alex grew up in California and holds a B.A. in international relations from Brown University. Prior to joining ThinkProgress, Alex interned at the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS and at the National Journal’s Hotline, where he covered key senate and gubernatorial races. Alex also co-founded and edited the Olive & Arrow, a blog on foreign affairs for and by young progressives. At Brown, he contributed to several publications and served on student government.