Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Jesus, Satan and the Presidential Election

No, Jesus is not a candidate and neither is Satan. But both have come up recently in the presidential election and if you watch you might well hear about at least Satan at tonight's Arizona Republican Debate.

At the National Prayer Breakfast, Barack Obama co-opted Jesus as a supporter for his program of higher taxes and more entitlement programs for the middle class. (Calls to Heaven for confirmation of Jesus' position were not returned as of press time.) The left-wing media yawned and only noted it as a justification for calling conservative Christians hypocrites for opposing Obama: "See he quotes Jesus and everything! What more do you want?"

On the other hand the Drudge Report dug up (or were fed by the Romney camp) an old 2008 speech by Rick Santorum at Ave Maria University in which he warned that Satan was attacking America. All of a sudden the secularists in the media have their underwear in a knot. Our guy says Jesus is on his side - perfectly fine. Their guy says something to indicate that he believes in Satan - it's a national emergency!

As Paul Kengor at American Spectator put it:
Like vampires fleeing a cross, the secular world shudders and trembles at the sight of Rick Santorum delivering a speech about good and evil at Ave Maria University in Florida in 2008. Santorum's statement came 25 years after another much-maligned social conservative, Ronald Reagan, delivered a similarly fiery but much-needed statement in Florida in 1983. In both cases, our liberal friends recoiled in horror, mortified that any American other than Barack Obama or Jimmy Carter might dare remark on matters of faith and state, of the temporal and eternal.

I caught excerpts of the Santorum speech for the first time yesterday, when America's omnipresent force -- Matt Drudge -- posted the link under the grim, black-and-white headline, "SANTORUM'S SATAN WARNING." Immediately, the remainder of the natural universe leapt in knee-jerk hysteria, and soon Santorum's warnings of the Evil One were the talk of a stunned nation.

Also at American Spectator, Quin Hillyer has this comment:

All of this "Satan" talk is completely out of context. There is absolutely nothing wrong with somebody in a religious context talking about Satan being loose in the world. There is almost nothing that Rick Santorum said that wasn't in line with the fictional but theologically sound take on the forces of evil that C.S. Lewis described in The Screwtape Letters. And there is absolutely nothing that isn't standard Catholic doctrine. Consider that for years every Catholic Church recited, ever week, the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, pasted below, and that many Catholic churches still do. This includes the Catholic Church in Alexandria, VA that is the home parish for a host of leading conservative Catholics in the DC area. Here is the prayer as regularly recited (the link above is to the long version and the history thereof):

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

To complain about what Santorum said is to show an appalling lack of perspective and understanding of Catholicism, of Christianity, and of religious faith in general. Those complaining should be ashamed of themselves -- it, that is, they had any shame.

Hillyer is right. The media has no shame when it comes to attempts to smear conservative candidates. But I would submit that there are only two possibilities here: (1) the media is so uninformed that it actually does not know that all serious Christians believe in Satan or (2) they know but they are betting that most Americans, having been through 12 years of secular schooling, don't know that. Either way, we need a new media. We need new reporters who are actually educated and new editors who are unbiased. But the media we have is hopeless.

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