I recently chortled my way through an article that listed 9 controversial Rick Santorum quotes.  About halfway through I paused and thought, “Hey, some of these aren’t that far off things I believe might have been said in various church publications on LDS.org.”  Let’s see if I’m right.

Feminism & Family Values

Santorum on birth controlQuote: “One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country…. Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s okay, contraception is okay. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” (Speaking with CaffeinatedThoughts.com, Oct. 18, 2011)

LDS.org on birth controlQuote:  “When husband and wife are physically able, they have the privilege and responsibility to bring children into the world and to nurture them. The decision of how many children to have and when to have them is a private matter for the husband and wife. . . Sexual relations within marriage are not only for the purpose of procreation, but also a means of expressing love and strengthening emotional and spiritual ties between husband and wife.  Husband and wife are encouraged to pray and counsel together as they plan their families. Issues to consider include the physical and mental health of the mother and father and their capacity to provide the basic necessities of life for their children.” Official church statement on Birth Control.

ConclusionSantorum should take that aspirin he’s promoting for the headaches this stance is going to cause him and get out of our bedrooms; at least in 2012, the LDS church isn’t nearly as pushy as he is.

Santorum on working moms. Quote: “In far too many families with young children, both parents are working, when, if they really took an honest look at the budget, they might find they don’t both need to. … What happened in America so that mothers and fathers who leave their children in the care of someone else — or worse yet, home alone after school between three and six in the afternoon — find themselves more affirmed by society? Here, we can thank the influence of radical feminism.” (Santorum’s 2005 book, It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good)

LDS.org on working momsQuote:  “Do you work, or are you a full-time mother?” Any woman who has children recognizes the irony in this question. All mothers work, full-time. And motherhood can never be a part-time job. But the messages behind this question can undermine women’s peace of mind and polarize them.  The first message—one that our society often promulgates—is that only women with careers outside the home do work that really “matters.” . . . As a result, many of these women feel undervalued. . .  The second message troubles many who work outside the home to help support their families. That message is that women are mothers only when they are at home. Of course, a woman no more stops being a mother when she is at the office than she ceases to be a Latter-day Saint when she is not at church. But some who work outside the home may feel unnecessary guilt, which hinders their ability to enjoy a sense of well-being and convey that feeling to their children.”  Working Double-Time:  The Working Mother’s Dilemma, Jan Underwood Pinborough, March 1986.

Quote:  “Contrary to conventional wisdom, a mother’s calling is in the home, not in the marketplace.” (To the Mothers in Zion, pamphlet, 1987)  He is not the first prophet to urge mothers to stay at home; for years, others have stressed the importance of a mother’s influence—an influence too vital to be left to others. . . On numerous occasions, President Spencer W. Kimball urged mothers to “come home … to your children, born and unborn. Wrap the motherly cloak about you and, unembarrassed, help in a major role to create the bodies for the immortal souls who anxiously wait. . . Of course, some mothers with children at home must work outside the home as a matter of necessity. Such need our understanding and help and appreciation for all that they do in behalf of their families.”  Mom–At Home, Derin Head Rodriguez, October 1989.

ConclusionSantorum:  Radical anti-feminist in 2012; LDS:  Hardly progressive, but balanced by contrast and less judgmental.  And these quotes are 25 years old!

“Christian” Worldview of History

Santorum on the CrusadesQuote: “The idea that the Crusades and the fight of Christendom against Islam is somehow an aggression on our part is absolutely anti-historical. And that is what the perception is by the American Left who hates Christendom. … What I’m talking about is onward American soldiers. What we’re talking about are core American values.” (South Carolina campaign stop, Feb. 22, 2011)

LDS.org on the CrusadesQuote:  “The crusades dispelled this peaceful image, as “Christian” armies destroyed whole Jewish communities by killing all their inhabitants and burning their homes and synagogues.”  Jewish Migrations, Victor L. Ludlow, May 1972.

Quote:  “In times past, great throngs journeyed in the crusades of Christianity, feeling that if only the Holy Land could be secured from the infidel, then Christ would be found in their lives. How mistaken they were! Thousands upon thousands perished; many others committed heinous crimes in the very name of Christianity. Jesus will not be found by crusades of men.”  The Search for Jesus, President Thomas S. Monson, December 1990.

ConclusionSantorum:  Dark Ages, LDS:  Age of Enlightenment.

Santorum on Palestine.  Quote: “All the people who live in the West Bank are Israelis, they’re not Palestinians. There is no ‘Palestinian.’ This is Israeli land.” (Campaign stop in Iowa, Nov. 18, 2011)

LDS.org on PalestineQuote: “The land later known as Palestine, and spoken of by Christian peoples as the Holy Land, was in a large measure the same area that had been given to the Twelve Tribes of Israel as an inheritance, after their captivity in Egypt. Through the centuries, many changes had occurred in the control of the land, changes which had brought much outside influence and many people within its borders.”   The Provinces of Palestine, Ensign, Sept. 1974. 

Quote:  ” There is an aggressiveness everywhere that gives one a sense of both uplift and foreboding. The cost of such aggressiveness is great—the hatred of the Arab world. It is felt wherever one goes in the surrounding Arab nations. It seethes in the poverty-stricken camps of displaced former occupants of Palestinian cities. And it is not without cause. Under the steadily increasing immigration of Jews, Palestine has become Jewish. Even in cities where the Jewish population is still in the minority, the controlling power and influence is Jewish. The thousands of Arabs who remain in Palestine have, in the main, accepted the inevitable. They are more prosperous than before. They find employment at higher wages than they have ever known.  Prosperity has a way of smoothing over old animosities. But not so among those who fled into adjacent lands during the war periods. These are in idle and abject poverty, most of them crowded into refugee camps of the lowest order, feeding on bitterness. While Israel’s borders are open to them to return, they rarely do so, and to remain away becomes tantamount in their minds to being driven out without recourse. War is ruthless at best, and the wars between Jew and Arab have so far brought bitter reprisals from both sides of the conflict.”  For the Law Shall Go Forth from Zion, William E. Berrett, May 1972.

ConclusionSantorum 0, LDS 1.  Somehow, Santorum is making the LDS church of the 1970s sound rational and balanced in its views by contrast to his ill-informed radical notions.  As has been pointed out, even Israel acknowledges a Palestinian state.

Religious Tolerance

Santorum Reminding America that some view Mormonism as “a dangerous cult.”  Quote: “Would the potential attraction to Mormonism by simply having a Mormon in the White House threaten traditional Christianity by leading more Americans to a church that some Christians believe misleadingly calls itself Christian, is an active missionary church, and a dangerous cult?” (Santorum’s Philadelphia Inquirer column, Dec. 20, 2007)

LDS.orgQuote:  “11 We claim the aprivilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the bdictates of our own cconscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them dworship how, where, or what they may.”  Articles of Faith, Joseph Smith, 1842.

Quote:  “Name calling has often been used in religious controversies. At one time, Catholics called Protestants “heretics,” and Protestants called Catholics “papists.” But this sort of tactic amounts to nothing more than saying, “Boo for your religion, and hurrah for mine.” The negative term most frequently flung at the LDS is “cult,” a term which can suggest images of pagan priests and rituals. But the truth is there is no objective distinction by which a cult may be distinguished from a religion. Use of the term cult does not tell us what a religion is, only how it is regarded by the person using the term. It simply means “a religion I don’t like.”  Though non-LDS scholars have made many attempts to define a “cult” in a way that would distinguish it from a “religion,” to date every such attempt has failed. So far the major difficulty has been that any definition of “cult” that fits the LDS Church also fits New Testament Christianity! But that’s not bad company to be in.”  Are Mormons Christians?, Stephen E. Robinson, New Era, May 1998.

Conclusion:  Flinging this term around just makes Santorum look like a bully.  It might play to other discourteous religious bigots, but not to anyone else (including hypocritcal Dems who will pounce on anti-Mormonism the second it suits their re-election purposes).

Racism

Santorum on WelfareQuote: “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money; I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.” (Campaign stop in Iowa, Jan. 2, 2012)

LDS.org on WelfareQuote:  “President Romney recently said, “Welfare is not a program of the Church; it is of the essence of the Church.” I truly believe that. Welfare is more than just furnishing the temporal needs of the Church members. Welfare is for every single member of the Church. It involves the 96 percent who do not need to be assisted by the commodities and by those things furnished by the bishop’s storehouse. Welfare is for those who have, to give, as well as those who have not, to receive.”  Now Abideth Faith, Hope and Charity, Vaughn J. Featherstone, April 1973.

Quote:  “Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance … for his punishments are just— “But … whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God. For behold, are we not all beggars?”  Mosiah 4: 16-18.

Quote:  “The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.”  Born of God, Ezra Taft Benson, November 1985.

ConclusionSantorum came off racist and miserly in his quote. LDS:  King Benjamin’s speech is holding a light up to Christian behavior and pushing for more charity.  Even Pres. Benson’s talk sounds inspiring, not insulting.

Race & Abortion (2 for 1 quote)

SantorumQuote: “The question is — and this is what Barack Obama didn’t want to answer — is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says no. Well if that person — human life is not a person, then — I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, ‘We’re going to decide who are people and who are not people.'” (CNS News interview, Jan. 19, 2011)

LDS.orgQuote:  “He believed that the Civil War was one of the punishments God brought upon America because it tolerated slavery. He knew that slavery was wrong, and that the nation could not endure half slave and half free, and therefore took the necessary steps to free the slaves.”  The Savor of Men, Mark E. Petersen, October 1976.

Quote:  “Concern for the health of the mother is a vital one. But circumstances in which the termination of pregnancy is necessary to save the life of the mother are very rare, particularly where modern medical care is available. Another concern applies to pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. This tragedy is compounded because an innocent woman’s freedom of choice was denied. In these circumstances, abortion is sometimes considered advisable to preserve the physical and mental health of the mother. Abortions for these reasons are also rare.  Some argue for abortion because of fear that a child may have a congenital malformation. Surely the harmful effects of certain infectious or toxic agents in the first trimester of pregnancy are real, but caution is needed in considering the termination of a pregnancy. Life has great value for all, including those born with disabilities. Furthermore, the outcome may not be as serious as postulated.  Relatively few abortions are performed for the special circumstances to which I have referred. 8 Most abortions are performed on demand to deal with unwanted pregnancies. These abortions are simply a form of birth control.  Elective abortion has been legalized in many countries on the premise that a woman is free to choose what she does with her own body. To an extent this is true for each of us, male or female. We are free to think. We are free to plan. And we are free to do. But once an action has been taken, we are never free from its consequences.”  Abortion:  An Assault on the Defenseless, Russell M. Nelson, October 2008.

Conclusion:  Really, the Santorum quote is just one of those out of left field remarks that one hopes his handler will help him unbox after the fact.  He is decrying abortion, but in a weirdly racist way and also equating abortion to slavery.  It’s a head scratcher.  LDS church FTW.

Homosexuality

Santorum.  Quote: “Is anyone saying same-sex couples can’t love each other? I love my children (so he does!). I love my friends, my brother. Heck, I even love my mother-in-law. Should we call these relationships marriage, too?” (Santorum’s Philadelphia Inquirer column, May 22, 2008)

Quote: “If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does. … That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing.” (AP interview, April 7, 2003)

Conclusion:  Santorum’s mother-in-law analogy almost sounds like a Freudian slip.  Is she hawt?  For a guy who wears a lot of sweater vests, he sure does harp on homosexuality.  Hmmm.

LDS.orgQuote:  “Homosexuals and lesbians seldom are happy people. Theirs is a relationship that is unnatural, one not bound by fidelity, trust, or loyalty, and one totally lacking in the meaningful family relationships that marriage offers. Homosexuality often espouses emotional problems because of the constant insecurity inherent in a relationship neither sanctioned by nor protected by the law.  Because there is no legal bond, homosexuality too often encourages, or at least permits, promiscuity.  . . Many homosexuals seek to introduce others into their practice, often those in their tender, impressionable years. Many studies have indicated that such early homosexual experience may interfere with normal sexual adjustment in subsequent marriage. . . To “persecute” homosexuals would be wrong, just as it would be wrong for us to persecute anyone.”  I Have a Question:  Why Does the Church Oppose Homosexuality:  Why Is It Wrong?  Dr. Lindsay M. Curtis, M.D., July 1974 Ensign.

Quote:  “Speaking of society’s tolerance of homosexual behavior and yet the majority’s opposition to same-sex marriage, he said, “Most people intuitively recognize that if the law endorses everything it tolerates, we will eventually tolerate everything and endorse nothing—except tolerance.”  [Elder Hafen]  In his address, Lynn Wardle discussed how “there is strong support for same-sex marriage in certain subgroups of society,” particularly the entertainment media and academic communities. In contrast, Brother Wardle observed, “Heterosexual marriages have been given special legal preference because they make uniquely valuable contributions to the state, to society, and to individuals. . . Claims for same-sex marriage challenge us and our entire generation to reexamine the importance of the institution of marriage.””  News of the Church, “Church Delegates Attend World Congress of Families,” June 1997.

Conclusion:  Neither Santorum nor the LDS church support homosexuality. This LDS quote from the 1970s sounds compassionate at least (especially for its time) if misguided. 

Summary

I was quite surprised to discover that the only areas where Santorum’s quotes come close to LDS quotations is during the 1970s, and even then, the LDS stance was much more moderate and tempered with an ability to see opposing viewpoints that I am not hearing from this presidential candidate.  One reason for this is certainly that LDS.org is selective in what it publishes; however, it’s not that selective.  And if I were running for President, one would hope I’d also be selective in what I say and publish.

Still, I’m glad to see we aren’t that close to his extremist views, and that our publications are much more even-handed.  While Mormons may self-identify as social conservatives, on the whole we’re not nearly as obnoxious about it as others seem to be.

What do you conclude?

Discuss.