Santorum: Just Say No To Education

We have previously discussed the rising anti-intellectualism in the GOP race from the rejection of basic science principles to the demonification of academics and higher education. Rick Santorum this week ramped up on the attacks on colleges and universities with a speech that seemed to call for voters to avoid supporting — or even attempting — college. Santorum appears to be proudly embracing the pledge of Will Rogers that “America is becoming so educated that ignorance will be a novelty. I will belong to the select few.”


Santorum explained to an enraptured audience in Naples, Florida how “the left” long ago took over universities to indoctrinate young people for the purpose of “holding and maintaining power.” It was all part of the plan of the liberal overlords, he suggested, and “we’ve lost our higher education, that was the first to go a long time ago.” Now, Obama is pushing college which Santorum portrays as a type of entry drug to liberalism:

“It’s no wonder President Obama wants every kid to go to college,” said the former Pennsylvania senator. “The indoctrination that occurs in American universities is one of the keys to the left holding and maintaining power in America. And it is indoctrination. If it was the other way around, the ACLU would be out there making sure that there wasn’t one penny of government dollars going to colleges and universities, right? . . . If they taught Judeo-Christian principles in those colleges and universities, they would be stripped of every dollar. If they teach radical secular ideology, they get all the government support that they can possibly give them. Because you know 62 percent of children who enter college with a faith conviction leave without it.”

Santorum, therefore, called on true Republicans to stop giving money to colleges:

“I’ll bet you there are people in this room who give money to colleges and universities who are undermining the very principles of our country every single day by indoctrinating kids with left-wing ideology. And you continue to give to these colleges and universities. Let me have a suggestion: Stop it.”

It was a truly Palinesque moment of attacking those who would challenge GOP positions with facts or history. Now the race to the bottom is complete with a call to just say no to education and to embrace doctrine as truth. Of course, this is not a new idea. Mao Zedong launched a Cultural Revolution based on the same notions:

Although the bourgeoisie has been overthrown, it is still trying to use the old ideas, culture, customs, and habits of the exploiting classes to corrupt the masses, capture their minds, and endeavour to stage a comeback. The proletariat must do just the opposite: It must meet head-on every challenge of the bourgeoisie in the ideological field and use the new ideas, culture, customs, and habits of the proletariat to change the mental outlook of the whole of society. At present, our objective is to struggle against and crush those persons in authority . . . and repudiate the reactionary bourgeois academic “authorities” and the ideology of the bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes and to transform education, literature and art, and all other parts of the superstructure  . . .”

Now this is not meant to accuse Santorum of plagiarism: you would only learn about the Cultural Revolution in those colleges that he wants us all to avoid. I can deal with the re-education camps, but I am a bit afraid of what Santorum will select as his Little Red [State] Book. If it is Sarah Palin’s America by Heart : Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag, I will be the first to turn in my colleagues hiding in the attic.

Source: CBS

147 thoughts on “Santorum: Just Say No To Education

  1. Raff & Gene,

    A friend of mine who is an Episcopal priest and also a clinical psychologist, has a picture of Jesus on his office wall. Not just any old picture. It was taken from a Playboy magazine article written by the liberal Baptist scholar, Dr. Harvey Cox.

    The picture is a highly detailed pen and ink drawing of Jesus at the wedding party, where he had just performed his first miracle. Here is this bearded guy with his head thrown back, mouth wide open in a belly laugh. A sinewy, heavily muscled hairy arm is extended toward the viewer, holding a wine cup. Definitely not the guy depicted in the old paintings. It is this Jesus devout “Christian” fundamentalists would not like to have show up on the doorstep of their mega-churches.

    My friend says that illustration has actually caused some of his patients to get up and walk out of his office. Those folks who call themselves “God fearing” should have some reason to be afraid. That illustration is of the real Jewish Carpenter, not the one they think they “know.”

  2. Gene H., I totaly agree on the Jesus/banker/carpenter comments. Also you do have the right to say what you want, but that doesn’t make it fact. Personally I don’t agree with ole Rick’s tactics; however, the fact that life begins at conception is real and there are prime examples stated by your creator in the KJV. Deny it all you want, but the fact and truth remains. Hey thanks for the “slick” compliment. One of my old nicknames from my wilder days.

  3. “Also you do have the right to say what you want, but that doesn’t make it fact.”

    No. When what I say is a fact, that makes it a fact. Beliefs are not facts. Facts are discerned though the application of the Scientific Method and the empirical interrogation of evidence by repeatable experimentation.

    Facts are information that have the quality of being actual, that have actual quantifiable and physical existence; pieces of information having objective reality.

    Belief is nothing more than an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists; something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction. No evidence required. Belief is not a fact by definition.

    You believe God is King. I know for a fact evidence is king. Because I can measure it and test it and verify it.

    It is a fact of Constitutional Law and his own assertions that Rick Santorum would force his religious views on others unconstitutionally by using the force of law. That makes him a theocratic tyrant in the making. Jesus Nazi is a perfectly accurate label. That you don’t like it is irrelevant.

    “Personally I don’t agree with ole Rick’s tactics; however, the fact that life begins at conception is real and there are prime examples stated by your creator in the KJV.”

    1) He’s not my creator. You are presumptuous in the extreme to say so as well. I’m not a Christian. I think Jesus was a wise teacher, but I do not worship Him or your Christian God. I do not think the Bible (in any version) is the literal “word of God” and I know this because I know the history of the Bible. You may believe He’s my creator, but that a) doesn’t make it so nor b) is it required that I share your belief that He is and c) the Constitution guarantees me that you cannot try to force me adopt your beliefs. If (IF!) I believe in any sort of “God”, it’s God as an Aristotelian prime mover, not some bearded sky god who watches my every move and allegedly loves me with infinite compassion yet will sentence me to an eternity of suffering if I break some rules written down by men to control other men by claiming that they somehow spoke for an omniscient and omnipresent being that was able to create an entire universe from scratch, but yet is somehow unable to speak for Himself (or apparently manage his own checkbook according to televangelists and organized religion).

    As an aside, were I to be a Christian, I wouldn’t be using the Bible as re-written by a monarch as a political tool to lend credence to his assertion of power by divine right. Of all the versions of the Bible, the KJV is clearly, plainly and historically the most revised version and such revisions were done for blatantly propagandistic purposes by the crown. So instead of taking your “knowledge” of your beliefs from a piece of propaganda, you should consider reading the Bible in Greek or Latin and expand the scope of your study beyond the selection of gospels approved by the Council of Nicea to include the Gnostic gospels and other gospels not included in the “officially approved by humans for use on other humans” version of what Jesus was teaching. Then maybe you’d get over this delusion Jesus or God was talking about potential people, but I doubt it.

    2) The Bible isn’t a science text. As a matter of science and simple logic, your assertions about when life starts are superstitious nonsense. Are stillborns alive? Are miscarriages alive? Are they people? No. They are dead tissue because they cannot survive outside the mother’s womb; the same standard for when life begins when your beloved KJV was written, the same standard of when life begins when the Constitution was written, it’s the same standard of when life begins as defined by medical science and technology and it’s the same standard of when life begins applied by SCOTUS in Roe v. Wade. But by your illogical beliefs these differentiated cells and unformed or malformed foetues are people with Constitutional protections simply because an egg got fertilized. That’s not how nature as factually understood by science or how the law as defined by the Constitution and jurisprudence operates.

    If you want to make abortions illegal, then you’re just as big a theocrat as the Jesus Nazi and I invite you to keep your religion out of our government. Why? Because according to the Constitution, you don’t have a choice when it comes to using the mechanisms of government to force your religion on others. The idea that life begins at conception? Is a religious idea. Not a scientific idea. Not a legal idea. Not a good idea. Not a true idea. It’s a belief and it’s a delusional belief. As a factual scientific matter and as a matter of legal standards based upon verifiable proofs, life beings at viability. Live your life by belief all you like, but when it comes to using the force of law to make others accept you making their religious choices for them? You need to keep your religion to yourself. Not because I say so. Because the 1st and 14th Amendments of the Constitution says you must and that’s a fact. If you want to think life begins at fertilization for your religious reasons, then you don’t have to get an abortion. Just because abortion is made legally and safely available to others does not in any way, shape or form mean that you have to have one. You are free to follow a course of action that your conscience dictates and the Free Exercise Clause guarantees this legal fact. However, you don’t get to make that choice for others based on your beliefs and enforce your choice with the power of law and the Establishment Clause guarantees this legal fact.

  4. Gene H. and Michael,

    Scientific studies (facts) show that in a population, 25 per cent of implanted eggs (fertilized) are later spontaneously aborted through natural causes.

    So I ask Michael, why did God abort those lives? And was God also involved in all the trillions of other implanted eggs in all species in this world and all other worlds? Believing that, you must also believe that sickness is punishment for sins. And wealth is reward for your faithfulness.

    BTW, that’s the reason behind most expressions of faith: ie give a little oil, mumble some words, sacrifice a dove (or a first born son), and all will go well for you. Hindu kings used to employ hundreds of priests to do ceremonies where 500 bulls were sacrificed. A single mistake in the day long ceremony rendered it void, and it would be repeated. Such was the price there and then.

    Life is great, but God did not create it. Read about abiogenesis for facts.

  5. idealist,

    In my case, you are certainly preaching to the choir about abiogenesis. In fact, I was pleased to see the new news this week about chemist uncovering a mechanism by which amino acids can make threose and erythrose that explains the right handed/left handing symmetry.

  6. Hindu kings used to employ hundreds of priests to do ceremonies where 500 bulls were sacrificed. A single mistake in the day long ceremony rendered it void, and it would be repeated. Such was the price there and then…..

    Idealist: Even they stopped sacrifices a couple of thousand years ago when faced with secular criticism from agnostics, atheists etc. which led to a reformation. Why is it then that in an ostensibly “educated” country as ours, this is such an issue? I was in India on a pleasure trip recently and for a majority, real world secular issues dominate the conversation.

    Does education do nothing in the USA? Canada and Europe does not go through these convulsions.

  7. @Elaine: I think field trips can be insanely educational, almost anywhere. If it were possible, I’d schedule a field trip every few weeks. Darwin’s entire theory of evolution was basically formed on a field trip, because he took notes and samples.

    Geologists and paleontologists and archaeologists and even field biologists can spend their careers planning field trips, executing field trips, and studying what they found on field trips. In one of my undergraduate classes we were assigned field trips, to find different examples of architectural principles (with hints from the professor). It was fun.

    Kids can learn a lot studying a local river or lake or beach, or park or native forest or empty field, for that matter. Here’s a fun experiment, two field trips, a few months apart. Get permission from a local wild field owner, and have your kids put up a removable fence around a square of land about five feet on each side. Wait three months and then see what is growing different inside the fenced area (it is protected from grazers and other large animals). Of course it might get knocked down or penetrated, that is something to learn too. Take a vote on who thinks it is still standing.

    I would take kids on field trips to just about any place safe. I am sort of science obsessed, but I can teach kids science at a car mechanics shop, the grocery store, the furniture factory, the beauty salon. Find a home construction site, those are fascinating from the ground up. Heck I once spent an opportune hour with my daughter (while we had to wait for something else) visiting a road construction site and figuring out what they were doing. I imagine similar things could be said for art, or culture.

    At least in my experience, kids have far greater success learning in the field than they do in the classroom. There is something about reality that engages them far more than pictures or videos. And at least in my childhood, even though both of my parents worked all day, there did not seem to be a shortage of parents willing to help herd the kids.

    Hooray for field trips. If they can learn something, send them. Grade their notes and observations. Have them plan the trip, take the trip, and present their findings, they can work together (like scientists) to figure out what they saw and what it meant. It doesn’t have to be earth shattering science, it can be age appropriate.

    I know this sounds a little crazed, but I think you could successfully teach grade schoolers with about 2/3 of their time organized around one field trip after another. Show them the world and how it works. Learning to read, arithmetic, and other memorization or pencil and paper subjects require class time, I know, but field trips can combine physical exercise with exploration, observation, planning and interpretation, it is literally what our brains and bodies are built to do, especially children. Not sitting behind a desk. Their playground should be the world, not a paved lot.

  8. Tony C.,

    “I think field trips can be insanely educational, almost anywhere. If it were possible, I’d schedule a field trip every few weeks. Darwin’s entire theory of evolution was basically formed on a field trip, because he took notes and samples.”

    I think field trips can be very educational too. They are especially valuable for poor children who don’t have the advantages and enrichment that middle and upper class children enjoy.

    Unfortunately, by the time I left the classroom, our school committee and administration was trying to severely limit the number of field trips teachers could take their students on in the course of a school year. The powers that be felt it was time away from classroom instruction. I think they worried that it was time away from prepping kids for the state-mandated tests.

  9. Elaine,
    I rate those No Child Left Behind mandated tests right up there with herpes, jock itch, fire ants and oil spills on the list of things I dislike intensely.

  10. Otteray,

    I left teaching in an elementary classroom and became a school librarian because I saw the handwriting on the wall. Education was becoming less about truly educating children–and more about prepping them to pass the state-mandated tests. I chose to leave the classroom before I started to hate my job. I’m happy that I did because I absolutely LOVED being a teaching librarian in an elementary school. I had the opportunity to work with children of many ages–PreK through fourth grade.

  11. Idealist, in my case, I understand your secular way of thinking. However; we must accept we are all from an original creation and with that creation came the natural and the freewill. We can accept that things happen in life as a result of the two, or just say we don’t believe in a Creator and live a secular life. As a, born from above, Christian I believe in God as the sole Creator. Along with that belief, I choose to believe in natural occurances and that some souls are just “too” good for this world. Sometimes those natural occurances lead to “freaks” of nature. As with the flora and fauna, humans are born, or “unborn” (aborted naturally) as something occuring naturally,without being influenced directly by God. Hence, Hermaphrodites,males with more feminine genes than normal an vice versa,Siamese twins, etc.,etc. Sometimes abnormalities are a direct result of our environment or things humans have brought upon ourselves via “freewill”, such as toxins in our environment that cause birth defects. I would never blame God for anything negative that we experience, since that way of thinking could lead to many “unwanted” things in our life. Anyways, I support the idea, (not necessarily the person), that comes from any candidate; that life is sacred and should be left up to the individual to make a decision reguarding that. It is not the responsibility of any government to say it is right or wrong and definetly, should “not” be the taxpayer’s burden to pay for or subsidize the act of killing life, no matter what stage it is in.

  12. @Michael: we must accept we are all from an original creation I do not have to accept that at all, in fact I call it complete bullshit. Your belief system is incoherent; you have been suckered into a scam to take your money and your time and your free will by subjugating you to the self-claimed representatives of an imaginary monster.

    You are correct in saying it is not our government’s responsibility to say whether it is right or wrong, it is OUR responsibility to say that, and it is the government’s job to implement our decision. If the majority of us believe something is RIGHT, the government needs to ensure it is not prohibited and people can engage in it freely by our rules. If we say something is WRONG, they need to enforce the prohibition to the limit of the resources we provide them for enforcement. They do not decide: We decide. They enforce. That is how it should be.

    definetly, should “not” be the taxpayer’s burden to pay for or subsidize the act of killing life, no matter what stage it is in.

    What if it is in the stage of trained soldier invading our country?
    What if it is in the stage of serial killer raping and murdering nine year olds?
    What if it is in the stage of bank robber holding your spouse hostage?
    What if it is in the stage of brain tumor invading your autonomic systems?

    We subsidize the act of killing people all the time, even your incoherent Bible endorses THAT, even for innocents, even for innocent children. Even our own children! Read the Old Testament. Or was that just God in a bad mood?

    The taxpayer’s burden is to support common cause with their fellow citizens. One of those common causes is health care, everybody needs it. But not everybody needs it in the same way, some people contract tuberculosis, or cancer, or are born with cystic fibrosis. Some people get infections, or catch pneumonia, or get poisoned by toxic mold in a salad. Some people break their arms and legs playing idiotic games.

    We do not just let people die because they were too dumb to wash their celery, we save them. We preserve people, even people that have made mistakes, acted recklessly or irresponsibly.

    Some people get pregnant, and know they should not be parents, because they cannot afford to keep themselves fed or in good health, much less an infant.

    It is the children raised by such parents that are malnourished and under-developed, both physically and cognitively, because they are in the poorest schools. But they are people and grow up, and get desperate to escape grinding poverty, and they raise the crime rate, commit murders, use drugs to escape, commit crimes to pay for the drugs, run drugs and kill law enforcement officers. On top of all that, they trap their mothers into a life of poverty she cannot escape either, because caring for the child severely restricts her educational and work opportunities. (All of this is academically documented and published by Steven D. Levitt.)

    The woman that knows she cannot raise a child does society a favor by choosing to end her pregnancy early, before the fetus develops into a person. Taxpayers get a bargain by paying for that choice, they pay a small amount now and in all probability prevent a clump of cells from turning into a far larger burden on society. They also prevent the woman from being trapped by circumstance into a life of poverty, so she has at least a chance of making a better life for herself.

    Not only should we taxpayers fund abortions, we should fund birth control for any men and women of reproductive age that want it, which is even more cost-effective than abortion for preventing unwanted pregnancy.

  13. I respond to you Tony C. in one way. Their will come a day, when every knee will bow down to the Saviour Jesus Christ. You will have plenty of company when the separation unfolds. I can guarantee you one thing for sure, I won’t be with your side, unless you have a change of heart. When it unfolds, you will remember my words, that it will happen! Have a good trip!

    • Michael,
      Guess what, Revelations has nothing to do with Jesus. If you really want to be a good Christian lead your life as the Gospels Taught, not as some mad writer 200 years past Jesus wrote. If there is an afterlife I’ll be fine because I live my life by what you call the “Golden Rule”, not hurling anathema’s at those that won’t follow false teachings.

  14. Don’t forget that there was quite a debate at the Council of Nicea about whether to include the Revelations of St. John in the New Testament at all. The reason? Many felt that it was too counter to the teachings of Jesus found in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (as well as other gospels).

  15. Revelations was scribed about 96 AD. It was fully authorized by The Heavenly Father and St. John had no choice in the matter, neither did Council of Nicea. When God wants something done, we don’t have a say; or better said, God has the final say…… Anyways, sorry to get things off topic, but good discussions for another place and time. I;m out….. Wait, Spindell, sounds like you are taking up for Tony, but just so you know, I’m not saying he is “accursed” or “hurling” any judgement towards him. That is not my place. I am stating the facts as I read and believe. Just because Tony says he is atheist doesn’t make me feel like I am somehow better than he. I don’t know him personally. I do know a few atheist and they are more predictable and probably more dependable than my Christian friends. If Tony hasn’t had a chance to learn the truth, then He will get that chance during the millienal reign.

    • Michael,
      Add about 100 years and you might have the correct date that revelations was written. As father as how you put it The Heavenly Father” endorsed it how? How did Paul endorse it. The Council of Nicest was set in the backdrop of a Pagan Emperor assuring that he could use Christianity to cement his reign and assert his authority via the RCC. It was far more political than spiritual.

      As for being on Tony’s side he is an atheist, I am not. However, being 67, I have spent a good deal of my life delving into religion and I have come to the conclusion that Revelations I a text meant to frighten people and control them, rather than to help them know God. I consider it quite frankly a blasphemy in that it demeans, rather than glorifies God. If God’s message is about Love, then this book is one that portrays the Deity as a bloodthirsty sadistic avenger. Far worse though is that it ultimately makes God a puppeteer amusing itself by playing with his creatures.

  16. @Michael: I have had plenty of time to learn the truth, I have made a career of learning the truth, and I am certain I do know the truth: The truth is you are deluded, and possibly a danger to yourself and others.

    This is always so when people believe a lie, lies endanger people because they operate with expectations that will not be met. That is the difference between fiction and a lie, there is no rational reason to risk your life or fortune on something you know is fiction, but many people risk their lives and fortunes on lies, and in particular on the most pervasive of lies, religion.

    If it makes you feel better to think that someday I will burn in hell while you sail to paradise, you are a sadistic bastard. If it makes you feel better to think that someday I will be forced to kneel before a brutal dictator, you are just an asshole.

    This is just one of the problems with religion, it turns people into monsters like you that take comfort in imagining horrible tortures not just for criminals and psychopaths that might deserve pain and punishment, but for completely innocent people that refuse to believe in your stupidly illogical, hypocritical, homophobic, misogynistic, racist delusion.

    You equate disbelief with mass murder, rape, torture, pedophilia and enslavement, because you threaten the same punishment for all; the most brutal and painful existence you can muster in your limited imagination.

    The message of your religion is “submit or I will inflict unimaginable pain on you forever,” it is identical to the message of Saddam Hussein to his people, a promise of physical brutality and endless torture for disobedience. And you are a danger to others, because when you take that message to heart, and get confused when God isn’t doing the work you think he promised, you decide to take that message into your own hands and convince yourself you ARE the “hand of God,” and must inflict pain on the infidels. This is precisely how the suicide bombers are indoctrinated, as numerous interviews with thwarted suiciders in Israel have shown: Every day they are told they are the special children that have been chosen by God to be his Hand on Earth to punish the sinners and oppressors. They are not dying for money or virgins, they are dying because they are convinced your God has commanded them, the God of the Old Testament.

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