Jewish Journal


April 14, 2012

Santorum’s views on voting for a Christian and concern about Shari’a law


Rick Santorum dropped out of the GOP presidential race this week, cutting a clear path for Mitt Romney to get the nomination and challenge President Obama in the fall.

On that occasion, David Neff shared this 2011 Q&A that Santorum did with Christianity Today. I found particularly revealing Santorum’s responses to questions, from Sarah Pulliam Bailey, about why voters should vote choose a candidate whose morals they agree with and his associating any Muslim who follows Shari’a law with jihadists:

How much do you think Christians should consider a candidate’s faith when deciding whether to vote for them or not?
Voters should consider the candidate’s moral framework and what they believe about right and wrong. Obviously your faith has a role in that, in constructing your moral view and your worldview, your ethical code. As far as theological tenets goes, those don’t necessarily affect the public discourse. It’s important to understand and know the tenets and teaching of the faith with respect to how people live their lives. That’s why, for example, if someone were a Muslim [who] believes that women should live by Shari’ah law, that’s helpful in knowing how they would approach their job and what they would like to see the laws of this land look like.

Rep. King recently held hearings to investigate Shari’ah law and radical Islam. Do you have similar concerns?
Look. We have ignored the reality that we’re in an ideological battle. This is a battle of the world of ideas, a war of ideas, not just a war against people who use terrorism. These are jihadists. They are religiously motivated. If we don’t explore that world and understand what they think and why they think, we’re not going to be able to confront it and defeat it. We’re not going to be able to persuade those who have a sympathetic ear toward it that this is a dangerous thing that is not compatible with our country and our culture.

Do you have any concern that the hearings could unfairly lump Muslims together?
I assume Muslims come to this country because they want to live in America. I suspect that they would be as much opposed to folks who want to come here and impose Shari’ah law as anybody else. They would be as interested in folks who want to distort the faith that they adhere to as much as—if not more than—other Americans. I wouldn’t think that they would be concerned about it.

Read the rest here. There probably isn’t anything in there that would surprise you, knowing now what Santorum had to say on the campaign trail. After all, presidential candidate Santorum said a lot of troubling things (see, e.g., here and here and here).  But nothing therein makes me feel any better about how well he polled among Republicans.

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