Santorum, freedom and happiness.

The Economist digs this gem up from Santorum:

’Happiness’ actually had a different definition, ‘way back at the time of our founders. Like many words in our lexicon, they evolve and change over time. ‘Happiness’ was one of them. Go back and look it up. You’ll see one of the principal definitions of happiness is ‘to do the morally right thing.’ God gave us rights to life and to freedom to pursue His will. That’s what the moral foundation of our country is.

I have few problems with equating morality and happiness, but when this philosophical belief becomes the crux of one’s politics, and when it grows to be seen as a licence for imposing one’s own obviously correct whacky morality on everyone else for their own good – that’s when America must get worried. Santorum thinks his natural law logic is flawless, and he thinks we can liberate gays by banning same-sex marriage.  The nerve is quite shocking.

There are some things, I believe, we can all agree on as the valid content of a political morality which we do feel entitled to be bold about when it comes to enforcement. I don’t doubt the legitimacy of installing secularism and defending the right to freely pursue one’s own idea of what the good life is, assuming one uses this liberty in a way consistent with the freedom of others to do likewise. And that’s what America is really about, and its diversity reflects that.

But Santorum’s not interested in it. He’s blind to the fact that this is most reasonable. Because of his special relationship with God, he knows the exact details of the good life, and he’ll help you by coercing you into copying it. By ‘the pursuit of happiness’, what we must realise is that the Founding Fathers really meant the ‘freedom’ to follow the dictates of Catholicism as revealed specifically to Rick (not as revealed to the Vatican, because they get it wrong on torture). So don’t dare think freedom requires the ability to use birth control. Because that’s contrary to how things ought to be.

Sullivan summarises the ideology:

America is a special nation because of this unique founding on the Judeo-Christian God. It must therefore always be guided by God’s will, and that will is self-evident to anyone, Catholic or Protestant, atheist or Mormon, Jew or Muslim, from natural law… [In] its fusion of explicit religion and explicit politics, [the GOP] is itself, in my view, an attack on America – and the possibility of a civil republic.

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