COMMENTARY: I Believe Senator Rick Santorum is Honest: That's What Scares Hell Out of Me!

By Joseph J. Honick
Joseph J. Honick
Joseph J. Honick

Church and State are a loathsome combination  -- Thomas Jefferson

 I firmly believe GOP presidential wannabe former Senator Rick Santorum is honest, sincere and firmly committed in his representations.

That is what scares hell out of me!

Of course, any time we can compliment a politician on telling the truth, that’s something to celebrate…though it is not always a reason to elect the person. In the case of Santorum, the truth is the warning.

When played a recording of the late then-candidate John F. Kennedy’s stand on the separation of church and state and his pledge never to be directed by any religious figure from his own or other faith, Santorum’s reaction:

“I almost threw up!” He followed that with:

“He (meaning Kennedy) threw faith under the bus!”

Truth be told there is nothing at all in any of the qualifying factors for the presidency even remotely suggesting the person has to even pray, much less express a particular faith.

I am reminded from previous research of the following political statement:

“I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews, I am fighting for the Lord’s work.”

That was Adolf Hitler to the Reichstag in 1938!

Most importantly, hardly anyone in the world complained or even commented outside the Jewish community.

As Hitler moved forward with his sincerely committed goals, few interceded until coming under the attacks themselves.

Many have asserted their strong commitment to doing right as they have asserted their versions of what they said their “faith” called on them to do.

A little over a year ago, I (also sincerely) asked:


It caused a bit of a stir, especially because I concluded with a simple: “If not, why not?”

Being a person of one faith or another not only is beside the point in the Constitution, there are far too many who profess strong religious beliefs who have not and do not see the same freedoms as entitlements to others.

It is, in fact, a picture of clumsiness as presidents struggle to recognize key holidays or events of different religions, seemingly getting some of the worst advice from the army of advisors each keeps around.

So, back to Santorum, who insists on infusing religion in and on virtually everything, certainly he must realize what a divisive strategy this can be, if only because the variety of accredited faiths that abound often are at odds with each other even as they all profess a belief in an Almighty.

But there is another side to all of this virtual retailing of religion: a still relatively unproven professional football player has garnered tremendous support simply by his very public expressions and kneeling in prayer more than often during televised games. So perhaps cloaking oneself in the mantle of faith continues to reap public support, whether in politics or sports as others seemingly take some comfort indirectly from the actions of those in the spotlight.

The proverbial bottom line, however, is that religion is not in the “job description” for public office, and some of our finest presidents could not have passed an intensive “faith” test. The same with Santorum. He has made clear he does not share the Constitutional limitations to restrain mixing church and state…and that, however many may disagree, is pretty scary for a pretender to the most powerful political spot in the world, including one who fundamentally disagrees with one of the principal Founding Fathers as noted above.

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Joseph J. Honick is an international consultant to business and government and writes for many publications, including He's based in Bainbridge Island, WA. Honick can be reached at:


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