Rick Santorum: Should Gay Print Shop Owners Be Forced to Print "God Hates Fags" Signs?

Thank you to CBS's Face the Nation and host Norah O’Donnell for finally looping Rick Santorum into the debate about "religious freedom" laws and anti-gay discrimination. What the nation really needs right now is Santorum's take on discrimination -- the same zealot who said that same-sex marriage will lead to man-on-dog sex.
Avatar:
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
433
Thank you to CBS's Face the Nation and host Norah O’Donnell for finally looping Rick Santorum into the debate about "religious freedom" laws and anti-gay discrimination. What the nation really needs right now is Santorum's take on discrimination -- the same zealot who said that same-sex marriage will lead to man-on-dog sex.
santorum_god_hates_fags

Thank you to CBS's Face the Nation and host Norah O’Donnell for finally looping Rick Santorum into the debate about "religious freedom" and anti-gay discrimination. What the nation really needs right now is Santorum's take on all of this -- the same zealot who said that same-sex marriage will lead to man-on-dog sex. It's sort of like asking Bill Cosby to weigh-in on the campus rape issue. Nothing helpful will be achieved and only ugliness will ensue.

And so it was with Santorum, whose concept of family values includes scamming the taxpayers of Penn Hills, Pennsylvania to finance a cyber charter school education for his kids, not to mention the fact that Santorum nearly ran on a "unity ticket" in 2012 with thrice-married adulterer Newt Gingrich in spite all the terrible biblical condemnations of divorce, debauchery and philandering. Santorum has also appeared on the Rush Limbaugh Show, even though Limbaugh has been married four times and was stopped at the airport with a stash of Viagra (not in his name) during a guys-only vacation to the Dominican Republic. After all, we've been told for the last week that the Bible forbids doing business with "sinners," but maybe there's an exception carved out for political expedience and residency scams.

Before we get into his awful remarks about the RFRA, Santorum was asked about the framework deal between the P5-plus-one nations and Iran on its nuclear development. Naturally, like most Republicans, Santorum crapped all over it. But Santorum, a devout Catholic, should probably rethink his views on the deal given how Pope Francis spoke in support of the deal on Sunday, saying, "At the same time, in hope we entrust to the merciful Lord the framework recently agreed to in Lausanne, that it may be a definitive step toward a more secure and fraternal world." He hopes the deal will work. Conversely, Santorum has no hope that it'll work, suggesting that it's going to lead to "more dangerous things." Oh, and by the way, Santorum vocally supports Israel even though it offers free abortions to women ages 20-33, which is not only contrary to his Catholicism but he also believes it's a genocide and against the unborn. Oops.

What does all this mean exactly? Clearly, Christians don't really have an issue with violating some of the tenets of their faith or against expressing an opinion that's the opposite of their Church's supreme leader -- unless, that is, it has to do with a topic that makes them feel all oogy. In that case, they trot out every cherrypicked line from the Bible as an excuse to justify their ooginess. There's something particularly sinister about unwaveringly adhering to one alleged rule but mostly ignoring others -- especially ones that are condemned by the Bible far more often than same-sex intercourse.

So, yes, Santorum was asked about the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFA), which has been replaced by a new version that mimics the less dogmatic language of the federal RFRA. Naturally, Santorum said he favored the original legislation and hoped Gov. Mike Pence (R-Droid Factory) wouldn't sign the new version:

I was hoping he wouldn't. I think that the language they had is-- is better language. This is acceptable language. I voted for this language, so I certainly can't say that it's-- it's a bad bill. It's a good bill. But it doesn't do a lot of the things.

Sure it doesn't. For example, the new version doesn't give corporations of any size the constitutional right to religious liberty. The original Indiana RFRA did. It also doesn't allow the First Amendment to be used a defense lawsuits by other non-government parties. The original Indiana bill did, and it had to be killed because of it. Regardless, he continued by repeating that no one wants to discriminate (even though they really do and it was the express purpose of the original Indiana law):

I-- I think what we need to look at is, we-- we aren't for discrimination for-- against any person. I mean I think that's-- no business should discriminate against but-- because of who you are. But it should have the ability to say, we're not going to participate in certain activities that we disagree with from a religious point of view.

This is sort of like saying, We don't mind the blacks, but we don't want them using our water fountains. In this case, It's okay if you're gay, but we don't want you buying our crap. Furthermore, and to repeat, bakeries and florists aren't being forced to participate in same-sex sex. I really wish someone could point to the chapter and verse that makes it a hell-worthy trespass to stick two plastic men into the top of a wedding cake. If there is, wow, specific! And unless these caterers also turn away business by engaged straight couples who met through, say, adultery (Gingrich), what they're doing is by-definition discriminatory and therefore wrong, unethical, bigoted, etc.

And then, Santorum went there.

Again it's a matter-- it's a matter of accommodation. Tolerance is a two-way street. If-- if you are a-- if you are a-- a print shop and you-- you are a-- a gay man, should you be forced to print "God Hates Fags" for the Westboro Baptist Church because they hold those signs up? Should you be forced to do-- should the government and this is really the case here. Should the government force you to do that?

First of all, "tolerance is a two-way street?" Since when has Santorum ever been tolerant of gays or same-sex marriages (cough -- man-on-dog -- cough)? Never. Also, Pence used the same line last week and it's just as ridiculous coming from Santorum. Tolerance for what exactly? Should Jews be tolerant of raging anti-Semites? No one, regardless of sexual orientation, should be tolerant of discrimination against law-abiding, decent human beings. Ever. In terms of this issue, and to repeat for the thousandth time, I'd be a little more tolerant if someone could actually point out where in the Bible -- a text written long before the concept of same-sex marriage existed -- specifically bans same-sex marriage.

That aside, Santorum's invoking of the universally hated Westboro Baptist Church shows that he really truly has no idea what the hell he's talking about.

A "God Hates Fags" sign is hate speech, targeting a demographic minority. Obviously. On the other hand, there's nothing hateful about two consenting adults getting married in a loving ceremony sanctioned by the courts as well as the constitutional mandate of equal protection under the laws of the United States. The WBC signs also contain obscene language -- language that directly insults the character of the gay owner of this hypothetical print shop, as well as offending most non-gay people as well. Should a caterer also sell a cake to a customer who walks in and tells the caterer to eat a bag of dicks? No way. There are acceptable rules of decency and decorum inside every store in America. This is not unlike mandating that Walmart sell "God Hates Fags" t-shirts even though the corporation has well-known rules about decency. However, Walmart can't ban one of the WBC protesters from walking in, signless and well-mannered, to buy a rifle and ammo (as scary as that sounds) simply because of who they are and what they believe.

Besides, why the hell would the "God Hates Fags" people hire a gay printer who God apparently hates? The WBC's whole thing is about going out of their way to hector anyone who merely associates with gay people -- wait. Come to think of it, it'd be hilarious if they actually did use a print shop owned by a gay man. If I was that shop owner, I'd totally print signs for them, then I'd call every newspaper and website in the world and send them scans of the invoices to prove what colossal frauds they really are. Maybe take some selfies with the protesters as they give me their money.

In the big picture, it's becoming increasingly clear that this issue is going to be the 2016 presidential campaign equivalent of the rape/abortion issue during the 2012 election season. Every Republican will be asked about it, and many of them will badly fumble their answers -- "shut that whole thing down" style. It's going to be painful. David Brent painful.