Rick Santorum, Satan, and American Politics

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum waves as he arrives to the debate hall on February 22, 2012 in Mesa, Arizona. Rick Santorum waves as he arrives to the debate hall in Mesa, Arizona. (DON EMMERT/Getty)

In a talk delivered in 2008, Rick Santorum asked the students of Ave Maria University, "If you were Satan who would you attack in this day and age?" The former Senator went on to answer his own question and said "Satan has his sights on the United States of America." Santorum's statements resurfaced this week on the blogosphere, leaving many pundits scratching their heads. 

Will Santorum's brand of religious politics come back to haunt him or has the most socially conservative candidate for the Republican presidential nomination carved himself a unique niche among the electorate?

James O'Toole, political reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and James Morone, political science professor at Brown University, analyze Santorum's combination of religious and political ideology.

Guests:

James Morone and James O'Toole

Produced by:

Hsi-Chang Lin

Comments [2]

paul v from somerville mass

in the words of tom waits, "there ain't no devil/it's just god when he's drunk."

Feb. 23 2012 09:07 AM
James Hart

I was very disappointed that your discussion of Rick Santorum's views on Satan entirely missed the most important point. Fine, Rick Santorum believes in Satan. Many people do, many others don't. But Santorum takes a big step beyond merely believing in Satan: he denounces institutions and people with whom he disagrees as actual tools of Satan. He demonizes those he disagrees with, and he does so with a broad stroke, linking academia, media, and even many churches to Satan. The real question is: what does this say about Rick Santorum? I'd like to ask him: how can you be so certain of your own views that disagreeing with you must be due to the influence Satan? In this connection, you ought to get a good psychologist on the show to talk about a little psychological mechanism known as projection.

Feb. 23 2012 08:46 AM

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