Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County


By EOM Staff

Chris Wallace, of Fox News, questioned Rick Santorum on Sunday about his position on birth control, his charitable giving and his comment that President Obama is a “snob” for encouraging young people to go to college.  Apparently, Mr. Santorum has forgotten that he went to college and I’m sure his children have or will.

When questioned about his beliefs on birth control, he tried to steer the discussion away from contraception and toward the issue of religious liberty.  Remember, President Obama has already allowed religious institutions to have an exemption to providing birth control coverage in their insurance plans. This is no longer a religious freedom issue, this is a women’s rights and women’s health issue.  Mr. Santorum believes birth control is harmful to woman.  He ignores the fact that 99% of sexually active women use birth control at some point in their lives.  He is certainly free to have his beliefs which are based upon his religion, but he is certainly NOT free to force the effect of those beliefs onto all American women.

President Obama and Mitt Romney both gave 14% of their 2010 earnings to charity.  Mr. Santorum gave 1.76% of his earnings to charity.  When questioned about his low charitable contributions, he contributed it to the expense of caring for a disabled child.  He explained that providing care for her is very expensive and his insurance doesn’t cover it.  His daughter Bella is very fortunate that her parents can provide the best possible care for her, however, Mr. Santorum fails to understand that there are very few families who could provide for a disabled child as well as he can.  For most families, the cost of caring for such a child would result in limited educational opportunities for other children in the family and reduced funds available for basic needs such as food and clothing.  For most of us, this financial burden would drive our families into abject poverty.  How do you care for a disabled child when your water, electricity and gas have been turned off because you couldn’t pay the bill?  Very few women have an abortion without given serious thought to the consequences for themselves and their families.  For many families, terminating a pregnancy involving a disabled fetus may be the only realistic option.  But remember, Mr. Santorum is against pre-natal testing because he feels it leads to abortions involving abnormal fetuses.  Again, he forgets that we can’t all care for a disabled child like he can.  And, Mr. Santorum has said that birth control shouldn’t be allowed.  So he would condemn many, many families to poverty to pay for disabled children, when the pregnancy could have been not just terminated, but prevented.  Very few women terminate a pregnancy without giving serious thought to the consequences for themselves and their families.  This is a decision best left to the mother, the father and her doctor.  Not to Rick Santorum or our government.

Chris Wallace also asked Mr. Santorum about his recent comment calling President Obama a snob for saying that “everybody in American should go to college.”  Mr. Santorum had to acknowledge that he “might have made a mistake” when Chris Wallace pointed out that what President Obama actually said was to encourage “all Americans to have at least one year of higher education or some kind of vocational training or apprenticeship”.

Part of Mr. Santorum’s problem with higher education seems to be his belief that people who start college with a strong faith seem to come out of it with a lesser faith.  But then, he seems to equate true faith with regular church attendance.  I believe you can have a strong faith and never step inside a church.  The church is just a building.  Your faith is shown in how you live your daily life.  And frankly, some of the comments I’ve seen on blog sites by people who claim to be Christians and have a strong faith, are the most hateful things you can imagine.

But, Mr. Santorum, the bottom line is that we are all free to follow any faith we choose, or no faith at all.  But you are trying to force your faith and your religious beliefs into our government.  Remember when John Kennedy was running for President, people were afraid that if he won, the Vatican would control our government.  And that’s exactly what would happen if Mr. Santorum were president.  It would not matter what faith individual Americans have or if they have no faith.  We would all have to live by the rules of the Catholic Church.  How un-American is that?


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