Campaigning up in Ohio last weekend Rick Santorum allowed that President Obama’s politics springs from his ‘world view’ which in turn springs from “some phony theology, not a theology based on the Bible.”
Obama’s campaign immediately shot back in a white heat that Santorum had just questioned the President’s Christianity.
And Santorum answered saying, Not so – he thinks Obama’s a Christian but his world view is something else entirely.
So can a President (or, for that matter, a ditch-digger) who’s a Christian have a world view rooted in a phony theology? There’s not much doubt the answer to that is Yes.
Back in my Episcopalian days the Bishop once came to visit our vestry to explain why he thought ordaining gay priests was the dead-on-right biblical thing to do – not a soul in that room agreed with him and the whole thing started a row that went on for hours until the Bishop reared back and grinned and said, Well, I’ll tell you what we can agree on – I believe He was crucified and buried and was dead-as-a doornail and three days later He rose as alive as you or me.
No one in that room agreed with a word the Bishop had said about gay priests but no one had any doubt he was a Christian either.
Theology doesn’t usually come up in a political campaign but Rick Santorum’s touched a nerve. A good part of America looks at Obama’s row with the Catholic Bishops and says, Right on – birth control is every woman’s right and to hell with those fossilized Bishops. But another part of America, like Rick Santorum, looks at Obama-politics and Obama’s ‘world view’ and they’re shaking their heads grimly, thinking, This has gone too far.
And between those two world views there’s not one scintilla of common ground.