Rick Santorum Fine With Shaming Women in Certain Situations

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Santorum wants to treat the "bully puplit" like an actual pulpit. Photo: Jeff Fusco/Getty Images

When it comes to the life choices married women make, Rick Santorum does his best to portray himself as a crusader for tolerance. A passage in his 2005 book It Takes a Family — supposedly co-authored by his wife, although we have our doubtsfamously blames "radical feminists" for shaming women who decide to raise their children full-time instead of pursuing a career. "All I'm saying is both decisions should be applauded and affirmed, based on the choice the woman wants to make," he said in a primary debate last year. "That's the point I made in the book."

But Santorum has no problem calling out married women (and married men, and unmarried people of both genders) who make choices in their private sexual lives that Santorum doesn't personally agree with.

As he told the "Evangelical blog" Caffeinated Thoughts last year:

One of the things I will talk about that no President has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea. Many in the Christian faith have said, “Well, that’s okay. Contraception’s okay.”

It’s not okay because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be. They’re supposed to be within marriage, they are supposed to be for purposes that are, yes, conjugal, but also [inaudible], but also procreative. That’s the perfect way that a sexual union should happen. We take any part of that out, we diminish the act. And if you can take one part out that’s not for purposes of procreation, that’s not one of the reasons, then you diminish this very special bond between men and women, so why can’t you take other parts of that out? And all of a sudden, it becomes deconstructed to the point where it’s simply pleasure. And that’s certainly a part of it — and it’s an important part of it, don’t get me wrong — but there’s a lot of things we do for pleasure, and this is special, and it needs to be seen as special.

Again, I know most Presidents don’t talk about those things, and maybe people don’t want us to talk about those things, but I think it’s important that you are who you are. I’m not running for preacher. I’m not running for pastor, but these are important public policy issues. These how profound impact on the health of our society.

In a nutshell, Rick Santorum is promising to use the platform of the presidency of the United States to tell people who use contraception that they're wrong, because they're not treating sex the way it's "supposed to be" treated, according to the personal religious beliefs of Rick Santorum. As Time's Michael Scherer notes, Santorum is denigrating the sexual morals of about 99 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44, according to the Guttmacher Institute. As far as politics goes, it's a rare thing to see a major presidential candidate so out of touch with popular opinion.

Not to mention so wrong in terms of policy. Santorum claims that the use of contraception has a "profound impact on the health of our society," and he's right, unintentionally: Contraception prevents STDs and unwanted pregnancies, and in the process, lowers government health-care spending and cuts down on those abortions Santorum is so dedicated to stopping. Because people are going to have sex — hedonistic, non-procreation-y sex — whether Father Santorum approves of it or not. A president who doesn't accept that has lost touch with reality.