“Under God” Since 1954

By DeusExMacintosh

Rick Santorum's Jeremiah moment

Rick Santorum's Jeremiah moment p2

Rick Santorum is facing some awkward questions after footage emerged of a radical evangelical preacher opening a campaign rally with calls for all non-Christians to “get out” of America.

In the footage, filmed at the Greenwell Springs Baptist Church in Louisiana yesterday, Pastor Dennis Terry told a crowd that anyone who doesn’t worship God should leave the country, before calling on people to “stand up” against” gay people, liberals and women who have abortions.

“Listen to me. If you don’t love America, and you don’t like the way we do things, I’ve got one thing to say, get out!,” he said. “We don’t worship Buddha, we don’t worship Mohammed, we don’t worship Allah. We worship God. We worship God’s son Jesus Christ.”

To a rapturous applause, Pastor Terry continued: “As long as they continue to kill little babies in our mother’s womb, somebody’s got to take a stand and say it’s not right. God be merciful to us as a nation. As long as sexual perversion is becoming normalised, somebody needs to stand up and say God forgive us, God have mercy upon us.”

Republican contender Mr Santorum was shown clapping approvingly in the background as the rightwing pastor delivered the ranting fire and brimstone address. He later received a personal blessing from the preacher who called on God’s will to be done in the upcoming election.

The comments raise some embarrassing questions for the evangelical candidate, who has previously said J F Kennedy’s notion of separating the Church and state made him want to “throw up”.

Last night he was forced to clarify his stance over the pastor’s opinions and whether he agreed with the comments.
Insisting he supported religious freedom, Mr Santorum said he “wasn’t quite listening” during the speech but had not clapped at the parts where their opinions clashed.

The Telegraph

Adam Curtis has a fascinating blog post comparing the 1970s revival of the religious/political complex in both the US and Iran which is well worth a look.


  1. John Turner
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    The pastor, Dennis Terry, should pray that all the atheists do not leave. If they did the USA would lose the bulk of its Nobel Laureates and best scientists but only about 3 % of its jail inmates.

  2. Posted March 21, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    [email protected]

    If they did the USA would lose the bulk of its Nobel Laureates and best scientist

    I am not sure you can count Jews as atheists 🙂

  3. Posted March 21, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    So he/she was just culturally Jewish?! Actually the best claim to attach to the historical example of the founding fathers was that America was founded as a masonic country. Guess that doesn’t fit in quite so well with a practicing Catholic like Santorum.

    (Incidentally, the reason I chose a Washington LOLument was that when America WAS being founded, the first synagogue at Rhode Island wrote to him to make sure they’d be welcome in the new republic, and he specifically reassured them that America was not a solely Christian country. Given that the current Republican crop make so many claims to historical precedent, you’d think they’d have a better grasp of it!)

    All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent national gifts. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

    – from Washington’s letter to the Touro Synagogue

  4. Patrick
    Posted March 22, 2012 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Had your friend read Wittgenstein LE? I think your friend had a very sensible understanding of his jewishness.

  5. Posted March 22, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Santorum’s Rev Wright moment.

    I realize that faith is by its nature irrational but even so, some of the rolled gold bs that some American religionistas spout is getting into ‘this is your brain on acid’ territory.

  6. Posted March 22, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I should have said that I do not think you can presume Jews are atheists 🙂

    On Santorum: it is possible that the net effect is going to make Romney seem all the more reasonable come November.

    If economic recovery continues, Obama is very likely to be re-elected but, if it falters, then Romney’s Mormonism is likely to be seen as even less important than it already is, given his main Republican rival was a flaky Catholic.

    US politics are a long way from the GOP labelling the Democrats as being the Party of Rum, Romany and Rebellion.

  7. Patrick
    Posted March 22, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    If only it was as irrelevant as Obama’s Rev Wright moment, which didn’t matter because everyone knows that Obama’s one of the good guys, twuly wuly.

  8. Posted March 22, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Look, both Obama and Santorum may well be telling the truth. I’m inclined to extend the principle of charity to people in circumstances like that because I’ve appeared on public platforms with people with whom I disagree on some issues and agree on others, and then had their opinions on all sorts of disagreeable stuff attributed to me.

    I have also interviewed people with whom I disagree on pretty much every issue and then had my interview subject’s opinions attributed to me. It is very, very annoying and I have promised myself that if anyone ever does it to me again and they are within reach of either my fist or my foot I will not be responsible for my actions (well, I’d like not to be responsible for my actions, but you get the idea…)

    My point is a broader one. Both Rev Wright and now this Pastor Terry are just making stuff up. Worse, they are making stuff up about their own country’s history, not just their respective invisible friends. I have lost count of the number of books I have encountered (often set in reputable university courses, both here and in the US) that have produced an entirely invented account of everything from the (1) Christian origins of Western legal systems to the (2) African contribution to modern science to the (3) scientific talent of Einstein’s wife to (4) the idea that the South was making a principled claim for States’ Rights in the lead up to the US Civil War. The truth of these four assertions is, in order: (1) not much, (2) negligible or nil, (3) not much and (4) complete bollocks.

    One can indeed have one’s own god, one’s own beliefs, one’s own conscience. But one cannot have one’s own facts. That, to me, is the crucial issue.

  9. Patrick
    Posted March 22, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    SL, I’m pretty sure that at least some people were honestly ‘making a principled claim for States’ Rights in the lead up to the US Civil War.’

    Whether ‘the South’ was I cannot say.

  10. Posted March 22, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Honesty and sincerity never saved anyone from error, Patrick. One of the nastiest effects of modern ‘offence culture’ is the demand that the rest of us have to take sincerely held views seriously, thereby according them automatic respect.

    As my mother reminded me repeatedly as a child, ‘trust is given, respect is earned’.

  11. Patrick
    Posted March 22, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Permalink


    SL, I meant that your point 4 was not necessarily correct since for at least some of the key actors it was about State’s rights.

  12. Posted March 23, 2012 at 4:15 am | Permalink

    [email protected] Given the way quite a few Southern pro-slavery advocates were hostile to any use of States Rights to undermine slavery, sincere States Righters cannot be regarded as representative of the Southern cause.

    Moreover, the “States Rights” issues were not worth fighting over: slavery was. Just as those folk who think it is about trade policy are talking through their hat–tarrif levels simply do not matter enough to fight over. Australia manage to federate while disagreeing bitterly over tariffs.

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