Straight Talk from Senator Santorum

STRAIGHT TALK FROM SENATOR SANTORUM

A few days ago Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania got in trouble for making some disparaging remarks about homosexuality. During an interview he seemed to place homosexuality in the same category as bigamy, polygamy, adultery, incest, and a few other socially unacceptable activities. Not surprisingly, his comments were greeted with withering criticism from various gay rights organizations and also from senators on the other side of the political spectrum. It was reprehensible, we were told, for a senator to hold such “bigoted” views that trample on the “civil rights” of Americans who happen to be homosexual. The reaction to Senator Santorum’s comments would have been unthinkable in an earlier generation. Half a century ago, hardly anyone would have raised an eyebrow. For that matter, back then most Americans would have agreed with him. Times change, opinions change, values change, and so things that were once considered improper to talk about in public are now openly celebrated on television. For better or worse, homosexuality as a movement has “come out of the closet” in America. As I read his remarks, I found them, well, unremarkable. Senator Santorum belongs to a shrinking group of modern people who actually believe in right and wrong. That is, he believes there is a moral law in the universe by which we can judge human behavior, and that moral law tells us (through nature, history, custom, tradition, law, and I would add, Holy Scripture) that some things (such as marriage between a man and a woman) are good and should be encouraged by society and some things (such as homosexuality) are not good and should be discouraged. In a democratic society, the line between good and not good tends to shift slowly, but shift it does, and some things that one generation regarded as settled, in the next generation are suddenly up for grabs. The whole issue of human sexual behavior falls into that general category. Thus we have a move towards “gay marriage” in several states, including Hawaii and Massachusetts that may or may not some day change the laws that govern us in Illinois. Senator Santorum makes the persuasive point that there is a value in expressing public disapproval for certain activities even if no penalty attaches to them. While I do not want the police “in the bedroom,” I believe there is great value in upholding the moral values of chastity and marital faithfulness over against the rising tide of adultery and sexual promiscuity in general. The senator from Pennsylvania has gotten himself into a bit of trouble by speaking out, but he did it for a good cause and for a good purpose. We still need leaders who know the difference between right and wrong, and who aren’t afraid to speak out. And when those leaders are unfairly criticized, we need people who will support them, which is what I am trying to do here.

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