by Chris Bodenner

A reader writes:

This is only a half-formed idea, but as I watched Santorum engage the Penn State students, I couldn't help but wonder if candidate Santorum is really bad for Catholics. He seems to be suggesting that he's been persecuted for his dogmatic following of the Church's teachings. Nevermind that a thinking person and someone trying to be the leader of the free world should be able to construct personal values that differ from a wider belief system and still participate in that belief system, but isn't he just reinforcing the problem that American voters have always had with Catholic candidates?

As something of a lapsed Catholic myself, many of my issues with the Church stem from issues with Church policy and conduct, not from differences of theology. At a time when the Church is lacking moral authority from years of child abuse and scandal, a public figure pledging blind allegiance to that same moral authority would seem to be reinforcing the notion that Catholics are blind followers of Vatican creed.

In other words, Rick is all but admitting that he would take calls from the Pope in the Oval Office. How far we've come since 1960. But ironic how our tolerance for vocally-Catholic candidates has given Santorum cover to spread intolerance toward gays.

In other Santorum news, Savage encourages another snicker-inducing meme.

Update: A reader marvels at the above video:

Did it really used to be the case that a presidential candidate could *improve* his standing among southern Protestants by proclaiming "I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute" and that the presidency must not "be humbled my making it the instrument of any religious group", where a president's "views on religion are his own private affair"?