AlliedNews.com - Grove City, Pennsylvania

Local News

April 25, 2014

Santorum speaks at GCC

GROVE CITY — Rick Santorum says churches should forget government tax exemptions and "do something."

The former senator, who was a candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. president in 2012, spoke at Grove City College's Sticht Lecture Hall during the first day of its annual two-day conference on Thursday, this year entitled "Faith and Freedom Abused: Threats to Our Religious Liberty."

Santorum's talk was called "The First Amendment After the Church Service Ends," and warned Christians that if they don't fight the current trends of secularism and liberalism, that it's only a matter of time before freedom of religion is lost.

"The problem with religious liberty begins and ends with the church," he told the standing-room-only crowd.

There's been a gradual destruction of the church and the other major institution in the U.S., the traditional family, Santorum. Both oppose secularist/liberal viewpoints "which are about conformity," he noted.

America is different than other nations because it was founded on the freedom to practice one's religion openly, he said.

The European experience of freedom was based on the French Revolution, which sought to be like the American Revolution in wanting equality and liberty - but the French failed in their desire to seek after fraternity, or brotherhood, over "paternity," Santorum said. America succeeded in its revolution because it put God at the helm, he explained. "Look anywhere in Europe and it's dying," he said. "There are families only having one child and churches are like museums ... They don't believe there's anything worth fighting for."

Today, the trend is to push "freedom of worship" rather than "freedom of religion," he said - the former only being acceptable behind closed doors, rather than in one's everyday life.

And Christians in America aren't resisting, because they are more concerned with being offensive or possibly losing their jobs, he said.

However, Jesus' disciples continued to preach the Gospel, despite being beaten and threatened with imprisonment or death by their society, Santorum said.

The American revolutionaries fought and won, not because they had a better army than the British, "but they wanted it more," he added. 

Liberals and secularists are also fighting more than Christians. "When they are ticked off, they fight harder," Santorum said.

Among them is President Barack Obama, who Santorum said is changing laws that are stripping Americans of their Constitutional rights, "And what do the Republicans do? Nothing," he added.

More and more moderates are being elected to keep the party from going against the grain, but it communicates to the public a lukewarm "insincerity," Santorum said.

Now, social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage are being forced on people of faith, to the point of losing their right to freedom of conscience in the courtroom, Santorum said.

"Biblical speech is considered hate speech in other countries," he added, which is not what America wants here.

"There are twice as many conservatives as liberals and they silence you?" Santorum said. "I say we put it right back on them, whether it be through the courts, through protests or politics."

The fight will mostly be for the people around us; the neighbor, relative, co-worker, he added.

"The challenge is to engage to save this country. If we don't, we know what's going to happen to this country," he said.

If the government has the power to give people rights, it also has the power to take them away, Santorum said. "It's a slippery slope when you say, 'I have a right to this or that.'" But the freedom of conscience is an elevated right that is the hallmark of a free society, which is why the current government "wants to cut it off," he added.

"You have no idea how much the left wants to silence you," Santorum said. "We have to intolerant to intolerance. "People ask, 'What can I do?' "Something."

Published April 12, 2014, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.

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