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February 28, 2012

The Santorum Ministry

On the morning of what’s being billed as a crucial Michigan primary, I’m wondering how much Santorum’s ever more narrow, fundamentalist message is a clever strategy to rally America’s Christian conservatives, or he’s ultimately more about divinity than delegates.

In the meantime, what I’m also curious about is the tone of the wire pics in portraying Rick’s campaign ministry. Yes, there was the Stephen Crowley shot from Florida which turned Santorum into just another pol in church. Lately, though, I’m seeing as much or more piety than irony.

Take the nun shot, for example. Aside from the fact too fast a glance (with all those men up front) might cause one to place this in Tehran, it looks pretty straight to me. Call it Rick turning out the faithful. And then, the family prayer, if exhibit one of turning the campaign into a morality play, seems to convey as much family glue as the best shot of the Obamas.

(photo 1: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images caption: A group of Catholic nuns listens to Republican Presidential Candidate and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) speak as he unveiling his “First 100 Days Economic Freedom Agenda of the Santorum Administration” at a rally at the Knights of Columbus Council #3078 February 24, 2012 in Lincoln Park, Michigan.photo 2: Curtis Compton / Atlanta Journal-Constitution/AP caption: Pastor Richard Lee, right, prays with Rick Santorum, his wife Karen, and three of their children, from left, John, Sarah Maria and Daniel, at the conclusion of Santorum’s address during a “God and Country” rally at First Redeemer Church in Cumming, Ga. Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012.)

  • bks

    Ayatollah Santorum is the scariest guy I’ve ever seen run for office.  He makes Nixon look like a well-balanced, friendly guy.   These pictures, however, do not capture his evil nature.   Eventually a clever, talented photographer will capture his inner maniac.

        –bks
     

  • Anonymous

     Call it Rick turning out the faithful. 

    In our wonderful language, “Turn out” can be slang to describe one of the job skills of the working street-pimp — pushing innocents into prostitution is turning them out. I see the same arc of word-logic in these images, appropriating something good in service of something not-so-good. A sort of twisted equivalence.

    Not saying religion has no role or no place, it is a natural way to explore spiritual matters. Not so good for social problems, whether roads and schools, or stitching together a society with many divergent social and spiritual interests. A self-sustaining society. A growing changing learning self-sustaining society.

    I find the intense inner focus shown by those folks in that top photo creepy, not because they are engaging in such activity but because they are loudly engaged. They want me to know what they’re doing. Why?

    • Glenn

       Whited sepulchre….

  • Glenn

    I spent a lot of time in evangelical churches in my youth, not so much recently. And I began to see how the same people each Sunday would act out a kind of spiritual drama at the altar rail, complete with tears and repentance, and then enjoy coffee-hour as though nothing had happened.

    As a piece of theatre, I’m struck here by the bodily posture of this group praying – it’s like the blocking of a scene. The Santorum family is an inner-focused unit, curled round itself, turning so far away from the pastor  that he has to stretch to include them.

    The tall boy and girl have a certain upright strength and impassiveness, while the younger boy looks diminished – although maybe that’s the photo angle exaggerating. Karen Santorum looks almost anguished, her hair in disarray, her clothing rucked up as if she is being supported by her arms embracing Rick and her son. And while Rick’s face is touching Karen’s, and his brow is furrowed as though in some kind of deep spiritual paroxysm (or he could be holding back a giggle), he’s got his hand in his pocket, casually, as though standing on a street corner. 

    That hand in the pocket has a kind of cool, calm calculation, belied by the furrowed brow and the emotional display of his connection to his wife.

  • psychohistorian

    What caught my eye was the nun holding the Santorum sign by her side…….so much for that separation of church and state.

  • Ralfast

    Yet Santorum is a Catholic and aside from the so called “Pro-Life” stance, the Catholic view of governments, war and social services is the EXACT opposite from where the Evangelical Protestant (and yes they are Protestant even if they claim otherwise) churches stand. I wonder what will happen when this comes to light.

    Oh wait, it already has, many times, just ask the ultraconservative Donahue (Catholic League) what happens when you lie with vipers or cross rivers with scorpions on your back.

  • Anonymous

    Those are two powerful words. Wow.

    Hey, I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. That done, it still does not compute from my POV.

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