Santorum Joins Bachmann, Pledges to Ban Porn, Same-Sex Marriages

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | Rick Santorum is always good for a laugh or ten. The fact that he's a former senator who lost his last time out and wants to be seriously considered as a viable GOP candidate may be the biggest laugh-fest he's given America yet, but the joke is mainly on himself (even though it probably wasn't meant to be self-deprecating).

Still, he seems to try and best his most ridiculous acts and statements every time he gets a chance, and this time he has, along with that other Republican merry prankster Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., a person who actually won her last political contest, signed a "Marriage Vow," a document that not only calls for defining marriage with a Constitutional amendment denying same-sex marriages but also calls for a ban on all pornography.

Good luck with the latter.

"When I first read it, I was taken aback by it," Santorum told Candy Crowley on CNN's "State of the Union."

"But I understand why they're saying it," he continued, "because it does undermine people's respect for the institution, respect for the people governing this country. If you can't be faithful to the people that you're closest to, then how can we count on you to be faithful to those of us who you represent?"

The Family Leader, a conservative Christian organization based in Iowa, wants all the GOP candidates to sign their pledge, entitled "The Marriage Vow -- A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and Family." The vow asks candidates to affirm a pro-marriage stance, oppose same-sex unions, defines homosexuality as a "choice" (stating there is no empirical scientific proof that being gay is genetic), and notes that marriage is undermined by adulterous factors like quickie divorces and pornography.

"If you are looking at being at a leader of our great country, we would like to have you pledge personal fidelity to your own spouse and a respect for the marital bonds of others," Vander Plaats told the Des Moines Register.

If one might be thinking that the pledge might be a stab at the Democrats, what with the Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., scandal just completed and the always within reach call-back to the President Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky White House scandal, it must be pointed out that the pledge could be a protectionist measure as well. In the past few years, several Republicans, such as Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., who was considered a future presidential contender, and Rep. Chris Lee, R-N.Y., both resigned over fidelity issues.

Of course Weiner, Ensign, and Lee all now have about as much chance of becoming president as does Santorum, but at least he doesn't mind signing pledges that sound divisive and accomplish nothing. Or maybe something.

Remember, this is the guy who once said: "I have no problem with homosexuality. I have a problem with homosexual acts." He made the comment just before acknowledging that he disagreed with the Supreme Court ruling that individuals have a right to privacy and that such matters should be democratically controlled.

Funny thing: Iowa already is a same-sex marriage state, allowing homosexual unions. But, as many who paid attention in civics and history classes know, a Constitutional amendment would trump a state's law, either enhancing or nullifying it. Since defining marriage as a purely heterosexual union is the aim of the pledge, enhancement is a moot point. However, keeping the amendment away from abridging other freedoms protected in the Constitution might be a problem.

And pornography? A federal law or amendment banning pornography could become a problem in an industry that is disseminated in hard copy formats and on the Internet (not to mention via phones). But these guys, Bachmann and Santorum, are free-market Republicans, correct? A ban on porn would facilitate the emergence of an illegal underground industry (considering the 40 million Americans access porn sites regularly). It is already a multi-billion-dollar per year industry (and that's just on the Internet). Perhaps a return to the days of Prohibition (just substitute sex for alcohol) might be necessary for the government to begin regulating the adult industries (which are already regulated -- but aren't Republicans against most governmental regulating of businesses?). Besides, banning pornography for these guys would be simple. Unlike many who use pornography as a sexual stimulant and relationship enhancer, Bachmann and Santorum obviously do not need such in their lives, having eleven children between them in their respective marriages.

At least taking a second vow of marital fidelity might not have been a waste of time (if one assumes, just for laughs, that either of these two will ever become president). Besides, fidelity has always been the measure of a great leader. One great example is the Bible's own King Solomon, who is reported to have had hundreds of wives and concubines, to all of whom he was probably faithful (maybe, most likely... it was a long time ago, so who really knows?). But the "Marriage Vow" equates bigamy and polygamy to homosexuality, which Santorum and Bachmann would like to restrict -- or so they've pledged. Maybe the ruler considered to be among the wisest of all time was not a great example. Perhaps a better example would have been King David...

Funny how there seems to be a lot of reconciling that has to be done with regard to that pledge.

View Comments (106)