Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, the frontrunner in many polls for the Republican Presidential nomination, is now revealed belatedly to have issued a harsh attack on mainline Protestantism–meaning the Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist and other churches who have, at least in portions, accepted the growing role of women and of gays and lesbians in church affairs–in a speech at Ave Maria University in Florida in 2008.
Santorum, a conservative Catholic, who is appealing to many evangelical Christian groups, condemned the mainline Protestants for having given in to Satan by liberalizing their approach to the Gospel.
Since mainline Protestants are a very large group as a whole in American religious life, this revelation should have a dramatic effect, and become a new issue in American politics. Many mainline Protestants have already abandoned what they consider the hardline, narrow minded view of the Republican Party since the 1990s, and have often been described as “progressive” in their social views.
So we may be witnessing a new religious “war”, in which evangelical Christians, conservative Catholics, and Orthodox Jews are pitted against mainline Protestants, liberal oriented Catholics, and Conservative and Reform Jews, in the struggle for the spiritual support of Americans, in a country that was created based on separation of church and state, but has been pushed toward a theocratic vision by right wing religious advocates, which clearly include Rick Santorum as their present day “savior” from reform and modernization!