Rick Santorum To Pope Francis On Climate Change: ‘Leave The Science To The Scientists’


The hypocrisy of Rick Santorum, a climate change denier, a Roman Catholic, and one of the top Republican advocates of integrating politics with religion, is astounding.

Rick Santorum believes the First Amendment was created to ensure people of faith are able to preach in the public square, that the government's job is to ensure only freedom of worship, freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. Everywhere he goes, every speech he makes, he advocates for injecting religion into politics. If he could, he would integrate the Christian bible with the constitution.

In 2012, speaking of John F. Kennedy's famous 1960 speech in which the nation's first Roman Catholic presidential candidate promised he would not be bound by his Catholic faith, nor by the Pope, Rick Santorum said that made him "throw up."

"To say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes you throw up. What kind of country do we live that says only people of non-faith can come into the public square and make their case?," Santorum asked, rhetorically. "That makes me throw up."

He also said, "I don't believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country."

Santorum was challenged on his comments by George Stephanopoulos, and he doubled down:


Fast forward just three years later, to this week.

Asked by a local Philadelphia talk radio host about Pope Francis' comments, warning of the dangers of climate change, and an expected encyclical - a doctrinal letter stating the Roman Catholic Church's position - on climate change, and Santorum had a very different response.

"The Church has gotten it wrong a few times on science, and I think we're probably better off leaving science to the scientists and focus on what we're really good on, which is theology and morality," Santorum said. "When we get involved with political and controversial scientific theories, then I think the church is probably not as forceful and credible."

"I've said this to Catholic bishops many times — when they get involved with agriculture policy or things like that that are really outside the scope of what the Church's main message is, that we're better off sticking to things that are really the core teachings of the Church as opposed to getting involved with every other kind of issue that happens to be popular at the time."

So, when a Democratic president says he will not consult with people of faith (which is not exactly what Kennedy said,) Santorum finds that worthy of physical illness, but when the leader of his church, the Pope, warns of the impending disasters of climate change, Santorum in essence tells Pope Francis to shut up - and to leave "science to the scientists."

Of course, the great irony here is that by saying we should leave "science to the scientists," Santorum just admitted we should accept that man-made climate change is real, as 97 percent of climate scientists agree.


Image by Aleteia Image Department via Flickr and a CC license

Don't let Silicon Valley control what you read. Get more stories like this in your inbox each day.

* indicates required

See a mistake? Email corrections to: [email protected]