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Mark Shea Calls Rick Santorum a ‘Bloodthirsty Warmonger’ and ‘Torture Fan’

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It seems clear to me today that Mark Shea, in his consistent defense of the “gay” identity, and in now calling Rick Santorum a “bloodthirsty warmonger” and “torture fan,” has decided that it is not okay to judge thoughts and ideas for being bad or good (as I do in saying it’s not okay to ID as “gay”), but it is okay to judge someone’s heart to be evil, as Mark does in calling Rick a “bloodthirsty warmonger” and “torture fan.”

It breaks my heart, truly, to see someone get something so important precisely backwards.

To be “bloodthirsty” and a “warmonger” implies intent so evil that one has turned from God altogether. To be “bloodthirsty” is to lust after murder and violence. It is mind-boggling to me that anyone could think that of my friend Rick Santorum, a faithful Catholic father of seven, including little Bella, whose life clearly reflects Humanae Vitae.

I’m sure that if people were to “come out” as “bloodthirsters,” we could expect Mark to say it’s perfectly OKAY for people to lust for violence, provided that they don’t personally actually kill anyone. This, despite knowing what it takes to be a saint, not lukewarm and not believing that we can be fully redeemed and healed. Rick understands redemption, and that God is interested in where our hearts are on defending the innocent. He is the opposite of “bloodthirsty” and happily carries the arrows around in his back for his pro-life convictions which are truly Catholic.

Mark takes issue with Rick saying it’s a “wonderful” thing for agents to kill Iranian scientists who are working to manufacture a nuclear weapon with which they will commit a second Holocaust. Rick believes it is “wonderful” to stop a second Holocaust. In order to do that, we have to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Rick Santorum believes that there is no way to stop Iran from committing a second Holocaust if they obtain a nuclear weapon. You may disagree with that LOGISTICAL assessment, but it is what his position is based on. Rick believes this is truly a prudent choice because it is necessary to stop a second Holocaust. A prudential decision to prevent millions from being murdered by a regime religiously obsessed with doing just that is not “bloodthirsty warmongering.” It’s the position the vast majority of Catholics (rightly) held when America dropped two nuclear bombs on Japan after the Battle of Okinawa:

The Battle of Okinawa is distinguished among battles, yet often unrecognized when referring to the great battles of the Second World War. Over 250,000 people lost their lives. Approximately 150,000 Okinawans, about a third of the population, perished. At the battle’s end, somewhere between a third and half of all surviving civilians were wounded. No battle during the Second World War, except Stalingrad, had as massive a loss of civilian life. The stakes were high. The Japanese, determined to fight to the last man, almost achieved their objective, but in defeat 100,000 Japanese combatants died rather than surrender. In the end, fewer than 10,000 of General Mitsuri Ushijimas’s Thirty-Second Army were taken prisoner.

United States loss of life was staggering as well. The United States Navy sustained the largest loss of ships in its history with thirty-six lost and 368 damaged. The Navy also sustained the largest loss of life in a single battle with almost 5,000 killed and an equal number wounded. At Okinawa, the United States Tenth Army would incur its greatest losses in any campaign against the Japanese. The Tenth Army, which initially was made up of 183,000 army, navy, and marine personnel.  During those eighty-two days, the Tenth Army would lose 7,613 men and over 30,000 men would be evacuated from the front lines for a minimum of a week due to wounds.  Moreover, the largest numbers of U.S. combat fatigue cases ever recorded would occur on Okinawa.

Read the whole thing because there is much more. Sometimes it is prudential to do things that normally we would not do, like dropping nukes on Japan. You may disagree with it, but many Catholics knew it had to be in World War II, and many Catholics today understand that it is not “bloodthirst” that prompts it, but the opposite: a desire to stop war.

Rick Santorum is a good man. He may be right about this or he may be wrong about it…but he is in no way a “bloodthirsty warmonger,” and neither were those who bombed Japan. Certainly, there are those who would compare Israel to Japan. If so, I can’t judge their hearts. I can argue that they are wrong, but it, too, is a matter of prudential judgment.

As for “torture fan,” I have had a discussion with Mark Shea about this before. He refuses to believe anything but that Rick Santorum loves to “torture” people because he is supportive of the interrogation methods used to capture terrorists, including those behind the attack on America in September, 2011. Again, Mark is wrong — dead wrong — about Rick Santorum being a “torture fan.” Again, it’s a matter of prudential judgment.

Let me share with you an article about these interrogation methods that would be in keeping with Rick Santorum’s understanding of the methods Mark calls “torture.” You decide if this is “torture” or just interrogation that is only used to PREVENT countless deaths.

Via University of Delaware:

[Former CIA spokesman Bill] Harlow, the opening speaker in the spring series focused on “America’s Role in the World,” said it is an “annoying myth” that no good came of intelligence gathered through EITs.

“Do the math,” he said, noting that there have been no mass casualty attacks on U.S. soil for a decade.

Harlow added that depictions of the techniques in movies such as Zero Dark Thirty go far beyond those actually used by the CIA, which he described as “fairly mild” and designed to scare rather than harm detainees.

The techniques, which he said are “harsh, but not torture,” can include grabbing a detainee by the collar, putting one’s hands on the sides of a detainee’s face and shouting, and carefully prescribed slaps, the latter only if permission is granted in writing.

They also include waterboarding, which Harlow said was used with just three detainees, adding that it is part of U.S. military survival training.

EITs, for which Department of Justice approval was sought and received, were a result of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., which Harlow said was the “worst day in CIA history.”

Whether or not you agree that the above is reality, it is the understanding that Rick Santorum has and which he makes his decision on. I would take strong issue with anyone who believes the above is anything even remotely like being a “torture fan.” As with the decision on Iran, it is a prudential judgment. Prudential judgment doesn’t mean that it is automatically the right thing to do. It simply means that two holy people, even two saints, can possibly come down on different sides of the issue.

You have no business judging anyone’s heart. Disagree if you like. Say he’s wrong. Explain why! Do it all day every day, if you like. But how dare you claim, Mark, that Rick is a “bloodthirsty warmonger” and a “torture fan.” That is never going to fly with me. Ever. I know better.

Video, for your consideration, of Rick Santorum:

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