Seconds after lambasting the “intolerance of the Left” and comparing Barack Obama to a Soviet atheist, presidential hopeful Rick Santorum lionized his supporters at a campaign rally in Texas as the real dissenters of American politics: “[D]issent comes from folks who use reason, common sense and divine revelation,” he told an enthusiastic crowd in February.
Democracy, according to Santorum, is underpinned by faith. And he’s not entirely wrong. Mahatma Gandhi’s noncooperation movement against British imperialism was predicated on the principles of Hindu dharma, and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. organized against political disenfranchisement through a network of Baptist congregations. But to Santorum and his ilk, the roots of democracy are exclusively Christian. And one religion in particular represents the political antithesis: Islam. “[Equality] does not come from Islam,” Santorum said.