Little Ricky Santorum: Healthcare Act Makes You 'Less Than What God Created You To Be.' Oh, So God Wants Us To Drop Dead?

Little Ricky Santorum on how healthcare reform will "addict" Americans to using healthcare services, which will make the Baby Jesus cry. Or something: Former Pennsylvania Senator and likely presidential candidate Rick Santroum continues court

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Little Ricky Santorum on how healthcare reform will "addict" Americans to using healthcare services, which will make the Baby Jesus cry. Or something:

Former Pennsylvania Senator and likely presidential candidate Rick Santroum continues court Republican activists around the country, and yesterday addressed a GOP fundraiser in Colorado. Santorum, who previously claimed that the recently passed health care reform law intends to “addict Americans on government healthcare,” not only likened guaranteed health insurance to drug dealing but also said that it would have grave spiritual implications. He went on to say that there is “statistical proof” of American exceptionalism and that Republicans must be “ready to battle for America’s soul”:

“Think about how they view you,” he told the crowd of Republicans. “They view you no different than the drug dealer views the little kid in the school yard. They want to get you hooked, they want to get you dependent. They want to get you relying upon them for your wellbeing. And once they’ve satisfied you, giving them that drug, that narcotic, then you’ll be reliant on them and, by the way, you’ll also be less than what God created you to be.”

The crowd thundered applause. Santorum talked about statistical proof of American exceptionalism — arguing that life expectancy didn’t increase for thousands of years until America was founded, and then it doubled in 200 years — but kept returning to the importance of next year’s election.

It’s not enough to preach to committed Republicans and conservatives, Santorum said. “You all need to go out and build your own choir, all over this state, so when 2012 rolls around, you are ready to battle for America’s soul. That’s what’s at stake.”

This kind of thinking dovetails with what I know about members of the Catholic anti-abortion movement who also believe in the redemptive value of physical suffering. (Mother Teresa was a prominent advocate. Her order refused strong painkillers to dying patients in her centers.)

It was an anti-abortion doctor, prominent in Catholic circles, who refused to give my dying father a morphine drip for pain from his pancreatic cancer. He also told my mother she didn't want to put my father in hospice care because "they're a little too free with the painkillers." When I spoke to him about it, he told me that Catholic hospitals who offered hospice care were actually killing people.

I was shocked at the time, but I've since discovered he's not all that unusual. Many Catholic extremists take the same position: That giving painkillers will hasten death -- even if only by a few hours, and is therefore against God's will. Here's a sample:

"It is only an uninformed nurse who could possibly be unaware that the euthanasia movement has set its sights on the hospice industry as the vehicle to further their goal of legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide. The euthanasia advocates prominently post on their websites their position that terminal sedation, the sedating of a person permanently until death occurs, is a preferred method of hastening death because the public may not understand it or perceive it as 'assisted suicide' or euthanasia (though it is).

"The patient is placed into a medically induced coma, is asleep, and appears to die 'peacefully.' However, it is the actions of the hospice staff that directly result in the death of the patient, rather than the patient's own terminal illness. In other words, the patient is killed.

"Those who kill through the misuse of terminal sedation do not admit that they are killing. They prefer to say that the patient is 'allowed' to die. However, you, I or anyone, with or without a terminal illness, would die under these circumstances. Saying the patient is 'allowed' to die is just as accurate as saying that those prisoners who were gassed in the Concentration camps were 'allowed' to die.

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