By Peter J. Smith
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 16, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Both the family and the Church stand in the way of socialism's triumph, former US Senator Rick Santorum told Christians gathered for the 17th International Week of Prayer and Fasting last week. The pro-life champion warned attendees, however, that both institutions are under heavy attack from Obama-administration policies.
"We are under a great assault with this President and this Congress on the issue of life. We are under a great assault, maybe even greater assault, on the foundational issue of the family," Santorum told those gathered for the October 11 dinner at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.
Santorum said that the left's policies, especially those policies aggressively set forward by the Obama administration, target the family and Christian churches for "destruction," because these institutions provide local social networks and support for individuals that take away the need for total dependence on central government. To eliminate these social networks means the triumph of socialism, and that means attacking marriage and Christian churches.
"There will be an assault on the institution of marriage," Santorum promised his audience. "Why? Because the left knows that they can't really have government come in and take control of everything unless they destroy the family. Unless you destroy the family and destroy the Church they cannot ultimately be successful in getting socialism to be accepted in this country and that's what their objective is."
Santorum asked everyone to pray in these times for those in public office, for those discerning whether to run for office in 2010, as well as "for those who are out protesting and understand that there is something foundationally wrong with what's been going on here."
But Santorum added that Christians must pray hard for the United States in the current battle over health-care, because the proposed reform has grave problems that go beyond the "major issues" of abortion coverage and the lack of conscience protection clauses.
"There is another huge issue out there and that's just the whole concept of socialized medicine," said Santorum.
Santorum argued that Obama's reforms will transform health-care into "an account in the federal government" in which "accountants" or Congress will determine how much healthcare an individual gets "as part of our budgetary process."
Once the health-care of individuals is totally dependent on the central government, the left has secured power, Santorum explained.
"You say, 'well the Catholic bishops are for that,'" continued Santorum. "Well, I'd say a couple of things. Number one, shame on them."
At that moment, a round of applause erupted from the dinner guests.
Although a handful of Catholic bishops have taught that the government reform violates Catholic social teaching for the reasons Santorum mentioned, the US Catholic bishops conference in general has indicated that it would be willing to support government-run health-care, so long as the reform does not subsidize abortion or violate conscience protections for health-care workers.
But the former Pennsylvania senator concluded that the individual - when covered by government insurance - loses real health-care, the treatment he needs, in the name of cutting costs.
Santorum pointed out that the course of socialized medicine in Europe, and the Netherlands in particular, give an opportunity to "see what happens to the value of human life in those countries."
In particular, those who suffer denial of treatment or rationing of care under socialized medicine are "those on the margins of life." These include those born "premature with disabilities … those who are at the end of life" and "those who have complex diseases or chronic care."
"These people, their lives are not valued," stated Santorum. "Why? Because of agencies that determine how much money is spent and based on how long you're going to live or the quality of life you are going to live. That's how accountants do these things. That's how members of Congress will have to do these things. Is this a good expenditure of our money or not? This happens every day in Europe."
Santorum explained that Americans need to wake up to the fact that nothing in the American DNA insulates them from committing the same moral evils as the Europeans.
The Netherlands, "the most liberal country in Europe" today, Santorum said, is the only country that "did not go along with the Nazi doctors in doing sterilizations and abortions" and suffered persecution for it.
"And yet, within two generations, as a result of socialized medicine and the government's attempt to contain costs, doctors were turned into accountants," said Santorum.
Now in the name of cutting costs, Dutch doctors counsel assisted suicide, deny care to premature-born babies under 25 weeks, and euthanize children born disabled.
"This is the custom and the practice in socialized medicine countries, who have limits on budgets. It is simply too expensive to do it any other way," reiterated Santorum.
"And so I say again to the Catholic Bishops: 'what are you thinking when you support government medicine?'"
Earlier in the evening, Santorum accepted on behalf of him, his wife Karen, and his family the "Family for Life Award."
Santorum is no stranger to fighting for the right-to-life and for these rights in health-care: both on political and personal levels. Last year, he and his wife welcomed into their family their now 17-month-old daughter "Bella," who was born with Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder which is fatal before birth in 90 per cent of cases. Along the way, the Santorums fought to guarantee Bella's health-care against health-care providers hostile to her right to life, because she was born with a disability.
Santorum was asked recently if he would consider seriously a run for US President in 2012. Santorum revealed that while he was indeed "thinking about it," he was "not sure" and asked for continued prayers while he discerns.