Rick Santorum, the man who brought us such “hits” as our “our civil laws have to comport” with the Bible, gay sex is the equivalent of “man on dog” sex, and contraception is “not okay,” now brings us a new documentary: One Generation Away: The Erosion of Religious Liberty.
On Monday, as the Supreme Court announced its “Hobby Lobby” decision, Santorum’s film production company, EchoLight Studios, announced that its new documentary that will explore the issue of religious liberty. So what can we expect from this film slated to open in September? Well, the trailer gives us some clues.
It opens with chilling, ominous music. There are people pleading for religious liberty such as Mike Huckabee, the guy who stated while running for president in 2008 that “what we need to do is amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than trying to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view…”
Then we see the bad guys: Two men in suits—I assume government agents—who are using a two-person saw to slowly cut down a huge cross. Over this image we hear: “Freedom is never more than one generation from extinction.”
I know, this is getting scary. And it gets worse. Images of a Hobby Lobby store fly by as the two men in suits feverishly cut through the cross. The cross slowly (and in black-and-white) falls to the ground as we are told that religious freedom is under attack in America.
And then—boom: Nazi imagery fills the screen. Hitler is ranting away, we see Nazi flags, and nuns imprisoned in Nazi jails.
All seems lost. But then, out of the darkness, we hear the voice of our hero, Ronald Reagan, telling us it’s not too late if we stand up now for freedom. But Reagan warns that if we don’t fight, “We will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
I know what you are thinking: Why is Santorum waiting to open this film in September? It has all the hallmarks of a summer blockbuster: Americans fighting for freedom, bad government agents, and Nazis. Throw in an X-Man whose special power is preserving religious liberty and you have the makings of a movie franchise.
The goal is not to educate, of course, but to scare people. It’s a call to arms to Christians that in the near future the government will be imprisoning its religious leaders and cutting down crosses while liberals are turning America into Nazi Germany.
Perhaps Santorum is unaware of this, but when you cite the Nazis to bolster your argument, it’s a sign to rational people that you have no facts to support your assertions. Going Nazi means you have lost the argument.
Now, here’s the intriguing thing. If you watch the trailer, you get a sense that when Santorum speaks of “religious liberty,” he only means one religion. Want to guess which faith? That’s too easy—it’s like a $100 question on Jeopardy: “What is Christianity?” It’s the only religion shown in the trailer.
It’s not as if Santorum doesn’t know there are other faiths in the United States. After all, he’s badmouthed enough of them. Who can forget Santorum in 2012 saying that the concept of “equality” is found only in Judeo-Christian faiths, not “East and Eastern religions” such as Sikhism or Hinduism. And Santorum was kind enough to “remind” us that some Christians view Mormonism as a “dangerous cult.” Very kind of him to make sure we didn’t forget that.
But if we are really talking religious liberty in America, there is one faith that certainly has borne its fair share of attacks in recent years. Want to guess which one? Of course, good ol’ Rick would tell us that’s Christianity, but that’s just the victimhood in him speaking. I’m talking Islam. (I know, you knew that.)
Muslims in America have even been compelled to wage battles to open places of worship, such as the current controversy over a proposed mosque in northern New Jersey. However, since Santorum has called for Muslims to be profiled by law enforcement simply because of our faith, maybe I should thank God or Allah (they are the same, by the way) that he left us out of the trailer. I would imagine he would portray us like we are all card-carrying members of ISIS.
But let’s be candid here, being fair and balanced doesn’t matter for the audience Santorum is targeting. He’s giving his base red meat, which apparently is all they like to eat. (We’ve seen how angry the right became when Michelle Obama suggested more vegetables for their kids.)
The truth is that Santorum may in fact hit box office gold with this film. Dinesh D’Souza’s 2012 documentary, 2016: Obama’s America, became the No. 2 political documentary of all time, raking in $33.4 million in ticket sales. (It’s second—by some distance—to Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11.) Regardless of the box office numbers, I’m happy Santorum is making films. It’s far better than Santorum making public policy.