One advantage that people of faith enjoy is that they are not limited to being consistent. A good example is presidential candidate Rick Santorum. Santorum has long been a proponent of “intelligent design”, which is a fancy term for requiring public schools to “teach about the role of God or a Creator” as part of their science curriculum.
So it is ironic that Santorum recently chastised the Pope for talking about climate change, saying “the church has gotten it wrong a few times on science, and I think that we probably are better off leaving science to the scientists and focusing on what we’re really good at, which is… theology and morality. When we get involved with political and controversial scientific theories, I think the church is probably not as forceful and credible.”
Pope Francis (who has a degree in Chemistry) has said that causing climate change is a sin because the Earth is God’s creation and should be protected. And in a speech last month, he said “if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us. Never forget this!” An encyclical about the environment will be published on June 18, ahead of the climate talks in Paris.
If, as Santorum claims, religion has “gotten it wrong a few times on science” then why is it a good idea to teach religion as part of science in the classroom? Does Santorum use his faith to decide which science is right and which is wrong? Shouldn’t he take his own advice and leave science to the scientists?
UPDATE: On Fox News Sunday, Santorum was asked why he is more qualified that the Pope to discuss climate change. Santorum responded that his job as a politician was to make decisions about public policy, and that he felt that there are more pressing problems confronting the earth than climate change and questioned the Pope’s use of his moral authority to combat the issue of climate change.
Fair enough that Santorum disagrees with the Pope, but aren’t “devout Catholics” supposed to believe in Papal infallibility?