Rick Santorum is catching hell for a 2008 speech in which he says that Satan is trying to conquer the United States. The speech is now making the rounds after being discovered by the “Radical Right” (Matt Drudge featured it on his site today and Rush Limbaugh discussed it on his show).
Here’s a CNN blog post describing the general story.
The part of the speech that caught my attention was Santorum’s characterization of U.S. academia. Here he describes how Satan has already taken over some parts of the country:
Satan has done so by attacking the great institutions of America, using those great vices of pride, vanity, and sensuality as the root to attack all of these strong plants that have so deeply rooted in American tradition. He was successful. The place where he was, in my mind, the most successful and first successful was in academia. He understood pride of “smart” people. He attacked them at their weakest, that they were in fact smarter than everybody else and could come up with something new and different, pursue new truths, deny the existence of truth, play with it, “because we’re smart;” and so academia a long time ago fell.
I’ve often shared this analysis when trapped in one or another bureaucratic function of the university system but Santorum is (obviously) coming at it from a different angle. Tomorrow when I go to my weekly “Satanists in Higher Ed” meeting I’ll bring that up.