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Santorum, Darwin and Birth Control

Rick Santorum's faith galvanized religious voters in Iowa but it has the potential to alienate the secular in very specific ways. First, Santorum has expressed uneasiness with the ready availability of contraceptives. A new article in Salon.com by Irin Carmon chronicles the former Senator's  expansive concern for states' rights including their ability to control the sale of contraceptives even to married persons. Santorum is a critic of Griswold v. Connecticut which struck down such a ban in Connecticut in 1965. Maybe Santorum can find the language that'll help ease voters concerns about this--making the case that while these cases have been wrongly decided there's no going back and besides there's no state out to ban condoms--but for the time being it's a target on his back, maybe not now in the Republican primaries but certainly in a general election. It's one thing to be seen as anti-abortion. It's quite another to be seen as anti-condom--for adults. 

On evolution, the Catholic Church has generally been able to balance its teachings and Darwin. There have been countless conferences and statements from the church parsing the issue but in general there's not been the same conflict that's marked many evangelicals. Santorum though has taken a tough line on evolution, promoting "intelligent design" which scientists generally regard as a back door for creationism. Most conservative Republicans have been able to find the kind of language that makes everyone happy on this issue including Romney opposed the teaching of intelligent design as governor and as a candidate in the 2008 cycle didn't raise his hand when asked if he didn't believe in evolution. Santorum's position might help in South Carolina with its high evangelical population but how it plays after that is another question. 

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