Kathryn Lopez

The piece has whipped up a predictable frenzy on the Internet, with one commenter labeling the Catholic Church a "cult." The problem with these headlines and comments is that they are untrue.

What Santorum has said is that the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut Supreme Court decision was a bad precedent, bad law. It declared a constitutional right for married persons to use contraceptives. Writing for the majority, Justice William O. Douglas declared that "specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance" and that "various [of these] guarantees create zones of privacy."

Santorum's is a perfectly sound opinion, as evidenced by the opaque verbiage quoted above. What is it about his views that always cause the left to mount a hysterical scare campaign?

It has something to do with courage of conviction and public witness. In this age of overhyped faux tolerance, those who use the word tend to harbor an enthusiasm only for the tolerance of their own views. Santorum is a threat because he not only believes countercultural things, he not only lives them, but he will talk about them publicly and defend them.

Many of these headline foofaraws were fueled by his words to a blogger earlier this week, when he said that as president, he would talk about the "dangers of contraception." But when pressed on what exactly that meant, he has made expressly clear that he believes this is not an issue for legislation.

Some of us were keen on hearing President Obama talk more about the crucial role of fatherhood, given that it forms such a compelling part of his biography. Not shockingly, a president Santorum would be a friend to sex- education programs that provide something other than condom handouts, that are not so much about naively pretending teens will never have sex if lectured to enough, but about giving them a healthy respect, as one program puts it, for themselves and others.

Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.