Politicians on both of the Atlantic, former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Lord George Carey, launched into remarkably similar diatribes about the catastrophic effect of marriage equality on Western civilization earlier this week. Lord Carey, who served as the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1991–2002, intimated that labeling anti-gay politicians “bigots” was the first step towards Nazi-style totalitarianism to a Tory audience Monday afternoon:
Remember the Jews in Nazi Germany. What started against them was when they were called names. And that was the first stage towards that totalitarian state. We have to resist them. We treasure democracy. We treasure our Christian inheritance and we want to debate this in a fair way.
On Tuesday, Senator Santorum suggested that Archbishop Carey was fighting a losing battle, telling an anti-marriage equality organization in Washington state (where equality is on the ballot in November) that “a secular revolution, a Godless revolution” explains “why [Europe is] declining and dying.” Santorum went on to suggest that marriage was the “most important” issue in the United States, arguing that equality would cause the United States to go the way of Europe:
This issue will destroy and undermine the church in American more than any other movement…[American secularization would] destroy the institutions of America’s foundation, destroy the American family.
Carey and Santorum both assume that equality will have these pernicious affect in part because it has damaged marriage in general; “plundering,” in Carey’s words, “disentegrate” in Santorum’s. Of course, the evidence from European countries and American states with marriage equality suggests quite the opposite. Equality legislation also generally contains broad religious exemptions for anti-gay churches.
Carey’s invocation of Nazism also, as Guardian writer Martin Robbins notes, takes on an extra layer of offense given the mass slaughter of LGBT Europeans by the fascist regime.