Mark Finkelstein at NewsBusters caught former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Tuesday morning accusing GOP candidate Rick Santorum of “creeping up on a Christian version of Sharia law.” But since the Times has no problem with the Muslim version of Sharia law, what’s Keller’s beef?
Joe Scarborough played a clip of Santorum campaigning in Michigan criticizing President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for speaking of "freedom of worship" rather than "freedom of religion." Keller responded by saying “sometimes Santorum sounds like he's creeping up on a Christian version of Sharia law.” According to the Times, there’s nothing to fear and the threat has been exaggerated by the GOP.
But now Keller is using it as a convenient cudgel to bash a religious Republican.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: I don't even get what Santorum is saying here. Listen to this.
Cut to Santorum clip.
RICK SANTORUM: Listen to what the President says and what the First Lady, not the First Lady, but the Secretary of State says, when they talk about the freedom of religion. They don't use that term all the time. They use a different term: freedom of worship. We're in a hall here for St. Mary's. You go to the hall over there, you go to the sanctuary and talk all you want: you can have your religious faith. But if you come here, and you try to practice your faith: uh-unh. Then the government's going to tell you what to do. Is that how you interpret the First Amendment? Freedom of worship is not just what you do in the sanctuary. It's how you practice your faith outside the sanctuary, and at least in the America I grew up in, and that used to be around, that was freedom of religion.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: What is he talking about?
SCARBOROUGH: I have no idea.
BILL KELLER: Remember earlier in the campaign when Newt Gingrich was worrying everyone about Sharia law: the Muslims were going to impose Sharia law in America? Sometimes Santorum sounds like he's creeping up on a Christian version of Sharia law.