In a powerful, surprising 2008 speech at Ave Maria University in southern Florida, the new Catholic institution not far from the alligators in the Everglades, Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who has miraculously surged in recent polls, and now faces a critical run of GOP primaries, told students all the major institutions in society were under attack and were being influenced by Satan -- including academia, the culture, the Church (except for Catholics) and the government.
"We look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is in shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it," Santorum said on August 29 of that year. "After that, you start destroying the Church and you start destroying academia; the culture is where their next success was and I need not even go into the state of the popular culture today."
Said Santorum:" This is not a political war at all. This is not a cultural war. This is a spiritual war.
And the Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country - the United States of America. If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age.
There is no one else to go after other than the United States and that has been the case now for almost two hundred years, once America's preeminence was sown by our great Founding Fathers.
"He didn't have much success in the early days. Our foundation was very strong, in fact, is very strong. But over time, that great, acidic quality of time corrodes even the strongest foundations. And 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 the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition.
"He was successful. He attacks all of us and he attacks all of our institutions. 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 they're smart. And so academia, a long time ago, fell."