The line that has been making news this week is his attack on mainline Protestant churches, such as my own Presbyterian Church (U.S.A):
And of course we look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is a shambles. It is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it. So they attacked mainline Protestantism, they attacked the Church, and what better way to go after smart people who also believe they’re pious — to use both vanity and pride to go after the Church.
This criticism of mainline Protestantism as apostate and even Satanic is a common criticism made by all branches of the Christian Right, both Catholics like Santorum and, even more fiercely, by Protestants. And they make a similar critique of the Catholic Church, especially the peace and justice side of Catholicism associated with the conference of bishops. Ave Maria University and institutions like it were created by dissident conservative Catholics to have a safe place, set apart from the mainline center of their own denomination.
I urge you to listen to the whole speech, which is on the Ave Maria podcast site. The best part of it is his impassioned story of why it is worth fighting for what you think is a good cause, even against long odds and many defeats. Santorum, who had just been defeated for re-election to the U.S. Senate, told the students they were lucky to be living in such a bleak time, when Satan had won over so many institutions in America and, of course, abroad. They had the chance to enlist in God's army. Which is how Rick Santorum sees himself: an unlikely private in God's army, fighting the Father of Lies.