Fresh off of excommunicating 45 million American protestants in a speech that resurfaced this week, Santorum singled out President Obama for theological scrutiny yesterday, saying the commander in chief believes in “some phony theology.” ABC News reports:
The “president’s agenda” is “not about you,” he said. “It’s not about you. It’s not about your quality of life. It’s not about your job.
“It’s about some phony ideal, some phony theology,” Santorum said to applause from the crowd. “Oh, not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology, but no less a theology.” [...]
Although Santorum criticizes the president daily on the campaign trail, this is the first time he has used this rhetoric or said the president has a “different theology.”
In a statement, Santorum’s campaign said the candidate was not actually talking about Obama’s religion but rather his belief in secularism, adding, “The President says he’s a Christian and Rick believes that and has even said so publicly many times.”
Santorum appears to be on a mission to be a one-man Council of Trent, the 16th Century Catholic ecumenical council that defined Protestants as heretics. In a 2008 speech rediscovered this week, Santorum said Mainline Protestants — about 45 million Presbyterians, Lutherans, Congregationalists, Episcopalians, Methodists and others — are “gone from the world of Christianity as I see it.”
As conservative Presbyterian blogger John Schroeder wrote, Santorum’s “truly intolerant comments concerning Obama pretty well disqualify him from holding office. It is simply not the president’s job to be judging whose theology is correct and whose is not.”
Former Obama press secretary and current outside adviser Robert Gibbs responded to Santorum’s comments on ABC News’ “This Week,” saying, “I can’t help but think that those remarks are well over the line. It’s wrong, it’s destructive.” Gibbs added that while Santorum claims the comments were not about Obama’s “character and faith,” it’s hard not to see them that way.