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Santorum: Obama believes in 'phony theology' not based on Bible

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Rick Santorum took his rhetoric to a new level, trying to attack President Barack Obama over the controversy between religious freedom and contraception.

"It's not about you. It's not about you," Santorum said at a Tea Party rally, directing his comments at the president. "It's not about your quality of life. It's not about your job. It's about some phony ideal, some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology, but no less a theology."


At a media availability following his address to the Ohio Christian Alliance here, Santorum, the candidate with the momentum in the GOP race for president, faced a barrage of questions about the comments.

“The president says he’s a Christian, he’s a Christian,” Santorum maintained, but added, "The president has reached a new low in this country’s history of oppressing religious freedom that we have never seen before. If he doesn’t want to call his imposition of his values a theology that’s fine."

That was in response to being asked about the Obama campaign's reaction, calling Santorum's comments a new "low." "This is just the latest low in a Republican primary campaign that has been fueled by distortions, ugliness, and searing pessimism and negativity -- a stark contrast with the President who is focused everyday on creating jobs and restoring economic security for the middle class," Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt told the New York Times.

“[O]bviously, he is now forcing people to do things that he believes that they have the right, that they should do," Santorum continued to say about Obama. "The Catholic church has a Theology that says this is wrong, and he’s saying no I’ve got a different, I’ve got a different -- you may want to call it a theology, you may want to call it secular values, whatever you want to call it, it’s a different moral values. And the president of the United States is exercising his values and trumping the values of the church. If you don’t want to call it a theology, I’m fine, you can
have them let me know what they want to call it, but it is a different set of moral values that they are imposing on people who have a constitutional right to have their own values within the church, and that’s not a new low. That’s a reflection of exactly what ... it is a new low."

He continued, "The president has reached a new low in this country’s history of oppressing religious freedom that we have never seen before. If he doesn’t want to call his imposition of his values a theology that’s fine, but it is an imposition of his values over a church who has  very clear theological reasons for opposing what the Obama administration is forcing on them.”

Asked why he says Obama's beliefs are not rooted in the Bible, Santorum said, “He is imposing his values on a church that has theological reasons for and moral reasons for not allowing this type of care to be given through their institutions.”

Reporters followed up, asking if Santorum believes that makes him less of a Christian?

“No one’s suggesting that," Santorum contended. "I’m suggesting that -- a lot well obviously as we all know in the Christian church there are a lot of different stripes of Christianity, and so I’m just saying he’s imposing his values on the church and I think that’s wrong. ... The president says he’s a Christian, he’s a Christian.”

Asked why he's ramping up his rhetoric on this now, Santorum said, "I’ve been pretty clear that the left in America has their own moral code in which they want to impose on this country. You can call it a theology. You can call it a moral code. You can call it a world view, but they have their own moral code that they want to impose on everybody else. While they insist and complain that somehow or another that people of Judeo Christian faith are intolerant of their new moral code that they want to create here. I’m just saying they the ones who are intolerant in imposing their will on in this case the Catholic church.”