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February 19. 2012 9:57PM

Santorum says he does not question Obama's faith

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Sunday denied questioning President Barack Obama's Christian faith but said the President has an environmental belief “that elevates the Earth above man.”

Santorum was quoted Saturday as telling an audience in Ohio that although he accepts the President's Christianity, he believes Obama adheres to “some phony theology. Not a theology based on the Bible. A different theology.”

Asked to explain on the CBS program “Face the Nation,” Santorum framed the issue as a disagreement over global warming and how “radical environmentalists” care for the Earth.

“I accept the fact that the President's a Christian,” he said. “I just said that when you have a world view that elevates the Earth above man, and says that, you know, we can't take those resources because we're going to harm the Earth by things that frankly are just not scientifically proven, like for example that politicization of the whole global warming debate, this is just all an attempt to centralize power, to give more power to the government.

“I'm talking about the belief that man should be in charge of the Earth and should have dominion over it and should be good stewards of it.”

An adviser to Obama's reelection campaign took issue with Santorum's initial comments, saying on ABC's “This Week” that the Republican candidate went “well over the line” in his comments about the President's theology.

Former White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said it is time “to get rid of this mindset in our politics that, if we disagree, we have to question character and faith.”

Santorum was criticized last month when he did not correct a woman in Florida who told him that Obama is “an avowed Muslim.” He was later quoted as saying that it wasn't his job to correct such assertions.


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