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Santorum: Separation of Church and State Not Absolute; Obama Is 'Snob'

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  • Rick Santorum
    (Photo: Reuters/Laura Segall)
    U.S. Republican presidential candidate former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum waves before the start of the Republican presidential candidates debate in Mesa, Arizona, February 22, 2012.
By Napp Nazworth, Christian Post Reporter
February 26, 2012|1:06 pm

Presidential candidate Rick Santorum made some controversial remarks on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, saying former President John F. Kennedy's speech about his Catholic faith made him want to "throw up," and that President Obama is a "snob" for saying that everyone should go to college.

Kennedy said, in his Sept. 12, 1960 speech about his Catholic faith, that "the separation of church and state is absolute."

"I don't believe in America the separation of church and state is absolute," Santorum told host George Stephanopoulos. "The idea that the church can have no influence or involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country. This is the First Amendment. The First Amendment says 'free exercise of religion,' that means bringing everybody, people of faith and no faith into the public square. Kennedy for the first time articulated a vision saying faith is not allowed in the public square."

"That makes you want to throw up?" Stephanopoulos interrupted to ask.

"Absolutely," Santorum replied, "to say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes you throw up. What kind of country do we live in that says that only people of non-faith can come into the public square and make their case? That makes me throw up."

Santorum also tied Kennedy's ideas to the Obama administration's birth control mandate, which would require some religious institutions to provide health care coverage for birth controls even if their religious teachings are opposed to them.

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The mandate, Santorum said, is government "imposing" its values on religion, "which, of course is the next logical step when people of faith, according to John Kennedy, have no role in the public square."

During the show, Stephanopoulos asked Santorum to explain a comment he made on Saturday while in Michigan about Obama and education.
In a speech on Saturday, Santorum said, "President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob. There are good, decent men and women who go out and work hard every day, that put their skills to test, that aren't taught by some liberal college professor."

On "This Week," Santorum, whose campaign is focused on blue collar workers, said there are many whose desires and aspirations do not include going to college. To say that college should be everyone's goal, "devalues the tremendous work of people who don't go to college and don't want to go to college," Santorum explained.

Santorum also complained about a liberal bias on college campuses. He added that conservatives are ridiculed on college campuses and he personally experienced this as a student at Penn State.

"I've gone through it. I went through it at Penn State. You talk to most kids who go to college who are conservatives and you are singled out, you are ridiculed."

Santorum also said he heard a statistic from a few years ago in which 62 percent of students who enter college with a faith commitment leave without one.

"You make it sound like there is something wrong with encouraging college education," Stephanopoulos complained.

"No, not at all," Santorum responded, "but, understand, we have some real problems on our college campuses with political correctness."

Contact: napp.nazworth@christianpost.com, @NappNazworth (Twitter)
 

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