Santorum criticizes Obama worldview, theology
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (BP) -- Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum says President Obama's environmental beliefs are "not a theology based on the Bible," a charge that the president's defenders say went too far.
The next day, Obama adviser Robert Gibbs said Santorum's comments "went well over the line." He added that it's time "to get rid of the mindset in our politics that if we disagree, we have to question character and faith."
But Santorum, in an appearance on CBS' "Face the Nation," stood by his comments, although he said he was not questioning Obama's faith.
"I was talking about the radical environmentalists," Santorum said. "That's why I was talking about energy -- this idea that man is here to serve the earth as opposed to husband its resources and be good stewards of the earth. And I think that is a phony ideal. I don't believe that that's what we're here to do."
Rather, Santorum said, mankind is to "use the resources and use them wisely, to care for the earth, to be a steward of the earth. But we're not here to serve the earth. The earth is not the objective. Man is the objective."
Pressed by host Bob Schieffer about the term "theology," Santorum said he was referencing the president's worldview.
"When you have a worldview that elevates the earth above man and says that we can't take those resources because we're going to harm the earth by things that are ... just not scientifically proven -- for example the politicization of the whole global warming debate -- this is just all an attempt to centralize power and to give more power to the government," Santorum said.
Santorum said he believes that man should be "in charge of the earth and should have dominion over it and should be good stewards of it."
Asked again by Schieffer if he was questioning Obama's faith, Santorum said he wasn't.
"I've repeatedly said that I believe the president is a Christian," Santorum said. "He says he is a Christian. But I'm talking about his worldview ... the way he approaches problems in this country and I think they're different than how most people do in America."
Schieffer also asked Santorum about another charge the former senator made, in which Santorum said the administration wants prenatal testing covered free in the national health care law because it will lead to more abortions and a culling of "the ranks of the disabled in our society" -- thereby saving costs.
"The bottom line," Santorum told Schieffer, "is that a lot of prenatal tests are done to identify deformities in utero and the customary procedure is to encourage abortions."
Amniocentesis is one prenatal procedure that is abused, Santorum said. He also said he was referencing prenatal testing, not prenatal care.
"[Amniocentesis] is a procedure that actually creates a risk of having a miscarriage when you have it and is done for the purposes of identifying maladies of a child in the womb -- which in many cases and in fact most cases physicians, particularly if there's a problem, recommend abortion," Santorum said. "We know, Bob, that 90 percent of Down syndrome children in America are aborted. ... I have a child who has Trisomy 18. Almost a hundred percent of Trisomy 18 children are encouraged to be aborted. So, I know what I'm talking about here."
Schieffer asked, "You're not saying that the cause of this, that the president looks down on disabled people, are you?"
"Well," Santorum responded, "the president supported partial-birth abortion, and partial-birth abortion is a procedure used almost exclusively to kill children late in pregnancy when they've been found out to be disabled. The president voted for a provision that said that children born alive as a result of abortions late in pregnancy who were otherwise viable should be allowed to be killed by the doctor. I think the president has a very bad record on the issue of abortion and children who are disabled who are in the womb. And I think this simply is a continuation of that idea."
Compiled by Michael Foust, associate editor of Baptist Press. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).