Rick Santorum said this weekend that President Obama believed in a “phony theology,” sparking concerns that he was publicly denying that the president is a Christian. Of course we’re talking about the guy who thinks mainline Protestants aren’t really Christian, so this would hardly be a surprise, but there’s been so much ugliness surrounding the subject of Obama’s religion that these would clearly be fightin’ words. Which explains why Santorum press secretary Alice Stewart snapped into action, clarifying on MSNBC that Santorum was merely referring to the president’s “radical Islamic policies.” Oh, well. OK then.

An hour later she called back to say that she meant radical environmental policies. Man, I always get those two confused! 

Apparently Santorum’s “phony theology” potshot was referring to Obama’s energy policy, which includes some concessions for the Islam … sorry, environment.

“I was talking about the radical environmentalist,” he said. “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.”

Pretending that science is a matter of faith is of course a time-tested right-wing standard, but “theology” is pretty strictly the study of God-type religion — “God” is right there in the name, though Santorum can barely speak English so I don’t expect him to know Greek roots. So saying that Obama’s “phony theology” is one where “man is here to serve the Earth” is basically saying that the president is some kind of Gaia-worshipping pagan, I guess? I admit, it makes a nice change from saying that he’s an environmentalist. Oh sorry, I mean a Muslim.

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