- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The White House on Tuesday attempted to brush aside comments about President Obama’s theology from Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, as well as more pointed remarks by the Rev. Franklin Graham that cast doubt on Mr. Obama’s religion.

During a briefing with reporters Tuesday, presidential spokesman Jay Carney pointed to statements Mr. Obama made at the National Prayer Breakfast when he spoke “explicitly” about his Christianity.

“You guys can decide, and your editors and your bookers, what’s a story and what’s not,” Mr. Carney said. “This president is focused on his job as president, getting this country moving in the right direction, ensuring that the recovery which is under way continues forward, that we continue the positive economic growth that we’ve had, that we continue the 23 straight months of private sector job growth that we’ve had, over 3.7 million jobs created — private sector jobs created in the last 23 months.”

On Monday night, Mr. Santorum brought up Mr. Obama’s relationship to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the pastor of the church the Obamas attended in Chicago for 20 years, though it was to point out that Mr. Obama and Mr. Wright are unquestionably Christians, whatever the particulars and their theology may be.

Mr. Wright came under scrutiny in 2008 for several controversial statements, including his contention that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were proof that “America’s chickens were coming home to roost.”

“Look, he went to Reverend Wright’s church for 20 years,” Mr. Santorum said Monday night on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity.” “I mean, now you can question what kind of theology Reverend Wright has, but it’s a Christian church.”

Mr. Santorum insisted that he wasn’t trying to “question the president and what the president believes in when it comes to his faith. But I am going to question what he is doing in this country to drive up the cost of energy.”

The former Pennsylvania senator was explaining his use of the phrase “phony theology” when attacking the president’s “radical environmental policies” and was insisting that he did not question Mr. Obama’s religion.

But the comments only stirred more discussions of the president’s faith and whether Republicans and conservative religious leaders were continuing to question whether Mr. Obama professed Christian faith is genuine or not.

Mr. Graham, son of the Rev. Billy Graham, was more pointed in remarks during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” refusing to say whether he thought Mr. Obama was a Christian after repeated questions.

“You have to ask him. I cannot answer that question for anybody,” he said.

Asked whether he thought Obama was Muslim, Graham said he could not categorically say no, “because Islam has gotten a free pass under Obama.”

“All I know is, under … President Obama, the Muslims — he seems to be more concerned about them than the Christians that are being murdered in the Muslim countries,” he said.

When asked about Mr. Graham’s comments, Mr. Carney said the president had better things to do than entertain such questions.

“Well, strangely enough … I did meet with the president this morning for about 45 minutes. And amazingly, he didn’t bring this up, because he was actually talking about policy issues that he believes are the most important things he can do and he can focus on as president,” Mr. Carney said. “And they are the most important things to the vast majority of the American people, who are concerned about paying the rent or the mortgage, sending their kids to school, making ends meet.”

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

blog comments powered by Disqus

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide