Santorum Embraces the Religious Right's Latest Lie

We are getting really, really tired of hearing this now standard allegation from the Religious Right that President Obama is intentionally undermining religious freedom by refusing to use the phrase "freedom of religion" and replacing it with the phrase "freedom of worship."

As we have pointed out time and time again, this complaint it totally bogus, but that is obviously not going to stop the Religious Right from repeating it.

And it is certainly not going to stop Rick Santorum from adopting it and starting to work it into his presidential campaign:

Rick Santorum continued to talk about the separation of church and state one day before Michigan voters go to the polls on Tuesday, but insisted that this was not a distraction from discussing the economy and jobs but rather a core part of the argument he is making about economic and religious freedom.

Santorum also came close to calling Secretary of State HiIlary Clinton the "first lady," and then said that she and President Barack Obama are not for religious freedom but rather talk about "freedom of worship." Santorum said this term is an indication that Obama and Clinton want to tell churches and people of faith how they can live their lives when they are not in their place of worship.

Can we point out that just last week, both the State Department and the White House issued public statements roundly condemning Iran for handing down a death sentence for Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, declared "freedom of religion" to be a fundamental human right (emphasis added):

The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms reports that Iranian authorities’ reaffirmed a death sentence for Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani for the sole reason of his refusal to recant his Christian faith. This action is yet another shocking breach of Iran’s international obligations, its own constitution, and stated religious values. The United States stands in solidarity with Pastor Nadarkhani, his family, and all those who seek to practice their religion without fear of persecution—a fundamental and universal human right. The trial and sentencing process for Pastor Nadarkhani demonstrates the Iranian government’s total disregard for religious freedom, and further demonstrates Iran's continuing violation of the universal rights of its citizens. The United States calls upon the Iranian authorities to immediately lift the sentence, release Pastor Nadarkhani, and demonstrate a commitment to basic, universal human rights, including freedom of religion. The United States renews its calls for people of conscience and governments around the world to reach out to Iranian authorities and demand Pastor Nadarkhani's immediate release.

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