There are plenty of people in this world who claim to be, or even think they are, followers of one religion while being something else entirely.

As it says in Matthew 7:22-23, “Many will say to me on that day, ëLord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.”

I only bring this up because of the recent hullaballoo over President Obama using the occasion of a prayer breakfast last week to put forth the notion that Jesus would raise taxes on the rich.

What Obama actually said was “for me as a Christian, (my tax policy) also coincides with Jesus’ teaching that for unto whom much is given, much shall be required,” thus abusing the Gospel of Luke.

The media watch dog, after lifting an eyebrow at public use of the name of Jesus and half-heartedly trying to find a couple of “experts” to support Obama’s theological assertions, quickly scratched an ear, rolled over and went back to sleep.

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum came out swinging, however, blasting Obama for using faith “as a convenience.”

Over the last few weeks, he has done more to assault religion in this country than any president, certainly in recent history, maybe even in history, Santorum told Newsmax.

Candidate Newt Gingrich also criticized the administration on “Meet the Press”: “Every time you turn around, the secular government is shrinking the rights of religious institutions in America.”

Santorum and Gingrich were referring to a couple of actions by the Obama administration that struck directly at the heart of religious freedom. One was the decision to require Catholic health care providers to offer contraceptive services including those that cause abortions, going against church teachings.

The other action, which was overturned unanimously by the Supreme Court, was the Equal Opportunity Commission’s attempt to require religious ministers to be covered by sex discrimination laws. Effectively, the EOC was going to force religious institutions such as the Catholic Church or Orthodox synagogues to hire female priests, ministers and rabbis.

This is a president who uses religion when itís convenient to get people to pay more money and more tribute to government and then uses government to strike down religion, Santorum said.

Santorum is spot on, of course. Jesus never said that paying taxes was godly, though there are plenty of liberals who try to mischaracterize the famous saying “render unto Caesar” in that way.

When a rich man asked Jesus what he should do, Jesus told him to give away everything he had to the poor, then come follow him. Jesus didn’t tell the man to give everything to the government.

Christian teachings about responsibility involve the individual’s duty to others, not to the government. That’s the point that the Left so often tries to twist in order to promote socialism and consolidate power.

In January, the media jumped on Santorum’s back because he failed to correct a woman at a campaign stop who said she believed President Obama is a Muslim.

It’s a persistent rumor. Obama says he is Christian, but where the Christian realizes everyone is formed in God’s image and is thus deserving of respect, the president’s central belief seems to be that government knows best, and individuals should just shut up and do what they’re told.

That’s a religion, too, but it’s sure not Christian.

Tad Cronn is the editor in chief of The Patriots Almanac, a nonprofit educational quarterly magazine.