POLITICS
03/06/2013 10:21 am ET

Rick Santorum Thanks American Atheists For Billboard Highlighting Comments About 'God's Law'

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) appeared grateful this week to have been made into a poster boy for an atheist group that is encouraging Americans to "Go Godless Instead."

Over the weekend, American Atheists announced that Santorum would be a part of their new campaign to advertise for the group's 50th anniversary at the end of the month. Here's what Santorum's billboard looks like:

santorum

The quote came from an appearance at The Family Leader's Thanksgiving Family Forum in 2011. During the speech, Santorum, then a GOP presidential candidate, attempted to explain how his view on the relationship between civil law and religious law was different from Islamic Sharia.

In an email to supporters on Tuesday, Santorum embraced his part in the atheist campaign.

“I know, it is shocking,” Santorum wrote, according to Raw Story. “And you know what I said back to the American Atheists who purchased that billboard? Thank you. Thank you for helping me publicly express my strong belief that we need to continue to be one nation under God. And I think you would agree with that statement.”

He went on to claim that the American Atheists' campaign was proof the nation's religious traditions were under attack.

“This is also a reminder that there are strong forces against the fundamental beliefs that you and I hold so dear,” Santorum added. “They are organizing with determination to transform the very fabric of our country. The stakes are simply too high for us to sit back and ignore the progress they are making.”

Other Republicans such as former GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin also have been highlighted as part of the American Atheists' billboard campaign.

The group drew some criticism earlier this week for misquoting Palin. Leaders of American Atheists later said they'd amend the quote accordingly, but maintained that the quote was an accurate depiction of Palin's beliefs. They've since suggested they might replace the Palin billboard with a new set featuring former President George W. Bush and Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R).

ALSO ON HUFFPOST:

PHOTO GALLERIES
Santorum Talks Sex
Subscribe to the Politics email.
How will Trump’s administration impact you?

CONVERSATIONS