(BOSTON GLOBE) — Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, who has made his conservative stance on religious and social issues one of the centerpieces of his Republican presidential campaign, today questioned the idea of a complete separation of church and state. Santorum stood by comments he made last year when he said after reading President John F. Kennedy’s famous 1960 speech about the separation of church and state, “I almost threw up.”

Santorum said his disagreement with Kennedy came from the line in Kennedy’s speech that read, “I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.”

“I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute,” Santorum said today on ABC’s “This Week.’’ “The idea that the church should have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical of the objectives and vision of our country.”

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