QUOTE OF THE DAY…. There were a fair amount of references to religion in President Obama’s Oval Office address last night. He used the word “faith” three times; shared an anecdote about the role of clergy in “The Blessing of the Fleet”; and concluded, “This nation has known hard times before and we will surely know them again. What sees us through — what has always seen us through — is our strength, our resilience, and our unyielding faith that something better awaits us if we summon the courage to reach for it. Tonight, we pray for that courage. We pray for the people of the Gulf. And we pray that a hand may guide us through the storm towards a brighter day.”

Wouldn’t you know it; Fox News didn’t appreciate the president’s religious remarks.

If there’s one thing Fox & Friends loves, it’s religion. Christianity, to be specific. The Fox News morning show hosts relish and celebrate those who are outspoken in their Christian beliefs and will not hesitate to defend anyone who mentions God in the public square. Except, of course, if that person is President Obama.

Implausible as it may seem, the crew of Fox & Friends this morning — the same people who fawningly report on pro-God billboards and rally to the cause of book-banning activist Christians — criticized the president for asking Americans to pray for the nation and for the people of the Gulf during his speech last night.

One of the cast members, co-host Gretchen Carlson, said “some people” heard the president’s remarks and concluded the emphasis on faith “was disingenuous from a president who does not go to church on a regular basis.”

Yes, “some people.” Gretchen Carlson didn’t say she believed such nonsense — heaven forbid — only that “some people” drew that conclusion. And who might those people be? Well, Carlson didn’t say. (For the record, I spent some time today looking for someone, anyone, who publicly raised this concern in any form of media, before Fox & Friends aired this morning. I couldn’t find a soul.)

I don’t expect much from Fox & Friends, but even by this show’s low standards, this was a rather pathetic display.

For the record, Ronaldus Magnus hardly ever attended religious services during his two terms, and George W. Bush’s attendance was sporadic, at best. When Gretchen Carlson questions the sincerity of the religious rhetoric they used in office, I’ll gladly praise her objectivity and consistency. Until then, I’ll conclude she’s a sorry excuse for a television personality.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.