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Cotton: Pryor thinks faith only happens at 11:00 on Sunday mornings

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(KATV)-Rep. Tom Cotton made a controversial statement about his challenger, Sen. Mark Pryor's faith, saying Pryor thinks "faith is something that only happens at 11 on Sunday mornings." Pryor has called for an apology.

Cotton was asked about the Supreme Court's ruling in the Hobby Lobby case on Tuesday and responded with an answer about Pryor's faith, in an interview with KNWA.

"It's another example of how Obamacare infringes on the liberties of all Arkansans. Barack Obama and Mark Pryor think that faith is something that only happens at 11 on Sunday mornings. That's when we worship but faith is what we live every single day. And the government shouldn't infringe on the rights of religious liberty. So I'm pleased with the Supreme Court's ruling but it's just another example of why Obamacare is bad for Arkansas."

Pryor responded in a statement Wednesday and called for an apology.

“I’m disappointed in Congressman Cotton’s deeply personal attack on me,” Pryor said, “He and I may disagree on issues, but for him to question my faith is out of bounds. From a young age I have never shied away from talking about the importance of God in my life, and it’s my Christian faith that gives me comfort and guidance to be a steady voice for Arkansas in the Senate.”

Pryor also commented on the matter on the campaign trail in Northwest Arkansas on Wednesday.

"My faith is very personal to me and it's a deep seeded belief system I have. And for him to say that. I'm just very disappointed he's taking his campaign that direction," Pryor said.

At the same event, Cotton responded to the controversy.

"I simply said that by virtue of his vote for obamacare, Mark Pryor is infringing on the religious freedom of other Christians or anyone of all faiths who objects to practices like abortion," Cotton said.

Cotton campaign spokesperson David Ray sent a statement to Channel 7 News from Cotton in response to the backlash.

"Senator Pryor is a man of faith and practices it with commendable openness, which I respect, but I wish he would respect Arkansans' right to practice our faith.  Instead, Senator Pryor and President Obama still defend Obamacare even after the Supreme Court said it violated freedom of religion.  Senator Pryor supports taxpayer-funded abortion and late-term abortion and would force Christians to pay for abortions despite their deeply held religious beliefs.  That's a real attack on faith," Cotton said.

The Cotton campaign would not answer if Cotton planned to make a formal apology. 

Last year, Pryor's campaign was attacked by the National Republican Senatorial Committee for his ad "North Star" in which Pryor touted his faith in the Bible. The Cotton campaign denounced the NRSC attack, calling the attack "bizarre and offensive."