WASHINGTON, D.C., June 8, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The right to life was the foundation of American liberty, but a widespread moral change must occur before abortion is made illegal again, Republican lawmaker and presidential candidate Ron Paul told religious conservative activists on Friday.

“If we do not have high respect for life, how can we be dealing with our personal freedom, personal privacy, our rights to homeschool our kids, the right to pick our religion and make personal choices on what we do?” Paul asked the audience at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in downtown Washington, D.C..

“Life is precious, I’m an OB-doctor, I’ve delivered over 4000 babies,” said Paul. “But as an Ob-doctor, let me tell you – life does begin at conception.”

Without a “high regard and respect for life”, Paul explained, Americans cannot have the liberty that “made this country so great.”

Paul recounted the social unrest he observed in the 1960s, which brought about a great sea change in US politics. “The people changed before the laws changed” - a historical lesson, he said, that conservatives should take to heart.

“Morality has a lot to do with legislation,” explained Paul. “We don’t have abortions today because the law permits it - that’s made it worse – but the law accommodated the social changes that had occurred. It was the breakdown in our social system at the time.” 

Paul mentioned that although the unpopular Vietnam War, burgeoning drug culture, and a careless attitude toward personal responsibility were agents of social change, the blame chiefly lay on the rejection of the family based on marriage, beginning with families having children out of wedlock.

Now this trend has grown into a “cultural” phenomenon, said Paul, adding that the breakdown of the family and family values is becoming “epidemic.” “This is where our real problems come from,” said Paul.

“We would like to think that all we have to do is elect the right politicians and everything is going to be okay. But the government is a reflection of the people and their values,” he continued. “That is why the burden is on people like you to make sure we have those values.”

Paul said the family was ingrained in the nation’s Christian heritage, and reminded them of the founding father’s warning that the US Constitution would last only as long as Americans remained a moral people. 

“We are at a crossroads,” Paul warned. He added that religious faith was essential to understanding “true liberty.”

Paul said that Americans also needed to embrace a study of free markets, constitutional foreign policy, and also gain a “Biblical understanding of honest money” – taking aim at the paper currency of the Federal Reserve in favor of returning to precious metals like gold.

“We need to believe once again in the principles of liberty, we need to understand why the family is the bedrock, the educational system should be through the family and the church. We should be promoting homeschooling and private schooling and not depending on our public school system,” he said.

Paul added that it was a hopeful sign for the United States that more young people were showing an enthusiasm for rediscovering personal liberty and constitutional government.

See the C-span video of Paul’s talk.

See other LifeSiteNews reports on the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference:

Pro-life Pawlenty to pro-abortion Obama: ‘Lead the country or get out of the way
Dr. Jim Garlow: Biblical truth and sacrifice are the keys to renewing America
Bill Bennett: America has a ‘man problem’
Virginia Attorney General is Rising Pro-Life Star