WASHINGTON, D.C., October 13, 2011 ( – Speaking at the Values Voters Summit, GOP 2012 candidate Rep. Ron Paul offered his audience a detailed explanation of the roots of his limited-government philosophy in Christian values, including how the government’s expansion has compromised the rights of the family. (See LSN video of excerpts from Paul’s talk)

“Our families have been under attack. And I have a few ideas about why that has occurred and what we might do about it,” Paul told the conservative audience on Saturday morning.

Hundreds of Paul supporters showed up early on the second day of the summit to cheer the speech and vote for their candidate in the weekend’s straw poll, where Paul came out on top at 37 percent. Fellow candidate Herman Cain came in second at 23 percent.

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Paul’s address appealed to Judaeo-Christian values and Biblical testimony as backing his stance against governmental power-grabs, something he compared to the Israelites’ demand for a secular head of state, described in the book of Samuel as a rejection of God’s sovereignty.

“Samuel … advised the people of Israel not to accept the king, because the king, he warned, would not be generous. He would undermine their liberties. There would be more wars. There would be more taxes,” said Paul. “And besides, accepting the notion of a king would reject the notion that … their true king was their God and the guidance from their God. …

“We have too often relied on our king in Washington, and we have to change that. … I prefer the different king, the original king, the instruction that comes from our creator, not from our government,” he said.

While maintaining a stance in favor of conservative values, Paul has said that abortion regulations and marriage definitions should be left up to individual states, and has voted against several abortion restrictions while in Congress. However, in 2007 Paul introduced the Sanctity of Life Act, which would have declared that all human life begins at the moment of conception, that “the term ‘person’ shall include all human life,” and that federal courts have no jurisdiction over abortion laws.

Paul argued that laws do not generally change morality, but said that society has always changed the prevailing morals before the new morality entered law or legal precedent, such as in the case of Roe v. Wade. “[The 1960s] was the decade that abortion was done flagrantly against the law. And, lo and behold, the laws got changed after the morality changed,” he said.

Paul framed the change in society’s moral fabric as of a piece with the emergence of a new work ethic and the entitlement culture. As an example, he pointed to how government handouts have replaced the responsibility of younger generations in caring for their elders.

“Certainly the 10th commandment tells us something about honoring our parents and caring for them. It didn’t say work out a system where the government will take care of us from cradle to grave,” he said.

Rep. Paul, who has practiced medicine for years as an OB/GYN, explained how a pro-life ethic fit into the framework as a seminal right upon which liberty relies. “Life is most precious. I talk about life and liberty. I defend liberty to the nth degree, as long people aren’t hurting and killing each other and stealing and robbing,” he said. “But you cannot defend liberty unless you have a clear understanding of life.”

While we must reform ourselves as individuals first, he said, “our next step is our families: our children and our parents, and then our neighbors and our churches. That’s where the moral values should come from. And, quite frankly, that is where I think we have slipped.”