WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, widely considered a likely contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, addressed the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority” event on Friday, opening with a passionate two-minute video clip highlighting his strong pro-life views.
The emotionally resonant video began with an ultrasound view of an unborn baby girl. “She can’t talk yet,” read the caption, “but in the beating of her tiny heart, the question is heard loud and clear.”
The “question” was then asked by Paul himself, as the video cut to footage of the senator speaking at a pro-life rally. “Can a nation conceived in liberty carry its head high if it denies protection to the youngest and most vulnerable of its citizens?” Paul asked. “Can a country founded on God-given rights continue to thrive without understanding that life is a precious gift from our Creator?”
“I don’t think a civilization can long endure that does not have respect for all human life – born and not yet born,” Paul said later in the clip. “As a physician, I have looked into the eyes of one-pound babies. I have cradled their small bodies in the palm of one hand. I defy those who are careless, who would disregard life: look at these little tiny miracles and say, ‘We’re not going to protect them.’”
“Here at home, we have our own war being waged. It takes over a million lives every year. It is a war against the unborn, and it must end.”
“I believe there will come a time when we are all charged on whether or not we took a stand in defense of all life from the moment of conception until our last natural breath,” Paul continued. “I will not equivocate and I will not excuse. I will not retreat an inch and I will be heard. One thing I promise you, I will always take a stand for life.”
After Paul took to the stage, he spent additional time talking about the abortion issue.
“Here at home, we have our own war being waged. It takes over a million lives every year. It is a war against the unborn, and it must end,” Paul said. “When Pope John Paul II spoke about a ‘culture of death,’ he talked about ‘a war of the powerful against the weak.’ As Christians, we know we must always stand with the most defenseless.”
Paul highlighted his pro-life record in the Senate, including the introduction of the Life at Conception Act, which would grant legal personhood to children in the womb. He called on Christians to “vote their beliefs” when it comes to the pro-life issue, rejecting politicians who won’t defend life from conception to natural death.
Sen. Paul also touched on other issues of interest to Christians, including religious liberty. He criticized the Obama administration for its HHS birth control mandate, which he said forces employers “to choose between faith and pursuing their livelihood.” He also slammed Obama’s foreign policy, accusing the president of “arming Islamic rebels that are intent on killing Christians.”
Paul told the crowd that the biggest problems America faces today stem from what he called “a spiritual crisis.”
“Too often in our culture, people seek to separate faith and freedom,” Paul said, “but both are essential. Without virtue, freedom casts about and chaos beckons.”
“America will thrive again when we realize that freedom requires faith to sustain it,” the senator said. “Those who love freedom must realize that freedom is not a license to do as you please, freedom can only be realized when citizens know self restraint – or put another way, virtue.”
Paul told the audience that while governments can provide material aid, only people of faith will be able to fix the real problems in American society.
“Government can supply bread, but it can’t mend a broken spirit,” Paul said. “Mother Teresa was once praised for her social work in India. She replied, ‘We are not social workers. We do this for Jesus.’ No government social worker can claim the same motivation. Citizenship and good government require the involvement of a virtuous people.”
Paul encouraged Christians to resist those who would try to push religion out of politics.
“Your faith and your church are, and should be, part of the public arena,” Paul said. “Don't let anyone tell you otherwise! Reject any politician who claims that faith can’t be a part of public life. As my friend Ralph Reed says, ‘The First Amendment is not about keeping religious people out of government, it is about keeping government out of religion.’”