Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said that there is a growing intolerance of Christian beliefs and prompted a standing ovation when he declared, “I believe Jesus Christ is God.”

Marco Rubio at Value Voters Summit: I believe Jesus Christ is God

Sen. Marco Rubio R-Fla., gestures as he speaks during the Values Voter Summit, held by the Family Research Council Action, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, in Washington. Credit: AP

“Today we see a rising tide of intolerance in America, intolerance towards those who cherish these values,” Rubio said during his remarks Friday at the Values Voters Summit. “They – the traditional values they cherish – hard work, responsibility, self-control, the belief that life does not revolve around us – who’s harmed by these values? Who does – how does promoting these values hurt anyone? The millions of Americans who share these values are tired of being constantly told that they need to keep their opinions to themselves.”

The conference, sponsored by the Family Research Conference, featured Rubio and other potential GOP presidential contenders in 2016.

“On issue – on issue after issue, on issue after issue, they are expected to be tolerant of others, but increasingly our culture’s intolerant of them,” Rubio continued. “This is not about imposing our religion on anyone. In America you have the right to worship any way you choose. That’s why virtually every faith and every denomination on earth has a presence in our land. You have a right to not believe in God at all.

“But I believe Jesus Christ is God,” Rubio said, prompting the crowd to rise and shout in approval:

“I believe he loves every single human being that has ever lived, no matter what they have done, even if they don’t believe in him,” Rubio said. “That’s why he suffered a brutal death and he resurrected from the dead, to erase the sins that separate us from him.”

Rubio said the country’s economic well being is tied to its moral wellbeing.

“But if we want to save our country, we must all realize that the breakdown of our culture is trapping millions of people in a cycle of poverty and dependence, and together, we have to do something about it,” Rubio said.