Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) invoked the New Testament in making the case for libertarianism in front of the crowd at the Values Voter Summit in Washington Friday.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. speaks at the 2014 Values Voter Summit in Washington, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
He referenced 2 Corinthians 3:17, which says, “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
"I hope Christians everywhere will remember that the reverse is true: Where is liberty, there is always plenty of space for God," Paul said to strong applause.
Known for his libertarian views, Paul explained to the socially conservative crowd the need for personal virtue in maintain liberty.
"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 said. "This parallels what – George Washington’s belief, that democracy requires a virtuous people. Think American Revolution versus the French Revolution."
Paul, a presumptive presidential candidate for 2016, said that the United States needs more than a political change.
“Liberty is absolutely essential to virtue,” Paul said. “Government can't impose virtue.”
“What American needs is not more politicians and more promises,” Paul said. “What America really needs is a revival.”
Paul received another standing ovation when he said, “The First Amendment is not about keeping religious out of government. It's about keeping government out of religion.”
Paul stressed that he proposed a bill to stop U.S. foreign aid to countries that persecute Christians.
He also said the United States must confront the Islamic State, but faulted President Barack Obama for not getting congressional authorization first to do so.