Rand Paul, a Republican senator from Kentucky and a prospective 2016 presidential contender, told religious leaders at a private prayer breakfast last Thursday that the First Amendment "doesn't say keep religion out of government."
"The First Amendment says keep government out of religion. It doesn’t say keep religion out of government," Paul said, according to video captured by CBN News. "So, you do have a role and a place here."
"Religion is part of our daily life and a part of our government," Paul said. "It always has been."
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014 (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
The politician, who delivered his comments at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington where about 50 preachers were in attendance, went on to discuss the "moral crisis" that he believes is running rampant in America, urging his audience not to expect Washington to solely solve the problem, and imploring everyone to get involved.
"The moral crisis we have in our country — there is a role for us trying to figure out things like marriage," he said. "There's also a moral crisis that allows people to think that there would be some sort of other marriage … really there's a role outside and inside government, but I think the exhortation to try to change peoples' thoughts also has to come from the countryside, from everywhere outside of Washington."
Paul went on to call Washington, D.C. the most "disconnected city on the planet from the people," and said that America is desperately in need of "another Great Awakening" that sees thousands of people seeking and calling for reform in unison.
Watch Paul's comments below: