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Rand Paul: 'People Who Believe in Salvation' Should Be in Government

"Government can't save you."

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) pushed back Thursday on The Glenn Beck Radio Program against misconceptions he believes some voters have regarding libertarianism and religion.

"I tell people, I want you to be free to do anything you want," Paul told host Glenn Beck. "But I don't want you to do anything you can do. And so I think liberty requires virtue."

Paul referred to Os Guinness, one of the senator's favorite authors, and his notion of "liberty requiring restraint" and that the only restraint "consistent" with liberty is self-restraint.

According to Paul, the United States was built on the foundations of "self-governance" and "our religious faith and tradition."

"We didn't get rid of self-governance," Paul said. "But we also didn't get rid of our religious faith and tradition. And so I think we get too caught up in contemporary times, talking about separation of church and state, that we misunderstand it such that, oh, it's no big deal if we have a bunch of hoodlums with no beliefs running our country."

Paul told Beck it is important for people to realize that government can't "cure all social ills" and "make you a good person" but insisted that the U.S. government needs "virtue" in order to succeed.

"Government can't save you," he said. "But it doesn't mean we shouldn't have people who believe in salvation — who believe in goodness and virtue and right and wrong — in government. If you don't have those people and you don't have that throughout the conscience of the public, you have a disaster. You can't have a free society if you don't have virtue."

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Follow Tré Goins-Phillips (@tregp) on Twitter

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