Rand Paul: First Amendment Says Keep Govt Out of Religion, Not Religion Out of Govt

PaulWASHINGTON — During a private prayer breakfast for pastors on Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told those gathered that the Constitution never meant that God must be removed from government, but that the government was not to interfere with the practice of religion.

“The First Amendment says keep government out of religion. It doesn’t say keep religion out of government,” Paul told the approximately 50 persons gathered at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington D.C.. “So, you do have a role and a place here.”

“I open the Senate each Wednesday morning, and we open it every day with a prayer,” he noted. “You have prayer in government. Religion is part of our daily life and a part of our government; it always has been.”

According to CBN News, which recorded Paul’s comments during the breakfast, the event had been organized to present his views on faith, religious freedom and the role the Church plays in the government.

During his talk, the Kentucky Senator told pastors not to look to Washington to solve all of the nation’s problems, but that change needs to happen from a grassroots gospel effort.

“The moral crisis we have in our country—there is a role in trying to figure out things like marriage,” Paul said. “There’s also a moral crisis that allows people to think that there would be some sort of other marriage. So really there’s a role outside and inside government.”

“I think the exhortation to change people’s thoughts has to come from the countryside—from everywhere outside of Washington,” he continued. “We’re the most disconnected city on the planet from the people, so don’t have a lot of faith in what’s going on up here.”

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Paul then reiterated statements he has made in the past, remarking that a spiritual awakening is needed in America.

“I’ve said this before: We need a revival in the country,” Paul added Thursday. “We need another Great Awakening with tent revivals of thousands of people saying, ‘Reform, or see what’s going to happen if we don’t reform.’”

As previously reported, throughout America’s early history, a number of the Founding Fathers issued proclamations calling inhabitants to prayer, including in 1798, when President John Adams proclaimed a national day of humiliation, prayer and fasting.

“As the safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depend on the protection and blessing of Almighty God, and the national acknowledgment of this truth is not only an indispensable duty which the people owe to Him,” he wrote, “…this duty, at all times incumbent, is so especially in seasons of difficulty and of danger, when existing or threatening calamities—the just judgments of God against prevalent iniquity—are a loud call to repentance and reformation.”

“[L]et us not forget the religious character of our origin,” American statesman Daniel Webster also declared during his famous “Plymouth Oration” in 1820, less than 50 years after the nation’s founding. “Our fathers were brought hither for their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of society, and to diffuse its influence through all their institutions, civil, political or literary.”

“Let us cherish these sentiments,” he continued, “and extend this influence still more widely, in the full conviction that [it] is the happiest society which partakes in the highest degree of the mild and peaceful spirit of Christianity.”

Video: CBN News/The Brody File

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