Barack Obama once famously said that America, whatever it was, is no longer a Christian nation, and now a key critic of the socialist agenda Obama has pursued suggests he might have been right about that.
It’s because America not only seems dedicated to funding its own enemies, but also those nations where Christians are persecuted and martyred, according to Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.
“It is clear that American taxpayer dollars are being used in a war against Christianity,” Paul told an audience at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference this week.
“It angers me to see my tax dollars supporting regimes that put Christians to death for blasphemy against Islam, countries that put to death Muslims who convert to Christianity, and countries who imprison anyone who marries outside their religion,” he said.
Paul, who is seen as a likely presidential candidate in 2016, also criticized his fellow senators for their spending priorities, highlighting arguments over a bill he sponsored earlier this year that would have cut off all aid to Pakistan, Egypt and Libya until they turned over those responsible for the murder of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
“These countries are not our allies, and no amount of money is going to make them so,” he said.
Paul, known for his fiscal conservatism, criticized the U.S. government’s continued allocation of funds to those nations.
“It makes no sense. Should we be sending F-16s and tanks to Egypt when President Mohammed Morsi says Jews are descendants of apes and pigs?” he said. “Even if all the atrocities against Christians were not being committed, we wouldn’t have the money to be sending to these countries. We’re borrowing money from China to send it to Pakistan.”
According to a report from Christian Broadcasting Network, Paul has been courting the conservative Christian community for months, and recently traveled to Israel.
Wrote CBN’s David Brody, “Rand Paul has quite a bit going for him if he makes a run. His libertarian views give him distinct crossover appeal but, in addition as a committed pro-life believer in Jesus Christ he can court evangelicals in a way that doesn’t look like pandering. Plus, he’s super smart which not only gives the tea party more credibility as a movement but allows Paul to get a serious look from the shark-infested waters filled with mainstream media members. He should NOT be underestimated.”
Paul said Americans are “being taxed to send money to countries that are not only intolerant of Christians but openly hostile. Christians are imprisoned and threatened with death for their beliefs.”
He cited the case of Pakistan’s Asia Bibi, on death row for daring “to drink from a glass that belonged to a Muslim coworker.”
Paul said he proposed a plan to restrict aid to other nations where Christians are terrorized or killed.
“How do your leaders respond? Ninety percent of them voted against my bill that would have put restrictions on this aid,” he said. “In Egypt, in Pakistan, they burn our flag – I say not one penny more to countries that burn the American flag!”
He noted the impact of America’s actions on occasion. In Iraq, while Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator his government was secular and Christians were able to worship and live. But now, Christians have fled the region because of the Islamist government America installed there.
“Before the Arab Spring, Christianity flourished in small outposts, like the Coptic Christians in Egypt. I had hoped that the Arab Spring would bring freedom to long-oppressed people throughout the Middle East, but I fear the Arab Spring is becoming an Arab winter,” he said. “Today, Christians in Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria are on the run – persecuted or under fire – and yet, we continue to send aid to the folks chasing them.
“While they burn the American flag and the mobs chant Death to America, more of your money is sent to these haters of Christianity,” he said.
He also noted his support for protection of the lives of unborn babies, as well as soldiers defending America.
“It is clear that American taxpayer dollars are being used to enable a war on Christianity in the Middle East and I believe that must end,” he said, “When Pope John Paul II spoke about a ‘culture of death,’ he talked about ‘a war of the powerful against the weak.’
“As Christians, we know we must always stand with the most defenseless. I believe that no civilization can long endure that does not respect life from those not yet born to life’s last breath. I am the sponsor of a life are conception act in the Senate, and I will stand up for unborn children as long as I am privileged to be in office,” he said.
Also, he said, those 19-year-olds sent into battle should be remembered.
“War is not a game or a sport and any politician who speaks of pre-emptive war with gleeful bravado should not be leading any nation,” he said. “As Christians, we understand that the right to life, and freedom of religion, pre-exist all government. These rights are not granted to man by other men, these rights are granted to us by our Creator.”
NBC reported Paul was joined by Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; Mike Lee, R-Utah; and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., in telling the conference social conservatives should not give up.
Lee said conservatives needed to talk more about what they’re for rather than against, and he emphasized the importance of community and the family.
“Some say we have to change with the changing times,” Lee added. “Change the way we say things and talk about families. … I think they make a great point. Times have changed, we do need to broaden our appeal. But ultimately the critics have it exactly backwards. … It’s not that we’ve focused too much on the family, but far too little. The rapid changes we’ve seen have only made the family more important, not less,” he said.