The Washington Times - June 13, 2013, 02:00PM

The Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “Road to the Majority” conference is up and running - and already making a very big noise. One of the first speakers in the three-day event was Sen. Rand Paul; the Kentucky Republican had much to say about the fate of faith, American taxpayer dollars and peacemaking on the world stage.

“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. When Pope John Paul II spoke about a ‘culture of death,’ he talked about ‘a war of the powerful against the weak’,” the lawmaker told his audience.

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“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 at conception act in the senate, and I will stand up for unborn children as long as I am privileged to be in office.”

“These days Christians are often unified in our defense of the not yet born but I exhort you to remember the 19-year-olds who are sent into battle. 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.”

“As we sit here, our brave troops risk their lives, serving our country with faithfulness and honor. They endure harsh conditions, loneliness and great danger. I pray for their safe return each day and I pray for an end to the war.”

“I can recall no utterance of Jesus in favor of war or any acts of aggression. In fact, his message to his disciples was one of non-resistance. I do not believe that means that we don’t defend ourselves.”

“I believe individuals and countries can and should defend themselves. But I simply can’t imagine Jesus at the head of any army of soldiers and I think as Christians we need to be wary of the doctrine of pre-emptive war.”

“We must and should stand with our fellow Christians in the Middle East and around the world - but that does not necessarily mean war and it certainly does not mean arming sides in every conflict. Jesus, himself, reminds us of this in the Sermon on the Mount, when he proclaims, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God’.”

See a complete transcript of Mr. Paul’s remarks here.