Continuing our series on what candidates said about life, marriage, and religious liberty at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Summit that took place on Saturday, here is Sen. Rand Paul on life:
One of the things I’m lucky to do in medicine, I’m able to do in medicine, is examine the eyes of children, babies under a pound or two.
But the thing that strikes me is every time I examine a baby, some of these babies can fit in the palm of my hand, and I think to myself “hmm…do you think Debbie Wasserman Schultz thinks this baby has any rights?” And I say that somewhat flippantly, but I mean it as a very serious question.
Actually most of them do: Once a baby is born, they think the baby has rights. This little tiny one pound baby, that we’re still providing complete life support for, and that survives only because of the things we can do that help this baby survive? They say that baby has rights but a seven pound baby, they say that has no rights.
And I’ll tell you what I’m tired of: I’m tired of us retreating on this issue, and I’m going to push back. These aren’t all easy questions, but let’s ask them! Let’s ask the Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s of the world: “When does life begin? When does the baby have rights?” And you know what she responded? I said, “does a seven pound baby have rights?” She said, “that’s between the doctor and the mother.”
Really? A seven pound baby has no rights? She’s so out of step the Democrats are now worried. We’ve got them on their heels on an issue they try to put us on our heels on. They’re backpeddling, you know why? Because 84 percent of America is not comfortable with third trimester abortions. So I say we push them back and ask them: “Is abortion always OK? Are there no exceptions to abortion?” Let’s flip the tables on them and ask when does life begin? Some of them say in the nursery. Really? So a seven, eight pound baby has no rights whatsoever?
I think we can win this argument, I’m going to be a big part of it, and I’m gonna to keep talking about it.
On religious liberty:
Around the world, Christians are being persecuted. The sad thing is, they’re being persecuted with your money. Ever heard of Asia Bebe? Asia Bebe is a Christian who lives in Pakistan. She has been on death row for five years. You know what her crime was? Her crime was that she went to drink water from a Muslim well. As she began bringing the water up they began shouting: “Death to the Christian.” They began stoning her, they began beating her with sticks. She’s crying out for help, and they’re chanting “death to the Christian!” And as they’re chanting “death to the Christian,” finally the police arrive and she thinks she’s been saved, and they arrest her. All the other villagers said she blasphemed against the Muslim religion. She was carried off to jail and she’s been on death row for five years.
Meanwhile what do we do? What does Congress do? They take your money. We spent billions of dollars, give billions of dollars to Pakistan. It’s a crime, and it ought to stop.
So I introduced an amendment. I’m on the Foreign Relations committee and I like to stir things up on occasion. So I introduced an amendment. My amendment said any country that persecutes Christians, any country that persecutes any religious minority, any country that puts to death, or gives people life in prison, for blasphemy, apostasy (changing religions), or interfaith marriage, that we shouldn’t give them any money.
But here’s the sad thing, and you’re going to be part of making the decision on who the nominee will be, who the conservatives will be putting forward as their nominee: Almost no Republicans supported it, and no Democrats supported it. It lost 18-2 in committee because the nearly unanimous consent in Washington is: Send good money after bad, we’re sending it to the so called “moderates” in Pakistan. And I say: Doesn’t look like it’s working.
But that’s what’s happening. If I ask you, and we poll the crowd “how many are for sending money to a country that persecutes Christians,” it’s gonna be zero. In Washington it’s completely the opposite. Washington is so out of step. Washington is so broken, it’s not going to change. It’s not going to change if you nominate Democrat lite. It’s not going to change if you put up somebody who is not dead set on changing Washington. Washington is so broken that I firmly believe it doesn’t change until we send them all packing and institute term limits.
…And when they send the police into your Church and ask your minister for their sermons, that’s when it’s time for civil disobedience.
Senator Paul did not discuss the issue at the forum.
Joshua Pinho works for American Principles in Action.