Two Republican senators who are widely considered to be viable contenders for a 2016 presidential run, were in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday urging conservative Christians to get involved politically.
Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rand Paul, R-Ky., spoke to a group of at least 400 evangelical pastors and their wives at the Iowa Renewal Project, with Cruz telling them "to hold party leaders accountable," The Washington Post reports
"Jesus reminds us what our goal should be when he proclaims: 'Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God,'" Paul said. "This does not mean we never go to war. But it means we should do so reluctantly, and seek an end expeditiously."
Cruz quoted from the book of Isaiah. "'My people perish for lack of knowledge,'" said Cruz. "And the prophet Ezekiel charged us: 'Son of man, you are a watchman for the house of Israel.'"
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus attended, and all three men knelt before the podium for prayer from the pastors.
African-American and Latino pastors from outside the state also attended the speeches. Priebus said he hopes conservative pastors of all races will encourage their flocks to get out and vote in the 2014 midterms and the 2016 presidential election.
Both Cruz and Paul said they see traditional family values as the "fundamental building block of society," but both also have libertarian leanings and believe individual states should define marriage according to their own beliefs.
The Iowa Renewal Project was created by Californian David Lane, who said he hopes to start similar groups in other states.
"We are mobilizing this constituency," Lande said. "This is not about Republicans and Democrats. It’s about returning American to its Judeo-Christian heritage."
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