Possible 2016 GOP presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Rand Paul laid out two different positions on foreign policy Thursday, with one advocating a stay-at-home approach and the other calling for continued U.S. engagement.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told the Faith & Freedom Coalition Conference in Washington that the United States has a moral responsibility to play a strong role in world affairs, Politico reported Thursday
"If America's light is extinguished, there is no other light," Rubio said, citing 5 Matthew in the Bible, where God urges people to act as light in the world.
"We are called not to hide our light but to shine it. If we lose the will ... there is nothing to replace us."
Earlier at the conference, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul insisted that while the United States should maintain a strong military, it must be used sparingly abroad, if at all. He also called for ending foreign aid to Egypt and countries whose policies are anti-Christian. His brief speech drew a standing ovation from the conservative crowd, Politico reported.
"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," he said. "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."
Paul also was highly critical of the administration's plans to help arm Syrian rebels, calling it "misguided."
In his speech, Rubio said he doesn't favor U.S. involvement in every foreign conflict, but suggested that U.S. engagement abroad would help promulgate Christian values and lead to change throughout the world.
"This call for us to silence ourselves and stop speaking about the values we know work is a big mistake," he said.
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