Six republican candidates who are fighting for their party’s presidential nomination met for a debate at a Iowa church Saturday night and declared their stance on main Christian issues.
Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and Rick Perry were all present at the “Thanksgiving Family Forum” held at a church in Des Moines. The forum gathered an audience of 3,000 people. Another 16,000 were reported to be following the debate online, according to the Financial Times.
The candidates talked about various social conservative issues, ranging from same-sex marriage to abortion. Ron Paul, who is considered a libertarian, argued that abortion should be outlawed. He referred to the failed “We the People” act that would have overturned a 1973 Supreme Court decision that allowed abortion, and said that it could have saved thousands of unborn babies.
Michele Bachmann also spoke strongly about the issue and warned that the famous pro-choice group Planned Parenthood is planning to offer chemical abortions in schools, and that the government should do everything in its power to stop the murder of babies still in the development stage.
Texas Governor Rick Perry, on the other hand, focused on same-sex marriage and said that he would strongly oppose homosexual marriage. He was supported by Rick Santorum, who claimed that the new “sexual revolution” in America that embraces new ideas and defends same-sex marriage “radically changes the entire moral fabric of our country.”
One notable absentee was frontrunner Mitt Romney, who is a Mormon, and has largely kept his religious views separate from his presidential campaign. Since the candidates who were present at the forum agreed on most issues, there was little debate, and the event remained low-key.
Republican political consultant Frank Luntz, who led the Christian-focused questions and argued that prayer helps people live better lives, moderated the forum.