Sen. Rand Paul is shifting to the right on defense and marriage. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter, File)

Earlier this week, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) made an about-face on defense spending. He also shifted on same-sex marriage.

Speaking to a group of pastors in Washington on Thursday, Paul said that a moral crisis is leading people to believe that same-sex marriage is acceptable.

There is a "moral crisis that allows people to think there would be some other sort of marriage," aside from traditional marriage, Paul said, according to a video from CBN News/The Brody File. Attendees included Jerry Johnson, chief executive of National Religious Broadcasters, and David Lane of the American Renewal Project.

The video and amendment that Paul put forward to boost defense spending show a sharp tack to the right from the libertarian-leaning Kentucky Republican as he moves toward an expected presidential bid announcement next month.

In an interview with CNN in October, Paul said he believes in "old-fashioned marriage," but he said that the government shouldn't be involved and that the Republican Party can "have people on both sides of the issue." When asked if he could rethink his opposition to same-sex marriage, Paul shrugged.

A spokesman for Paul said the senator's position "has not changed" and "continues to believe that marriage is an issue that should be dealt with at the state level."

Paul told the pastors that they have a role in Washington and that prayer is a part of government.

"The First Amendment says keep government out of religion. It doesn't say keep religion out of government," Paul said, according to the video.

Paul also called for "another Great Awakening, with tent revivals" of people calling for reform. "Or see what's going to happen if we don't reform," he said.

Paul has been courting evangelicals ahead of the run, and is also trying to appeal to more hawkish, mainstream Republicans. Whether those groups, as well as his libertarian base, support him as he moves to the right to position himself for a presidential campaign remains to be seen.

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