Louisiana governor and presidential hopeful Bobby Jindal held a prayer meeting in Baton Rouge on Saturday to promote a "spiritual revival" across the country, but protesters took to the LSU campus where the meeting was held to speak out against the governor's use of public college property in what they say was a shrouded political campaign.
"We can't just elect a candidate and fix what ails our country," Jindal said during the meeting where thousands gathered to hear him speak. "We can't just pass a law and fix what ails our country. We need a spiritual revival to fix what ails our country."
The governor opted to skip the Iowa Freedom Summit where his fellow Republican politicians were attending to speak at this LSU event hosted by the American Family Association. The AFA has been in the news several times for its hardline biblical stance, including a video the group released just after the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007 entitled, "The Day They Kicked God Out of the Schools" that drew criticism for its timing.
But Gov. Jindal's speech at the prayer event focused on a reintroduction of God and Christian values to the country. "Today is about humbling ourselves before the Lord. Today we repent for our sins," he said.
But it was his inclusion of the phrase, "Our god wins" that struck many as peculiar, prompting ABC's George Stephanopoulos to focus on that line in an interview with Jindal after the prayer rally. Stephanopoulos asked Jindal how he felt about using that line to a potential voting pool that consists of "320 million people, of many different spiritualities, many different kinds of faith, many who believe in no god at all."
But Jindal was unphased and unapologetic, explaining that our country needs someone who is willing to stand up for Christian values. "I know it made a lot of people upset, but we need leaders to tell us the truth," he said during the interview. "I think people are looking for leaders who are willing to take on the big challenges."
Gov. Jindal was originally asked about a presidential candidacy in 2012, but denied all interest at the time. For 2016, the Louisiana governor has already said that he's interested, and continues to set himself apart from the crowded pool of GOP candidates by using his strong Christian values front and center.
Jindal would be running straight down the lines of traditional Christian morals, including a strong pro-life stance, an opposition to same-sex marriage, and he recently signed a law in Louisiana that prevents discrimination for evolutionary teachings for both religious and non-religious curriculum, meaning that intelligent design cannot be excluded.
But it was the governor's recent trip to London to speak out against the controversial Muslim "no-go" zones that had Jindal in hot water. The no-go zones have been denied by the British and French governments, but Jindal has persisted to inform the world about these areas that are unofficially off-limits to all non-Muslim people.
Bobby Jindal was born in Baton Rouge to Hindu parents who immigrated from India, but he converted to Catholicism while in high school. For this reason, his approach to Christianity is unique, a point that sets him apart from his fellow conservatives. "We are a diverse country, obviously a majority of people are Christians, but we don't discriminate against anybody," he said during the ABC interview. "That's one of the great things about America. We believe in religious liberty."