Republican South Carolina Sen. Lee Bright started off a debate about the Confederate flag by denouncing the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling and calling on people of faith in South Carolina to “rise up.”

“I heard our president sing a religious hymn, and then Friday night I watched the White House be lit up in the abomination colors,” Bright said on the South Carolina Senate floor Monday. “It’s time — we’ve got amazing grace, we’ve got people in the stands here of faith — it’s time for the church to rise up. It’s time for the state of South Carolina to rise up.”

The South Carolina Senate is considering a fresh bid to remove the Confederate flag from statehouse grounds, following the deadly Charleston church shooting that killed nine. (RELATED: GOP Presidential Candidates Back SC Governors Call To Remove Confederate Flag)

“Our governor called us in to deal with the flag that sits out front,” Bright added. “Let’s deal with the national sin that we face today. We talk about abortion, but this gay marriage thing, I believe, will be one nation gone under.”

He was referring to a quote from former President Ronald Reagan: “If we’re not one nation under God, we’ll be one nation gone under.”

“We can rally together and talk about a flag all we want,” Bright added, picking up steam. “But the devil is taking control of this land, and we’re not stopping him. It’s time to make our stand — let South Carolina discuss it.” (RELATED: Southern Baptists Promise To Defy Same-Sex Marriage Laws)

Bright said it’s important not to legitimize or respect same-sex marriage and to protect religious liberty, and mentioned the state getting out of the marriage business altogether as one course of action. “I believe that Christ teaches us to love the homosexual, but he also teaches us to stand in the gap against sin, and we need to make our stand,” he said.

“I know how people feel of all colors about this, and I know we need to respect our brother and love our brother,” he continued. “But we cannot respect this sin in the state of South Carolina.”

“If we’re not going to find some way to push back against the federal government like our forefathers did, or push back against a tyrannical government like the founders of this nation did, let’s at least not put these citizens of South Carolina in a position where they’ve got to choose between their faith and their jobs.”

Follow Rachel on Twitter