Paul doesn't often talk about religion, at least not in the context of a political campaign. There's a reason the Gospels teach praying in secret, he says. Over the years, he has attended an Episcopal church, which "became more liberal than we were comfortable with," as well as an evangelical church. He currently attends Baptist services.
The most decisive intellectual influence in Paul's life was his discovery, while in medical school, of a passion for economics. It started with two vast novels: Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" and Boris Pasternak's "Dr. Zhivago," a gift from his mother. Both books make a case for the threat that big government bureaucracies pose to creativity and liberty.
Later, he read his way into Austrian economics – the counterweight to Keynesian economic ideas that informed the New Deal. He read Friedrich Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom" – a book that influenced a generation of American conservatives – and especially Ludwig von Mises, a libertarian who extended the influence of the Austrian school of economics in the United States.