Yes, Hillary Clinton made history by becoming the first woman to receive a major party nomination for president. She received the nomination when a large portion of Americans surveyed say that they do not trust her. Friends and associates of Hillary Clinton refer to her as a warm and humorous person in real life.
What kind of a person is Clinton once camera flashes, mics do not follow her?
What is her religious belief anyway?
Is she a Christian?
In this report, I tried to shed some light on her private and public faith.
From time to time Donald Trump questions Hillary Clinton’s religious affiliation, casting doubt on her so-called Christian belief. Donald even accuses her of subscribing to no religion and protecting it from the public eye. Does it actually have any basis in truth?
Speaking at a conference in June hosted by a conservative Christian activist organization, United in Purpose, Trump made no effort in hiding outright accusation against Clinton’s obscure faith. Trump remarked that “We don’t know anything about Hillary in terms of religion.” “Now, she’s been in the public eye for years and years, and yet there’s no — there’s nothing out there. There’s like nothing out there,” Trump continued. Actually, there is.
Let’s spill the beans: Clinton is a Methodist. And, she emphasized her belief multiple times. She reinforced her religious belief at the Al Smith dinner hosted in New York last month. Clinton confirmed that “I’m not Catholic. I’m a Methodist.” “But, one of the things that we share is the belief that in order to achieve salvation we need both faith and good works,” Clinton asserted.
However, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church doctrines disprove such statement. Both the churches agree that believers can attain the heaven only through the God’s grace. You have to work your way into heaven with the combination of God’s grace and good deeds. Therefore, Clinton made a theological blunder there.
It is true that Clinton has been in the public eye for quite a long time. Her political career spans three decades. Clinton made quite clear allusions to her Methodist faith guiding her political decisions.
Her political stances concerning children and the downtrodden could be traced back to Christ’s commandment on caring for “the least of these.”
From time to time Clinton based her perceptions and views on feeding the poor on Christ’s teachings and lifestyle. Speaking prior to an assembly of Methodist women in 2014, Clinton expressed her views on community service while citing the Gospel story of Jesus.
She humbly referred to the story of Jesus multiplying the loaves and fishes to feed the hungry. Clinton explained, “He was teaching about the responsibility we all share, to step up and serve the community, especially to help those with the greatest need and the fewest resources.”
Clinton’s long-established dedication to Methodism is well-preserved. She even took a Methodist mantra for a political slogan. As her unofficial campaign slogan highlights the Methodist mantra: “Do all the good you can, for all the people you can, in all the ways you can, as long as you ever can.”
Despite these obvious testimonies reflecting her faith, a significant portion of Americans believes Clinton is hardly religious. This is mainly influenced by the media’s push that right-wing media outlets focus liberals cannot remotely be Christian.
Clinton’s long-standing alliance with feminism and abortion rights made several conservative writers scrutinize her faith.
However, many conservative Methodism followers, even those who disagree with her political tenets seem to agree with her Methodist philosophy and consider her faith genuine. Mark Tooley, a Methodist, and president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy is also in the same team. He argues that “She (Clinton) was shaped by the church and is committed to it, and you can’t understand her political framework without understanding her Methodist background.”
Religion always shaped and played a large role in navigating Clinton’s life.
Hillary Clinton, born Hillary Rodham, grew up in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge. While growing up, she attended First United Methodist Church in Park Ridge, Illinois. She mentioned several times in her speeches and in her memoir that she recalls seeing her father, Hugh Rodham, praying each night before bed.
She is the eldest child of Hugh and Dorothy Rodham. Hugh was a Republican and Dorothy was a closeted Democrat. While politics was a touchy subject for many families, she both parents met with conflicting ideologies. But, they both found a common ground to reconcile and that is a shared devotion to Methodism.
As a teenager, Hillary was heavily influenced by the Park Ridge Methodist Church’s youth pastor, Don Jones. Jones introduced radical ideas to the church and attracted many young people. His style did not align with the peers’ conservative ideologies that he left after two years. Jones and Clinton exchanged letters following years. Clinton now gives credence to Jones for shaping her spiritual and political perceptions. Jones died in 2009.
Methodists are directed by what is known as the Wesley Quadrilateral. Mrs. Clinton attended church at Wellesley. She also attended the Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington as the first lady. Clinton, in the 1960s, subscribed to a now-defunct magazine called Motive circulated by the Methodist Student Movement. The magazine was popular for its anti-war, pro-worker and anti-nuclear weapon publication.
While Bill Clinton is a Baptist, Mrs. Clinton and her husband were married by a Methodist pastor in Arkansas.
In Her Own Words
Hillary Clinton never liked the idea of advertising her publicly. She always tried to be adjudged for her political competence. She expatiated on her faith in several comments and books. However, she is still forced to support her faith. Back in January, she was pressed by an Iowa to describe her belief. The voter was a female counselor at a high school. The counselor identifies herself as both a Democrat and Catholic Christian but expressed her frustration about defending Clinton. Since her conservative friends argue that progressivism and Christianity are incompatible.
So, she asked how Clinton would respond to such issue. It can come as a deeply personal question to a lot of politicians, but Mrs. Clinton expertly handled that question and articulated a long, unscripted, coherent response regarding her faith.
She responded, “Thank you for asking that. I am a person of faith. I am a Christian. I am a Methodist.” She added that “My study of the Bible … has led me to believe the most important commandment is to love the Lord with all your might and to love your neighbor as yourself, and that is what I think we are commanded by Christ to do. And there is so much more in the Bible about taking care of the poor, visiting the prisoners, taking in the stranger, creating opportunities for others to be lifted up … I think there are many different ways of exercising your faith.”
She clarified, “I do believe that in many areas judgment should be left to God, that being more open, tolerant and respectful is part of what makes me humble about my faith.” She further added that “I am in awe of people who truly turn the other cheek all the time, who can go that extra mile that we are called to go, who keep finding ways to forgive and move on.”
Such thoughtful, abstruse perceptions toward life display the deep, spiritual connection she has within herself. Usually, she focuses on the less fortunate, the marginalized, women, and children in her speeches, but this time through the lens of faith.