In a profile of Hillary Clinton’s religious life, America Magazine, a “national weekly Catholic magazine,” says Mrs. Clinton is a “lifelong Methodist who has learned to keep her personal beliefs hidden.” Unfortunately for Methodists and Mrs. Clinton alike, her state religious beliefs also contradict her abortion agenda.
Author Michael O’Loughlin details Clinton’s faith, beginning with her upbringing in the Methodist church. The thesis is thin. Surely Mrs. Clinton has a religious faith—she grew up Methodist—but where is it?
“[T]here have been some hints throughout the years at the kind of religiosity that informs Mrs. Clinton,” he writes. “She is said to read snippets of Scripture each day; she has cited figures from the familiar canon of progressive, modern theologians, including Paul Tillich, Reinhold Niebuhr and Henri Nouwen, as inspirations; and during her husband’s affair with a White House intern, Mrs. Clinton is said to have leaned especially hard on her faith.”
In 2006, Mrs. Clinton met a political activist and Southern Baptist named Burns Strider, who influenced her opinion on social justice issues. “He then served as a faith outreach director during her 2008 campaign, and today he sends Mrs. Clinton emails several times a week with short passages from Scripture or quotations from figures she has said she enjoys reading, including the Catholic writer Flannery O’Connor, the poet Mary Oliver and the Christian writer Jim Wallis.”
This faith, which no man or woman can confirm—only God knows the heart of every person—has supposedly informed Clinton’s beliefs on political issues. It’s not for mere humans to outright judge if her faith is sincere or merely political posturing, but since she is running for commander in chief and condoning articles that investigate her religious beliefs, this might be a useful observation: Mrs. Clinton has been active in politics for three decades. If her faith acted as such a quiet, gentle anchor, why are we just now hearing of it? Half-hearted quips about the “least of these” seems more like an impromptu political calculation, right for particular moments, than the overflow of a genuine guiding religious belief.
For Clinton, Politics Seems to Trump Religion
According to Pew, mainline Protestantism, which is uniformly liberal, has declined over the years, while evangelicalism has increased. This is at least partially related to the fact that liberal policies now pervade every aspect of life. Mrs. Clinton’s religious talk and liberal walk embody this: she talked about Christianity at a town hall in Iowa in January yet teams with Cecile Richards, CEO of the abortion giant Planned Parenthood, at every opportunity possible.
The largest religious groups in America all oppose abortion with nearly no exceptions, including Catholicism, the largest religion in the country. The article casually mentions this dichotomy. “One of the reasons Mrs. Clinton’s religious sincerity is questioned could be the clash of her social positions with the priorities of the U.S. religious right, which is often perceived as synonymous with U.S. Christianity.” Yet Mrs. Clinton, with her quiet, strong faith, does not perceive things his way?
Grant it, Methodists, a branch of Protestants, are more liberal than Catholics, Baptists, or other more conservative “evangelicals”(a term that’s less and less accurate but still conjures an image most can identify), but exactly how liberal? Abortion liberal? Even late-term abortion liberal?
Kristin Du Mez, a history professor writing a biography on Clinton’s faith, says “Mrs. Clinton’s religiosity can be best perceived through this prism of socially liberal Christianity,” and “Her views on many social issues are absolutely in line with her church’s views, with the possible exception of war and capital punishment.” And abortion.
Clinton, Abortion, and Methodism
The United Methodist Church hasn’t been mum on abortion. Their “Social Principles” state, “Our belief in the sanctity of unborn human life makes us reluctant to approve abortion” although they “recognize tragic conflicts of life with life that may justify abortion, and in such cases we support the legal option of abortion under proper medical procedures by certified medical providers.”
Pew reports: “At its quadrennial convention, held in May, [United Methodist] church delegates voted to repeal a 40-year-old resolution supporting the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and approved another resolution ending the church’s membership in a pro-abortion rights advocacy group”—the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.
An abortion rights activists who has worked for the United Methodist Church even went to so far as to say Clinton’s beliefs don’t conflict with the church’s stance on abortion. This sounds neat and tidy, but it’s so far from the truth it’s disgusting.
Clinton’s stance on abortion wholly conflicts with what most Christians think about abortion, and with her own church’s stance indicating abortion should be a rare exception. Hillary Clinton is pushing to repeal the ban on taxpayer funding for abortions and advocates for late-term abortion—she told Chuck Todd perhaps there could be restrictions “in the very end of….the third trimester,” while admitting to him “unborn people don’t have constitutional rights (emphasis mine).”
Methodists claim they are to “to bear a faithful Christian witness to Jesus Christ, the living reality at the center of the Church’s life and witness.” In the book of Matthew, Christ was clear “whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me.” An exhaustive list of “the least of these” would be impossible but it’s probable unborn babies, who have no voice, would make the cut, especially since the Bible talks beautifully about the personhood of unborn babies: “You knit me together in my mother’s womb”; “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you.”
Every person lives with hypocrisy, with fissures of cognitive dissonance, because we are flawed human beings in a grueling process of sanctification. But this is so blatant it’s alarming.
Claiming that Christianity condones the wholesale slaughter of unborn children because babies are sometimes inconvenient is like saying PETA authorizes you to binge on a ribeye just so long as you’re really hungry. It’s unfortunate that the first woman running for president, with purported faith (quiet or not), advocates for an evil so obvious and so hypocritical that it contradicts the very faith she claims to embrace.