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Hillary Clinton talks faith, family in speech to Methodist women
April 26th, 2014
05:20 PM ET

Hillary Clinton talks faith, family in speech to Methodist women

By Dan Merica, CNN

Louisville (CNN) – It would be difficult for Hillary Clinton to find a more welcoming crowd than the women at Saturday's United Methodist Women Assembly in Louisville.

Greeted with raucous applause from the 6,500 women (and a few men) in attendance, the former secretary of state touted her knowledge of the faith, spoke about her family's Methodist roots and addressed how the teachings of Jesus and John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, have guided her career.

And in synthesizing her view of Methodism's social gospel, Clinton's remarks seemed to come close to describing her presidential thought process, where the former first lady has acknowledged she is thinking about running for president in 2016.

"Even when we are tired and all we want to do is go away by ourselves to a secluded place and rest awhile," Clinton said, "even then, especially then, let’s make it happen."

Clinton focused largely on the social gospel teachings of Methodism. "Like the disciples of Jesus, we cannot look away, we cannot let those in need fend for themselves and live with ourselves," she said to applause. "We are all in this together."

Although faith has long been a part of Clinton's life, she rarely addresses it in public speeches. Saturday's remarks were a departure from that.

Clinton cited the Scripture Mark 6:30-44 - where Jesus instructs his disciples to organize their followers into groups and to feed them with five loaves of bread and two fish - as the central biblical passage of her speech. She jokingly called the story "the first great pot luck supper," and said she has always been fond of the passage.

FULL STORY
- Dan Merica

Filed under: Hillary Clinton

The pastor who shaped Hillary Clinton's politics
Hillary Rodham Clinton with the Rev. Don Jones, a pastor who had a lasting influence on her politics.
April 25th, 2014
01:43 PM ET

The pastor who shaped Hillary Clinton's politics

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) - In the spring of 1962, Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most controversial men in America. One night in Chicago's Orchestra Hall after delivering a stirring speech on civil rights and the future of America, he shook hands with a standout 15-year-old with conservative parents, Hillary Rodham.

More than 50 years later, the moment still resonates profoundly with Clinton, who has had an illustrious political career and could again seek to make history as the first woman president.

"Probably my great privilege as a young woman was going to hear Dr. Martin Luther King speak," Clinton said earlier this year at an event at the University of Miami. "I sat on the edge of my seat as this preacher challenged us to participate in the cause of justice, not to slumber while the world changed around us. And that made such an impression on me."

Clinton has traced much of her life in politics and activism to King's words that night. But there was another minister, not famous like King, who also influenced her views on social justice and stoked an intensity for action.

Don Jones was the Methodist youth pastor who organized the trip of like-minded teens to see King, and mentored her for the rest of his life.

"Don opened up a new world to me," Clinton said in 2009, the year he died, "and helped guide me on a spiritual, social and political journey of over 40 years."

FULL STORY

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Hillary Clinton • Methodist • Politics

Will American Jews back Hillary?
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at Georgetown University February 25, 2014 in Washington.
March 18th, 2014
10:03 AM ET

Will American Jews back Hillary?

Washington (CNN) - Flanked by Jewish politicians in front of the United Nations on a July day, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton made a forceful appeal for the United States to back Israel as the Jewish nation's forces squared off against Hezbollah during the 2006 Lebanon War.

"We will stand with Israel because Israel is standing for American values as well as Israeli ones," said Clinton, who was an outspoken defender of Israel and representative for American Jews for eight years in the Senate.

But it wasn't always that way. She had to work hard for Jewish support in 2000 as the New York Jewish community was skeptical of her support for Israel and publicly wondered whether the former first lady was too sympathetic with the Palestinians.

But by the time she ran for president in 2008, a number of Jewish Democrats said her record with the community was unprecedented. Touting her foreign policy credentials and defense of Israel, Jewish leaders flocked to Clinton as she ran against Barack Obama in the Democratic primaries.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Foreign policy • Hillary Clinton • Iran • Israel • Israel • Leaders • Middle East • Politics

Clinton swears in new ambassador for religious freedom
June 2nd, 2011
10:18 PM ET

Clinton swears in new ambassador for religious freedom

By Jamie Crawford, CNN National Security Producer

Washington (CNN)– Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hailed a "leader in bridging faith and public service" Thursday as she swore in Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook as ambassador at-large for international religious freedom.

In her role, Cook will serve as a principal adviser on religious freedom to President Barack Obama and Clinton, as well as head the Office of International Religious Freedom in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor at the State Department.

The office seeks to shine a light on everything from authoritarian regimes that impede freedom of worship for their citizens to violent extremists who work to exploit sectarian tensions.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Church and state • DC • Foreign policy • Hillary Clinton • Politics • United States

April 16th, 2011
10:11 PM ET

Defiant U.S. ambassador rebuked for faith-based writing asks to resign

Douglas Kmiec, center, at a 2006 U.S. Senate hearing.

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - The U.S. ambassador to Malta has submitted his resignation, just over a week after he was called out in a State Department report for allegedly devoting time to writing about religion at the expense of his official duties.

Douglas Kmiec told CNN that he notified Malta's foreign ministry on Saturday about his intention, the same day he submitted his resignation to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and three days after he tendered a similar letter to President Barack Obama.

"With my reputation impugned by the recent ... report, I can no longer be certain that I am in a position with my government to have your needs and perspectives heard in the best possible light," Kmiec said in an e-mailed statement.

The State Department had no immediate comment Saturday on the ambassador's submitted resignation, including whether or not it had been accepted.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Politics

September 8th, 2010
10:13 PM ET

Clinton condemns Quran-burning plan

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has condemned the planned burning of Qurans on the anniversary of the 2001 attacks on the United States as criticism mounts from Muslims around the world.

Speaking Tuesday at an iftar meal in Washington to celebrate the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Clinton said she welcomed the concerns.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Islam • Politics • Quran

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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.

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