The faiths of Trump and Clinton

From time to time, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton invoke their respective Christian faiths as something that animates them and informs their world views.

But unlike Republican and Democratic presidential candidates in the recent past, such as Jimmy Carter or George W. Bush, who were comfortable discussing their religious beliefs, the major party nominees in 2016 have shown an uneasiness when asked about spiritual matters.

Trump, a Presbyterian, and Clinton, a Methodist, have also at times run afoul of their respective denominations for things they have said on the campaign trail and for their positions on issues such as abortion, immigration and same-sex “marriage.”

Clinton, who formally accepted her party’s nomination at last month’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, rarely talks about her faith on the campaign trail.

But occasionally, Clinton, the former first lady, U.S. senator from New York and U.S. secretary of state, offers a glimpse into her spiritual life.

Asked about her faith at a Democratic town-hall event a week before the Iowa caucuses in January, Clinton delivered a rather impassioned reply,where she drew from the Bible and reflected on the Sermon on the Mount.

Said Clinton, “I am a person of faith. I am a Christian. I am a Methodist. I have been raised Methodist.

“I feel very grateful for the instructions and support I received starting in my family, but through my church; and I think that any of us who are Christian have a constantly constant conversation in our own heads about what we are called to do and how we are asked to do it, and I think it is absolutely appropriate for people to have very strong convictions and, also, though, to discuss those with other people of faith.

“Because different experiences can lead to different conclusions about what is consonant with our faith and how best to exercise it.” Continue reading


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