Beliefnet
God-O-Meter

hillary3.jpgHillary Clinton spoke today to the National Baptist Convention of America , a meeting of the country’s four largest black Baptist denominations, and emailed her speech to religious supporters. A few excerpts are below. And be sure to keep reading beyond that… God-o-Meter has attached a sort of Hillary faith resume that the Clinton campaign is also sending ’round:

Everyday I try to act on the lessons of my faith, to reach that higher place. Yet, so often, like all of us, I fall short. But each new day, I keep striving and praying to work harder, to correct my imperfections, to improve on the day before and on the day before that. That’s what I’ve tried to do in my personal life but also in every aspect of my public life. That’s how I try to go about the work of breaking barriers and expanding opportunities. Work that I, myself have benefited from throughout my life. That is how I practice my faith. I’m living by the scripture that says we are all members of God’s household. That we are called, not asked, not urged, not requested, nor ordered, but called to love one another as Jesus has loved us….
Christ came to preach good news to the poor, proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind; to release the oppressed. Our faith calls us to do what is hard, to give voice to the voiceless, to lift up the poorest of the poor and the sickest of the sick. But for the past seven years, our leaders have gotten wrong. They’ve gotten it upside down and backwards.
They have given corporate tax breaks to Wall Street and then cut Head Start, child care and drop out prevention. They have lifted up the drug and insurance companies, but vetoed health care for millions of children in need. They have given tax breaks to the oil companies but cut off home heating assistance for our seniors this winter. They have waged a war in Iraq that has taken more than 3,900 of our sons and daughters. But they also regret the poverty, the disease and violence that afflict our brothers and sisters here at home and around the world.
Every day you perform good work rooted in the values of our faith. Isn’t it a shame when we have leaders that talk a lot about values, but then go and do exactly the opposite in betrayal of those same values. It reminds me of what the writer, Elie Wiesel, once observed: The opposite of love is not hate; it is indifference. And for the past seven years, that’s what we have seen in Washington, an epidemic of indifference. A collective turning of our government’s back on the least among us. It is in every way possible the opposite of love.
When our children attend schools that are separate and unequal in the 21st century, when anyone votes on a broken machine and their vote isn’t counted, that is the opposite of love. When we see nooses hung in a school yard, when the screams of Selma and Montgomery are clouded by the nightmare of Katrina and Rita, that is the opposite of love. When some members of God’s household have every advantage while others are shut out of the circle of opportunity that is the opposite of love…

And that faith resume…

Hillary Clinton: Faith, Family. and Values
–Hillary Clinton grew up in middle-America in a strong Methodist family, going to church every Sunday, attending Sunday School, and learning about the world through the youth group at her church. Her family’s church was First Methodist Church of Park Ridge, IL.
–The teachings of her faith, the principles of the Methodist church, and the examples of her family have been the guiding light throughout her life: “I first learned about social and personal responsibility as a young girl growing up. I learned it from my parents; I learned it from my church.”
–She learned the value and power of prayer at an early age: “Someone asked me some years ago if I were a praying person, and I said I was fortunate to have been raised by parents who prayed, and grew up in a church that from the earliest years emphasized the importance of prayer. I remember seeing my late father on his knees every night by the side of his bed as well as him watching me by the side of mine.”
–Hillary Clinton remained active throughout her teen years. In fact, it was a church youth trip to hear Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speak that had a life changing impact on her life. She continued to grow in her faith through college at Wellesley and into adulthood.
–During her years as First Lady of Arkansas, Hillary Clinton hosted church picnics on the grounds of the Governor’s Mansion, taught Sunday School, often attended the Southern Baptist Church of her husband, and always remained active as a member in a local Methodist Church. Chelsea grew up, like her mother, grounded in church activity.
–During her years as First Lady of the United States and a Senator from New York, Hillary Clinton’s faith has been the driving force in her work and vision to build a society where families grow and prosper, communities are whole and full of opportunity, and all people have a strong education, excellent health care, and the ability to achieve their dreams.


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