By Angela Wills
Indianola, Iowa was the location of the rally where Hillary Clinton informed a crowd that the teachings of John Wesley, a founder of the Methodist religion, gave her the inspiration to seek the office of president, and to “get back up” after setbacks.
Hillary spoke about “the core of Christ’s message” on Sunday at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Cedar Rapids. The following Monday, while in Knoxville, a voter asked Clinton if her beliefs aligned with the Ten Commandments and she offered a lengthy reflection on her outlook regarding religion.
Hillary said, “I am a person of faith. I am a Christian. I am a Methodist. My study of the Bible, my many conversations with people of faith, has led me to believe the most important commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself and that is what I think we are commanded by Christ to do.”
In her 2016 campaign, Mrs. Clinton has consistently spoken openly about subjects she didn’t address in earlier campaigns. She’s offered personal reference to the story of her late mother, Dorothy Rodham, who as a child, was neglected and abandoned, and reflecting her experiences as a young working mother.
Despite her openness, Mrs. Clinton’s Methodism has rarely been referenced during this campaign.
A longtime friend of Clinton, Lissa Muscatine says, “It’s almost like, because it’s so private and has motivated her so deeply, that she doesn’t talk about it.”
According to friends of Mrs. Clinton, during the most difficult times in her live, she turns to religion and has more recently taken advantage of any platform to speak openly about her faith.
With all of the effort that her campaign has put in reintroducing her over the past eight months, Mrs. Clinton religiousness remains somewhat a mystery. More than four out of ten voters, regardless of party affiliation, said that they didn’t think that Mrs. Clinton was very religious. About two-thirds of Democrats and voters who lean toward the Democratic Party believe that she’s somewhat religious, while 27 percent said she isn’t religious.
For a candidate who doesn’t handle questions of authenticity well, Clinton seems at ease in conversations regarding her faith and how it’s helping her in her run for president.
It’s clear that Clinton’s political stand on issues ranging from health care to climate change are founded in her Methodist roots. A professor at Grove City College, Paul G. Kengor, describes Hillary as “a classic, standard religious-left Christian who connects her faith to issues of poverty and helping people.”