Below,I have stolen in toto, Molleen's recent posting to the rational thought group.
Does religion transcend politics???
WASHINGTON - In a rare public discussion of her husband's infidelity,
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said
Monday that she probably could not have gotten through her marital
troubles without relying on her faith in God
Clinton stood by her actions in the aftermath of former President
Clinton's admission that he had an affair, including presumably her
decision to stay in the marriage.
"I am very grateful that I had a grounding in faith that gave me the
courage and the strength to do what I thought was right, regardless of
what the world thought," Clinton said during a forum where the three
leading Democratic presidential candidates talked about faith and values.
"I'm not sure I would have gotten through it without my faith," she said
in response to a question about how she dealt with the infidelity.
The forum, sponsored by the liberal Sojourners/Call to Renewal evangelical
organization, provided an uncommon glimpse into the most personal beliefs
of Clinton and rivals John Edwards and Barack Obama (news, bio,
voting record). The three candidates were invited by Sojourners founder
Jim Wallis; most of the other Democratic candidates appeared on CNN later
Monday to discuss their faith.
The most intimate question came about the Clintons' relationship, one of
the world's most debated marriages but one that the husband and wife
rarely speak openly about.
Clinton said she's "been tested in ways that are both publicly known and
those that are not so well known or not known at all." She said it's those
times when her personal faith and the prayers of others sustain her.
"At those moments in time when you are tested, it is absolutely essential
that you be grounded in your faith," she said.
Edwards revealed that he prays - and sins - every day. The crowd gasped
loudly when moderator Soledad O'Brien asked Edwards to name the biggest
sin he ever committed, and he won their applause when he said he would
have a hard time naming one thing.
"I sin every single day," said Edwards, the 2004 vice presidential
nominee. "We are all sinners and we all fall short."
Edwards, wearing a purple tie to match Sojourners' signature color,
promoted himself as the candidate most committed to the group's mission of
fighting poverty. He said he doesn't feel his belief in evolution is
inconsistent with his belief in Christ and he doesn't personally feel gays
should be married, although as president he wouldn't impose his belief
system on the rest of the country.
"I have a deep and abiding love for my Lord, Jesus Christ," Edwards said,
but he said the United States shouldn't be called a Christian nation.
He said he has been going to church since he was a child and was baptized
as a teen. He said he strayed from his faith as an adult and it came
"roaring back" when his teenage son died in 1996.
"It was the Lord that got me through that," Edwards said, along with both
of his wife's cancer diagnoses.
Clinton acknowledged that talking about her religious beliefs doesn't come
naturally to her.
"I take my faith very seriously and very personally," she said. "And I
come from a tradition that is perhaps a little too suspicious of people
who wear their faith on their sleeves."
Each candidate was given 15 minutes to appear before the packed auditorium
at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium and a live audience on
CNN. They were questioned by O'Brien and by church leaders across the
Obama's appearance focused more on policy than the personal. Asked whether
he agreed with President Bush's portrayal of the current global
struggles in terms of good verses evil, Obama said there is a risk in
viewing the world in such terms.
He said he believes that the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, were the
result of evil. But he said that the United States' treatment of prisoners
at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay is unjust.
"The danger of using good verses evil in the context of war is that it may
lead us to be not as critical as we should about our own actions," Obama
said to applause.
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