LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was the keynote speaker at Saturday’s United Methodist Women’s Assembly in Kentucky, where she addressed a group of over 7,000 women about spiritual and social issues.
Clinton spoke of how she grew up in the United Methodist denomination, and about her desire to tackle global problems like poverty and sex trafficking.
“I have always cherished the Methodist Church because it gave us the great gift of personal salvation but also the great obligation of social gospel,” she stated. “And I took that very seriously and have tried, tried to be guided in my own life ever since as an advocate for children and families, for women and men around the world who are oppressed and persecuted, denied their human rights and human dignity.”
The former first lady spoke of how Jesus fed the five thousand, and remarked that it reflected the duty of mankind to care for the less fortunate.
“In the story, when the hour grows late and the crowd grows hungry, the disciples come to Jesus and suggest they send away the people to find food, to fend for themselves,” Clinton said. “Jesus said ‘No, you feed them.’ He was teaching a lesson about the responsibly we all share to step up and serve the community, especially to help those with the greatest need and the fewest resources.”
Although she otherwise shared little about politics, Clinton touched on her beliefs regarding gender equality, speaking about her desire for equal pay for women.
“Women can drive economic growth,” she said, speaking of the Clinton Foundation’s No Ceilings effort. “But instead of being encouraged, they’re being held back.”
“The truth is there are too many women in our country today trying to build a life and a family that don’t just face ceilings on their aspirations and opportunities; it’s as if the floor is collapsing beneath them,” Clinton stated. “These are our sisters, our daughters, granddaughters. Some are hungry, not just for nutritious food but for opportunity, for chance to thrive, for their own piece of the American dream.”
However, many Christians have expressed opposition to Clinton because of her outspoken advocacy for abortion and support for homosexual “marriage.” In March, while speaking to the United Nations on International Women’s Day, she reiterated her beliefs about abortion.
“There is one lesson from the past, in particular, that we cannot afford to ignore: You cannot make progress on gender equality or broader human development, without safeguarding women’s reproductive health and rights. That is a bedrock truth,” she said. “This remains the great unfinished business of the 21st century. No country in the world, including my own, has achieved full participation.”
Pastor Bryan Ridenour wrote earlier this year on his blog America, Look Up that he could never support Clinton should she run for president due to her stances that contradict the word of God.
“If a church member asks in 2016 if I can support Hillary Clinton, I can unequivocally respond, ‘Not in this lifetime,’” he said. “If we vote for leaders who support abortion on demand, then we essentially hold the surgical knife that strips life from the womb. If we vote for leaders who support and champion gay marriage, we in effect officiate at their ceremonies. God holds us accountable for what we do behind the voting booth curtain.”