Black Leaders Warn of Clinton Threat to Religious Liberty in Blistering Letter

In this March 21, 2016, file photo, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks with supporters at a campaign rally at Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, Arizona.

By Rachel Stoltzfoos Published on October 31, 2016

Black leaders slammed Hillary Clinton’s position toward the poor in a letter delivered to her campaign Monday, saying her economic ideas won’t help black communities in crisis and that her social views pose a threat to their religious liberty.

“Today in the United States more than ten million people of African descent face a crisis of catastrophic proportions,” the letter begins. “Life in our major post-industrial centers can be poor, nasty, brutish and short.”

More than 20 black leaders of the popular Pentecostal-Charismatic wing of the black church signed onto the letter, requesting a meeting with Clinton to discuss their concerns about her views on the economy, abortion and other issues. “We know that you will not make the political mistake of taking the 69,000 black churches in the US for granted,” they write.

First on economics, the signers outline their concern about Clinton’s motivations and policy ideas, all but accusing her of pandering for black votes. Federal programs have often “failed” the poor black communities they’re intended to help, they note. “It is not enough to make obligatory appearances at black churches, we need you to articulate a coherent policy for the black poor.”

The leaders then turn to the subject of abortion. “Abortion in the black community has had a catastrophic impact,” they write, saying they are “very concerned” about Clinton’s position on unborn children, particularly as it relates to religious liberty.

Clinton wants to repeal the part of federal law that bans taxpayer-funded abortions, and believes a woman should have the “right” to abort her unborn baby at any point in her pregnancy for any reason, up until the moment of birth. NARAL Pro-Choice America has called her the “most unapologetic champion” of abortion ever to be nominated for president, and Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards has joined her on the campaign trail.

Citing comments from Clinton regarding abortion that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed,” the signers said they are concerned she represents a threat to their First Amendment rights. “For political leaders to call for changes in citizens’ beliefs is reminiscent of totalitarianism,” the letter states. “In our view, such a proposal constitutes a denial of our religious freedom.”

Harvard-trained sociologist Jacqueline Rivers presented the letter in person to the Clinton Campaign Headquarters Monday, accompanied by some of the others signers, which include black clergy, activists and intellectuals. Rivers has worked among the poor for three decades, and is the Executive Director and Senior Fellow of the Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy Studies in Boston.

The letter noted their community’s work on behalf of the poor. “Those who would oppose our right to live by the teachings of the Bible set themselves against the interests of the poor,” they write.


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  • Charles Burge

    Sounds like a perfect time for Republicans to be reaching out to these disenfranchised voters… if only they had a better candidate.

  • Gary Whiteman

    Amazing, the number of gullible people who refer to her as a “devout Christian.”

    • faithntrust

      Well, if they are gullible enough to believe everything else she says why wouldn’t they believe it when she says she is a ‘devout Christian’? I believe the KJ Bible; she must read & live by a different bible.

      • m-nj

        you KJV only people make me laugh… like you couldn’t just say “I believe in the Bible”… i am not defending the newer “inclusive” language versions (like the TNIV), or other even more heretical versions, but this continuous claim that the KJV is the ONLY true Bible is just sounding more and more cultic.

        • faithntrust

          Enjoy your laugh! To me, ‘the bible’ has become a generic term; there are so many different bibles out there. I use the term KJ Bible in reference to a Christian bible. I did not state it is the ONLY acceptable Christian bible. Look in your favorite version of the bible – does it have verse 21 in Matthew 17?

    • M3Mmmg

      It does appear that our Lord is calling us to stand against Clinton and that He will be able to turn Mr Trump’s hand any way He wants so let us all join together as the Spirit leads us to turn these polls around and speak up for the truth of our Creator God Almighty. It’s even now so maybe we can turn it totally against abortion and every act of evil. We must stand together.

  • jgmusgrove

    And when are black leaders going to realize that Hillary has praised Margaret Sanger, the racist who wanted to exterminate black people? How can they vote for her against their own lives?

    • Informed in Missouri

      Yes, and how can they vote against the Bible concerning abortion?

  • SophieA

    Encouraged by the phrase “nasty, brutish, and short” proving that Hobbes’ ideas reach and inform us centuries after he wrote them during a similar political tumultuous time (although much less violent) in England. Maybe we finally can learn from history rather than doomed to repeat it.

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