Snopes Misrepresents the Facts and Wrongly Defends Hillary

Let the Christians beware.

By Michael Brown Published on October 24, 2016

After writing my October 15 article, “Christian Conservatives, Be Assured That President Hillary Clinton Will Declare War on You,” I came across an August 8, 2016 article on Snopes.com, denying that “Hillary Clinton said in a speech that Christians in America must deny their faith in Christianity.” (Snopes is a widely-used, fact-checking website.)

I began my article stating, “Make no mistake about it. If you are a conservative Christian and Hillary Clinton becomes our next president, she will declare war on certain aspects of your faith. Your religious liberties will be targeted, and your biblical beliefs will be branded disturbing, if not downright dangerous.”

Did I exaggerate or misstate the facts?

According to Snopes, I did, although, quite obviously, the Snopes article, posted two months before mine, was responding to earlier claims on some right-wing websites, not to my article.

Who got the facts right? Let me present the relevant information to you, and you can be the judge.

Note first, however, that in my article, I did not cite any of the websites critiqued by Snopes but rather an article from the Washington Post. There, the author, Marc Theissen, cited the same 2015 Hillary speech Snopes was discussing, claiming that, “Hillary Clinton made a stunning declaration of war on religious Americans.”

He added, “This is perhaps the most radical statement against religious liberty ever uttered by someone seeking the presidency. It is also deeply revealing. Clinton believes that, as president, it is her job not to respect the views of religious conservatives but to force them to change their beliefs and bend to her radical agenda favoring taxpayer-funded abortion on demand.”

Are these concerns valid?

Note also that Snopes was not dealing with Hillary’s 2011 remarks supporting LGBT activism, remarks which offended leaders all over Africa by attacking their religious beliefs and cultural values, as mentioned in my article as well.

Snopes was focused only on Hillary’s 2015 speech, stating, “On 23 April 2015, Hillary Clinton delivered the keynote address at the annual Women in the World Summit in New York City. In a 20-minute speech that touched on the triumphs and challenges of improving the plight of women and girls worldwide, Clinton emphasized the work yet to be done.”

Snopes then cited several excerpts from the speech where Hillary spoke to these women about things like the gender gap in schools and domestic violence still protected by law. And, she said, “We’ve cut the mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth.”

It was immediately after this that she stated, “All the laws we’ve passed don’t count for much if they’re not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”

This was the line that so alarmed Marc Theissen (and many others), the line that I cited in my article as well.

Snopes, however, saw no connection between Hillary’s words and an attack on our religious faith, noting, “Interestingly, within a day of Clinton’s address, an excerpt from the passage above was being passed around on the Internet, misrepresented as a demand for Christians to renounce their faith.”

Snopes was actually incredulous that anyone could make such a claim, writing, “Having read the pertinent paragraphs from Clinton’s actual speech above, one might well wonder how her call for the enforcement of laws protecting the rights of women in countries with deep-seated cultural biases morphed into a demand for American Christians to deny their faith.”

Really? It’s that hard to connect the dots?

Let’s put the key parts of her speech together to remove all ambiguity. Hillary said that “far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth,” explaining that “laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”

As we all know, in Hillary Clinton’s lexicon, the phrase “reproductive health care” includes a woman’s “right” to abortion, and so, when it comes to our resistance to abortion, “deep seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”

That sounds pretty clear to me.

In keeping with this radical philosophy, LifeSiteNews notes, “The Democratic Party’s 2016 platform pledges to ‘stand up’ for Planned Parenthood, fund abortion nationwide and around the world, vows to ‘overturn’ state and federal restrictions on abortion, proposes cracking down on pro-life sidewalk counselors, and affirms abortion as ‘core’ to people’s ‘health and well-being.’”

To repeat Hillary’s words again, “deep seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”

Accordingly, she would certainly support the new California law, just upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court (referenced in my article) which requires pro-life pregnancy centers to refer clients to local abortion clinics.

So, did Snopes get things right? It’s all quite clear to me, but you must be the judge, asking yourself, “Is Snopes really seeking truth and examining facts, or is Snopes revealing its liberal bias?”

A June, 2016 article in the Daily Caller titled “Fact-Checking Snopes” agrees with my conclusions, stating that the “Website’s Political ‘Fact-Checker’ Is Just A Failed Liberal Blogger.”

Let the Christians beware.

[Addendum: As an astute reader pointed out, in Hillary Clinton’s own words, and as cited in the Snopes article, her comments were “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.” So, it was Hillary herself who applied her very direct comments to America as well.]

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  • Also, Snopes’ own quotation shows that immediately after the “have to be changed” passage Mrs. Clinton said the work has to be done “not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

    • ARB

      This is an extremely important part of waterproofing the argument, and should be included in the article. The claim which Snopes attempts to disprove is that Hillary is saying that [Christians in America] [must deny their faith (in Christianity)]. Snopes defends its “false” conclusion on the basis that her claims are being taken out of context; yet she explicitly extends her argument to the USA. Further, it takes a little bit more work to assert that respect for Life is intrinsic to Christianity, as frauds like Clinton and Kaine have been pretending to be Christians for many decades now. One could immediately argue that Hillary Clinton said that American *conservative* Christians (or genuine Catholics) must deny their faith, as such faith necessarily engenders a value for human life and thus opposition towards childmurder, but she could also just be arguing that Americans should become lukewarm, treacherous mockeries of Christ like herself.

  • spadestick

    Snopes : the biggest lying liberal “fact checker” outlet on the Internet. half truths are not the truth. Believers be warned, or you may get sucked right into their deceptive methods of subversion.

  • Dean Bruckner

    An excellent example of “deceiving and being deceived.” Snipe has utterly left st it’s way and its only outcome is to fall into a pit along with those it leads astray.

  • Artemisia1

    Nope. first, note that Mr. Theissen’s article is clearly marked “Opinion”. He’s decided to inject alarm into the Christian community over a remark that has nothing to do with them or their beliefs. This does no one any favors; all heat, no light.
    I’m with her on this one. She is talking about cultures where women are routinely beaten, married off to older men when they are barely teens, have their genitals mutilated, kept out of school, made to be household slaves to their husband’s family, etc. These horrific practice, driven by “cultural codes and religious beliefs”, have to change if women in those cultures are to live free and fulfilling lives.

    • HiJinks

      She was also talking about abortion in the US. You need to recognize the “code words” they use in their talking points. All politicians do it. That’s why in interviews you can never get them to say “yes” or “no” to straight forward controversial questions. However, once they get elected, their true colors show, which doesn’t always agree with their campaign statements and other matters they implied. BTW, she is on record as favoring abortion at anytime.

  • Franklin Dzioba

    PolitFact is the same as Snopes. I read a critic of Glenn Beck, where they called a “pant on fire” liar when he spoke about a book that Obama’s science czar co-wrote. Glenn said he was advocating depopulation of humans, PolitiFact said he wasnt and gave a link to the book. Only problem is when I read the page in the book it seemed Glenn Beck was right!?! I emailed them and said that although someone could view the comments in the book differently it was impossible for what he said to be a lie when I viewed them exactly the same way. The never responded, they just removed the link to the book. Places like Snopes rely on people who look at the titles and judgments only. They are frauds.

    • HiJinks

      I agree. I had a similar problem with Snopes when I pointed out to them that their calling of a situation “False” when I (as well as thousands of others) knew it to be “True”. They even cited an article in the NY Times to back up their claim. However, when I searched the article on the internet, it actually backed up my claim, not theirs. When I posted again that they were wrong and pointed out where in the NY Times article it backed my claim up, they not only deleted the citation from the NY Times, but also blocked me from further commenting on their site.
      Another instance (before I was blocked), was a claim they made to someone else’s comment that they were biased to the left and most negative claims against a Democrat were “False” while most claims against a Republican were “True”. Their response was they were objective in their “fact-checking” and the commenter was wrong. I went through their site a high percentage of their claims – both true and false backed the commenter not their so-called objectivity. IMO, they are a bunch of leftists and members of the extreme left-wing of the Democrat party.
      Glenn Kessler, who writes the “Fact Checker” for the Washington Post was interviewed a while back about the objectivity of the “so-called fact-checkers”. As I recall, he stated there was bias in favor of the left and the Democrat party. He did claim, he was only somewhat biased and has awarded “Pinocchios” to Democrats when the other “fact-checkers” ignored the situation (or in some cases spun it otherwise). I also recall him saying that he was a registered Republican at one time, but no longer (maybe a requirement by the Washington Post?).

  • Andrew R

    ‘Note also that Snopes was not dealing with Hillary’s 2011 remarks supporting LGBT activism, remarks which offended leaders all over Africa by attacking their religious beliefs and cultural values, as mentioned in my article as well.’

    The leaders you quote as being offended are ones who passed laws that mean a straight person can be PUT TO DEATH, simply for failing to report another person to the authorities for being homosexual. Mr Brown, and any readers, do you support such a law? Honestly, would you want someone to be executed for that reason? If not, then why is it relevant whether a leader who introduced such a law is offended byHillary’s remarks? That you think it IS relevant suggests you support those laws. Would YOU want Americans to be executed for failing to hand in neighbours they know to be homosexual?

  • honesttoGod

    Not long ago, this site encouraged the religious right to check Snopes before posting crazy things. I commented at the time that that was good advice, but that this site bore its own responsibility for casting doubt on reasonable sources of information. I knew it couldn’t last. In fact, Clinton does not suggest anything like going to war on Christianity. As is tacitly admitted in this article itself, she says not word one about abortion– the author here “reads” abortion when Clinton says something about “reproductive health care” So how about we “read” the whole sentence, “Yes, we’ve cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth.” First, though the U.S. does have a shameful rate of maternal and infant mortality for an industrialized nation, it is pretty clear that she’s not talking about the U.S. here. And while it is true that under all of the possible options for reproductive health care that Clinton supports abortion is one, suggesting that abortion is primarily what she means here does incredible violence to the sentence. The reference to the United States comes as a part of a statement about making full participation of women and girls in society isn’t just limited to the 3rd world. The West hasn’t gotten there yet, either.

    ” As I have said, and as I believe, the advancement of the full participation of women and girls in every aspect of their societies is the great unfinished business of the 21st century.

    And not just for women, but for everyone. And not just in far away countries, but right here in the United States.

    We know that when women are strong, families are strong. When families are strong, countries are strong. So this is about more than just unleashing the full potential of women.”

    The rest of the speech deals with equal pay for equal work, with affordable daycare, with paid maternal leave, and other issues that are issues in the U.S. and other nations. There is not another mention of changing religious values. There is not another mention of anything that could remotely be “read” as abortion (there isn’t ANYTHING that can legitimately be read as referring primarily to abortion, including the passage read that way by the author). Not saying that Snopes isn’t biased; not saying that they are. But I will say that their reading of the text in question is a far more plausible and reasonable reading than that offered in this article, so claiming that they are biased based on this evidence is a non-starter.

    • S_O_T_A

      “As is tacitly admitted in this article itself, she says not word one about abortion– the author here “reads” abortion when Clinton says something about “reproductive health care”

      If you want to be taken seriously, don’t play word games to explain away word games.

      • honesttoGod

        it is not a word game to question the interpretation of a word when someone’s entire argument turns on the meaning of the term. It’s not game playing either when one concedes that the word includes the meaning the other gives it. Nor is it a “word game” to look at the context in which the term is used when deciding what the term means in that particular case. Or, if it is a word game, it is a word game called “reading.”

        • Gregory Peterson

          “Reproductive health care” starts before a female even becomes a woman, such as with age appropriate comprehensive sex ed.

        • HiJinks

          What a crock you have been spewing. “Reproductive health care” has always been the left’s code word for abortion. Those doctors dealing in late-term abortion need to be prosecuted for murder. There have already been videos of them crushing the skulls of premature babies from late-term abortions. Science is already well on the road in determining that living cells are “life”. Once you have a fetus developing, it is life and that happens after 8 weeks; and, if you want to get technical, an embryo, which develops after 16 days, which is the first stages of life, is when the organs begin to develop.
          I have no issue with someone taking the “morning after” pill as it takes 12-24 hours for the “egg” to be fertilized. I also have no issue with abortion from rape or incest if done early enough – yes, I realize many women are ashamed to be in such a predicament, especially rape. But education at the start of child-bearing years (or somewhat before) to explain that it is not their fault and needs to be reported (and keep explaining – parents and/or school) and they should get treatment as soon as possible can help. Incest (non-consensual is rape) if consensual, is a much harder problem as the female willingly participated. In either case, the problem is compounded by it dealing with family members plus if one partner wants the baby and the other does not. Regardless, this is no different than if they were not family.
          I also have no issue with the situation when the life of the mother is at risk where one of the two will absolutely die. Some women would give up their life for that of the baby and others would not plus it may be possible that both could survive the necessary surgery to remove the baby and put it on life support for the remainder of the gestation period.

    • Philippe de Lespinay

      “Not long ago, this site encouraged the religious right to check Snopes before posting crazy things.”
      That would have been before a certain desperation moment when even people with basic integrity lost their cool as their entire Utopia empire appeared to be threatened by the peons and peasants of We the People VS US The Powerful Know It All Government.

      • honesttoGod

        Interesting. Isn’t the goal of this site for that government to tell women what sort of medical procedures they can have, on the basis of a particular reading of a particular religious tradition? Deciding what can go on inside someone’s body seems like a “Powerful Know It All Government” to me. Or is that what you meant?

        • Philippe de Lespinay

          HonesttoGod, I am not a religious person but I believe in what our Founding Fathers expressed, “freedom of religion”, not as the American left wants to push, “freedom FROM religion”. That the Constitution makes it clear that the “government shall make no laws…”, nowhere does it say that it should not be practicing a religion in some form.
          This government we have today has no religion, and whatever “church appearances” the president and his entourage perform today for the TV cameras, is window dressing for the 80% of people in United States who believe in and follow the moral values of a religion, or simply believe in a God. Hence this window dressing disappears when this government encourages, finances and protects in any possible form, what said religious people consider wholesale murder of the “unborn”, some of them so close to be born that they certainly look no different of the actually born, the Justice Department of said government making it a crime of murdering a baby but making it legal to kill the baby if still inside the womb.
          Snopes is on this “progressive” government side (if wholesale murder of babies can be considered a progress), and no longer makes much effort to look for actual facts in its assertion of what is true of false. This has been shown especially over the past 4 years, multiple times, when their verdict contradicted the actual facts of a politically oriented case, because of its twisted slant.
          So its credibility and that of its operatives is damaged enough that it can no longer be considered as a reliable source of establishing the truth.
          Hence whatever this site approved of it in the past, it certainly does not now.

          • honesttoGod

            I think “make no laws” means “MAKE NO LAWS”– the government has no business having anything to do with religion, period. It should not encourage, nor discourage, any religious belief. Now, the 1st Amendment Establishment and Free Exercise clauses are widely understood to be inspired by the Statute of religious freedom in the State of Virginia, which was written by Thomas Jefferson. This is the same Jefferson who says of religious freedom that government has no interest in belief but only in actions, and those only insofar as they harm others. In his Notes on the State of Virginia, he says, “But it does me no injury if my neighbor says there are 20 gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg.” And thus is beyond the reach of the state.

            I won’t say much about abortion except to point out that the rates of abortion are down, and go further down as birth control becomes more accessible. Also, the vast majority of abortions happen in the first trimester, and women who have carried almost to term obviously intended to give birth (is that really so hard to recognize?) so if they are considering abortion, something has gone disastrously wrong.

            I’m not going to spend lots of time defending Snopes, but I will maintain that in this specific case what I said before is correct, and their interpretation of Clinton’s remarks is far more reasonable than the article’s, and so their conclusion is far more justified than the competing claim in the article.

          • Philippe de Lespinay

            “I think “make no laws” means “MAKE NO LAWS”– the government has no business having anything to do with religion, period.”
            Where does it say, “the government shall not allow any use of religious symbols on public property, money or verbiage”?

          • honesttoGod

            As a matter of fact, the free exercise clause means that an individual can be on public property with a religious symbol or pray, etc. like students in school– there is no prohibition against folks praying, just against the organization of the same by the school. Erecting a cross on public land, having “In God We Trust” on currency, organizing prayer in school all clearly violate the Establishment clause. In all those cases, the government is giving tacit endorsement to the religious expression that it is organizing, giving the space for, or creating. It’s not hard to see that this reading is consonant with the Constitution, as the Constitution itself has no references to God or religion at all, save the prohibition of there being any religious test in order to hold office. The 1st Amendment protects religion by forbidding the state from messing with it at all.

          • Philippe de Lespinay

            Which is of course your personal opinion. One wonders why the SCOTUS has held pro-religious decisions for over 220 years, and that only since avowed Marxist (at least in their youths and words) have populated it in the recent past, and due to the pressing business of the ACLU to eradicate any religious symbols from public (and now private) land and from education, that has now changed.
            A country without a moral compass won’t last long. Which moral compass does it have when its own justice department selectively decide which laws to apply and which to ignore and the Christian morality on which the country’s Constitution was based, are stepped all over as obsolete and even “dangerous”?

          • honesttoGod

            The ACLU has no interest in religious expression in private except to defend it. And as an individual, it has no issue with your expression of religion in public– except again, to defend it. And Marxists? That does explain it all.

          • Philippe de Lespinay

            The ACLU was founded by avowed Marxists, which of course does not appear to matter to you.
            The ACLU is little interested in defending the US Constitution, and more interested in chipping at it, one little chip at a time. I think that there is no further need for me to be involved in this conversation.

          • aaacccc

            Laws regulating abortion do not encourage, or discourage, any religious belief. They stem to a large degree FROM religious belief but so do laws prohibiting murder. They aren’t the same thing.

          • honesttoGod

            I’m not sure how this is a response to my comment, since I did not talk about abortion except to note that abortion rates go down as contraceptive availability and use go up, and that they are currently down, and that third trimester abortions are rare, and happen mostly to women who intended to carry to term until something goes dangerously wrong.

            I will say that the determination of fetal personhood is largely a religious and philosophical question, and predicating abortion restrictions on that basis does write into law a particular religious doctrine regarding the issue. As for laws against murder coming from religious belief– given the ubiquity of the prohibition against murder, to say it comes from religious belief is a bit thin. One does not have to turn to religious doctrine to explain or justify it.

  • spadestick

    All stream readers need to #VotePlatformNotPerson

  • Gregory Peterson

    That’s “Marc Thiessen.”

    He quotes her as saying: “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”

    She’s talking about the ill effects of sexism that is justified by deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases.

    Not only that, but segregation and racism in the United States was justified by deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases. Yet the Southern Baptists and other white conservative religious people did in fact change their deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases. The SBC even approved of a rather weak apology for having those deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases in the first place.

    Sec. Clinton, like myself, is a United Methodist, though she is a much more devout one. Do you really think that we want to people to deny our faith and the faith of our close relatives (I have missionaries and a UM pastor on both sides of my family) and friends?

    We don’t. We just want less sexism and more education and empowerment for women segregated and denied opportunities because of their sex.

    • סנדרו ריבי

      “Sec. Clinton, like myself, is a United Methodist, though she is a much more devout one.”
      QUESTION: “Is she a Christian?” Does she believe the Bible? “Do not kill?”
      What about abortion?
      She might be a United Methodist, but she is not a Jesus following Christian.

      • Gregory Peterson

        White “conservative” Evangelicals have a long, pathetic and sometimes even lethal history of claiming that “those people who disagree with me” aren’t “real” Christians.

        This is the movement, after all, which had often claimed that Abolitionist Evangelicals weren’t true “Bible Believers”and therefore thought that they knew better than God.

        Fred Clark of the “Slacktivist” blog wrote about that trait just yesterday.

        • aaacccc

          The way you keep trying to link opposition to abortion with racist attitudes is very dishonest. Every reference to abortion is met with some reference to some historical racist attitude or slavery or something. This is very obnoxious and dishonest.

          • Gregory Peterson

            No, I’m linking anti-legal abortion activism with dangerous patriarchal attitudes, of which racism and American slavery were two manifestations.

    • aaacccc

      Why are you equating opposition to abortion with racial attitudes? Or are you pretending she’s not talking about abortion? Either is quite dishonest.

      “Sec. Clinton, like myself, is a United Methodist, though she is a much more devout one. Do you really think that we want to people to deny our faith and the faith of our close relatives (I have missionaries and a UM pastor on both sides of my family) and friends?”

      “We don’t. We just want less sexism and more education and empowerment for women segregated and denied opportunities because of their sex.”

      Somehow you are trying to equate whatever Clinton (and yourself) say with the Methodist faith. This is a nice helping of Democrat misdirection baloney.

      • Gregory Peterson

        I’m linking anti-legal abortion activism with dangerous patriarchal attitudes. Racism and Evangelical pro-slavery activism drew upon the same patriarchal attitudes.

        • aaacccc

          “Racism and Evangelical pro-slavery activism drew upon the same patriarchal attitudes”.

          So a made up “fact” forms the foundation of your “thinking”. This type of made up “fact” is taught in virtually every major college by leftist lunatics who specialize in making up “facts”. Maybe that’s where you got that from – some loony left college course you took.

  • agmvcc

    One could argue reasonably that abortion increases the infant mortality rate…

  • Matthew McDonald

    You Querie-“Is it that hard to connect the dots?” -should answer itself. If you are presenting to me proof of a war on Christians, the majority religion by far in the USA, and in the Senate, House, and Presidency since the birth of this great nation. If that querie is part of your proof positive statement of a war on Christians, i.e. connect the dots of a minor theme in a speech about women’s health to the apocolypse -you are on shaky if not quaking ground. To much evil and wrong minded thinking has come from connecting dots in world history, creating false impressions and hatred because of paranoia from connecting dots to come up with far reaching and insane conclusions. There is no war on Christians in the USA, just to many Christians like yourself creating doomsday scenarios to scare the wits out of innocent Godly people. Connect the Dots has to be the worst possible phrase one can use in a persuasive essay, English 101.

  • Ian4j

    It is clear as daylight what Mrs Clinton proposes and it will be diabolic if she and her husband are once again in the Whitehouse

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