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Watch Bernie Sanders’ refreshing answer about faith and religion during New Hampshire town hall

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) laid out how his faith intersects with his progressive beliefs during Wednesday’s Democratic Party town hall.

Sanders’ remarks came in response to a question from CNN host Anderson Cooper.

“You’re Jewish, but you’ve said that you’re not actively involved with organized religion,” Cooper said. “What do you say to a voter out there who says— and that who sees faith as a guiding principle in their lives, and wants it to be a guiding principle for this country?”

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“It’s a guiding principle in my life, absolutely, it is,” Sanders began. He explained that everyone practices their faith differently and acknowledged that he wouldn’t be running if he didn’t have a strong religious and spiritual understanding, then continued.

“I believe that, as a human being, the pain that one person feels, if we have children who are hungry in America, if we have elderly people who can’t afford their prescription drugs, you know what, that impacts you, that impacts me,” the senator said. “And I worry very much about a society where some people spiritually say, it doesn’t matter to me, I got it, I don’t care about other people. So my spirituality is that we are all in this together and that when children go hungry, when veterans sleep out on the street, it impacts me. That’s my very strong spiritual feeling.”

Later in the event, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke about her faith and service in response to a question concerning ambition and humility.

Clinton began by saying she was fortunate to have her faith to fall back on and that she has had to struggle with many of these issues such as “ambition and humility, about service and self-gratification.” She said, however that it is incumbent upon those in the public arena to be “as self-conscious as possible.”

She also acknowledged that it isn’t easy to talk about herself rather than stories she hears from people she meets at events to convey the things she cares about and that touch her personally.

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“I have had to come to grips with how much more difficult it often is for me to talk about myself than to talk about what I want to do for other people…So I’m constantly trying to balance how do I assume the mantle of a position as essentially august as president of the United States not lose track of who I am, what I believe in and what I want to do to serve? I have that dialogue at least, you know, once a day in some setting or another. And I don’t know that there is any ever absolute answer, like, OK, universe, here I am, watch me roar or oh, my gosh, I can’t do it, it’s just overwhelming, I have to retreat.”

She touted her relationship with faith advisors who often email her scripture or passages they plan to teach in their services and that it has helped her stay grounded. Clinton also discussed the difficulties that she experienced in a very public way, perhaps a reference to her husband’s past indiscretions. She cited the prodigal son parable in the Bible saying that it reminded her to be grateful.

“Everybody knows I have lived a very public life for the last 25 or so years. And so I’ve had to be in public dealing with some very difficult issues and personal issues, political, public issues,” she said, before citing a treatment of the prodigal son parable by Dutch Catholic priest Henri Nouwen.

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“I read that parable and there was a line in it that became just a lifeline for me. And it basically is practice the discipline of gratitude,” she said. “So regardless of how hard the days are, how difficult the decisions are, be grateful. Be grateful for being a human being, being part of the universe.”

Watch the full video below:

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Elections 2016

Olympic athletes in ‘impossible position’ – Canada

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Canadian Olympic chiefs said Monday the health and safety of athletes had prompted the country's decision to withdraw its team from the Tokyo Olympics amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A day after Canada became the first team to announce its withdrawal from the July 24-August 9 Games, Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) chief David Shoemaker said athletes had been left in an "impossible position."

With public health authorities urging individuals to stay inside to curb the spread of COVID-19, athletes had been caught between a desire to heed health and safety advice while trying to minimize disruption to training programs.

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Elections 2016

Vietnamese women strive to clear war-era mines

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Inching across a field littered with Vietnam war-era bombs, Ngoc leads an all-women demining team clearing unexploded ordnance that has killed tens of thousands of people -- including her uncle.

"He died in an explosion. I was haunted by memories of him," Le Thi Bich Ngoc tells AFP as she oversees the controlled detonation of a cluster bomb found in a sealed-off site in central Quang Tri province.

More than 6.1 million hectares of land in Vietnam remain blanketed by unexploded munitions -- mainly dropped by US bombers -- decades after the war ended in 1975.

At least 40,000 Vietnamese have since died in related accidents. Victims are often farmers who accidentally trigger explosions, people salvaging scrap metal, or children who mistake bomblets for toys.

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Elections 2016

Chief Justice John Roberts issues New Year’s Eve warning to stand up for democracy

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In a progressive welcoming move, Chief Justice John Roberts issued his New Year's Eve annual report urging his fellow federal judges to stand up for democracy.

"In our age, when social media can instantly spread rumor and false information on a grand scale, the public's need to understand our government, and the protections it provides, is ever more vital," he wrote. "We should celebrate our strong and independent judiciary, a key source of national unity and stability."

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