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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.”

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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.

“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.

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“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.

“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

Betsy DeVos, Ben Carson send anti-trans signals to Trump’s evangelical base

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While Trump grabs headlines, his Cabinet members quietly use transphobia to shore up white evangelical support

The white evangelical vote is almost certainly a lock for Donald Trump in 2020, but it appears the president is taking no chances of losing this critical voting block. One major part of that strategy appears to be quietly deploying his Cabinet members, especially those associated with the Christian right, to generate stories highlighting the Trump administration's overt bigotry toward trans people, and its eagerness to deprive trans Americans of basic rights.

Just this week, both Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson snagged coverage by making community visits that were ostensibly for noble purposes, but were clearly meant to signal to Christian right voters their hostility to trans rights.

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Elections 2016

Intelligence official directly contradicts Trump administration’s excuses for suppressing whistleblower

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A top official in the intelligence community has disputed the factual basis for the Trump administration’s suppression of a whistleblower complaint believed to regard the potential misconduct of the president himself, a new letter released Thursday revealed.

The letter was made public by House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA). He is locked into a fierce and potentially explosive dispute with an array of forces within the administration to obtain the complaint, which was made through proper channels by an intelligence official last month to the community’s inspector general. Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson determined that the complaint was “credible” and “urgent,” and subsequent reporting from the Washington Post found that it concerns a “promise” made by Trump in communication with a foreign leader.

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Longtime GOP strategist explains why his party is getting crushed in the war of ideas

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Republican strategist Stuart Stevens on Wednesday warned the GOP that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) might not be a pushover candidate against President Donald Trump in 2020.

Writing on Twitter, Stevens admitted that he had "no idea" if Warren would beat Trump next year, but he did say that "Trump and supporters are destroying [the] credibility of any center-right argument" thanks to Trump's "corrupt and unstable" governance.

When one of Stevens' followers said that Warren would not be able to fulfill her promises just by taxing the wealthy, he countered that this idea is still more popular than anything Republicans are championing.

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