‘Grace Notes’: The quiet unshakable faith of Hillary Clinton (COMMENTARY)

Print More
Former first lady Hillary Clinton departs St. Ignatius Loyola Church following fashion designer Oscar de la Renta's memorial service in the Manhattan borough of New York on November 3, 2014. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-HILLARY-FAITH, originally transmitted on April 8, 2015.

Former first lady Hillary Clinton departs St. Ignatius Loyola Church following fashion designer Oscar de la Renta's memorial service in the Manhattan borough of New York on November 3, 2014. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-HILLARY-FAITH, originally transmitted on April 8, 2015.

Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content by logging-in here.

WASHINGTON (RNS) “Grace notes," as she calls them, are the gifts that are "undeserved but bestowed by the everyday joys, beauties, kindnesses, pleasures of life that can strike a deep chord of connection between us and the divine."

  • Pingback: ‘Grace Notes': The quiet unshakable faith of Hillary Clinton (COMMENTARY) - by Father Ron Gronowski - Rev Ron Gronowski - The Reverend()

  • bqrq

    Like most Democrats, Hillary proactively circumvents the will and rights of parents, whereby she appeals directly to children and young people, and excites their approval and support for gay marriage. In this manner, Hillary openly flaunts and practices flagrant immorality, and leads others to do likewise.

  • While I believe and readily receive both grace and forgiveness, I more easily show forgiveness than grace. I recognize that and strive to better demonstrate that which I eagerly and so willingly accept.

    Ambassador Stephens and Benghazi come to mind.

    If I were a conspiracy theorist I would suspect this piece as being a preemptive, “Let’s make Secretary Clinton look all warm and fuzzy. .. Loveable even.”

  • Cranmer

    Are you serious @bqrq? Sometimes I think you’re just trolling, but then I wonder if you really are that crazy!

  • Cranmer

    Um, Benghazi? Really? You do know that the Senate-led committee report on that shows ABSOLUTELY NO WRONG DOING by the administration, right? I mean, Fox barely reported that FACT, so you might have missed it.

  • Fran

    The best leader is Christ Jesus, who will soon solve all the problems on earth through his millennial rule from God’s kingdom or heavenly government (Daniel 2:44) as King.

    His rule will be righteous, loving and just instead of corrupt, selfish and greedy (Isaiah 11:1-9), and put an end to all wicked ones.

    After completion of that rule, sickness, disease, old age and death will be non-existent on earth (Revelation 21:1-4). Which human leader can accomplish ALL of these things?

  • Doc Anthony

    But it does seem like a bit of a puff piece, doesn’t it?

    Sure would be nice to see a similar RNS article for the REAL American presidential candidate, Mr. Mike Huckabee!

  • C. M. Sheffield

    Is this guy serious? He would have us believe Hillary Clinton is a homely sounding saint dropping heavenly bits of wisdom like Mother Theresa to her adoring devotees. This is perhaps the most ridiculous fluff pieces I ever read.

    The only God Hillary Clinton worships is herself and she will say and do whatever she has to do to secure her place as president of the United States. God help us if the electorate is dumb enough to make that a reality.

  • Doc Anthony

    You gotta admit, however, she DID do that US Ambassador wrong. Like with Vince Foster and Ron Brown, it seems that somebody always wind up dead without any good explanations.

    Now we don’t want **America** to wind up dead, do we?

  • valerie kirshenbaum

    Burns you wrote a beautiful piece except there’s one big problem here. Those of us who don’t know her, but listen to her own words, watch her interviews, get a completely different impression of her. The side of her you are sharing does not at all come through in public. It’s as if there’s a certain wall she sets up that does not allow her to open up in public like that… and this might be why she has such a rapport problem with us. Why can’t we see what you see?

    Honestly reading that piece if you hadn’t attached her name to it in a zillion years I never would have guessed it was Hillary. That sort of compassionate faith is not in sync with her public persona. There’s a total disconnect.

    Yes, sure, if she’s really the person you describe, I’d love to vote for her. I just don’t see even a mustard seed’s worth of evidence coming from her own public words and actions.

  • Jack

    Picture Religious News Service allowing such a piece about Republicans, like Jeb Bush or Scott Walker or Ted Cruz.


    But seriously, I wish it would……

    Why? Because it humanizes our politicians. It’s easy to demonize or dehumanize we’ve never met and simply judge people’s moral fitness based on their politics or beliefs. I’m glad to read about the human side of Hillary.

    And now, Religion News Service, will you accept a similar piece about the human side of Hillary’s potential GOP opponents?

  • Jack

    The guy isn’t a great writer, but in his defense, he did show the humanity of Hillary…..That’s fair and that’s good.

    Again, I want to know if Religion News Service will allow Republican candidates for president to be praised in similar fashion by future writers.

  • Jack

    Valerie, to be fair, I do believe the writer is telling us the truth about what he saw in Hillary, but his problem is that his writing is so gushy and flowery and almost a kind of hero worship, it sounds like the sort of thing folks in North Korea write about Dear Leader.

    He should have had his wife do some editing to turn it down a notch.

  • Jack

    Cranmer, come on. No smoking guns have surfaced, but that hardly means there’s nothing there. You have to be a willfully blind Kool-Aid drinking cultist to believe that the major questions surrounding Benghazi have been answered. They’re still out there with no explanation in sight.

  • Jack

    The man says she consistently treated him with exceptional kindness and if he said it, Occam’s Razor says she probably did.

    His mistake was to turn what could have been a simple, generous glimpse into a side to Hillary we don’t see and turn it into a dramatic, over-the-top hero-worship ode, ending in a naked political pitch for the nation to vote for her.

  • Jack

    The question answers itself, Fran.

    One motto of the American Revolution was “no king but Jesus.”

    Not a bad one at that.

  • Nate

    I will say this as someone who will probably vote for Hillary if she is the democratic candidate and the republicans stay on the trajectory they are on: This article is pretty much a pro-Hillary hagiography. I felt like I was reading campaign literature. Perhaps this should be “sponsored content” at RNS.

  • Greg

    Didn’t Hillary write a book called, It Takes a Village? She is definitely a leftist.

  • Greg

    When reading this piece I thought he same thing, wondering when Mr. Strider was going to write such a love letter to Carly Fiorina? Well, we probably shouldn’t hold our collective breath.

  • Larry

    But not a motto of the nascent American nation. Some people I guess needed a religious cause to do the right thing.

  • Pingback: ‘Grace Notes': The quiet unshakable faith of Hillary Clinton (COMMENTARY) | Jews & Muslims()

  • CIndyLeinwand

    Wow – CM so NOT True – Hillary has always had not only deep religious faith, but deep faith in ppl. It’s funny she would call them “Grace notes” because filled with grace & class is how most ppl who know her see her.

  • CIndyLeinwand

    That’s very true, that side of her does not come through the camera and when I tell my friends how warm she is in person they look at me like I’m nuts. She’s very kind, very thoughtful, very VERY easy to talk to – not full of herself at all, not entitled at all – always looking out for the other person. None of that comes through the camera – but I think this time around, after serving as Sec of State, she is more comfortable in her own skin, more relaxed in front of the cameras and I think the world that doesn’t yet know her – will see the person the rest of us know and love.

  • Jack

    Well, Larry, it looks like you need to read the opening of the Declaration of Independence, which proclaims that all rights come from God and hence are unalienable.

  • Jack

    Well, Cindy, again, it’s always good to see the human side of politicians so we don’t make them into demons.

    I hope and trust you have the same open attitude toward Republican politicians.

  • Jack

    Greg, I don’t expect Mr. Strider to write such a letter to others….he writes of what and who he knows and that’s perfectly okay.

    What I do wish is for Religion News Service to be publishing similar pieces from aides to Republicans. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening, but I want to be wrong on this.

  • Jack

    Nate, I would like to believe this was a sincere article by someone who has genuine affection for Hillary. I too could do without the hagiography, but as someone who disagrees with Hillary on almost everything except free trade (I’m for it), I still am pleased to read about the good things about her or anyone else.

  • Teresa L Welby

    Beautiful piece, this is the HRC I have always seen through her works and her writing. Those with CDS will never see it, they are too far gone.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    I would welcome his being the nominee of the “Gay Obsessed Party,” that would increase their coming defeat. A majority of Americans reject and condemn his anti-gay political agenda and know it has nothing to do with religion.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    And surely those MWD will soon be found in Iraq…

  • CarrotCakeMan

    100% of the Republican candidates for President want to make LGBT Americans into demons. Why should they get a pass, Jack?

  • SophieCT

    So? What’s wrong with It Takes a Village? Your kids never had a scout leader, a Sunday school teacher, a neighbor who looked out for them? Are you saying that only democrats behave like they’re members of a community?

  • SophieCT

    She already is all warm, fuzzy, and lovable. Benghazi was a tragedy. Those who use their deaths as a political wedge do him a disservice.

  • Shawnie5

    Jack, you forgot, some person named David Barton invented that passage from the Declaration of Independence 200 years before he was born. We have it on very good authority…

  • bqrq

    Thankfully we have much to hope for because there are good and capable GOP candidates who possess greater character, intellect, and leadership abilities than Mrs Clinton.

    Hillary is continually denigrated and disparaged as her sordid history unfolds in front of us.

  • Kevin Eckstrom


  • The Great God Pan

    “You know, there is no such thing as society.”
    –Margaret Thatcher, Queen of Conservatism

  • Conspiratard

    You betcha there are still questions about Benghazi that need to be answered! And the Michelle Obama “Whitey Tape” is still awaiting release, too! Not to mention the video that Andy Breitbart was assassinated over!

    Keep waiting, true believer! You haven’t been proven wrong yet!

  • Greg

    It implies that the breakdown of the American Family is just fine. And for Democrats, that translates to more votes for them, but more misery for the children. Politicians need to be more concerned with America’s future, than their own political skins. And, Hilary is all about Hillary.

  • Cranmer
  • Larry

    So Greg, what is your answer to the breakdown of the American family?

    Dishonest, hypocritical enforced shame of single parents?

    Letting children of single or divorced parents starve to death?

    The “solutions” generally offered by conservative Christians only make such problems worse. Marrying young and abstinence before marriage generally results in higher percentages of divorces with children involved. People marry and/or raise children when they lack the means of supporting themselves. Attacking contraception and abortion means more single parents or children in a foster care system.

    At no point have the Christian exhortations to only have sex for procreation been taken seriously at any time in the history of humanity. Its simply an excuse not to address issues plainly in front of you and wag sanctimonious fingers.

  • Larry

    While people in the colonies used the expression, it was not a central rallying cry, nor is it implied in the Declaration of Independence. Members of radical sects first used the phrase in a revolutionary context in England in the mid-17th century during the British Civil War. Groups such as the Diggers and the Levellers believed that after the execution of Charles I, a biblical monarchy was nigh and that Jesus would be the king.

    The phrase was particularly incendiary because it attacked the authority of both king and clergy. In the American colonies, there are some historical references to it being said by Presbyterians who were agitating against the authority of the British king and harkening back to the earlier revolution.

    But it was the Enlightenment, not Revelation, which was the underlying philosophy of the founders…

  • Jack

    The purported theme of “It Takes a Village” is that neighborhood and community life matters and is essential to strong families. I could not agree more.

    The problem is for the past half century, Hillary’s party and Big Government philosophy have been inimical to this very idea. No institution has done more to harm neighborhoods and communities than government, which has ripped apart civil society in the poorest neighborhoods and communities.

  • Larry

    Doc, do you find it the least bit ironic to be supporting a man who openly courted political links to the KKK?

    Huckabee nurtured a relationship with America’s largest white supremacist group, the Council of Conservative Citizens.

    …in 2006, CofCC founder and former White Citizens Council organizer Gordon Lee Baum detailed Huckabee’s dalliances with his group.

  • Jack

    Larry, on this issue, you could not be more mistaken in your response. The far left has been in nearly complete denial mode for about a half century about the role of government through the welfare system in fueling the breakdown of family. You and I have had conversations about this in the past, and you seem not to understand or want to understand just how much devastation this has wrought in some of the poorest areas in the nation. I would say that more than any one issue this nation faces, this one is the dividing line between the majority of liberal, moderate-to-liberal, moderate, and conservative Americans versus the far left. You really have to worship government as the solution to literally every societal challenge in order to blow past this problem.

    As before, I would caution you not to try to BS your way out of this, because you won’t succeed, at least not here. The facts are just too damning.

  • Pingback: The Quiet, Unshakable Faith Of Hillary Clinton - LiberalVoiceLiberalVoice — Your source for everything about liberals and progressives! — News and tweets about everything liberals and progressives()

  • Larry


    So what is your solution again to the breakdown of the American family? Oh right, you are not claiming one.

    Nothing more than finger pointing and sanctimonious attempts at ostracizing single/divorced parents and making ridiculous pronouncements about abstinence [THAT HAVE ALWAYS BEEN IGNORED BY THE GENERAL PUBLIC]

  • Larry

    We already had the puff piece on Rand Paul.

    We have numerous puff piece commentaries by people trying to extol legalized discrimination. Plus Trevin Wax has now joined up to bring us his brand of reactionary politicized nonsense.

    Maybe you weren’t paying close attention in your attempt to besmirch the moderators at this site?

  • Greg

    Yeah. Richard Nixon sure was a great Republican example…fine history that unfolded there.

  • Larry

    “Thankfully we have much to hope for because there are good and capable GOP candidates who possess greater character, intellect, and leadership abilities than Mrs Clinton. ”

    Thankfully the Democratic Party has candidates who possess greater character, intellect, and leadership abilities than Mrs Clinton.

    The GOP has identity issues which are becoming obvious. They are still deciding whether to be the Taliban-lite or handmaidens of big business.

  • Jack

    Larry, seriously, have you actually read the opening of the Declaration of Independence? I don’t want to presume you have when it appears you have not.

    It says our rights come from God. Now just to make sure you don’t weasel out of the box you’re in by disputing that assertion, let’s agree that we’re not dealing with whether that assertion is true. We’re dealing with what its implications are for those who signed onto it.

    An obvious implication or corollary is that they believed God was the ultimate king. And I hate to break it to you, Larry, but that was hardly a….ahem….revolutionary assertion. The Brits believed that too, at least in theory. And since the majority of the signatories, even the deistically inclined ones, accepted some form of Christianity, that would mean Jesus at some point. Not so for Jefferson, but definitely so for most of the others.

    And as for your mentioning the Levelers and others, you’re conflating Christology with escatology.

  • Jack

    Like father….like son….Sidney Blumenthal and his son, Max. Wonderful people…..NOT….

    I’m no fan of Huckabee because of his less-than-stellar record as Ark. gov, but I have no reason to believe that he’s not a basically decent human being…..Unlike you, I don’t automatically judge a person’s character based on their politics. That’s why, as I’ve mentioned on this board, I was glad to read about Hillary’s humane side, even though I disagree profoundly with her politically.

    I’m not surprised that Sidney’s son would try to smear Huckabee’s character. It’s part of what they do, and I’m hard-pressed to decide who’s better (or worse) at it. Once they locate an ideological opponent, they lock in on the person and everything becomes fair game, fact or fiction or some mixture of the two.

  • Jack

    Poor analogy, Carrot Cake Man. The difference is that most of the disturbing, unanswered questions surrounding Benghazi remain unanswered, because people in an obvious position to know what the answers are refuse to provide them.

  • Jack

    See my response, Cranmer……We are still without answers to the most basic questions about what the heck happened in Benghazi. The fact that nothing was proven as to what this one or that one did or didn’t do does not erase that reality.

    To blame any one news network for asking the questions is to blame the messenger. The questions remain, whether we seek to deal with them or whether we try to sweep them under the rug. You can’t blot out the sun by simply closing your eyes. It remains, whether your eyes are open or shut.

  • Jack

    Carrot Cake Man, I hate to break it to you, but LGBT issues are not the only issues in the world.

    There are lots of others, too…..

  • Jack

    No, not at all, Larry. And to be fair, I did not read the Rand Paul piece yet and did not think of it…..When you’re right, you’re right…..and you are right to bring up the Paul piece.

  • Jack

    Good. Thanks for weighing in. And to be fair to RNS, I didn’t read the Rand Paul piece yet and neglected to take that into account. My mistake.

  • Jack

    In other words, Larry is irked that the GOP isn’t universally quaking in fear at the sight of the road warriors of the extremist left, nor it is buying into the medieval demonization of free enterprise.

  • Jack

    I would say it’s a necessary piece, because we do need to hear the good as well as the bad about other people.

  • Pingback: The Quiet, Unshakable Faith Of Hillary Clinton « CauseHub()

  • Shawnie5

    Ever find it entertaining, Jack, how the new atheist revisionists race around playing a massive game of Whack-a-Mole trying to explain away this founder’s statement, and that one, and that one over there,…and, oh no, there’s another one…?

    The poor dears are wearing themselves out. No wonder they’re so grouchy.

  • Shawnie5

    “Dishonest, hypocritical enforced shame of single parents?”

    Hey, you were the one who said single parents are unable to raise their children “sanely.”

    You should be forcibly removed from the registered Democrat rolls for that one!

  • Larry

    What extremist left? You keep invoking them and labeling people as them for nonsense strawman points. If one is to use your definition, anyone to the left of a KKK grand wizard is part of the “Extreme Left”

    Free enterprise does not include monopolization of markets, using political power to manipulate economic forces for pecuniary gain or require people to become the chattel property of their employers.

    So all we are doing is adding to the list of terms you use frequently, but don’t seem to understand.

  • Jack

    Bad move, Larry….but you wouldn’t listen…..

    America’s family problem is not mysterious. Before WW II, the illegitimacy rates were 3% for white America and 11% for black America. A difference, yes, probably due to slavery’s legacy, but both rates were very low compared to today’s rates …about 35% for whites and close to 75% for blacks.

    Note that this rise, occurring in the decades after WW II, corresponded to the rise of the welfare system as a permanent entitlement. Nobody except the farthest of the far left disputes its role in the rise in illegitimacy.

    Government was displacing fathers’ roles. Government also displaced the work of grassroots nonprofit charities. The answer thus involves replacing the welfare state with a system that rewards family formation and in which government partners with local nonprofit poverty fighters instead of competing against them. We began this process in the 1990s. We should complete it today.

  • Jack

    A very apt description, Shawnie, of the predicament of the “new atheists.” The older ones were smart enough to avoid whack-a-mole.

    But the Larry-ites are drawn to it as moths are to the flame.

  • Shawnie5

    I blame the educational system, which has neglected history to an extent that enrages history buffs like my husband and me. I read more reams of The Federalist Papers in school than I care to remember. But these guys seem to never read books — they only read what other atheists say about books.

    The Federalist Papers all by themselves would give them heartburn. Blackstone’s Commentaries, which was the foundation of American common law and legal education, and from which every one of the founders studied, would finish them off for good.

  • Larry

    You want to sell off the “promote general welfare” charge of the Constitution preamble to religious entities.

    After all with all the history of countries and people who solely rely on religious groups for providing for the poor have wiped out poverty as we know it. Oh wait, no they haven’t.

    “…the rise of the welfare system as a permanent entitlement. Nobody except the farthest of the far left blah blah blah”

    Except you omitted the loss of ability of unskilled labor to enter the middle class due to the increasing loss of power of unions, wage stagnation, and the role of conservative social policies upending efforts to lower birthrates. As usual half-true and incomplete.

    Your sole solution is end welfare or government entitlements and parcel off government functions to churches. Letting people starve after all is so much more humane I guess in your eyes.

  • Larry

    Jack, you deliberately tried to quote something that was meant to be misconstrued in a modern context.

    Do you have some article which disputes the one I brought up?

    That the motto about Jesus being the only king was a direct reference to Cromwell and Charles I beheading? I guess not. I am just supposed to take your word on it. After all its not like you tried to quote mine something bereft of its original context. Oh wait, that is exactly what you did.

    No, you want to pretend the 1st Amendment religious freedoms are some kind of myth and that Christians have some kind of privileged positions under the law. That the founders were the progenitors of todays anti-democratic dominionists. Pure fiction.

  • Larry

    Ad hominem Jack strikes again!

    Of course if you really wanted to show the assertions were false, you could bring something up which refutes it. That is far more credible than a personal attack of the author.

    I will be waiting.

  • C. M. Sheffield

    You may want to get back to drinking your cool-aid. If you’re exposed to much more criticism of the foreordained Leader you might develop a twitch.

  • Jack

    No, Larry, it’s obvious from your response that you neither know nor care about the long and sad story of America’s failed wars on poverty since the mid-20th century.

    And it’s equally evident that you forgot our past discussions on this issue.

    I don’t want society to walk away from these issues of poverty and pathology. I want us to engage them as never before.

    But I want us to learn from past mistakes and get it right this time.

    And that means government needs to stop getting in the way of fathers, families and civil society and instead work with them.

    That means government should get out of the social services business, shut down worthless welfare bureaucracies where 90 cents out of every dollar goes to salaries and not the needy, and take the money it saves and fully fund networks of nonprofit poverty fighters in every state, city, and town in the nation.

  • Jack

    Nice try, Larry, but you’re lifting a singular application of it — ie that from the Cromwellian era and the literal eschatological expectations of an imminent return of Christ — and assuming it was never used before or hence by anybody else in any other context.


    I will find the reference, but I recall that even the Brits back in London claimed that the colonists were saying as early as 1774….two years before even declaring independence, “no governor but Jesus.” The Brits understood the context to mean that Jesus came before any governance from London.

    Once independence was declared, and it became a war not merely for their rights as Brits under the Crown, but for their independence, it became “no king but Jesus.”

    While it is possible that they borrowed it from past usage, such as that of the Cromwellian era, the more likely explanation is that it was the logical next step from “no governor but Jesus,” once their goal became independence from King…

  • Larry

    “I will find the reference”

    No you won’t. I certainly won’t take your word for it either. More likely than not, you are having a tough time finding one which isn’t dominionist claptrap or referring to what was discussed in my article.

    Good luck with that.

  • Iralarry

    The immorality is in your head. How is it immoral to be who you are born as? Would you consider it immoral to be white or male? How is genuine love between two people, regardless of their gender, immoral? My comments are not an endorsement for Hillary.

  • Pingback: 5 faith facts about Hillary Clinton, social gospel Methodist to the core | SpokaneFAVS()

  • Pingback: 2016 Presidential Faith: The Democrats - Busted Halo()

  • Pingback: Believe it (or not): Clinton camp likely to downplay religious outreach | Muslim Awaz()

  • Pingback: Democrats, Hillary Clinton Likely to Downplay Religious Outreach in 2016 Campaign | BCNN1 WP()

  • Pingback: BCNN2 » Blog Archive » Democrats, Hillary Clinton Likely to Downplay Religious Outreach in 2016 Campaign()