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Hillary Clinton: Both Faith and Good Works Needed for Salvation

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, in a speech delivered at the Al Smith charity dinner in New York, said people need both faith and good works for salvation.
Photo -- Hillary Clinton arrives to speak during her California primary night rally held in Brooklyn, New York, June 7, 2016.

Reuters/Lucas Jackson

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, in a speech delivered at the Al Smith charity dinner in New York, said people need both faith and good works for salvation.

This belief is one thing that she, as a Methodist, shares in common with Catholics.

“I believe how we treat others is the highest expression of faith and of service,” Clinton said, according to Time. “I am not Catholic. I’m a Methodist. But one of the things we share is a belief that in order to achieve salvation, we need both faith and good works.”

Clinton also talked about what Al Smith went through when he became the Democratic nominee for president in 1928. As a Catholic, Smith suffered from the lack of support from anti-Catholic voters.

School boards sent letters to parents warning them that if Smith became president, reading the Bible or even owning a Bible would not be allowed, according to Clinton.

“Voters were told that he would annul Protestant marriages,” she added.

Clinton called these comments as “appeals to fear and division” that prevent people from giving each other mutual respect.

“Rhetoric like that makes it harder for us to see each other, to respect each other, to listen to each other. And certainly a lot harder to love our neighbor as ourselves,” she said. “I believe how we treat others is the highest expression of faith and of service.”

Clinton does not talk about her faith openly on the campaign trail, but this is not the first time she had done so. In January, while speaking at a school in Knoxville, Iowa, Clinton answered a question from a high school guidance counselor about which of the Ten Commandments aligns with her beliefs.

“I am just curious, how you would say your beliefs align with the Ten Commandments and is that something that’s important to you?” the guidance counselor asked, according to The New York Times.

Clinton replied that she is a person of faith, a Christian and a Methodist. She believed many Christians have a “constant conversation” in their minds about what they should do and how they should do it. She said people with “very strong convictions” should be open to talking about their beliefs with people from other faiths.

“Because different experiences can lead to different conclusions about what is consonant with our faith and how best to exercise it,” she explained.

She said the most important commandment for her is to “love the Lord with all your might and to love your neighbor as yourself.”

She said she also believed that people should be more respectful of others and that judgment is up to God.

“I do believe that in many areas judgment should be left to God, that being more open, tolerant and respectful is part of what makes me humble about my faith,” she said.

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