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Two unfit candidates

Why hasn’t the Religious Left called on Clinton to step down?

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton shake hands after the second presidential debate Associated Press/Photo by John Locher

Two unfit candidates

As negative information about Donald Trump mounted yesterday and today, so did revelations concerning Hillary Clinton’s unfitness for office. Mindy Belz and Evan Wilt covered on WORLD’s website some of that bad news, and before giving more of it, I’d like to set the context by quoting from a perceptive series of tweets offered this morning by Joe Rigney, a theology professor at Bethlehem College & Seminary (founded by John Piper).

Rigney wrote concerning this election,It’s as though God is saying to us: ‘I sent you Trump & Clinton, and still you would not return to me. I sent vileness from one party and corruption from the other party, and still you would not return to me. … Clinton & Trump represent us well. Lies, corruption, selfishness, unbridled ambition, sexual immorality—all committed with a high hand. That’s us.”

He continued, “Trump supporters on the Religious Right & Clinton supporters on the Religious Left are in the same boat. Both of them are trying to manage God’s judgment, embracing Assyria to ward off Egypt or embracing Egypt to ward off Assyria. Instead, as Christians, we ought to embrace the judgments of God.”

Rigney then directed his remarks to conservatives: “We’ve long been accused of being shills for the Republican Party. We’ll vote for any candidate with an (R) provided they pay lip service to our issues. The present election is a great opportunity to prove those accusations false. We can refuse to treat Trump’s (R) as a moral disinfectant.”

He concluded: “Progressive Christians: the same is true for you. Quite frankly, I think it’s more true for you. There is no comparable #NeverHillary movement on the Religious Left. [The Gospel Coalition, Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, WORLD, and Christianity Today] all have rejected Trump. Where are the progressive Christians who refuse to vote for Clinton’s corruption, lies, and mendacity?”

Good question. Many WORLD members vote Republican, so our suggestion that the Republican candidate step aside could have some effect. What do the editors of progressive Christian publications have to say? If they’ve had enough of the Clinton campaign’s lies and are suggesting that Hillary Clinton step aside—a development we at WORLD would welcome, although we have no influence regarding that—we’ll be glad to reprint their comments.

So what are yesterday’s and today’s Clinton revelations, beyond those reported by my colleagues? Here are a few that amplified long-standing concerns:

Does Clinton care more about power than principle? Clinton adviser Joel Benenson apparently asked in an email, “Do we have any sense from her what she believes or wants her core message to be?”

Did Clinton get debate questions in advance? The Wall Street Journal reported, “A day before a CNN Democratic presidential town hall event, [Donna] Brazile [vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee] sent Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri an email with the heading: ‘From time to time I get the questions in advance.’ Ms. Brazile included a question about the death penalty in the email, saying, ‘here’s one that worries me about HRC.’ The following day, Ricky Jackson, a former death-row inmate who was exonerated, asked Mrs. Clinton about the issue during the televised town-hall event.”

Did the Clinton campaign rely on but disparage Latinos? Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, in an email titled “Needy Latinos and 1 easy call,” apparently urged Clinton to call prominent Latino politicians, including former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former Energy Secretary Federico Peña. Podesta apparently wrote, “Richardson is still on TV a lot, especially on Univision and Telemundo and, notwithstanding the fact that he can be a [expletive deleted], it was worth getting him in a good place.” Podesta apparently micromanaged Clinton’s phone courtesies concerning Peña: “Ask him how he’s been doing; ask about his views on the race and what she should be doing in Colorado; ask that he consider publicly supporting you.”

Most important, were the policies Clinton backed as secretary of state misguided and murderous? Newly declassified State Department documents show Clinton in 2012 praising the election to the Egyptian presidency of Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s Islamist Muslim Brotherhood leader, and offering covert police and security help. Clinton talking points for her meeting with Morsi included an offer to send U.S. police and security experts to Egypt as part of a “framework of cooperation” that would be carried out “quite discreetly.”

The Washington Free Beacon reported on the documents, released under a Freedom of Information Act request seeking information on the Obama administration’s secret 2011 Presidential Study Directive-11: “The directive, according to officials familiar with its contents, outlined how the administration would seek to support the Muslim Brotherhood around the world despite the Islamist supremacist organization providing the ideological underpinning for jihadist terrorism for both al-Qaeda and its successor, the Islamic State.”

The newspaper quoted retired Army Lt. Col. Joseph Myers saying Clinton’s endorsement and support of the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt was “a fool’s errand and shows a disastrous strategic naivety. … The whole policy initiative to support a Muslim Brotherhood government anywhere is another example of a total policy failure of Secretary Clinton.”

Read more WORLD stories about the Clinton candidacy.

Marvin Olasky

Marvin is the former editor in chief of WORLD, having retired in January 2022, and former dean of World Journalism Institute. He joined WORLD in 1992 and has been a university professor and provost. He has written more than 20 books, including Reforming Journalism.



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