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Hillary Clinton is one of the least diplomatic people I've ever heard of. Why is she going to be Secretary of State? WTF?

Photo of Hillary Clinton with a hostile facial expressionThat was my initial reaction to Obama choosing Ms. Clinton as Secretary of State. Clinton is notorious for trying to bulldoze over anyone who disagrees with her or changing the subject when confronted with inconvenient facts. Her persona is disturbingly similar to that of John Bolton.

Hiaalry Clinton with a crazy look on her faceUpon further reflection, a larger problem has occurred to me. Hillary Clinton has been involved in militant, fundamentalist prayer groups on Capitol Hill for some time now. Those are clubs you don't get to join unless you are one of the fundie flock. She often speaks in the language of the Christian Taliban too. Ms. Clinton's Christian extremism, like George W. Bush's militant, Christian fundamentalism, is a news story that has been largely censored by the corporate media, but it is quite important.

Can a Christian extremist like Clinton be an effective diplomat when dealing with foreign leaders who are Muslim?

Hillary Clinton looking arrogantThere was a time when the US was so powerful that we could have nominated a talking monkey as Secretary of State, and the world would have to cow tow to us. Those days are over, largely thanks to the failed rightist Reagan/Bush/Clinton/Bush policies of the past 28 years that have devastated our country militarily, economically, politically, and morally.

Clinton looking unpleasantIn this multipolar world, we need effective diplomacy from people who can think rationally about people of non-Christian faiths and about people with no religious faith at all. There are strong reasons to doubt that Ms. Clinton is capable of being diplomatic in general, much less rational about non-Christians.

Photo credits (top to bottom):
World Economic Forum
Center for American Progress Action Fund
Mira (on the wall)


  1. Christopher Says:
  2. It's so odd that the Borg Queen's membership in the secretive, Capitol Hill group known as the Fellowship, was never mentioned by the media during the primary.

    I know two current U.S. Senate staffers who confirmed her involvement in the group to me last winter.

    Apparently, she's every bit as nutty as the Bible thumpers who speak in tongues. No wonder she's said to be uncomfortable around gays and lesbians.

  3. Anonymous Says:
  4. Sorry, but I have to disagree with your depiction of Hillary as a Christian extremist. Lots of folks attend such prayer breakfasts, mainly because it's where (for better and worse) movers and shakers congregate. Christianity is the majority religion in this country. Hillary wants power and influence, so therefore, she attends. And it isn't hard to speak in the language of Christians. I can turn it on or off at will. It's simple when you grow up in that environment, but it doesn't mean you agree with it. Sure, Hillary is trying to win supporters--she's a politician. She's often been seen and depicted as non-religious, so I find it strange that you're saying the exact opposite. Hillary has often had to remind people that she does attend church, to fend off the very fundies you're claiming she's in league with. Seriously, does everyone in government or every religious person have to be part of a conspiracy? She may be a Christian, but Hillary is no Huckabee.

  5. Lew Scannon Says:
  6. In 2007, when Israel was dropping cluster bombs all over Southern Lebanon, Hillary posed with a group of children in front of the UN to state that "America stands behind Israel". I don't think anyone who openly supports war crimes should be Secretary of State.

  7. libhom Says:
  8. Christopher: You are absolutely correct about Ms. Clinton being uncomfortable around queers. I remember how she reacted at the Logo/Human Rights Campaign candidates forum.

    Riverwolf: I would suggest you read the full article cited. As someone who spent years monitoring militant, Christian fundamentalists, I know that these groups are not part of mainstream Christianity in this country (e.g., the Lutherans or the United Methodists). The only people allowed to participate in those kind of prayer groups are the Pat Robertson/Sarah Palin/Randall Terry/Mike Huckabee style Christians.

    I know there is a lot of denial about the Clintons in the Democratic Party and in the queer community. However, we desperately need to face the facts about these heterosexist, far right Republicans who pretend to be pro-gay Democrats when it is politically convenient. Keep in mind that Ms. Clinton tries very hard to keep her involvement with these extremists quiet, suggesting very strongly that she is not doing it to seek out votes.

    Lew: You make an excellent point. Her Rapture Right support of Likud policies is matched by her war mongering. Not only did Ms. Clinton vote for a bloodthirsty war of corporate and religious aggression in Iraq, she also has worked tirelessly this year to get us into a war with Iran.

  9. Christopher Says:
  10. Riverwolf,

    You're citing only the public face of the Fellowship. This is what the want you to see, to remember and of course, repeat.

    Shrouded in mystery, The Fellowship is headed by Douglas Coe: an ambiguous and enigmatic person. While Wright is all fire and brimstone, Coe is subtle and quiet. Coe personally leads a private Senate prayer group and guess who is a member? Hillar Clinton, as well as other rightwingers like Republican Senators Inhofe (Oklahoma), Grassley (Iowa), Domenici (New Mexico), Ensign (Nevada), ex-Senators Nickles (Oklahoma), and Burns (Montana).

    The Fellowship has managed to influence many behind the scenes governmental and legal policies. It also is know to have had ties to some really “nice” people like General Suharto of Indonesia and convicted torturer Carlos Vides Casanova of El Salvador. The Fellowship is not what one would call a fan of left wing causes, as all its support in the past was geared to Conservative/Neocon/Right wing movements.

    It has a budget of over $10,000,000 and has NO known fund raising events, as all donations are solicited privately. The headquarters in Washington are in a mansion known as the “The Cedars.” The Cedars was purchased with a $1.5 million donation from Ken Olsen, the CEO of Raytheon, one of the country’s largest arms manufacturers.

    There they forge “relationships” beyond the din of vox populi (the Family’s leaders consider democracy a manifestation of ungodly pride) and “throw away religion” in favor of the truths of the Family. Declaring God’s covenant with the Jews broken, the group’s core members call themselves “the new chosen.”

    So, as you can see, The Fellowship is hardly a benign group who gathers to pray for world peace.

  11. GDAEman Says:
  12. Your post reminds me of a song, It's Not Just Bush by a very talented "kid".... "voting doesn't matter cuz we're voting for a class."

    Maybe a bit off topic, but that's what popped into my head.

  13. GDAEman Says:
  14. OK, since my last comment was off topic, a bit, you triggered another thought with "There was a time when the US was so powerful that we could have nominated a talking monkey as Secretary of State, and the world would have to cow tow to us. Those days are over...",

    It's a reflection of why "it's over" is outlined in a piece I did on Four Phases of US Monetary Influence. I think we're in the last phase.

  15. Anonymous Says:
  16. I did go read the full article--and I guess my response may seem odd/cynical. I've been in the deepest, darkest Christian conservative circles, and there are scads of believers out there who see everything they do as the will of God. That would make Hillary pretty mainstream actually. So her "secret" group doesn't parade around. Well, we do have freedom of assembly. No worse that skulking around the Internet.

    If the Fellowship group is trying to fool us all and run the country, well, I guess they join all the other covert, secret groups doing the same. With all this competition, who's in charge? And if they're really all that powerful, why aren't things worse than they are? And if these types of groups really have so much power, then we're all fucked anyway. No amount of exposing them will ever work, so we might as well relax and enjoy what we can.

  17. libhom Says:
  18. Riverwolf: Why is it so difficult for you to accept the fact that Ms. Clinton is one of those fundamentalist Christians "who see everything they do as the will of God"?

    When are people going to wake up about Hillary Clinton's and George W. Bush's religious extremism? It's like people are too afraid of reality to acknowledge it.

  19. Anonymous Says:
  20. I can accept that Hillary may believe in the will of God directing her life, but having been in that same world view once myself, I know that every single Christian lives this out in different ways. There are those who try to keep it to themselves (without any necessarily nefarious motives) and those more extreme folks who take every opportunity to vocalize and proselytize, like Bush and Huckabee for example. I just haven't seen the same behavior in Hillary. If someone went back into my past, even recently as 2 years ago when I was a deacon in a local Baptist church, and brought it all out, I'd definitely be labeled a "Christian extremist," but that's the furthest thing from the truth.

    You may be right--Hillary may, in fact, be an extremist. I'm just skeptical. We can't issue blanket proclamations about certain groups. It's like saying all homosexuals are sex-crazed pedophiles. Life is much more complicated than that. Time will reveal all things...

  21. libhom Says:
  22. Riverwolf: I think part of the problem is the taboo nature of even discussing Christian religious extremism in this society. It's an ironic one given how freely we discuss Islamic and Hindu extremism.

    The claim about "blanket proclamations about certain groups" is a common one in argumentation. It is important to understand where it is valid and where it is not.

    Very few people would argue that it is unreasonable to say that someone who has joined the Ku Klux Klan is racist. If Ms. Clinton had joined a stamp collecting club on Capitol hill, it wouldn't be controversial to say that Ms. Clinton was interested in stamps. Yet, when Ms. Clinton has belonged to a militant, fundamentalist religious group for years, it is somehow argued that you can't infer that she is a militant Christian fundamentalist.

    The classic example of a blanket assumption given is a critique of the claim that "redheads have hot tempers." This fails for several reasons.

    1) There is no logical connection between hair pigmentation and temperament.

    2) Having red hair is not part of a voluntary association, and it involves no action on the part of the person (if the person is a natural redhead).

    3) There is no correlation between hair pigmentation and temperment.

    Now, let's look at the claim that gays are pedophiles.

    1) There is no logical connection between the gender of one's sexual desires and the age range of one's sexual desires.

    2) There is no action involved, conscious or otherwise, in being gay. Someone is gay regardless of behavior.

    3) The actual evidence on the subject shows that child molestation most strongly correlates with heterosexual men.

    Now, let's look at the claim that Hillary Clinton is a militant, Christian fundamentalist.

    1) There is a strong and persuasive logical connection between participation in an extremist Christian organization and being a Christian extremist.

    2) Ms. Clinton took deliberate action to join a voluntary association of religious extremists. She has made efforts to continue to participate in the organization.

    3) Christian religious extremism correlates very strongly with membership in fundamentalist Christian organizations.

    (Note: items 1 and 2 disprove the claim that the correlation in item 3 is merely coincidental.)

    Polling generally shows Christian extremists at 20-30% of the population. Since that population is not evenly distributed, there certainly are areas where the fundamentalists are a majority. This is part of the tail end of a wave of Christian militancy which started in the late 1970s and started to decline after the AWOL rapture in 2000.

    We often forget that the US is the most religious country outside of India and the Muslim world. The level of religiosity here makes most Europeans shudder. The good news is that we are trending towards another Enlightenment.



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