What religion does Hillary Clinton practice — and how does it affect the campaign?


What religion does Hillary Clinton practice — and how does it affect the campaign?
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate for president of the United States, is a Methodist. Methodism is a subgroup of Protestant Christianity that believes in works of piety and justice-seeking in order to end oppression and discrimination. 

Clinton hardly talks about her faith unless she's asked, like when an on-the-fence Catholic Democrat asked her about her belief in the 10 Commandments.

"I am a person of faith," Clinton said, according to the New York Times. "I am a Christian. I am a Methodist. I have been raised Methodist. I feel very grateful for the instructions and support I received starting in my family but through my church, and I think that any of us who are Christian have a constantly, constant conversation in our own heads about what we are called to do and how we are asked to do it, and I think it is absolutely appropriate for people to have very strong convictions and also, though, to discuss those with other people of faith."

Hillary Clinton speaking at Little Rock AME Zion Church in Charlotte, North Carolina
Source: Andrew Harnik/AP

About 43% of voters don't think Clinton is religious, according to the Pew Research Center. Some people might find it refreshing — a candidate who doesn't preach her faith when she gets a chance. But in the past, it's also something Republicans have used to attack her.

"We don't know anything about Hillary in terms of religion," Republican nominee Donald Trump told a group of Christian leaders in New York, according to CNN. "Now, she's been in the public eye for years and years, and yet there's no — there's nothing out there. There's like nothing out there."

Religion can influence a candidate's stance on controversial topics that end up as platforms for political campaigns — specifically, same-sex marriage and abortion. 

In the past, Clinton stood on the other side of the fence: She didn't support same-sex marriage in 2002, though she's now a major proponent on the right to marry. She used to be anti-abortion, but has since walked that back in order to protect women's health. Though religion may play a part in Clinton's personal life, it hasn't stopped her from amending her position on certain key issues.