In a rare public
discussion of her husband's infidelity, Democratic
presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday
that she probably could not have gotten through her
marital troubles without relying on her faith in God.
Clinton stood by
her actions in the aftermath of former president
Clinton's admission that he had an affair, including
presumably her decision to stay in the marriage.
''I am very
grateful that I had a grounding in faith that gave me the
courage and the strength to do what I thought was right,
regardless of what the world thought,'' Clinton said
during a forum where the three leading Democratic
presidential candidates talked about faith and values.
''I'm not sure I
would have gotten through it without my faith,'' she
said in response to a question about how she dealt with the
sponsored by the liberal Sojourners/Call to Renewal
evangelical organization, provided an uncommon glimpse into
the most personal beliefs of Clinton and rivals John
Edwards and Barack Obama. The three candidates were
invited by Sojourners founder Jim Wallis; most of the
other Democratic candidates appeared on CNN later Monday to
discuss their faith.
The most intimate
question came about the Clintons' relationship, one of
the world's most debated marriages but one that the husband
and wife rarely speak openly about.
she's ''been tested in ways that are both publicly known and
those that are not so well known or not known at all.'' She
said it's those times when her personal faith and the
prayers of others sustain her.
moments in time when you are tested, it is absolutely
essential that you be grounded in your faith,'' she said.
that he prays--and sins--every day. The crowd
gasped loudly when moderator Soledad O'Brien asked
Edwards to name the biggest sin he ever committed, and
he won their applause when he said he would have a
hard time naming one thing.
''I sin every
single day,'' said Edwards, the 2004 vice presidential
nominee. ''We are all sinners, and we all fall short.''
a purple tie to match Sojourners' signature color,
promoted himself as the candidate most committed to the
group's mission of fighting poverty. He said he
doesn't feel his belief in evolution is inconsistent
with his belief in Christ and he doesn't personally feel
gays should be married, although as president he wouldn't
impose his belief system on the rest of the country.
''I have a deep
and abiding love for my Lord, Jesus Christ,'' Edwards
said, but he said the United States shouldn't be called a
He said he has
been going to church since he was a child and was baptized
as a teen. He said he strayed from his faith as an adult and
it came ''roaring back'' when his teenage son died in
''It was the Lord
that got me through that,'' Edwards said, along with
both of his wife's cancer diagnoses.
acknowledged that talking about her religious beliefs
doesn't come naturally to her.
''I take my faith
very seriously and very personally,'' she said. ''And I
come from a tradition that is perhaps a little too
suspicious of people who wear their faith on their
was given 15 minutes to appear before the packed
auditorium at George Washington University's Lisner
Auditorium and a live audience on CNN. They were
questioned by O'Brien and by church leaders across the
appearance focused more on policy than the personal. Asked
whether he agreed with President Bush's portrayal of the
current global struggles in terms of good versus evil,
Obama said there is a risk in viewing the world in
He said he
believes that the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001,
were the result of evil. But he said that the United States'
treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo
Bay is unjust.
''The danger of
using good versus evil in the context of war is that it
may lead us to be not as critical as we should about our own
actions,'' Obama said to applause. (Nedra Pickler, AP)