Chelsea Clinton: I left the Baptist church at age 6 because it was pro-life
CHAPPAQUA, New York, February 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - Chelsea Clinton said she left the Southern Baptist Convention at the tender age of six, because a Sunday school teacher taught her that abortion is a sin.
The daughter of former President Bill Clinton and Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton told interviewers she finds it "insulting" when people doubt her family's devotion to God because of their strong support for abortion-on-demand and other policies traditionally condemned by Christianity.
“I find it quite insulting sometimes when people say to my mom, my dad or me...that they question our faith," Chelsea, who is now 35, told PageSix.com.
“I was raised in a Methodist church, and I left the Baptist church before my dad did, because I didn’t know why they were talking to me about abortion when I was six in Sunday school," she said. "That’s a true story.”
The Southern Baptist Convention began commemorating the the Sanctity of Human Life Sunday in 1985.
As the daughter of the governor of Arkansas, Chelsea Clinton was confirmed at First United Methodist Church in Little Rock, which she attended with her mother. Bill Clinton attended Immanuel Baptist Church on his own.
The 15.5-million-member Southern Baptist Church remains resolutely pro-life. Dr. Russell Moore, who heads the SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, prayed for David Daleiden at the first-ever Evangelicals for Life conference this year.
President Clinton later left the Southern Baptists, the nation's largest Protestant denomination. In a 2008 conference, he and former President Jimmy Carter helped launch what became the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, a more liberal grouping of churches with a fraction of the SBC's membership.
Hillary Clinton has always cited her Methodist upbringing - by a liberal youth minister in Chicago - as a formative experience.
The United Methodist Church opposes abortion in many instances in which Hillary Clinton would approve it - demanding parental consent while opposing partial birth abortion and using abortion as a method of birth control. Its official doctrine allows abortion only in "tragic conflicts of life with life...in such cases we support the legal option of abortion under proper medical procedures by certified medical providers."
However, its Book of Resolutions, a collection of its official positions, says, "Maybe you will agree with the denomination's position. On the other hand, you may disagree. Either is all right. At the least, you know your church cares and wants you to be a knowledgeable and caring Christian about the issues of the day.”
Hillary has said the Bible is "the biggest influence on my thinking." However, critics say her far-Left position on abortion - allowing only the possibility of some restrictions "at the very end of the third trimester" - as well as her strong opposition to traditional sexual morality undermines that.
As president, Bill Clinton said that he and Hillary prayed together before he vetoed the partial birth abortion ban.
In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that religious objections to the homosexual political agenda are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”
And last April, Hillary Clinton told a feminist summit in New York that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”
Chelsea, who married Marc Mezvinsky in an interfaith ceremony presided over by a United Methodist minister and a Reform Jewish rabbi, said she must also fight with secular friends who cannot accept her spiritual beliefs.
"I recognized that there were many expressions of faith that I don't agree with and feel [are] quite antithetical to how I read the Bible," Chelsea Clinton said. "But I find it really challenging when people who are self-professed liberals kind of look askance at my family's history."
The Clintons' only daughter has said she, too, may consider running for office one day.