Clinton uses Scripture to Attack Pro-Life Republican Platform in Homily

NEW YORK, September 27, 2004 ( - Former U.S. president Bill Clinton used Scripture to imply that the pro-life stance is not explicit in the Bible. Clinton attacked the Republican Party for its pro-life position in an address to a left-wing congregation of New York’s Riverside Church during the Republican National Convention in August.  During his address, Clinton avoided the conundrum imposed by the IRS against churches endorsing specific candidates or parties by saying “I like Senator Kerry,” and then stating his reasons.  Associated Press writer Richard N. Ostling gave a sample of Clinton’s homily in a column appearing in the Asbury Park Press Sunday. “All of us see through a glass darkly and all of us know only in part,” the former president said, paraphrasing from the epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians, 1 Corinthians 13:12.

Clinton used this paraphrase to imply that the Bible only offers a partial understanding of truth. He used that and other adaptations to criticize the Republicans as “religious absolutists” who claim to have knowledge of absolute truths in their “anti-abortion, anti-gay rights” positions.  St. Paul’s meaning in the passage, contrary to Clinton’s idea, is revealed by Ostling in his column. “Paul had just such absolutist tendencies himself in many other passages. As normally understood, his words do not advocate moral ambiguity but say that we’ll only ‘understand fully’ many spiritual mysteries during this life when we’re in the presence of God in eternity.”  Read Ostling’s column:,21625,1060750,00.html   tv

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