United States: Senator Clinton Commends "Commitment to Preach, Teach and Heal"

October 21, 2003 Washington, D.C., United States .... [ANN Staff]

U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, who represents New York, expressed her strong support of workplace religious freedom in a videotaped message for the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Public Affairs and Religious Liberty department. Clinton’s statement will appear in the promotional video for Liberty Magazine, a well-known expositor of the church’s stance on religious freedom.

“One of the things I admire most about Seventh-day Adventists, in addition to your faith, is your commitment to preach, teach and heal,” Sen. Clinton said. “Your emphasis on educating and nurturing your fellow man is a model for all people of faith to follow. And your network of schools and health care facilities put into action the tenets of those beliefs. For that is the calling to all of us, not just to believe but to act.”

Sen. Clinton, made her remarks in a Senate conference room with a crew from the Adventist Television Network. United States President George W. Bush taped a similar message lauding Adventist commitment to human rights and religious freedom in 2002.

She is among a number of co-sponsors of the Workplace Religious Freedom Act, a proposed law in the United States that would extend employment protection to those employees who wish to observe particular days of worship, overriding several court decisions that favor a more narrow interpretation of existing guarantees.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church alone receives more than a thousand requests a year for help from members who have been fired or mistreated because their employers have refused to take the simple steps necessary to accommodate their faith.

James Standish, director of legislative affairs for the Seventh-day Adventist world church, co-chairs the coalition of 44 religious groups and denominations who support the WRFA. The diverse coalition includes representatives from a broad spectrum of religious organizations and faiths.

It was this coalition that brought the issue to Sen. Clinton’s attention. In turn, the New York Senator graciously accepted an invitation to record the videotape message.

“I personally appreciate the work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in promoting religious freedom not just here, but around the world,” Sen. Clinton said in the message. “I am particularly proud to join you in supporting the Workplace Religious Freedom Act.”

Sen. Clinton, who emphasized family needs during her time in the White House, commended Adventists for their particular emphasis on the family.

“I know the Seventh-day Adventist Church has a strong commitment to family--a commitment that is represented in how you observe the Sabbath together,” she said. “With faith, and strong families, and the freedom to allow faith to prosper, our people and our nation will be ready to embrace the future.”

According to Standish, Sen. Clinton’s support is welcome.

“It is particularly satisfying when we are able to communicate our message directly to national leaders,” he said. “It is gratifying to hear national leaders, such as Senator Clinton and President Bush, recognize the contribution our church is making to advance the cause of religious freedom.” -Source: Adventist News Network

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