Some people, after they leave public office, inspire the building of a library. Others go on speaking tours or found charities or serve as statesmen in solving the world’s great problems. And some write devotionals.
We first heard of the latest round of presidential devotional materials when Joshua DuBois penned samples of the morning mix of Scripture, prayers and reflective thoughts he offered President Barack Obama over the years. Jimmy Carter likewise produced one.
So in the spirit of Democrats doing collections of devotionals, we have word of yet another from someone who was almost president: Hillary Clinton, courtesy of a report in The Daily Mail.
Are you there God? It's me, Hillary. Clinton is praying EVERY DAY after her defeat by Trump reveals pastor who sends her special prayers about 'being strong'
We've written before about this pastor here. We then learn:
Hillary Clinton has been reading daily devotionals since losing the election which teach her about 'being strong in the midst of unpredictability', her pastor has revealed.
The Rev Bill Shillady said that the former Democratic Presidential candidate's prayers have been about 'encouragement' as she grapples with her shock defeat to Donald Trump.
He said that Clinton has been finding 'strength and hope' in her Methodist faith as she tries to understand what went wrong.
Clinton has only touched briefly on the personal impact her defeat has had on her making Rev Shillady's disclosure a significant insight into her state of mind.
From the one excerpt the article offers, the devotionals sounds soup bowl shallow, so I’m not sure this is going to be a great seller. Plus, this sounds like an awfully quick turnaround for a book arriving barely eight months after Hillary’s loss, so I'm wondering why the reporter didn't ask if it were in the offing for some time.
I know the Daily Mail’s pieces often run short, but couldn’t the reporter have dug around a bit more other than rewriting the press release? There’s a mountain of information on Hillary’s Methodist roots, so why did they just run the following?
Clinton was raised a Methodist in Park Ridge, Illinois where her mother taught Sunday school and raised money for charity, inspiring her daughter's interest in social justice.
That's pretty sparse. At least mention that she and her family attended Foundry United Methodist in Washington, D.C, while Bill Clinton was president.
Meanwhile, why is it that Republicans don’t come out with devotionals? If they don’t write them, they (i.e. George W. Bush) at least read them. The Mail could have had some fun speculating why the party that attracts the most atheists and non-believers is the one whose top politicians produce devotionals.
Other outlets such as Faithwire have reported on the Clinton-devotional beat for some time. The United Methodist News Service reported in early 2016 that that Shillady was planning on doing the book and that as many as 116 women were part of the effort.
So I'm not sure why the Mail is calling their short piece an exclusive.
And of course there’s the great elephant in the middle of the living room: Does the devotional deal with what happens when God doesn’t answer one’s prayers for things like winning an election? Dear Daily Mail folks: Wade through the fluff and find those kinds of things out. Inquiring minds want to know.