First Lady Hillary Clinton claimed Jan. 27 that a “vast right-wing conspiracy” was responsible for the current scandal involving her husband, President Bill Clinton, and an alleged affair with 21-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
“It’s not just one person; it’s an entire operation,” the First Lady said on NBC’s “Today” show. She labeled Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr “a politically motivated prosecutor who is allied with the right-wing opponents of my husband.”
Conservative Christian organizations have played a role in scandals involving the President. Christian broadcaster Jerry Falwell used his television program to sell a videotape suggesting Clinton is guilty of various crimes. The Christian Defense Coalition established the first legal defense fund for Paula Jones, who is suing Clinton for sexual harassment. And the Rutherford Institute, which is coordinating fundraising for the Paula Jones case, is known for its work to advance a conservative view of religious liberty.
The Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, responded to Hillary Clinton’s charges, saying, “It is clear from the comments made today by Mrs. Clinton that the strategy of the White House will be to attack the religious right for the problems facing the President. It is tragic that the First Lady and the White House would resort to this kind of smear campaign to defend the President.”
Mahoney continued, “Christian organizations did not create Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers, or Monica Lewinsky. Mrs. Clinton should take her own advice and let ‘all the facts come out’ and not engage in a malicious attack on organizations that may oppose some of the policies of the President.”
John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, scoffed at the First Lady’s charges. “What right-wing conspiracy?” he asked. “Show us the facts. Who conspired and where?”
Falwell had no direct response to Hillary Clinton’s charges, but urged the American people to respond to the growing scandal with prayer. “The revelations of recent days have created an environment that invariably leads to piling on by the public and a feeding frenzy by the nation’s media,” Falwell said. “However, falling to our knees in prayer will yield more constructive results than will jumping to conclusions. I am praying for President and Mrs. Clinton and their daughter Chelsea during these days. I am also praying those who are charged with governing this country and those who are handling various investigations will act responsibly and without malice.”
Falwell added, “I believe what our President and country need most right now is prayer. The Bible commands us to pray for our leaders, a command which transcends politics, and I am urging millions of Americans to put aside politics and invoke God’s guidance for all.”
During this difficult time, Clinton is drawing support from his church roots. First United Methodist in Little Rock, where Hillary and Chelsea Clinton are members, held a prayer service Jan. 27, just hours before the President offered the State of the Union Address.
Two days earlier, President and Mrs. Clinton were present for worship at Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington where pastor Philip Wogaman preached the second sermon in a series on taking faith seriously. In the sermon, Wogaman spoke of the need for the American people to avoid hysteria and quick judgment. He urged the nation to heed I Corinthians 13, which says, “Love is patient, love is kind. … Love keeps no score of wrongs, does not gloat over other men’s sins, but delights in the truth.”
The Rev. Jesse Jackson, who has met with Clinton for daily prayer since the Lewinsky scandal broke, said, “When leaders are going through storms, their ministers and their faith fortify. We know that the dark clouds will be rolled away if you are faithful and focused and disciplined.”
– E.P. News