Hillary Clinton’s concession speech was a nod to her Methodist creed

Keep calm and carry on.
Keep calm and carry on.
Image: Reuters/Brian Snyder
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Hillary Clinton’s concession speech for the US presidency, which urged supporters to keep fighting the good fight, hinted at a spiritual side of her character that voters rarely see. Quoting from Christian scripture, Galatians 6:9, the almost president told her fellow Americans, “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not give up.”

This exhortation was first issued by Paul the Apostle to his new Christian flock around 50 AD in Galatia. The young faith was threatened, Paul believed, by any mixing of creeds, and he urged followers to adhere strictly to their Lord’s instructions, never tiring, and relying only on Christ’s message. By doing the right thing during their days on earth, they would be saved and go to heaven.

The quoted verse is considered essential to the doctrine in the Methodist Church, the faith in which Clinton was raised. Methodism’s founder John Wesley was a British Protestant who, after a brief crisis of belief, found solace in Paul’s reminder that focusing on Christ’s scriptures was enough to guide his faith. The ideals of patience and persistence became guiding tenants of the religion.

Clinton has referenced these ideals before, if gingerly, on the campaign trail. In January, at a town-hall meeting in Iowa, she spoke candidly about her faith. “I am a Christian. I am a Methodist. I have been raised Methodist. I feel very grateful for the instructions and support I received…through my church, and I think that any of us who are Christian have a constantly, constant, conversation in our own heads about what we are called to do and how we are asked to do it.”

In July, The Washington Post noted that she was showing her Methodist roots by calling for people to unify and “incline our ears to wisdom and apply our hearts to understanding.” She ended that speech on the same lesson from Paul’s letter to the Galatians: “Let us not grow weary in doing good.”

Today, in her black jacket with politically and religiously symbolic purple lapels, Clinton urged her followers to not tire, however hurt by the election loss. “This is painful and will be for a long time,” she admitted. But good fights, in due season, shall reap rewards. In one of her iconic pantsuits, she told grieving supporters: “The best days are still ahead of us.”