Former Secretary of State and twice-failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recently said that young people are leaving the church because Christianity has become "judgmental" and "alienating" on an episode of her podcast, "You and Me Both."
Interviewing progressive political activist and preacher William Barber II, Clinton asked "how can you be a Bible-reading person, a church-attending person," and not recognize that there is "no separation between Jesus and justice." The two then discussed how no political party owns Christianity and how "black lives matter" is a theological statement.
Turning her attention towards the church and its role in the fight against things like "systemic poverty and ecological devastation," Clinton offered her explanation of why so many young people are leaving the church.
"Because a lot of people are leaving the church, a lot of young people are leaving the church in part because [of] the way they understand what Christianity has become is, you know, so judgmental, so alienating, that they think to themselves, ‘Well, I don't need that. I don't want to be part of that,'" Clinton said. "So, this should also be a time for the church to take a hard look at itself and try to figure out how it can be a real partner in this moment of moral awakening."
Barber then said that a church that engages in social activism would be far more attractive to youth, specifically if it addresses "love, justice," and healthcare, reminding Clinton's listeners that Jesus "healed everybody for free and He never charged a leper a co-pay."
"Black and white and red and yellow and gay and straight, trans — whoever we are — we are this movement," Barber said. "And the last thing we can do is just die."
Clinton identifies as a member of the United Methodist Church.