Firsthand knowledge

Dear Editor:

On May 4, 2014, The Review published an column on the Opinion page written by Cal Thomas regarding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her address to the 2014 United Methodist Women’s Assembly. I would like to speak to his comments.

First, some history.

The United Methodist Women is an international organization with membership of nearly 1 million whose focus is mission work, especially for women, children and youth. This assembly, held only once every four years, is generally focused on one main issue. The speakers who are invited to share are always nationally-, and sometimes internationally-known, persons. The theme this particular year was “Make It Happen.”

Unlike Mr. Thomas, I was privileged to attend this event in Louisville, Ky.

I think that Mr. Thomas would have been more responsible in his reporting if he had been able to actually hear what Mrs. Clinton said, or spoke to those who attended, rather than taking his point of view from an Associated Press account of her remarks.

When Mrs. Clinton spoke about the scripture regarding the feeding of the 5,000 in the book of Matthew, chapter 14, she was continuing the discussion of the weekend. There had been speakers, skits and discussions about that scripture from Thursday to Sunday morning worship.

She spoke also about the challenges facing the many women and girls she has met in her travels around the world. She related a story about a young girl in Asia who had been sold by her family and is now living in a shelter. This girl had a beautiful smile and wore glasses. After meeting her, Mrs. Clinton asked about her and learned that the girl was thrown out by the man who bought her, telling her she was ugly. The glasses helped cover the fact that he had driven a nail in one of her eyes before throwing her to the street.

Do I want to support the workers in that shelter? You better believe it!

Social action? Yes!

Mrs. Clinton was there to congratulate United Methodist Women on the launch of a new “Maternal Health Initiative,” which will be in connection with the YWCA. She did say, “Having hope, faith and love in action was exactly what we are called to do.” (Faith, Hope and Love in action is the UMW motto.)

Just so Mr. Thomas knows, and those who are reading this … Mrs. Clinton was not asking us to start a new “government program,” she was urging us to continue our own programs regarding social issues.

By the way, Mrs. Clinton waved any, and all, fees to come to Louisville and paid all of her own expenses.

Just thought you should hear from someone who had actually “been there.”

Judith Kidder

East Liverpool