Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) apparently took pandering lessons from Hillary Clinton.
Following in the footsteps of the former secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, Gillibrand — an aspiring president herself — awkwardly “preached” to a black church congregation last week in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.
— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) January 21, 2019
Gillibrand was at the church delivering a speech for the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network’s King Day Public Policy Forum.
“We will wear the belt of truth, because we know the truth,” the senator belted out awkwardly, tripping over her words and raising her hands in seemingly unnatural gestures. “We speak truth to power. We will put on the bright breastplate of righteousness because we know right from wrong. And we will not forget it.”
Continuing to stumble her way through the religiously rich stump speech — which she clearly did not memorize — Gillibrand declared, “We will hold that shield of faith, as Dr. King said, faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase. So hold on to that faith tightly.”
Gillibrand kept speaking, her feet shuffling around the stage. She told the largely black audience to “wield the sword of the spirit” — a reference to Ephesians 6 — before quickly moving on to tell the crowd the “Good Book promises us the light shines on the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it,” a reference to John 1.
The Democrat’s appearance last week was reminiscent of a speech Clinton gave in 2008 at a church in Selma, Alabama. At the time, the then-presidential candidate adopted an incredibly thick southern accent and appeared to be speaking in some sort of broken English.
To be fair, Gillibrand — who identifies as Catholic — does seem to take her faith somewhat seriously, despite her unflinching support of abortion, which is anathema to the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Sen. James Lankford’s (R-Okla.) team told the Religion News Service in 2017 that Gillibrand is one of the handful of Democrats who participate in a weekly congressional Bible study.
Of Lankford, the New York politician said, “He’s definitely sincere about his faith, and it’s absolutely a guidepost in his public service.”