Picking a president should not come easily.  A president does not just make budget proposals, wrestle with decisions regarding war and peace, or pick nominees for the Supreme Court.  Presidents also set a moral tone for the nation.  That is why I decided to support Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocratic debates are magnet for lobbyists NYT editorial board endorses Warren, Klobuchar for Democratic nomination for president Sanders v. Warren is just for insiders MORE.

Her concession after falling short in New Hampshire reminded me of just why I made that decision.  Secretary Clinton said that night: “You know, my family and my faith taught me a simple thing, do all the good in all the ways you can for all the people you can.”


Clinton spoke of a progressive agenda to build on the successes of the Obama administration.  She has laid out the most important and comprehensive plan to reform our criminal justice system in the era of Black Lives Matter.  Clinton, all the way back to her days as First Lady, has a long history of working to reduce gun violence.  As a father deeply concerned about the impact that climate change will have on my daughters and their friends, I appreciate that Secretary Clinton has pledged to continue President Obama’s hard work to tackle this critical issue.

Folks might want to know why I’m supporting Secretary Clinton after working to elect Obama in 2008. Why not support Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders apologizes to Biden for supporter's op-ed Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Trump' if the US doesn't elect progressive Former health insurance executive: Current system is bankrupting country MORE (I-Vt.)?

Sanders is a good and honorable man.  Much of my life’s work has been about fighting poverty and homelessness.  So I appreciate Sanders’ commitment to addressing economic inequality.  Still, his economic plan does not add up. Obama said in 2008 that there is no such thing as false hope.  Sanders is offering voters promises that cannot be kept with economic proposals that sound too good to be true because that is what they are. Having said that, debate is good and healthy and I applaud Sanders for running.

What did Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders apologizes to Biden for supporter's op-ed Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Trump' if the US doesn't elect progressive Democrats: McConnell impeachment trial rules a 'cover up,' 'national disgrace' MORE say the night of the South Carolina primary?  “Mexico is killing us -- absolutely. We'll do the wall. Don't worry. We're going to do the wall.”

Pope Francis was on to something when he said recently: “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.”  As a minister ordained to preach and teach the gospel, I do not believe that God picks candidates or parties.  I also do not believe that the ideas advanced by the GOP candidates, building walls and siding with the NRA over the safety of American children, represent my understanding of Christian values.

Obama, along with Clinton and Secretary Kerry, have worked hard to end wars we are in and to use diplomacy, not more endless war, to stop conflict wherever possible.  The historic Iran deal, which keeps that nation from obtaining nuclear weapons is the model of engagement we need to continue.  Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioApple under pressure to unlock Pensacola shooter's phones Senators offer bill to create alternatives to Huawei in 5G tech Surging Sanders draws fresh scrutiny ahead of debate MORE (R-Fla.) doesn’t agree. “I am going to cancel this ridiculous deal he has struck with Iran,” said the junior senator from Florida. Rubio would put world security at risk. 

The GOP candidates have promised to do everything possible to destroy Obamacare, forcing tens of millions to go without health coverage again.  They would deny women the right to make their own healthcare decisions. This same group has advanced the failed economic policies that caused the Great Recession.   Their campaigns have been waged by stoking fear of Muslims and bigotry toward immigrants.  Fear is not faithful. 

Clinton is the only candidate with the depth of experience America needs in this moment.  I will not agree with her on every issue – just as there have been times I have publicly disagreed with President Obama – but her overall vision of our nation connects with mine.  As a minister, a father, and professor, I feel confident in the future with Hillary Clinton as president.

As I have many times, as a minister in the United Church of Christ, I trust deeply in the Constitutional principle of separation of church and state and my endorsement is therefore a personal one and does not reflect on Pacific University, where I serve, or my denomination.

Currie, of Portland, Oregon, is the director of the Center for Peace and Spirituality and university chaplain at Pacific University. Learn more at www.chuckcurrie.com.